Skip to main content

For questions about practicing or practice techniques.

Musicians usually make music in one of two general states: practice, in which a musician works on improving their own technique, or performance, wherein a musician is focused on creating the music for an observing third party (which may be themselves, or a recording for later listening, or a live audience).

Practice is when a musician is working on improving something in their own playing, not by passively strategizing but rather by repeated execution. One common type of practice is called a warm-up, where a player sets aside some time to run through some basic fundamentals or exercises to prepare themselves for a more serious part of the music session. This can also be to prevent injury or strain in some cases, and warm-up is most often a less demanding activity than the task which the musician is warming-up for.

In practice situations, often the musician will play slowly or remove some complexity from the object of the practice in order to attain a basic proficiency at the skill and then work up to the full difficulty later. Other times, the musician may add artificial difficulty to the object of practice or speed it up, which may allow them to perceive the true task as easier by comparison and improve their technical abilities faster than practice below the normal level would have.