3 Things to do When Your Practice Bogs Down

The word practice is something many of us kind of cringe at and perhaps it’s because we’ve been so conditioned to immediate gratification. We don’t want to take the steps to our goals. We just want to take the shortest cuts we can to get to where we’re going or we just simply want to be there without having to sweat. I’ve seen this in so many people over the years and I get it. But I also get it that practice doesn’t have to mean the slogging, sweating, bleeding, and agony that we often make it out to be. And when we do this, our practice can often bog down and sometimes we simply quit. So here are three things you can do to make your practice easier and to keep it from going south.

1. Break things down to bit sized chunks.

When you start a new project, how many times have you ever looked the whole thing and got overwhelmed? We all do this whether it’s a piece of music or building a house. Thing is when you can break a project down into smaller tasks, it makes the process of learning and doing so much easier. Put another way, this is the practice of taking steps.

2. Stay patient and keep showing up.

It’s easy to be distracted by the end result of anything and think about how so grand and glorious it will be to get there. Before you know it impatience sets in because it seems things are just taking too long to get there. Here’s something that can help. Just focus on the work directly in front of you and celebrate that when you complete it. Don’t worry about anything else. Yes, you can keep your eye on the prize but let it inspire you and not become something to flog yourself with. There is no race, no competition. Just the enjoyment of showing up.

3. Start a practice group.

When you play an unusual instrument like the didgeridoo, it’s really easy to feel isolated in your practice. You feel like no one else on the planet does what you do. If you’re starting to feel this, try to find others to play with. It may take some doing to find them but they’re out there. When you can find others who are on the same journey as you, it can do two things - encourage you to play more and you pick up handy playing tips you may not have thought of. So get out and make some friends. Start a practice group and have fun! 

Obviously, these aren’t the only practice tips but it’s a start. Don’t be afraid to explore and see what you can come up with on your own. If you do, feel free to share it ‘cause as they say, we’re all in this together.

Many thanks, happy practicing and take it easy!

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.