I’m hanging out with my very good friend Trey Xavier from the show “Gear Gods!” Today we’re talking about 7 ways to practice your instrument.
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This is a very common occurrence and recurring theme on the show: people don’t practice their instrument BEFORE they get into the studio!
They waste their time, my time and their money!
There’s more to it than just playing the song. So here are 7 tips we’ve put together to help you get better at your instrument and to get you ready for the studio!
7. Play your instrument, not video games.
This seems very obvious and simple, and it is! I love video games, however I’ve only played for MAYBE a couple of hours this year. I wanted to get good at YouTube, not playing video games.
6. Facebook is the enemy.
There has been so many times where I hop on to send someone a message and I get sucked in and end up wasting time! They designed the site to suck you in! Avoid it completely when practicing!
5. Practice with a metronome
We’re going to treat this like a video game. You don’t get to the next level (next BPM) until you can play it perfectly 3 times in a row at whatever speed you’re playing it at. You need to be self disciplined. You can’t just say “Oh yeah, that’s pretty good” and move to a faster BPM.
4. Learn the whole song
How many of you know the first few notes to Smoke On The Water? Exactly! This is a very common occurrence with Guitar players especially. We just learn “the riff” to the song!
3. Practice with the best
Find your favorite record and learn the whole thing!
2. Prioritize what needs the most work
Practice is there so you can improve… not so you can reinforce stuff that you already know how to play. It’s a common mistake to play stuff that feels good because you already know how to play it- you’re going to come out of your practice session no better than when you went in! Work on your biggest weakness first or the thing you’re trying to nail! Do that at the start of your practice.
1. Record yourself
This is the best way to get honest feedback about your playing. Trey says “I don’t feel like I got tight at a rhythm player until I recorded myself in Pro Tools (you can use any DAW) and you can see the grid, and you can see where each hit is that you did in relation to the bar line. If you’re early, if you’re late, if you’re dead on. It feels really good to get it dead on!”