Monday, November 12, 2012

How to Practice

You have a nice list of tunes.  You have some good arrangement ideas. You've set goals for yourself.  Now comes practice time.  But what is the best way to practice?

Many of us have heard that old axiom, "Practice makes perfect."  Turns out, that's not exactly true.  But practice does make permanent!  Be sure you're practicing in an effective and efficient manner so that skill development is accentuated and the "perfect" is what becomes permanent.

Here's a great article written by Noa Kogeyama about the art of practice.  I couldn't have said it better myself!


  1. This post makes complete sense. The challenge then is to decide what to do, as everything is pretty much not played cleanly, consistently, accurately. I identify strongly with the 'Broken record method' practicing a tune for months and not really getting it. Should we also consider the fact that some of us 'have it' and some of us may not. My daughter picked up a fiddle and started playing it well with practically no practice and very little instruction. I guess I was in the wrong end of the gene pool. Thanks a lot for doing this, Sue.

  2. It' true that we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Innate ability is real. But even "naturally" talented players must work to hone their skills. Some of us just have to work harder!

    There are so many things to think about in mastering the hammered dulcimer ... hammer control, location of notes on the instrument, dynamics, chord theory, rhythm, etc etc. Lee is correct. The challenge is to "decide what to do" in any given practice session.

    Set your intention. Focus on one thing at a time - one section of music at a time - one note at a time, if need be. Eventually, it will all come together. Start logging those 10,000 hours!