blog earlier this week by Buri (Stephen Brivati), who calls this kind of practice "Train-Training" because you can do it during your morning commute.You can do a lot of practicing, away from your instrument - and in fact, sometimes it's better than actually playing. This was the topic of a
He pointed out that sometimes, without mental preparation, we inadvertently practice-in bad habits, making mistakes as we rush out of the gate to play.
This got me thinking about how many ways there are to practice, without your instrument. It's a remarkably effective way to improve your playing, and there are many ways to do it. Most obviously, you can listen to the music you are playing, which helps in a number of ways including learning the basics of how something should sound, assimilating the physical motions you have been practicing, hearing your part in the context of other harmonies, and memorizing.
You can also do mental play-throughs of pieces you have already memorized. One time when I knew I was going to be leading the Bach Double as a teacher, I mentally "played" it in my mind while on the exercise bike, just to give myself an extra reminder. This is remarkably effective. (Sometimes you can even catch yourself "making mistakes," even though you aren't even playing!)
Do you have any ways that you practice, away from the instrument? I'd like to use this vote to talk about that. Please participate in the vote, and if you practice in many different ways, just pick the technique you use most often or have used most recently. Then please post in the comments, your thoughts and ideas about practicing away from the instrument, and describe anything you have found helpful.
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