Shorter Practice Sessions, Better Results

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As we’ve returned to posting on our site, we’ve gone over two subjects that have high impact on improving your ability to progress on the saxophone:

  1. Understanding if Your Saxophone is Helping, or Fighting You
  2. Will Pro or Beginner Equipment Help You Progress Faster?

The last part of this three part series may seem a little boring at first, but has huge results. Today’s post we’ll discuss how your practice schedule can lead you to success or failure. Good news though! These practice sessions are easier to complete, and they take less time!

The Wrong Way

Think of it this way. If you go to the gym, do you spend all day trying to lift as much as you can, and then wait seven days before you return? Even if we spend all day at the gym, once a week, we understand we would not get the benefits of going daily, or every other day. We understand how our muscles work, and faster growth requires consistency, in shorter sessions.

The Right Way

Just like working out your muscles, practicing the saxophone takes a similar approach for success. For example, working out at the gym, 3-5 days a week (1-2 hours a day), will help your muscles get the most out of the workout. Similarly, you’ll get the most out of your practice sessions playing 20 minutes a day for 6 days a week, compared to one long session two days a week. Shorter intervals, on a consistent basis, accelerates progression on the saxophone.

The Math

Practicing excessive hours in one day may help us feel accomplished and committed. However, you won’t get the same benefit with two long sessions as you would with shorter sessions. For example, if you practice 2 days a week, 2 hours a day, you’ll end up with 4 hours of practicing for the week. If you practice 20 minutes a day for 6 days a week, you’ll have practiced 2 hours as well, but you’ll notice that progression occurs much faster. You’ll reach your goals faster and your tone will improve greatly in comparison.

Choosing the Right Time

If you practice 6 days a week, you’ll most likely need to plan your practice sessions and place them on a calendar. If you have time right after school or work, that would be the best option. I know this may not be possible, but it would allow for consistency in your schedule in regards to a specific time slot. If your schedule changes every day, then plan accordingly. Place your practice session in your schedule like a school class or business meeting. Remember, it’s only a 20 minutes practice session and the results will be significant in comparison.

Test it Out

When we try to change something in our life, it can be difficult to commit, long term. To assist in making the choice today, here's a suggestion: Commit to shorter, consistent practice sessions for 1 week only. At the end of the week, you’ll see the results, which will increase your motivation to continue with this practice schedule. You'll look forward to practicing because you'll improve faster, and the practice session length will be manageable.

The Results

Have you tried this approach before? How did it go? If you try this approach this week, please let us know how it went. I am confident that you’ll be excited about the results. Please share your experiences in the comment section below. Good luck, and have fun practicing!

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