How to Get Out of a Practicing Rut
As the old mantra goes, “practice makes perfect.” But sometimes, practice just gets plain boring. Here are my tips to get out of a practicing rut.
1. Watch Videos
Regardless of the instrument you are playing, watching professionals in action is a great learning tool. It can also be entertaining and inspiring to watch an artist who has mastered the instrument. Before practicing, watch videos of numerous different performers. Watch the way that they interact with the instrument, and try to emulate these tactics in your own practice.
2. Set Goals
If the only goal you have in mind as a musician is a general one, such as “to master the piano”, you are making it very difficult to measure your progress. Consider creating a chart with small, attainable goals and marking them off as you achieve them. It will be rewarding to see your progress and can help you to stay motivated to continue practicing.
3. Be Realistic
While mastering any instrument requires time and devotion, be realistic. If your busy day does not allow for four hours of practice each night, keep this in mind. Instead, schedule a more reachable goal, such as one hour each night. This will prevent you from feeling frustrated with not meeting your unrealistic time commitments and in turn, make you more likely to stay committed to your practice schedule.
4. Practice With Friends
Practicing with another person can serve a number of purposes. They may assist you with difficulties or discuss exciting new music which others are unaware of. More importantly, practicing with someone else makes it more likely that you will practice. If you do not have friends who are interested in your specific instrument, consider joining a local group or a community online!
5. Choose Songs You Like
If you have the basics of your instrument down but struggle to stay motivated to practice, choose songs you like and learn them. For instance, if Mozart is not your cup of tea, choose a piece by a different musician. Perhaps more modern music is more your style, and that is okay — practice is beneficial so long as you are learning.