Practice, practice practice – Mike Hirsh

Here is Mr “Carpet” Hirsh’s philosophical view on how to practice the written music score, the RIGHT way.

There are many WRONG ways to practice as we know, and of course most of the Melbourne Jazz Jammers have already mastered this. So to enlighten and convert the converted, to the absolute flawless strategies on practicing the RIGHT way, here are my undisputed tips for those progressive and inspired musicians! God help us all.

That practice makes perfect is an undisputed fact,. However, what is not so well appreciated is there is a WRONG way to practice. Which is to attempt to play at a tempo faster than your eye can follow the music. If you keep doing this, you will find that you will be stopping and starting, thus losing your continuity and you will NEVER make any progress.

So make up your mind to DISCIPLINE yourself and practice your scales and music the RIGHT way.

The RIGHT WAY is…to count one bar in and play very SLOWLY and in tempo from start to finish. With constant repetition and patience, you will find you are making good progress and your reading will go hand in hand with the speed of your playing.

Remember there are no short cuts to success. The ONLY way to proficiency is to practice with great patience and constant repetition. In this way, you will make steady progress with your reading and playing. Those of us who practice the simple things perfectly ever achieve the skill to do difficult things easily.

With these words embedded in your mind, you are now ready to practice. Remember, none of us were geniuses, we ALL had to start at the bottom of the ladder, do not be discouraged if your progress seems slow.

And a final word from me, handed down from my tutor to you.

“may your efforts achieve the success they deserve”…….. Max Abrams 1907-1995

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