Calgary Philharmonic bassist Matt Heller just put out a great follow-up post on the topic of practice sessions and overpracticing. Comparing practicing music to grilling steaks, Matt writes:
The music needs to be prepared just well enough – medium rare, let’s say – so that it still has the juice of spontaneity in it, without being too gamy or viral!
I’m no expert chef, but when it comes to practicing I think we tend to burn the crap out of things, especially when we’re young and still figuring things out.
Matt goes on to offer some tips for creating an efficient practice session, including:
- Don’t get sidetracked or nitpicky. If your focus is the intonation at rhl. C, don’t start obsessing about the legato 12 before! Keep your focus on the issue at hand, and make a note to work on that legato next time you have the opportunity.
- No need to run the whole piece. Once we’ve taken things apart, we all want to put things back together again. If you have enough time to do this, it might give you a certain degree of personal satisfaction. But it’s also likely to bring up more problems or ingrain bad habits.
Read the complete post from Matt here.
- What to practice when time is of the essence?
- Matt Heller performs Mendelssohn 3 and provides bow arm analysis
- Advice from Paul Ellison – Rice University double bass professor
- Matt Heller plays Bach Suite No. 1 Prelude
- Matt Heller’s Calgary Philharmonic audition story
- Matt Heller featured in New York Times