Saxophone Forum


by barisaxiguy
(50 posts)
10 years ago

practicing times

hey, this is gonna be specific, so bare with me. ok, my main instrument is my bari, i've played it for three years and other ppl and i think i'm pretty good, i pick things up pretty quickly. i've started practicing more and last time i practiced i went for three hours. I hope thats too long.. I actually wanna have a life outside of music. i play sports and lift weights and i'm good at school, so i dont know if i'll major in music in teh future. recently my teacher told me i should get good at 2 instruments, so my back up instrument is the guitar, and i've played that fro about half a year, and all i really know is some chords and scales, but i'm learning slowly. How long should i spend each day practicing each instrument? And remmebr, i dont wanna spend the whole day practicng my instruments, cuz i want an outside life too. ps. if u need any more info, just ask

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  1. by sax_maniac
    (984 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: practicing times

    With a good quality practice routine of warmups and specific exercises and such, I feel that 30 minutes a day is enough to build your chops and improve over time. If you really need to go on a 3 hour playing binge, be sure to put plenty of non-playing time in there. Maybe sing through some parts or something. There's a sweet spot in terms of payoff when it comes to how long you practice. For me it's 30-60 minutes. If I play less than that, I don't feel like I've accomplished anything. If I play longer than that, I notice that my concentration declines over time. I'm talking strictly personal practice - not with the band. I look back to the time I spent at Blue Lake and even though we played 6-8 hours a day, it was broken up quite a bit which gives your mind a chance to unwind, shift gears, and come back fresh. Just monitor yourself and keep fresh. If you lose the freshness, you're better off putting the horn down.

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    1. by navyblueTENOR
      (10 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: practicing times

      blue lake is only about 4 hours a day, hey, when did you go to bl?

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      1. by sax_maniac
        (984 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: practicing times

        I went to Blue Lake back around 1982/1983/1984. This was back before trial lawyers were suing everybody and child labor laws were only mildly enforced ;) I remember 1 or 2 sectionals and 2 - sometimes 3 full band practices daily. Of course, there was woodshedding in the cabin for those of us in the Symphonic Band. My bottom lip stopped bleeding after about the third day.

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        1. by barimachine
          (323 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: practicing times

          well i take music classes and lessons and i practice around 1~2 hours actually during school we have weird scheduling were and arts school and I actually bring my horn with me to work, well that was i do all day there haha, i work at a music shop so i just test horns while learning repairs doing homework and all that. but i mean its my opinion and alot of other players well pros that 30 minutes is a waste, according to terrel stafford even an hour is a waste too. i practice atleast 5-6 maybe 7 hours on weekdays but on weekends i practice atleast 12 - 14 hours sometimes more, im a practicaholic... but it helps to work in groups, working in the store that I do were very relaxed and i just get jam sessions with my friends that work there too, its great because some very good musicians from the area and others too, one time the navy commodores showed up and they played with us it was awesome

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        2. by mingusfan69
          (9 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: practicing times

          I agree, however... you have to decide how much practicing is for you. If you are gunna be a pro, you need to practice a lot....im talking A LOT. Basically i practice whenever i can, since i dont get home till really late on most nights i practice at school and stuff like that. It's really up to where you want to go with music, if you just wanna be good but not go pro or major in collage, then 1 hour a day is about average.

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        3. by thelittlemarchingone
          (50 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: practicing times

          I totally agree with the poster above me. I live music. I practice almost every moment I'm able too, I'm in my school's band room whenever I can be. My life is band, be it jazz, marching, or drumline, or my own music. There are days where I play for 15 hours straight, wake up and do the same thing the next day, ect. But hey, that's me. How much you're willing to practice to better yourself musically is totally your choice. If you want to practice about half an hour a day on each instrument, then practice that much. If you want to practice more, practice more. Just make sure you keep up with what's going on in school and you feel like you're accomplishing what you want to accomplish, the rest of what you do with your time is up to you. You can practice an hour a day and still have time to be with friends, do sports and keep up with school work. No one can really tell you how much YOU need to practice, you need to figure that out for youself but determining how far you really want to go in music. But like the poster above me said, an hour a day is a good starting point to see how you fit into that, and the decide where to go from there. Hope that helps a little anyway...

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