Friday 12 November 2010

When You Don???t Feel Like Practicing

You wet the reed, you assemble your instrument, but the inspiration just isn???t there. The fun, the energy, the focus???missing.

But not the motivation. Not, at least, if it???s in the right place. If you???re driven largely by instant gratification, then you might as well hang up your saxophone for the evening and go eat your yogurt. But if your goal is to improve as a musician, then you practice. Whether you feel like it or not is irrelevant. The woodshed still has wood that needs chopping.

Part of becoming a good musician is a matter of character. Will you discipline yourself???because self-discipline is a choice???to push yourself through those inevitable lackluster sessions? If you do, trust me, it???ll pay off over time, not just in your musicianship but also in the kind of person you become. Good musicianship may be an art, but it???s an art that is matured, in tandem with the soul, by discipline.

Some solid practice advice from saxophonist and storm chaser Bob Hartig. It's true, just about everyone at some time feels there's no gain to be had, but practice is also about conditioning the body and the mind-body connections, and those gains happen just through the doing. Besides, sometimes all you really needed to cheer you into an inspired mood is a little bit of making your own music!

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