Book Extras


Nearly every chapter in the book has links to more information: images, videos, books, gadgets, research articles, and more. Below is the full list of these extras. If you’re interested in the research references used in the book, here they are.

Dead links will be replaced as soon as I learn about them. If you spot one, please let me know and I’ll take care of it right away, and thanks!


Part 1: What’s Goin’ On?

Chapter 1: The Chicken or the Embryo

Zing-Yang Kuo

Rex Martin

Sona Jobarteh

Prasad Upasani

Chapter 2: Spinning Wheel, Got to Go ‘Round

Nicholas Barron: I’m Not Superman (his website)

Erin McKeown

Chapter 3: Your Plastic Brain

IMAGE: Inner Ear Diagram, by Max Brodel

IMAGE: Corpus Callosum

Michael Merzenich: Growing Evidence of Brain Plasticity

Rite of Spring, Nijinsky Choreography

Brains: The mind as matter (alas, this exhibit has been removed)

Neuroscientist Sebastian Seung

Chapter 4: Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

IMAGE: The myelin sheath

Jazz guitarist Bobby Broom

New York Philharmonic trumpeter Ethan Bensdorf

A Myelinated Nerve

Coyle’s  animated explanation of myelin

Chapter 5: Fail Better

IMAGE: Clam Graph

Beethoven’s manuscript for Opus 69

See the cleaned up score while listening to Beethoven’s Sonata for Piano & Cello

Part 2: Motivation Station

Chapter 6: Motivation for Mastery

5 Experts Answer: Can Your IQ Change?

Summary of Carol Dweck’s work on mindsets and praise for ability over effort.


Sir James Galway on Mastery

Chapter 7: Ass Power

Jim and Greg’s interview with Mr. George

Chapter 8: Go With the Flow

Leo Kottke – Interview

Here’s the Thing: Alex and Jamie Bernstein

Leo Kottke’s Drool Story

IMAGE: Flow diagram

Dr. Csíkszentmihályi on Flow

Chapter 9: Goals & Goldilocks

Trip Through a Sierpinski Fractal

IMAGE: Goals as a Sierpinski Fractal

IMAGE: Bolero Strum Pattern

Troublant Bolero

Chapter 10: Silence is Golden

Derek Sivers: Keep Goals Private


Part 3: The Who

Chapter 11: Monkey See, Monkey Do

The Bobby Broom Trio plays In Walked Bud. Bobby Broom (gtr), Dennis Carrol (b), Kobie Watkins (d). You can tell form the noise that this vidoe was not shot in The Green Mill. Great performance though. 

Mirror neurons from the good people at Nova

Giacomo Rizzolatti – Mirror neurons: from monkey to human

Dr. Ramachandran on Mirror Neurons

Chapter 12: The Blame Game

IMAGE: Diagram of Attribution Theory (relationship of constants-variables in the diagram)

Frans de Waal: Morality in Mammals

Chapter 13: Parental Units

DMK’s performance

Sidiki Dembele, Djembefola

Dorado Practicing With Samson

Chapter 14: Hot For Teacher

Orpheum Bell’s Chain Stitched Heart

Duke’s Video Essays on Learning Music: Refinement

Taste the String

Alberto Guerrero’s Finger-tapping

Elizabeth Eshelman’s McSweeny column

Chapter 15: Under Pressure

Kennedy Center Honors, 2012

Gurewitz’s full interview

Part 4: Time Is On Your Side
(yes it is)

Chapter 16: The Day Is Long, But Time Is Short

Maurice André Plays Tartini, 1995

Chapter 17: How Much is Enough?

Charlie Parker Interview

Jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins

Pianist Stephen Hough

Chapter 18: Guerrilla Practice

Taste the String: Hans Jørgen Jensen

Chapter 19: When No Practice is Good Practice

Alan Lomax’s interview

Clifford Brown Plays Sandu

Ingrid Jensen: Jazz Trumpeter on Practice

Chapter 20: Blame It On My Youth

Marsalis play the Hummel Concerto

Speed-metal, punk, thrash jazz

Chapter 21: When I’m 64

This American Life put together a band from Chicago Sun Times classified ads

Alive Inside: Music & Memory

Part 5: Wherever You May Roam

Chapter 22: Trash to Treasure

Landfill Harmonic in Cateura

Chapter 23: Under the Influence

fireflies sync

32 Metronomes Swinging Together

The Influence of Social Networks

Ethan Bensdorf’s interview on practice.

Ethan Bensdorf with the NY Philharmonic brass (Ethan is the trumpeter furthest to the right)

Colin Oldberg: Axiom Brass (Colin is the trumpeter on the left)

Chapter 24: In the Zone

IMAGE: The Zone of Proximal Development 1

IMAGE: The Zone of Proximal Development 2

Scaffolding your ZPD Knowledge

Learning to Practice

Here’s a little evidence

Chapter 25: A ‘Shed of One’s Own

Intangible Asset No. 82

Part 6: Let’s Get It On

Chapter 26: Creative Practice

Jack White on the power of constraints for creativity.

Erin McKeown: Making Proof

Chapter 28: Practice Anatomy 101

A new visualization of an ideal practice session (from the book Get Better Faster)

Chapter 29: Stare With Your Ears

Evelyn Glennie on Listening

Hear and see the kora as Ms. Jobarteh plays and sings her song, Jarabi

Hear Bachman tell the story and get the chord details

Ken Nordine’s Word Jazz performances

Chapter 29: Imitation Station

My Audacity tutorials

Check out Bistro Fada on Soundslice

Wulf Hein Plays a Bone Flute

Chapter 30: Drone Power

Between the Folds, a Peabody-winning documentary. Watch the trailer

The NY Philharmonic Brass

Jazz trumpeter Ingrid Jensen on practicing with Drones

Vocal lesson on singing vowels with Jeanine Deva

Zakir Hussain & Rakesh Chaurasia

Watch the Brothers Hypnotic on Independent Lens

Chapter 31: Going Mental

The Speaking Hand

Coltrane’s Giant Steps Animated

Rowan Atkinson’s Invisible Drums

Chapter 32: Chaining and Back-Chaining

IMAGE: Chaining Sequence

IMAGE: Back-chaining Sequence

Clifford Brown Plays Sandu

Chapter 33: Go Go Gadget Practice

iTablaPro: Play with Drones (do it now)

iReal Pro: Chord Charts and Rhythm Section

Tempo SloMo: Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

Andrew Bird’s One-Man Band

Pat Metheney: Gadget-Master

Gadgets for Music Practice

Chapter 34: Rhythmning

IMAGE: Tumbao and Clave in Standard Notation

The Tumbao Pattern on Conga

The Son Clave Pattern

Asalato: You think Drum Set is Hard?

Chapter 35: Playing with Time

Watch the rockumentary Everybody Here Wants You

John Coltrane’s blazing fast tune Countdown

Minor Swing by Major Masters

Chapter 36: Let’s Get Physical

Musicians and the Alexander Technique

Lori Schiff ’s video

Feldenkrais Method

An Alexander Technique Lesson

Chapter 37: Improve with Improv

Charles Limb: Your Brain on Improv (Neural Substrates of Spontaneous Musical Performance: An fMRI Study of Jazz Improvisation)

Douglas Ewart: Life is Art

Teach Us to Care and Not to Care

Bobby McFerrin & Richard Bona

Sonny Rollins – Spirtuality and Improvisation

Chapter 38: Compose Yourself

Music Outside the Lines: Ideas for Composing in the K-12 Classroom by Maud Hickey

Location-Aware Music

The Music of a True Place

Chapter 39: Plays Well with Others

From the documentary Sound City, with an all-star musical cast

Djangofest: Samois sur Seine

Dr. Reimer’s autobiography

Chapter 40: Cover Your Assessment

This link to Gene Weingarten’s 2007 story

Coach’s Eye App: Notated Video/Audio

Garage Band: App or Program

Spectre: Sound Analysis

Chapter 41: You and the Night and the Music

Slow-Wave Sleep and Learning

Mednick’s site appears to be down (try again later, maybe). She presents her research in this talk, which is up and available.

Mednick (2008)

Chapter 42: Performance Practice

Nicholas Barron: Use Me Up

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Shaun says:

    just got “the practice of practice” on kindle. so ar a good read.(not read the book in its entirety yet so cannot give a definitive comment as yet) however a skim through the contents suggests that there are a wide array ovf variables at play when engaged in practice which might explain why some musicians do not define practice as practice in accordance with the tradidial definition of practice.

    1. Yes, that’s it exactly, Shaun! Practice means different things for different people, and it seems important to me to start understanding what that means. I hope the book helps to start that conversation…. Thanks for getting the Kindle copy.

  2. Nancy says:

    I just got the “practice of practice” on my kindle. i’d like to see the graphs and charts… they are just to small to make sense on the Kindle screen., Are they available on line anywhere?

    1. Thanks for the heads-up, Nancy! I’ve put the images in a larger format online at the book’s Extras Page. Here’s the link (or just look above these comments), and thanks, again!

  3. Lloyd says:

    The one thing that I would like to see is the book in a ring type binder so it could be laid flat to read and study easier. I have the book in hardback as I tend to keep books for ever. I have highlighted and tab marked pages and passages all over. Love the book. Did I mention that I have been playing (term used loosely) the accordion for about two years. Oh yea I am almost 69 (still a few days away 5). I am sorry for defiling your beautiful book the way I have but it will help me and that is the point I guess.

    1. That’s great, Lloyd! I actually enjoy marking up books, but it does always feel a little “wrong,” doesn’t it? Congrats on picking up the accordion. Happy birthday!

  4. AmyM says:

    Hi, I enjoyed your book, I was interested to read it as my son is about to begin music lessons and I’d like to make that experience as enjoyable as possible. I’ve certainly got a lot of ideas, although not getting carried away and trying to do too much at once may be a problem…

    Anyway, in Chapter 31, you have a diagram with “The Music” in the centre, it reminded me of “8 way thinking”, it struck me that 8 way thinking might be fun to try with a piece of music. There are some examples here:

    There are also some links on music and learning.

    There is a nice handout and a description here:

    1. Thanks, Amy! I’m a big fan of Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence. I always thought Gardner’s theory was missing an important intelligence: humor.

      I didn’t know about the 8-way-thinking approach. Cool! Thanks for sharing it and the resources that go along with it. Looks useful.

  5. AmyM says:

    Humour is very important! Here is one of my favourites:

  6. Jon Harnum says:

    That’s a good one! Here’s another funny one:

  7. Simon Pressley says:

    Hi, I’m a guitar tutor, and have found your book to be very helpful. One particular section on chapter 4 discussing the myelin sheath on a neuron was indeed enlightening and reinforced my own particular understanding of learning techniques, But I have a concern about the name “Rudolph Vicrow” as any research I have done into the myelin process so far has lead me to the name “Rudolf Virchow” , could you please advise? Thankyou in advance, Simon.

    1. Jon Harnum says:

      I’ll look into the spelling. Thanks for the alert! I bet you’re correct….

  8. Juan Salazar says:

    Great book! easy to read! and a lot of tips!

  9. Michael Gorman says:

    An inspirational book written and read with warmth, wit and enthusiasm and based on years of diligent research. Full of things you can do straightaway. I’m 61, learning blues guitar and have picked up SO MANY great ideas from this book. I’ve completely changed my practice schedule using your ideas and THEY WORK! Long term goal: perform in the local pub. Short term goal this week: perfect 5 songs for tomorrow’s weekly ‘beer and guitars’ jamming session with friends (100 years playing experience between them – me, 6 months!). Nano goal today: faultless shuffle blues in A. I’m digging out an old electric keyboard from the attic this evening to complement my practice and have downloaded books and podcasts on the blues to listen to. Thank you Jonathan! Mike G – Somerset, UK.

    1. Jon Harnum says:

      Glad to hear it, Michael! Cheers!


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