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reference library for Indie musicians...Just about every tip has been used so you won't find false
promises and a series of books to buy after reading each tip. This section was put here by musicians
so that people that followed can take this knowledge and use it's power.
Human Nature, Time Travel, and How To Be an Amazing Musician
What will you have accomplished two months from now?
by About.com Article
Do you have trouble practicing as much as you know you should? I used to
be the same way, until I figured out a simple solution. I'll share it
with you in a minute, but first I want to point out the real problem.
is, humans are basically lazy, short-sighted, pleasure-seekers. (At least
I hope it's all humans and not just me.) Consequently, practicing our
instrument on a regular basis can be an uphill battle. Since we're lazy,
just getting off our butts and starting a practice session is a challenge
short-sighted, we have trouble recognizing any forward development in
our skills. Rather that look at our achievements over the past months
or years, we often end a practice session by thinking: "Geez, I feel like
I didn't learn a damn thing today."
practice session in itself didn't offer us any immediate gratification,
the pleasure-seeker in us thinks, "Why do I bother with this? I'd rather
be doing something fun." This thinking only gives our initial laziness
more ammunition when practice time comes around again.
not careful, the cycle continues to loop until you slump into an I-practice-every-once-in-a-while-when-I-have-nothing-better-to-do
routine. This routine is the best way to ensure you are never as good
a musician as you want to be - and can be.
Imagine if things were different. What if you eagerly looked forward to
every practice session? What if you finished each session by thinking,
"Wow, I'm getting really good!" I'm guessing the pleasure-seeker in you
would pretty much take care of things from there, don't you agree?
is time-travel. You have to negate your short-sightedness by traveling
through time on a regular basis, watching yourself practicing two, three,
or six months ago, and realizing how far you've come in such a short time.
(Believe me, when you actually see how far you've come after two months
of solid practicing, it will blow your mind.)
in the universe are we going to find a time-travel machine? Amazingly,
you can find one at any supermarket, drug store, or office supply.
Stick with me here, I don't want to lose you. All you need is a spiral
notebook and a pen. What you're going to do is keep a Practice Log, and
in this Log you're going to put different sets of goals.
start yawning and thinking, "Oh geez...not goal-setting!" keep in mind
that I'm going to show you how to time-travel with this notebook. But
first: The Goals.
Note:This goal system was originally suggested by Barry Green in his
outstanding book, The Inner Game of Music
deal. You are going to keep different sets of goals based on their length
in time. The longer-term goals you can keep in the beginning of your notebook,
but you should refer to them frequently, at least every few practice sessions.
Let's look at the goal sets and some examples of each:
Term Goals - Five to Ten Years
are basically your career goals. Maybe you want to appear on MTV, maybe
you want to have your own national tour, maybe you want a job in a symphony
orchestra. Be honest about your dreams and dare to put them down on paper.
Term Goals - One to Five Years
These are the major building blocks of your long-term goals. They could
be things like master all music in your Jazz for Guitar book at 150 beats
per minute, complete 4-year music degree, or join a band that is gigging
at least once a month. Again, be as specific as you can.
Term Goals - Two to Fifteen Weeks
Get even more focused, and make an effort to keep these goals realistic
within the time frame specifed. You might write add ten 1980s dance covers
to repertoire, transcribe and memorize Louis Armstrong solo in West End
Blues, or master Mozart Sonata at 150 beats per minute.
Basically a breakdown of short term goals: Learn two 80s covers, transcribe
16 bars of West End Blues, raise Mozart Sonata speed from 100 bpm to 110
bpm. Pick a regular, weekly day and time at which you will review your
entire goal list and then rewrite your Week's Goals accordingly.
Write down what you are going to do (or what you did) in today's practice
session. Do this every session. Entries might include Mozart Sonata at
100 bpm for 30 minutes or played first 16 bars of West End Blues solo
for 20 minutes. The key here is little steps. You don't have to feel like
you made any progress, just spend some time with your instrument and document
what you did (and even how you felt about it).
got it all spelled out. Now back to the original topic.
The most astonishing thing will happen after you keep your
log for a month or two. It's nothing short of a miracle, really. You will
find yourself looking back through the log and seeing how far you've come.
Your future goals suddenly turn into past achievements.
You will realize that - holy cow! - you really do make progress, and you
do it quickly. More importantly, you will begin to close practice sessions
feeling really good about what you've done and what you're doing.
As I said before, the pleasure-seeker in you will automatically take that
ball and run with it.
telling you is absolutely true. The only catch (there's always a catch)
is that you have to start the log and really stick to it for a month or
two before your can reap the rewards of time-travel and pure practice
pleasure. Being a lazy, short-sighted, pleasure-seeker like the rest of
us, this might be a lot for you.
If you don't
try it, you'll never know what you could have done. If you trust me, however,
and stick to your log for two months, you will have successfully taken
contol of your own future.
Just do it. Two months from now, when you travel back in time and see
how far you've come, feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
and tell me I was right all along. I'll be happy to hear from you.