Of all the things you can do to improve your skills as a musician, the most valuable is to invest in practice time. But everyone needs a little push every now and then to keep practice interesting while focusing on long and short-term objectives. The great news is that there are more tools to help musicians make the most of their practice time than ever before whether you’re looking to track your progress or simply gamify your daily practice whether you’re a violinist, cellist, or even a theremin player (we see you!).
To help you make the most of your next practice sesh, we’ve combed the musical world, looking into every nook and cranny for great ideas to help inspire your daily musical workout. Check out these great ideas and then stop by Strad House to get everything you need to make beautiful string instrument music!
Practice with another musician friend.
While it’s true that you might not have the same level of focus when you’re playing with someone else, there can be a lot of benefits to practicing with another musician. If you practice a mistake enough times, there’s a good chance you’ll start to internalize it, and you may not even be able to recognize what you’re doing wrong. Sometimes it takes a second set of eyes (or ears!) to realize where you’re going wrong or offer advice for correcting your error. And these days, it’s easier than ever to get together since you can always use a video chat app like Zoom to connect. You can even make a habit of using the last few minutes of your daily practice time to call someone and share your progress!
Take the "Backwards Challenge."
You’ve heard of TikTok challenges. But have you ever thought of looking up violin challenges? TwoSet Violin called this inspired challenge “One of those ideas that we’ve all thought about but no one’s done it because it’s literally the dumbest idea.” It might be a little goofy, but if it breaks up the monotony of daily practice and challenges you to use your musical skills in a new way, we can’t help but get behind it! To take this challenge, start at the last note and play your song backwards until you get to the beginning of a song like TwoSet did with the entire Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. We recommend picking something a little slimmer, but if you feel like you’re getting something out of the exercise, why not go all in?
Use a habit tracker to gamify your violin practice.
Habit tracker apps are a great way to make any daily habit into a game, and there are plenty to choose from. One of our favorites is the Habitica app, which transforms daily, weekly, and long-term goals into quests. If you love Dungeons and Dragons, use this app to transform your violin or viola practice into a full-fledged campaign.
Get creative in a practice journal.
In the Digital Age, there’s an app for everything. But for some of us, there’s something purely irreplaceable about the experience of engaging with paper and pen. If you’re the kind of person who connects well with the journaling experience, there are some amazing journaling tools out there for musicians. Grab yourself a good set of gel pens and mildliners and pick up a practice journal like the Practizma Journal or this Musician’s Practice Journal.
Spend some time working on a “just for fun” piece.
Yes, it’s important to get that piece you’ve been working on down. But it’s also important to feel good when you’re playing, and sometimes the best way to do that is to play something that’s just plain fun. If you’re a Swiftie, there’s only one cure for a tough practice session: Shake it off! If AC/DC is more your jam, why not get “Thunderstruck?”
Call Stradivari House for Violin Accessories and More!
Do you have any tips for making practice more fun? Let us know in the comments! Call us at Strad House for all of your string instrument needs at 602-821-8142.