Dr. Abraham's 12 Practice Points

April 14, 2016, 4:30 AM · • 1) Smart practice is efficient practice. "Quality over quantity" has never applied so appropriately as it does to the musician’s routine.

• 2) Keep a basic warm up and warm down that involves scales, and arpeggios. This lets your hand peruse the roadmap before starting the journey.

• 3) Relaxed playing yields a willful technique. Forced playing yields an unwillful technique. Asking the body kindly is key.

4) Never let technique control your phrasing. Always let your phrasing command the technique.

• 5) Save your energy and vitality for practice, and don’t spend it on distractions. Practice goes both ways— it is too easy to practice lazily and become worse!

• 6) Self-recording is something we can do with great ease today. It's the best path to thinking about how you sound, rather than sounding how you think!

• 7) Even 15 focused minutes once per day will always be better than 4 desperately-crammed hours once a week.

• 8) Pain is a red flag for something you can do better in your setup. Take the time to find and fix these things immediately, and always.

• 9) Musicians are like a family, wherein competition is silly. The only artist you should try to be better than is the one you were yesterday.

• 10) It's just as important to leave practice with a new goal, as it is to enter with the old one.

• 11) If your ego keeps you from asking for help, eventually there will be no help to support anything meriting ego.

• 12) Lastly, always make music! Playing the ink alone is akin to eating mustard, and throwing the rest of the sandwich away. Eventually you get sick from it, and it's not healthy.

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