By KTB Music, Sep 1 2016 12:25PM
Here at KTB Music, we have an ethos that you must desire to play your instrument rather than practise it. Yes, practising is important; refining technical skill is absolutely imperative for those intending to take their skill further in life and pleasure. But, surely it is more important to find your enjoyment in your instrument. Without enjoyment, your playing may easily become mechanical and soulless.
Build a playing habit into your routine. It might be every day, it might not, but do try and make it regular. Technical phrases are harder to master when they are played less so in order for you to gain the most enjoyment out of your skill, play these harder bits as often as you can. You will soon find they will become easier! If you don’t have time to dedicate playing time every day, then each time you do have time, begin with your hardest technical phrases. Play them once or twice, then treat yourself with a piece you can play and know you will enjoy.
The biggest part of practising is consistency, so whether it is twice a week or seven days a week try to set aside a specific time to play. To be consistent we need to enjoy our playing, as well as feel we are making progress, so split this playing time into working on harder aspects of playing as well as the things you enjoy playing the most. To help see progression in your playing it is a great idea to set both long and short term goals. Your long term goal could be to pass a specific grade in a years’ time, or to be able to play a certain piece that is currently too hard, but one you will eventually be able to play. Short term goals can be anything from learning a new note to being able to play one extra bar in the tune you are working on. They should be goals that you are confident you can achieve in a shorter period of time, so make sure you’re not too ambitious. Limit them to small improvements on whatever you are working on and these will soon add up to a huge improvement in your skill. Short term goals are great for getting that feeling of having achieved something and really helps to reassure yourself that you are making progress. Without these goals it is all too easy to get bogged down; focussing too much on the long term goal and feeling like you’ll never be able to do it at all and you’re not improving. Trust us, we’ve been there! Keep setting simple, short term goals and you will have reached your long term goal before you know it.
Remember: take one small step at a time, stay consistent, and most importantly, just enjoy making music!