Saturday, July 18, 2009


I don't know about the saying practice makes perfect. Let's just say practice makes... a difference.

I will writing routines, rules, regiments, ways, whims and witticisms on practicing. I will be updating this as new thoughts occur and as you guys pose your questions or comments.

The 5 Minute Rule - This is intended to help make practice a daily routine. When time is tight you still can find 5 minutes to brush your teeth and... practice harmonica. Often 5 minutes of intense focus on a small challenge provides more results then a half hour of just trying to get through your routine. A half hour seems sometimes to daunting and sometimes inspires you to wash dishes instead. Making a daily commitment of only 5 minutes is doable and something you don't have to procrastinate.

A General Overview of Practice Session

1. warm up
a. breathing exercise using long tones, release tension, positive reinforcement
b. listen to music
c. perform using improvisation or a piece of music focusing on reacting
2. review something
3. learn something new
4. warm down
a. application
b. review
c. plan next session

Structure vs. Abandon

Most difficult thing first vs. fun thing first

30 Min Practice Schedule for Diatonic

-5 technique
bends and overblows (with and without tongue blocking)
long tones
high end
tongue blocking
-5 scales
-10 repertoire
-5 eartraining
transcribing solos and recordings
popular melodies by ear in different positions
matching notes
keying albums
-5 improv to albums