Links to some of the most “practice-oriented” posts from my blog

“Practice-Oriented” Blog Posts

Warming Up: Long Tones

I must not talk enough about warmups. I say this because recently, in my last lesson ever with a student leaving for college, I was mentioning something about my warmup regimen and his jaw dropped. Apparently long tones and intervals and scales with varied articulations are not part of his daily routine, nor had it ever occurred to him to use his band’s warmup period to improve his playing. Read More…

Warming Up Part 2- Scales

I’m a sucker for a system. I rarely worked on scales when I was young, and it’s obvious why – there are too many options. They can be fast or slow, tongued or slurred, one or two octaves or full range. There are majors and minors and chromatics, and if you want to get into arpeggios and broken chords there are all kinds of diminished and augmented and 7th chords you could play. Read More…

My Favorite Metronome Games

The metronome is a musician’s most important tool. It’s useful when you are just learning to play and to read music, but it remains tremendously valuable to advanced students and professionals as well. As a teacher, I can easily identify the students who work regularly with a metronome – there is both a clarity and a confidence in their playing which is hard to duplicate – and can also hear immediate improvement when a student begins to work with one. Read More…

Slow Practice

I looked at my music before the first rehearsal. Of course I did. I skimmed a little bit through the pieces I’d played before and the parts that looked easy, and came to a cool-looking Brazilian arrangement. It was full of busy 16th notes and accidentals, so of course I prepared it thoroughly. Read More…


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