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5 practice habits musicians should develop right now

Cameron, in Music lessons
Oct 24, 2022 | 3 min read

Forming good practice habits is a must if you want to stick to your goals and improve your musicianship over time. It’s easy for us to get distracted or lose motivation when we don’t have effective habits that keep us grounded in our practice routines. Here are 5 great habits all musicians should be incorporating into their practice.

1. Stay consistent with set practice times each week

Most of us practice whenever we have a spare moment during the day. However, that is inconsistent and isn’t productive towards forming good practice habits.

For optimal results, set aside an hour or two each day or every other day to focus solely on improving at your instrument.

If you have a busy schedule, e.g. if you are a student or work long hours, try to at least make time for half an hour each day to develop consistent practice habits.

person playing guitar - 5 practice habits for musicians

2. Write your goals down

Many musicians have vague ideas for what they want to improve at, for example being able to play more scales or just playing faster in general. However, it is hard to achieve these goals when they aren’t defined properly.

It is a good habit to write down specific goals that you can work towards achieving, which will help you streamline your practice sessions and make it easy to see what to focus on.

  • How many scales do you want to learn?
  • Which scales are they exactly?
  • How fast do you want to be able to play them?

These are all questions you should be asking yourself as you decide on your practice routine. Write these goals down on your phone or with a pen and paper, so that you can be constantly reminded of what you are supposed to be working on.

woman playing violin beside grand piano - 5 practice habits for musicians

3. Record yourself playing

When we’re playing music, we often get lost in the experience instead of focusing intently on our technique or what our music might sound like to an audience. The music we play often sounds different to us than it does to our audience.

Because we already have an idea of what we are supposed to play, we might interpret our playing in a different manner since we already know what to expect.

However, to an audience, our dynamics may not be noticeable enough, our tempo may be slightly fast or slow, or we might just not sound good at all. Recording yourself is a great way of solving this problem, by letting you revisit your playing to see whether it actually sounded like what you experienced in your head.

Remember to not just record the audio but also the video, so that you can identify problems in your technique and correct them.

person playing guitar - 5 practice habits for musicians

4. Reward yourself

All work and no play isn’t very fun, especially for music. Consider implementing a reward system where you give yourself positive feedback for achieving specific practice goals.

For example, you can allow yourself 5-10 minutes of “free playing” to play your favorite songs for each 30 minutes of serious practice.

This allows you to stay motivated while still achieving your musical goals. It’s important to keep having fun even when you’re practicing, because music should not feel like a chore. 

person playing stringed instrument - 5 practice habits for musicians

5. Find a practice buddy

Music is an inherently social activity. Try finding a friend who plays the same instrument as you, and set practice goals for each other.

Besides fostering a little bit of friendly competition, it also keeps both of you accountable and allows you to have somebody to practice with. 

tilt-shift lens photography of headtock - 5 practice habits for musicians

These 5 practice habits are a great way to make sure you are continuously achieving your musical goals, staying motivated and remaining consistent. So start incorporating these into your routine today and watch yourself improve!

Soundbrenner is a company dedicated to helping musicians stay focused on what truly matters: their music.

By creating innovative devices, such as Soundbrenner Pulse and Core, our goal is to deliver the best possible practice experience for musicians.
Click here to find out more.

Got a question about Soundbrenner wearables? Reach out to us at [email protected], we’re happy to help!

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