I’ve been playing in a live band since I was 14 years old. I’ve met and played with some incredible, elite musicians over the years. I’ve always had the goal of being the absolute best musician I could possibly be. So I’ve asked a lot of musician’s over the years how they got to be so good. The answer is always the same: Practice.
I’ve written several posts about the topic of practicing on Live Musician Central because I’m a huge believer in the power of practice to make you a better musician. I know for a fact that people with very little natural talent are some of the best players around. The reason they’re so good is because of their work ethic when it comes to practicing their instrument. Having a talent for music and talent for playing your instrument is a blessing and will help you to become a good player. But to be a truly great player, you need to work and that means practicing.
In an earlier post titled “How To Practice” I gave some easy tips for getting the practicing happening. Today I’m going to talk about taking your skills to the next level with a big dose of work ethic. Here is a simple, true fact: If you practice for just one hour a day, every day, you will become an elite musician.
That’s right, practicing one hour a day seven days a week will make you an elite musician. It takes an hour to complete all the important steps in a productive practice session. You need time to warm up, study any new information that you’re learning and then actually play what you want to learn. Practicing is all about repetition and you need a good chunk of time to go over what you’re learning enough times that it’s going to stay with you.
The key is being consistent with your practice. You can get away with skipping a day or two every now and then but if you really want to excel you need to practice every day. To become a top level musician, you need to put in that hour. Doing 10 minutes a day is better than nothing but at only 10 minutes your skills will increase very slowly. If you can do 1/2 hour a day then you will improve and you’ll become a great musician. But if you can nail that one hour a day practice session, you will become a truly elite musician.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’ll take a musician that works hard over a musician with natural born talent any day of the week. If you’re just sliding by on your natural ability without practicing then you’re just cheating yourself. You need to put in the time to become all that you can be as a musician. That’s it for today, now pick up that instrument and start practicing!