Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Case Against Your Case

Want to know an easy way to increase your practice time on your instrument?  Don't keep it in its case!  Sound crazy?  Dangerous?  Too easy?  Well, it's true.

Not only does laziness have no bounds, but it has no age limit as well.  It is hard to believe that the act of simply having to remove an instrument from its case or gigbag would hold back one's practice, but it most certainly can.  The main reason is that it is just not as accessible.   Then you've got preparation time to consider -- getting the bow out and attaching the shoulder rest, locating picks and straps and capos...

Now maybe you are only thinking about long practice times.  I'm actually talking more about impromptu practice.  Like the kind where you might take 2 or 3 minutes while you wait for someone else to get ready to leave, or maybe during the commercial time of the news or your favorite television program.  Let's say that during a week's time, you had two impromptu sessions on five separate days.  That would total out to be around 25 minutes of practice time!  This type of practice does not replace your normal practice, but imagine what an extra 25 minutes of practice a week could do for you?

How do you do this safely?  A stand is the most recommended way to accomplish this.  There are stands that sit on the ground and also stands that allow you to hang your instrument on a wall.  If you have animals or children that might get into your instruments, then a wall hanger might be safer.  Also, make sure that your instrument is not sitting in a place that is getting direct sunlight or close to a heating or cooling vent.

If you got 25 extra minutes of practice a week, you would have over 20 HOURS of extra practice in the course of a year.  Pretty amazing, isn't it?

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