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Top ten tips for practicing and performing

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Practicing and performing - Gary's TOP TEN TIPS!

  1. Listen to as many different styles of music and to as many different musicians as you can. Listening is a great way to subconsciously learn more. Not only will you be inspired: your playing will develop in many different ways that you never thought possible.
  2. Work on the 3 T's - Time, Touch and Tone. The way you play your instrument, and the sound you produce, are very important: they may make or break your reputation at any gig. Your timing should be strong. Use a metronome to help you understand more about tempos.
  3. When practising, always remember: Slow practice = fast progress: Fast practice = slow progress. Take your time and let your limbs get used to the mechanics of the exercises that you are learning. Walk, then run!
  4. Keep taking lessons! A great way to rapidly expand your knowledge and skills. Learning from someone else's experience will raise your level of playing higher and higher. Even the greatest pro drummers of the world take lessons (Dave Mattacks from Pete Erskine, for example).
  5. Attend as many live music events and concerts as you can. You will be inspired, learn, make new friends and - maybe - meet other musicians who want you for their next project!
  6. When going to rehearsals or gigs, always get there early. And come prepared with everything you need - including a pen or pencil and paper for taking essential notes and writing music.
  7. Make notes of the tempos of songs that you're going to play. And use a metronome to be become more familiar with the correct speed of each tune.
  8. Be prepared for the unexpected during a gig. It happens! Make certain that you can cover every eventuality. Remember: "Failure to prepare = prepare to fail".
  9. Always drink water on and off stage to rehydrate yourself. You can quickly become dehydrated when playing on a hot stage, and this will affect your concentration. If you suffer from cramps, take a bag of salted peanuts with you to eat during an interval. They will help to replace any lost salts that your body has lost through perspiration.
  10. Try recording yourself - audio and video - at band rehearsals and gigs. A recording never lies! It's a great way to truly evaluate your progress. Ask a friend who's handy with a video camera to film you: filming a rehearsal or gig is quite a specialist skill in itself, and your friend might welcome being given the opportunity to practise!

 

 
   
 

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