How to Get Better at What You Love

Loved hearing about how Demosthenes practiced in this talk by Eduardo Briceño.

Many musicians–especially school musicians who perform only once every few months–need almost the opposite approach from what Eduardo emphasizes at the beginning of this talk.

Play Leads to Innovation. How Much of Your Practice Is Play?

Play is always a part of invention. Find what intrigues you and mystifies you and leaves you gobsmacked and play with it. Today I was once again blown away by Clifford Brown’s solo in “What’s New” (around the 3:00 mark) and it’s now in my practice lineup. Can’t wait to play with it and figure…

Dave Grohl’s Guide to Kick A**

Dave Grohl needs no introduction. Even if you know him, you really should watch Sound City, a great documentary about a legendary music studio. In the doc you’ll see a bit of Grohl, but lots and lots of other superb musicians, too. Video below the tips.

What’s Better: Practice or Performance?

Something I learned when researching The Practice of Practice is that many of the best musicians don’t make a distinction between “practice” and “performance,” and if they do, most strive to have more performance in their playing. This was driven home most by…

Work On Your Rhythm: Learn to Play Guiro

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.

A Lick a Day: Soundslice Serves it Up!

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…