Tips from Tony

  • Before you start practicing, STRETCH your muscles. Preparing for a performance or practicing a skill requires incremental development of muscles that aren’t normally use. Just like athletes, we need to stretch before we start playing.
  • Focus on GOALS NOT TIME LIMITS. Block out a length of time in your schedule that is dedicated to practicing your instrument. It could be an hour, or it could be 20 minutes depending on the business of your schedule (which I know a lot of you are quite busy). Set goals to accomplish in your practicing (usually what we talk about in our lessons) and set out to accomplish them during that time limit. Some days you may not accomplish everything, and some days you’ll accomplish things in a shorter amount of time.
  • For every 30 minutes of practice, take 10 minute breaks (looking at your phone, listening to music, reading, tv, etc.). This is incredibly helpful from preventing you from wearing out your body and your mind.
  • If you’re getting stressed with something, stop and do something else and come back to it. Stress leads to tension, which leads to bad habits, which leads to bad playing.
  • Ease into practicing with something easy (scales, open strings, etudes, shradieck, picking exercises, open position chords, etc.), then move into the meat and potatoes of your practicing content. Include a warm down too.