“Aging : ADJECTIVE
Yes, I have some news for ya: musicians age too and our music gets harder to play as our fingers and brain gets slower.
Musicians are, in a lot of ways, like athletes. There is a very important physical aspect to playing music and that aspect will respond to repetition as we improve just as an athlete does with training. Musicians however, just like athletes, can also suffer from physical injury resulting from repetitive movements.
I believe it is then very important to preserve and improve the musical skills we have been working on for all of our lives and the only way we can do this if, well, you guessed it, we make it a point to practice every day.
If you don’t play music for living, you may find yourself distracted from practicing and from being more active as a musician.
I have a simple solution for you.
Make a commitment to yourself to pick up your instrument every day.
By “pick up your instrument“ I mean just actually pick it up and put it in your lap.
No, you don’t have to play it, unless of course you want to, but the commitment is only about picking it up and put it in your lap.
You will see that you will end up playing a little bit more.
Once you get really serious about practicing every day, I have a few more suggestions.
Begin with a slow warm-up with a metronome.
Practice slow scales or notes and focus on the quality of the sound you’re making. This will help relieve tension and as you know tension is the worst enemy of a musician.
After no less than a five minute warm-up, practice a slow and small section of whatever song you want.
It is important to focus our practice into smaller parts of a piece so we can teach our hands to work around the fretboard in the most efficient way.
Once you have warmed up, challenge yourself to play an entire tune from beginning to the end, with a metronome or with whatever time keeping device you like. Also playing along with a record can be very useful and fun.
Make it a point to practice every day, whether it’s for five minutes or a few hours. I always find it better to have shorter sessions than long ones.
If you’re able to, try to avoid distractions when practicing. Turn off your cell phone and put it on silent mode and try to focus only on your music.
Remember that this is the time you’re dedicating to yourself, to do something you like, and if it has been a long time since you’ve picked up your musical instrument, well, then follow my advice and make a commitment to pick it up every day and put it in your lap.
You won’t regret it.