Want to enhance your harp practice?
It’s not good enough to just practice for a longer period. You must practice better. More effectively. And as an element of our ‘Beginner’s Guide To Learning The Harp’, we shall show you all the knowledge you need to practice the harp better.
Verified Harp Practice Tips You Have To Know
Practice. If you do it regularly enough, you will be excellent. Everyone knows this. Why then is practice so difficult?
Motivation is essential. Without motivation, you will not force yourself to return to the instrument day after day. How do you get motivated?
By winning. Yes, that’s correct. Winning. You are in continuous competition with yourself, and whenever things go perfectly, you are feeling like you’re winning. When you’re within this frame of mind, it’s simple to practice. It’s the circle of life – winning more will give you much more motivation, and that means you practice a lot more. Practising more usually means you win more, as a result, it provides you with a lot more motivation. Which continues exponentially.
If it’s so easy, why is practice still so difficult?
Drum roll… The answer? Because it’s not really that easy! Just practising isn’t adequate. You could practice for ten hours per day and never improve.
If it’s not the quantity of practice that sets you on top of the circle of life, what does?
Level of quality.
Practising for fifteen minutes a day, concentrated, beneficial high quality practice is far more useful than two hours of vague, ‘auto-pilot’ practice.
So you just need good quality practice so that you can jump aboard the circle of life train?
Not a chance! Nothing is ever that easy. Mix quantity and quality, and you’ll finally be a first-class passenger.
Keep reading to discover how to get your first-class ticket, and ways to remain on the train as long as you want…
Structure Your Harp Practice
How long should I practice the harp for each and every day?
15 to 20 minutes is an excellent place to start, and in all likelihood no longer than 45 minutes each time. After that time frame, all of us humans have a tendency to zone out – and therefore the practicing becomes a lot less successful. As a rule of thumb, if you feel your focus waning, stop. Always be pleased that you simply showed up to your practice session, and don’t get worried how long you practice for.
How often should I be practicing?
This is a straightforward answer – practice daily. Doing this, you’ll convert your harp practice into a routine. A short, concentrated daily practice is more helpful than twice each week for one hour at the same time. And keep in mind, if you’re wondering “but how will I spare the time to do 20 mins a day? !? ” – just grab some of your time and efforts from social media over to the harp. We do, after all, spend on average 142 minutes on social media on a daily basis!
When should I be practicing the harp?
It will make no significant difference whenever you practice, just provided that you do practice. Test out making a predetermined schedule for yourself compared to being ad-hok. See which solutions work most effectively, and stick with it.
Harp Practice Top Tips
1. Get rid of All Disruptions
It is your time, and you absolutely don’t need anybody disturbing you. So ensure you switch off your tablet, laptop or computer, watch, and above all mobile phone, to become as focused as you possibly can.
2. Get Comfortable
Cumulatively, you will be spending lots of time at your instrument, so get relaxed. Establish things how you like them. A cup of water nearby. A pencil and paper for making notes. Then similar to a Jedi Knight, zone in and concentrate.
3. Setting Goals
What do you want to accomplish? Try to set an objective that you can accomplish in the practice session. Making use of objectives, you’ll develop at a faster pace and a lot more proficiently.
For a recommendation, Monday you could potentially set up one target, subsequently Tuesday another. Wednesday could be a day of merging your results of Monday and Tuesday. Thursday might be the last ambitious goal, with Friday the day of putting everything together. However, you allocate your desired goals or objectives, be consistent – and most importantly, be strong with yourself to keep your system going. As a reward, ensure you treat yourself to a box of chocolates or something that is reddish coloured in a glass…
4. Become Friendly With Undesirable Habits
A habit is something you constantly, or repeatedly do. And as we are learning things, we tend to perform them wrong before we perform them correctly. Therefore I know it seems like common sense, but ensure you aren’t practicing your faults, or else they’ll develop into undesirable habits. And everybody knows undesirable habits take time and effort to get rid of!
So if you notice a terrible habit – say hi to it. Understand it’s there, and crush the tiny blighter before it’s far too late…
The same goes for repairing technical problems with things like posture and your technique. Even though it can take longer up front, it will shell out dividends later on and could help you save a lot of time.
5. Don't Practice Exactly The Same Way
Have you ever driven to a location, and when you arrived, you had simply no memory or recall about the journey. You drove completely on ‘brain auto-pilot’. The same thing can take place when practicing the harp.
Should you practice much the same way every time, your progress will slow down, your commitment will shrink, and the harp will turn out a laborious task. You can actually fight this tiny gremlin by changing your practice tactics.
There are lots of solutions. Close your eyes to perform. Try performing the piece of music backwards. Try standing up or sitting down. Play whilst wearing earphones. Perform everything quietly, or possibly loudly. The list goes on and on. Innovation is definitely the name of the game, and whatever you decide and do, don’t get bored!
6. Educate Yourself To Learn
We have a reason the majority of us went to school; and it’s because we discover best when we have a teacher standing over us, inspiring us to advance. But unless you are the Founder of Microsoft, you’re unlikely to be able to find the money for a teacher 365 days of the year. Should it make any difference? Certainly not! You happen to be your personal teacher – and you come for free!
For starters, figure out how to listen. Many people forget to actively listen, but it’s the ideal way to boost your playing.
Subsequent, using the wonders of modern technology, it’s now easier than ever to record your playing. So get your phone out, record, and critique yourself.
And even if the world’s richest people wanted to retain the services of my personal instructor, they couldn’t afford to pay for it!
7. Whatever You Do, Do Not Begin...
You read a book, you locate page one. It’s totally natural. You play a sheet of music, you start at the start. Yet again, completely normal. But when it comes to practicing, it’s not a good idea. You’ll wind up being phenomenally great at the first few notes, and pretty dreadful at the rest. So change it up. Get started at the end, or halfway through. Then tomorrow, opt for another different place to start your practice. But whatever you do, don’t always start in the beginning!
8. Playing The Easy Parts
It feels good to play parts we know well. Nevertheless, if that’s all you ever play, you’ll have half of the piece to a great standard, but the harder half will be a disaster. And yes, you’ll naturally be fascinated by the straightforward parts, which in turn results in the problematic bit out in the cold. All alone. Shivering for some comfort and love.
Think logically now; which parts do you need to learn first? Yes, that’s correct. The tough sections. The easy bits will sort themselves out.
Go on then! Find those hard sections…
9. Use And Abuse Your Metronome
The metronome is there as your good friend, not foe. So make sure you use it and abuse it.
For quicker, tough sections, fix your tempo at half of the ‘target’ tempo. Practice the segment on a daily basis, and every day increase the speed by 5 beats (BPM). You will have so gradually increased the speed, that in no time, you will be at full speed.
And right here is a bonus word of advice – always try and overshoot by ten percent. If you wish to be at 150bpm, be sure you can play it at 165bpm – that way 150BPM will feel easily manageable!
10. Don't Perfect The Piece
Sight-reading is a superb exercise to round off your practice with. There’s no pressure to perfect the piece, and it can be a lot of fun too! Furthermore, it enables you to test your harp playing skills on a completely different piece – and even a different style of music.
11. It Is Essential...
Remember in number 3 I mentioned a nice box of treats? I thought this is vital enough to mention it twice!
Harp Practice Bonus Tips
1. Make Your Tree Stronger
Anytime you choose to do something new, your brain learns something about it and helps to create a neuron. This neuron is like a branch of a tree, and the more times you replicate the neuron task, you strengthen it. Quite simply, the branch of the tree gets stronger and more robust. This only occurs though if you do precisely the same thing, again and again.
Alternatively, every time you change a little something, a whole new branch is generated. When you play the very same passage of music 4 times, and each time you start using a different fingering or are not completely consistent, you’re creating four tree branches.
So is that an issue? Sure! A branch is a choice. When you come to a performance and reach the related segment, if your brain has a choice of various different neurons to select from, it could possibly opt for the drastically wrong one. It could pick the one that has a mistake inside. For once, the choice isn’t a good thing. When you have just one single neuron that is definitely correct, the brain provides no choice – it offers just one solution – the best one.
So always be consistently correct from the 1st time of performing something. Master stuff at a pace you are able to work well. And focus on your neurons!
2. Recommended Reading
Here are some great books that really helped me when I was starting out and I regularly recommend them to students to this day.
Harp Practice - Summary
There is a lot of info in this article. If you want one thing to take away, it is this:
Practice is a vital issue with understanding a musical instrument. Do not leave it to chance. Make a practice strategy. Mix it up. Print off this web page and keep referring to it. And make sure you treat yourself…
What’s Inside The 4 Feature Friday E-mail?
As regular as I have my morning coffee, I send out an email to you with the four most excellent things that you absolutely have to know about.
As long as it’s music connected, it could end up in the e-mail. Brand new songs, tricks, goods, critiques – nearly anything at all.
Be a part of the 4 Feature Friday email list, by clicking below.
Read the next post in this series: