Practice Makes Perfect

If Django Reinhardt learned to re-play guitar with only two fingers, you can manage to be proficient with four.

This is gonna be a short post, but it basically fits in with my running theme of “Advice for Beginning Bands” which was requested by a fan.

In so many ways, I think this concept gets overlooked by bands and individual musicians. The focus isn’t really on the band as a whole, but specifically on each musician in their own journey with whatever instrument (s) they are playing.

We all know the adage “Practice Makes Perfect”. Somehow I personally forgot about the importance of such a saying, only because of my mental image of a guy with a mustache and a straw boaters hat saying it to me with one solitary finger raised and wagging. This shouldn’t have deterred me in the past.

Keep in mind that you are solely responsible for your performance live. Mistakes will happen, yes. You are going to be rocking out, or falling into the moment, and your mind will blank. It’s gonna happen. But the wonderful thing about practice is that it’s the great subconscious fail-safe to avoid such happenings. What your mind can do when trained is pretty impressive and not to be underestimated.

So long story short, sit down with your instrument some of this week for an hour or so a day and focus on just two parts you need to play for a song. Preferably parts you struggle with or seem to make mistakes on. Break the part down. Go snail-speed while playing. Retrain your fingers to make awesome, concise movements. I’m interested to hear if anyone sees a difference and if practice helps anyone in a live setting!