Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- Music is a language

Today's musicians – whether students, educators, or professionals – need to strive for quality of practice. Developing a sustainable routine is really a life-long process. Young people can function off desire and youthful animal energy. In the long run, though, the creative person needs to find a way to maintain a level of interest and vitality in the art. This takes work and intelligence. The concept of daily practice is an important one, as it is the best way to make any kind of musical progress. Daily effort keeps players finely attuned to continuous movement and the incremental accumulation of progress.. Practicing sporadically causes you to lose the thread of your practice and is thus much less effective. Through diligent, consistent daily work, a tangible musical substance is developed. First of all, it is helpful to develop physical stamina through the repeated effort. Also, from day to day, students will accumulate ideas and expand on the themes of their practice. On a topic like working Major chords; the first day might be devoted to arpeggios, and the next day might be finding some connections to other musical sources or songs. By continuing to work with focus on the same things from day to day, students will find their level of proficiency rising and expanding to include all these other sources. Practicing every day results in the acquisition of technique, musical intelligence, improved tone, and stamina. Just the quest to continuously find something to practice will increase a musician’s creativity. There are so many variations of scales, melodies, and melodic patterns. The only real limitations are determined by focus and creativity. For example: let's say that you have adequately practiced your horn and now want something else to work on. You could sit down at the piano and transcribe a song, learn a song by ear that you may have previously learned by wrote. This, is one of the most beneficial practices you can do. Ear training, learning songs, listening to other players, hearing bass lines or melodies. Ok. Now you've spent a few hours and learned a tune the way its supposed to be played. You know the tune inside and out, in essence a great organizational mind skills study too. However your mind works. Don't overload – otherwise nothing sticks. Your capacity will increase after you have spent more and more time. It's amazing how connections are made, they seem to occur in a fashion which is beyond the conscious ability to plan and organize. Daily practice also allows me to imprint the material in my mind until it becomes instinct. One long practice session will not do this. For most players, useful techniques can only be acquired through repetition. I always try to work new materials into songs, lines and grooves that I like. For me it's sort of like upgrading my musical mind so that my playing becomes reoriented in the directions I choose. Increasing familiarity with the materials is a good thing. It's like learning a language – music is a language.

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