The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose. ~Henry Kissinger
What do you do with your down time? On the train or bus, walking with your hands in your coat pockets. I practice trumpet fingerings (songs, scales, patterns) and try to “hear” the pitches in my head. When I was a bored lifeguard on an early morning shift, I’d sing along using solfege syllables, trying to see the notated music. Conga rhythms are easily played on a leg. I notice that this mental/physical practice, taken in little doses throughout the day when I think about it, seems to help my dexterity, speed, and ear.
All that sitting time, no matter where it is, can be put to good use for practicing music, too, of course. I do fingerings, but that wouldn’t work for most, especially a trombone player. Use your imagination. Singing is good ear training and works for everyone, though. If you have an iPhone, check out the following apps: Karajan, app list.
Have fun, and good luck with your guerrilla practice.
Want to learn more about the best ways to practice? Get an e-mail with a discount code when The Practice of Practice is published (June, 2014). To learn more about the book, check out a sample from The Practice of Practice.