Practice is such an important factor in our preparation, obviously. Even still, we choose to take it very lightly or even avoid it. Practice is a fundamental building block for a musician and there a few practical tips that I want to share today to help further your experience in practice.
The time we spend in practice is often determined by what we have going on for the day, other responsibilities taking priority over your time for practice or we succumb to pure laziness (we’ve all been there). I‘ve stuck to the golden rule of a 30 minute practice time. If I’m working on a set for the weekend, one song a day for 30 minutes.
For example, if you have a 4 song set for Sunday: Practice a song daily starting Monday, give yourself Friday off and by Saturday you should be practiced enough to run through your whole set on Saturday. Every day done within 30 minutes.
But it’s not always a piece of cake. Parts can be frustrating and hard to land within 30 minutes. To make your time in practice a bit easier, start with your more familiar songs or songs with simpler parts and tackle the more complex songs later in the week. Give yourself time to listen to the song, watch videos, or even try some of the licks on your free time. If you have the available time to expand beyond 30 minutes, do so! Just be sure that you do not get to the point of exhaustion.
I’m an avid believer in creating an environment. If possible, create a workspace that suits you and your needs. An office, a clean living room, garage or bedroom, lights, candles or whatever you feel would make you comfortable. My preference is a clean office with my instruments and tools lined up, plugged in and ready, a candle for vibes and natural light. That’s my idea creative space. Go find yours!
I mentioned having all of my instruments and tools lined up and ready. Let’s dive a little deeper on what those instruments and tools are. For starters, my guitars. Usually a single coil and a humbucker guitar depending on what kind of song we’re working with, capos, picks (I usually have a specific pick for certain guitars), pedals dialed in and BMPs set. Fretboard conditioner if necessary. Restringing a guitar is also taken into consideration before practice! Cables, a practice amp, basically all of your essentials to get you ready for your Sunday.
I hope this has helped you in managing your time and experience in your practice time. This time is vital, so let’s treat it as such!