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How to practice effectively

Some of the most common questions we get asked at Bristol House of Music are “how long should I practice” and “what should I spend my time practicing?”. These are great questions as getting better at your chosen instrument is all about practice, practice, practice!!!


1. Practice what you’re “bad” at.

Most people don’t improve because they spend all their time practicing the same old things over and over again. However, to continue getting better you need to work on the things that you aren’t so great at, or can’t do at all! By pushing yourself a little each time, you will soon find the difficult or seemingly impossible tasks easier and look for new challenges. 


2. Alternate reading music and learning by ear.

This is the best way to learn music as you will become good at both which is the ideal outcome. It’s really good for your musicianship to sit down in front of a piece of music you’ve never played before and try to play it.  It’s equally good for you to listen to a song or piece of music and try to play it from ear. You don’t have to play the whole thing, even just a few minutes of trying this will help you more than you realise. 


3. Be realistic about time.

All of us would love to have the time to play our instruments all day, but reality doesn’t often accommodate our wishes, so it it best to have a solid idea of how much time you can spare from your busy schedule. 

Even 10-20 minutes a day can keep the music fresh in your mind, and in some ways it is better to practice little and often rather than once a week for a long time.

One hour a day is the ideal commitment if you are wanting to progress quickly, but it is not essential. 


4. Relax. 

Practicing your instrument is not meant to be a chore or stressful in any way.  It is time out from the world, and if you relax and enjoy it you will reap the rewards and feel a great sense of achievement as you increase your repertoire. This is where practicing often and little helps, as you don’t end up with any anxiety from not practicing all week and dreading the lessons!


5. Make a plan!

Making a practice diary is a great way of getting into a practice routine. Buy yourself a nice new notebook, set yourself goals and targets of things to work on, with notes on how to improve, what do do next and other things that you may find useful. 

Here is an example of a practice diary: 


 We hope you have found this useful, let us know how you get the most out of your practice schedule! At Bristol House of Music we teach guitar, piano, vocals, bass, songwriting, ukulele and music theoryClick here to book your first lesson - or read our 30 reasons why Bristol House of Music is the right place to learn.


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