Each day this week, we’ll be sharing a practice tip from Scott Malyszka, a songwriter, fiddler, and founder of New Trail Coaching, a coaching service for artistic and creative people: http://www.newtrailcoaching.com

Tip #1:  Put Down Your Instrument

That’s right–put down your instrument, and let’s try practicing only with your mind. Go through a melody in your mind and name all the notes.  Go through it again and name them using numbers or solfage (“do re mi”), if you know those systems.  Imagine how you will sound playing that piece–how the dynamics change, how the audience will feel, and how you will feel performing it.  Imagine the sensations in your muscles as you would perform the piece clearly and effortlessly.

Practicing in your mind will grow your awareness when you return to your instrument.  It’s a safeguard against mindless muscle memory.  If you go through a piece using only your brain power, then you will  be more focused when your body is playing it on your instrument.  Take five minutes of your practice time every day for mind-only rehearsal, and notice what happens in those minutes.  Then observe any effects these five minutes have when you pick up your instrument for your usual practice routine.

Great Practice Sessions

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