the jazz authority; random dubiously zappy rants about 'the musicians music'.: Practicing In My Mind

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Practicing In My Mind

"Opinions are like assholes . . . everyone’s got one."
- Art Blakey

Sometimes I can't get my sax out to practice. If the situation arises where I wan't to practice and have the time to do it, but something gets in the way. When this happens I can 'practice' in my mind. Going through the motions while moving my figers as if I was playing has been productive for me, and I even do it when I'm on long bus rides or in line ups.

Imagine reading a theory book, or a scale/pattern/technique book, and instead of playing the exercis you visualise them in your mind. Tap your foot to keep time if you want. Practicing in this way can make it easier to get through the tedious stuff like learning patterns using triad pairs, with inversions, over weird chords.

Anyways, if you haven't tried this, you are probably still wasting your 'bored' time away. Why not be the only person in the line-up at the bank with a smile on your face?

L 8 R

Small wonder we have so much trouble with air pollution in the world when so much of it has passed through saxophones.


suzyQ said...

i have tried this before...everytime i get bored in class. I just pull out my book and act like my instrument is my pencil.

Cameron W said...

That's exactly it. Ever since I was a kid I've played my thumbs. I just set my fingers along my thumbs and press my index to my thumb for the palm keys. I'm sure that people watching think I've got a nervous tick of some kind.

Michael J. West said...

But do you ever miss a note when you practice in your head? The mistakes you make are an important part of "real" practice...

Cameron W said...

Well, I suppose this technique isn't good for all aspects of practicing, but if you want to run through some patterns or scales it's a great way to exercise your mind.