Four Things You Can Do to Ease Your Music Practice

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So, there you are practicing your instrument and BANG things start to go south. Fingers aren't going where they want, lips aren't doing what you want them to or your voice slips into an intonation that could possibly be used for an alien movie soundtrack. So you try harder but it seems like the harder you try the more bound up things get. F.R.U.S.T.R.A.T.I.O.N! We've all been there so here are four easy things you can do to help ease things up a bit.

  1. Breathe in slowly and breath out slowly three times. Be aware of breathing low feeling like your filling your belly like a balloon instead of using your shoulders. If your shoulders try to horn in, just relax them. 
  2. Bend over and let you arms hang and relax. Then very slowly come back up while you observe your breath. If you are older and feel you can't bend that far, do your best. The important part is breathing. 
  3. Shake your hands, arms, feet, legs to shake all the tension out. Just let it all go. 

Now, go back to your instrument or singing and see what happens. Chances are you'll feel a little more relaxed. You'll breathe a little better and breathing through what you're doing often helps you get through that snag. 

So, what happens if these don't work? 

4. If you find that things still aren't working, just stop what you're doing and go get a cookie......Seriously. 

Ok, you don't have to eat a cookie but stopping in the middle of frustration and letting things go frees you up to come back to it later on. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking that you have to keep going. You don't. Knowing when to stop is as an important part of practice as the doing. Here's why. It will give your body and mind the time it needs to process the techniques you're learning and it gives you time to calm down so when you come back later, you'll be a little bit better at what you're practicing. 

So, these are a few of the things I do in my own practice. I hope you find them helpful in yours. Let us all know by sharing your experience by leaving a comment below! You never know what others may find helpful. 

Happy practicing and keep making beautiful noise!

Pamela Mortensen

Performer, musician, composer and mad scientist of sound and soundscapes. Mostly plays didgeridoo but also plays keyboard, sings and loves synthesizing sound both digitally and organically.