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.
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):
There’s another study about the benefits of music practice to the brain. Here’s an excerpt from music.mic writer Tom Barnes (full article):
I’ve read every practice book out there (most of them twice), and many other music-related books besides. Here’s a compilation of the best of the best. Great advice and excellent writing. If I’ve left out a favorite of yours, let me know in the comments. I’ve done extensive reviews of most of these titles. Look for the link, or go here.
Lots of food for thought in these books for players of every level. These books should be in your music library. The order in which they’re presented reflects my own loose ranking system. The first one is the best. All of them are good.