Monday, January 14, 2013

Seven Questions About Practicing

Ice Stars

While taking a break from the guitar tonight, I was bringing order to the piles of books, music, and scraps of paper that are my life.  I found the following on one such scrap of paper, written at an unknown time in my life, but I sense that it was within the past year.

Am I aware of my head, my hands, and my heart?

Am I adding any unnecessary tension to my action?

Am I practicing in such a way that I am improving the piece I am working or am I practicing the same mistakes?

Am I listening to the notes I am playing?

Can I play the part slower?

Can I visualize what I intend to play?

Am I breathing?


  1. Wonderfully succinct and highly practical questions, all of these. You can't go far wrong in practice if you keep these very important things in mind. Thanks for that, Patrick.

  2. Thanks Bill. While playing with these tonight I am beginning to see combinations of these questions working well together. For example "Am I listening ..." followed up with "Am I breathing." Of course the breathing question always works.

    I am sensing there may possibly be a good potential order to using these questions.