Below is a link to the free printable poster that sums up how your belief in whether talent is “natural” or a result of effort impacts your practice. A typo in the original has been corrected. (thanks, Bruce). This comes from chapter 6 in The Practice of Practice. (high-rez printable PDF)
Born This Way? Nope. Do this instead.
This infographic below from The Practice of Practice is making the rounds. It’s one of the more powerful ideas from the book. The way we think about ability shapes how we approach learning anything. Check it out. Want to print it? No problem! Find the free, high-resolution, printable PDF (11×15) HERE, or on the book’s extras page,…
Top 7 Practice Tips for Absolute Beginners (and everyone else, too)
We all want to get better, which means we’re all on the same path. When you see someone whose music blows you away, the tips below are part of what they did to get there. No matter how impossible it seems, you can do it, too. Follow these 7 guidelines:
Superb Practice Advice from JLCO’s Ted Nash
Trumpeter George Recker used to say, “If you can’t sing it, you can’t play it.” It’s great advice. Here’s some similar great advice about singing and playing a horn, as well as several other great practice suggestions from Ted Nash, one of the great players (they’re all great) in the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
Why You Should Beware of Practicing
One of the best pieces of advice I got interviewing world-class musicians from many genres of music came from Rex Martin, who got it from Bud Herseth. He told me, “We have to be careful about practice, because we start to practice practicing. We need to practice performing.” Lots of great players, when they work…
Sweet New Metronome You Feel Instead of Hear
Check this one out! What a great idea, especially the ability to synchronize the beat across a group. How about 75 of them for a concert band? Or 20 for a jazz band? Maybe they would cut a deal for large orders like that. I’d ask them, if you’ve got the money. Or even four…
Finding Flow in Practice: Glenn Gould
There’s a lot to like about the video of pianist Glenn Gould below. Three things happen in the video that show Gould’s flow state in practice (see clips below).
What Every Musician Needs: Mo’ Rhythm (there’s an app for that)
There is a new tool that can help you acquire better rhythm for yourself in a fun and easy way: Mo Rhythm Africa, from San Diego percussionist and teacher Monette Marino. More on the app below, after the video.
One of the Most Powerful Tools for Your Practice
The amazing Dr. Carol Dweck explains how your belief about intelligence profoundly impacts your motivation to learn, the depth of your learning, and your persistence in the face of failure. In music, Dr. Bret Smith discovered similar findings. Lots more in Chapter 6 of The Practice of Practice (free shipping in the US).
Take a Free Songwriting Course. Open Now! (10-14-14)
Just a quick heads-up about a free songwriting course over at Coursera, taught by Pat Pattison, from Berklee College of Music.
The Fractal Nature of Goals and Music Practice
Setting goals is one of the most powerful things you can do to get better at music or anything else. Some people write them down, some just have a vague idea of what they are, but we all have goals for nearly everything we do. Goals are covered in more detail in The Practice of Practice, but here’s a quick run-down. Goals are like the cool animated GIF of a Sierpinsky fractal above: there are goals within goals within goals. It’s goals all the way down. The usual advice is to break goals down into long-term, mid-term, and short-term goals, but you can and should dive deeper, and consider smaller goals.
Motivation to Practice: Go With the Flow
There’s a lot to like about the video of pianist Glenn Gould below. I’ve highlighted three things that happen in the video (see clips below).
As the great Robert Krulwich (of Radiolab and NPR) pointed out in a recent post, Gould appears to be deep in a Flow state, practicing Bach’s Partita #2.