PRACTICE TIPS


My Top Eleven Practice Tip Tweets of All Time Forever and Ever Up to Now Amen

From the Brass Herald Magazine

Lance LaDuke

About six months ago, I decided to start writing daily practice tips and posting them to Twitter. The original idea came out of my plans for expanding the reach of my book, Music Practice Coach. I had toyed with the idea for some time, but never took the plunge. The inspiration for my first tip came out of something I said to one of my students regarding soft dynamics. Frankly, I was frustrated with him and decided to take it out on the Twitterverse. 

Here is that original tweet, from April 16, 2013:

Piano=as softly as you can play w/a good sound. It will change every day. Sound first, then volume, Please? Pretty please?

From those inauspicious beginnings came the rest of my inauspicious offerings. I have tweeted nearly every day since then and have shared my thoughts on a variety of subjects related to playing and practicing. I have been surprised and encouraged by the feedback I have received. Mine is far from the most visited, subscribed, favorited or retweeted Twitter feed but it seems I have struck a chord with some folks, which has been my goal from the start.

I thought I would share the eleven most popular (in terms of favorites and retweets). Why eleven? It’s a strange number. And one more than ten. And a Spinal Tap reference. And the number of toes my crazy Aunt Phoebe had. And there was a natural cut off point at eleven.

Anyway, one of the most interesting parts of this experiment/experience has been seeing which posts inspired the most activity. They are presented in descending order, ending with the most popular of my tweets. 

I hope you enjoy these. If you do, feel free to subscribe yo my feed (@lalaladuke). If not, suggest it to people you don’t like. 

#11, August 31, 2013:

When in doubt, act. Try something. Change something. Learning happens through action. Do. Fix. Redo. Shoobeedoobeedoo.

#10, August 22, 2013:

1. Bracket the measures you can’t play. 

2. Work on those measures 80% of the time. 

3. Improve.

#9, July 11, 2013:

You know what? Just go practice. You're never gonna feel like it. Just go do it. Yes, right now. Go. 

#8, July 6, 2013:

Go for it! If you miss a note, miss it BIG! Commit! Strong and wrong! Give 100%. Take a chance! Grunt a lot!

#7, September 1, 2013:

Sit down in the practice room with an attitude of curiosity & optimism. Be open to discovering how far you can go. 

#6, August 15, 2013:

You don’t have to practice in one big  time chunk. Try 15 min. “mini-chunks” throughout the day, each w/a specific focus.

#5, July 9, 2013:

Reconnect w/the reason you started playing music in the first place. Unless it was to get rich. That was just silly.

#4, August 26, 2013:

Things won’t go according to plan. Expect that. Roll with the punches. Adapt. Keep a positive attitude. Persevere.

#3, July 22, 2013:

Practice isn’t about hours logged. It is about honestly and earnestly facing your challenges and striving to meet your goals. #PracticeTips 

#2, April 27, 2013:

1. Record yourself

2. Listen

3. Adjust

4. Repeat 1-3 a whole bunch of times

Improve

#1, August 21, 2013:

Psst! Practicing is working out your parts on your own. Rehearsing is coordinating with others. Pass it on!