Things I wish someone had told me 30 years ago: There is such a thing as smart practice. There is definitely such a thing as wasted effort. I don't know about fiddle players, but if you are a classical trained violinist and believe that poor practice is worse than no practice, please join me by adding to this thread the things violin students tend to do that are clearly a waste of effort.
By waste, I mean time and work spent in practice that is counterproductive to one's improvement in violin, even though in some sense might be beneficial to overall personal growth (e.g. good work ethics or perseverance). In fact poor practice often creates bad habits that can be very stubborn to correct. I will start a few:
1. Repeatedly play the wrong notes hoping the right one will show up is a waste of effort.
2. Practice when one is very tired or ill is a waste of effort.
3. Self-teaching beginners are almost always wasting their effort.
4. Practice with mind wandering is a waste of effort.
5. Practice without paying attention to one's intonation and sound is waste of effort.
6. Working with a wrong teacher, being misguided, emotionally wounded, is a huge waste of effort.
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