Yarr, I'm a pirate!
I found that wearing a blindfold really helps me stay focused when I practise, more so than just closing my eyes. One thing's for sure—staring at my fingers or a wall is just way too distracting after an hour of scales. It's funny, and especially when someone walks in and sees me with an eyepatch on.
One of my favourite violinists, Roman Kim, wears glass prisms on his eyes for the same purpose. That got me thinking about other nifty tricks for staying focused (like doing 20 crunches when you make a mistake, although that's more in the masochism camp). Deep breaths, "centering"...
What do you do?
I like when someone listens to me practise, or at least listens from another room while doing something else. The pressure (if it can even be called that..) is healthy and I try to feel that every small mistake is extremely painful and that it is a life or death situation. This helps me to raise my lower threshold and I think it is really good for students who do competitions or are auditioning for a job.
I like to practice scales in the semi-dark. It helps me focus on fingering without visual cues.
Don't look at your left fingers while playing. Our mind follows our eyes, and ideally we should focus on the sound and the bowing. Or, a female in the audience.
I watch daytime tv while practicing.
A female in the audience? My parents won't be happy if I invite everyone over to watch me practise every day... Maybe once a week...
Similar to Scott - I put Netflix on in the background. I find the ambient noise helps to focus and cuts down a little on the 'neighbor anxiety'.
A contractor told me that most people prefer loud bathroom fans to quiet ones. "Cover noise" he called it.
Yeah, but planing the fingerboard doesn't give you sweet abs.
I stare at my contact point. Probably just something I do.
I think Nina is well aware that Hilary Hahn stares at her contact point.
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