A nice primer on mental practice from The Open Score, a new, useful YouTube channel. Check out her other material. There’s a whole chapter on mental practice in The Practice of Practice with more information, but this is a great way to get started.
In The Practice of Practice, I recommend learning the tumbao and clave patterns on conga, or learning any rhythm instrument. Here’s a lesson on playing the guiro, from Bobby Sanabria. He teaches not only how to play it, but where the patterns go in the clave pattern.
Learning licks from someone on an instrument different from yours is a great idea, because is exposes limitations of your instrument, but also exposes patterns on your instrument that can be changed or broken, in a good way. Say, learn Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday melodies on your instrument, or check out these short licks…
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:
I’m super excited to announce a new edition of Sound the Trumpet: How to Blow Your Own Horn. The book is frequently a #1 best-seller in its category, and 2 days after publication it’s the #1 New Release in Trumpets and Cornets on Amazon. Check the link to free video lessons.
Most mammals use play and playfulness in practice, including the musician in this amazing video, the great trumpeter, educator, and composer, Allen Vizzutti (discography/bibliography):
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.
Here’s George Carlin’s critique of his 1992 performance on David Letterman (video of his appearance below the notes).
Snarky Puppy doing their amazing thing, on Jazz Night in America, hosted by Christian McBride. Great show. Check out all their episodes. Sarky Puppy’s discography.
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…
Nearly every world-class musician I interviewed for the book took naps regularly, usually after the main practice session of the day. It works, and Mednick explains why.
How Miles Davis lived the words attributed to him: Do not fear mistakes. There are none.