How to Set Up A Good Habit From the Very Start of Your Lessons
One suggestion for practicing that I can confidently recommend, from years of experience is for you would be to find the same time every day. If you can do it first thing in the morning or at lunch or before dinner or whatever time is a regular time that you won't get interrupted it makes it much easier for it to become a habit. Without that our lives are much too busy and the time just gets sucked out of the day and we find that we can't really remember what happened but the day just went by.
I have a couple of students who are working 80 hour weeks but they have carved out a time that they see as sacred and they rarely miss, and for that reason, they are among my best students! They are disciplined in their work and they also carry that over to their practice time and it makes all the difference in their success and progress.
if you pick a time, even if it's for 10 minutes, AND make it the SAME TIME every day you will really see the payoff. Once it becomes a habit it will be easier to do longer periods. Daily practice will make a HUGE difference in your progress as well as the amount of fun you will have. Let's face it, at the beginning of playing an instrument it sucks, you just feel like a clutz and you think you just don't have talent, but talent comes from making the commitment to practice and do it at least 5 times a week. Skipping more than one day is a mistake that you can't make up by practicing 2 or 3 hours the next day. Our brains don't work that way and all you have to do is to test it to know for yourself.
Short periods of consistent focused practice will get you into a good habit that will help you get out of the beginner stage faster. Once you can start playing something fun you will get more inspired to practice more. Just try this for 2 weeks and see if it doesn't make all the difference for you. 10-20 minutes but everyday and the same time everyday. Think of it as your meditation period where you get away from everything else in your life and spend a few minutes on something that could really become a fun escape from your daily routine of work.
I've been playing for over 40 years and I still practice every night, because I NEED to? No, not at all, it's because i really love spending that time getting away from everything else and just making some music. It's a great stress reliever for me and many of my colleagues and students.
We all need a push sometimes. Just try it for 2 weeks and if it doesn't totally change how you feel about the piano and taking lessons I will give you your next lesson free. I promise! But you have to commit to really being consistent for those two weeks as if your life depends on it. And it DOES to a certain extent, if you want to be successful at anything you desire to incorporate into your life.
I have had students who have called me for lessons and tell me that they are busy so they just want to take lessons every other week. I always tell them, don't think that having 2 weeks will give you enough time. Remember it's the consistent practice that works the best. If you do what most people do you will not practice hardly at all the first week and then try to hit it hard right before the lesson in the second week. Cramming simply doesn't work, especially with a musical instrument, but you'll really be surprised how well you'll do if you just do that 10 minutes a day. By the 3rd day you'll already see how easy you can come back to where you left off of the last practice. Then you'll thank me for the advice. Let's face it, we all have 10 minutes a day that we can set aside for something that we really want.
Hope that helps! This started out as a suggestion to one of my students who has had a life goal to play piano. Then I realized that I was talking ot ALL of my beginner students.I know you want to be able to learn the piano. YOU CAN DO IT if you just make the commitment. Start with 10 minutes and then the progress and the fun you get out of getting to higher (and more fun) levels will inspire you to find MORE than 10 minutes and you will have started a good habit.
OK I'll shut up now! LOL
1. One way would be to play the progression using different inversions of the chords as you make smooth stepwise motion in your chord progression. If you don’t know how to do that, ask a competent keyboard player. Once you come up with some nice smooth and melodic connections of the chords the melodies will begin to be obvious to you immediately. You probably won’t hear the melody “all at once” but you will hear the basic skeleton and then the more you work with it you can then start to hear how to embellish it and come up with an interesting melody. Don’t think about the theory of what are the correct notes of each chord, just let your ear guide you and try to let it happen organically. Sing along to a recording of your progression and record what you sing. Do that over and over until you come up with the strongest melody. The more you work with the progression the easier it will get to hear the notes that work naturally over the chords.
2. The other way would be to set some kind of rhythmic feel with the progression that you may already have in your head, and lay that down on a recorder or garageband. After you have a basic feel or groove laid down, play that track over and over as you listen in your head for melodies that come naturally from the progression. Do this over and over and eventually you may even be able to hear the progression even without the recording. If you’re able to hear the whole thing at once in your head then just close your eyes and see if you can hear a melody. Just relax and put it in a loop in your head and eventually you can just start to sing little melodies that you come up with and at that point you’ll want to record them as your experimenting. The more you get the progression in your head the easier you will start to hear an organic melody, rather than just trying to peck something out on the piano or other instrument, it will usually get in the way as you stumble trying to find the notes. Instead, try letting your creative mind work without being distracted by the technique of the instrument. Using your voice in conjunction with your ear is always the most natural and musical way to create music.
There’s plenty of other ways to create melodies as well but in general, using your imagination rather than trying to try to play it on an instrument, even if you’re proficient on the instrument, it will tend to get in the way so try using your voice and record it so that you can go back and transcribe it. Your voice does not get in the way (except if you have absolutely no concept of pitch) and by using your voice you are in more direct connection with your creative mind. It’s a skill, but if you practice it on a daily basis you will start to develop your ability to come up with very musical melodies.
Joseph is only 11 years old in this video and is improvising on the saxophone at a high school level in less than 4 months!
Website by Never Alone Business Services