Geurrilla Practice

The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose. ~Henry Kissinger

The guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea. ~Mao Zedong


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.

Here‘s a story about Peter Brett, a guy who wrote a novel on his phone while riding the F train, in New York City (book “trailer” ).

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.

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