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Come to SOTW, of course.:D

Being in the education game, I deal with trying to motivate unmotivated teens on a daily basis.

Why would you be unmotivated to practice? Hmmm....
-Distracted?
-Depressed?
-Existential angst?
-bad self-esteem?
-too busy?
-bored?
- no teacher?
-don't think it does any good?


Any of these fit?
 

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Forum Contributor 2015, SOTW Better late than neve
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hakukani said:
Why would you be unmotivated to practice? Hmmm....
-Distracted?
-Depressed?
-Existential angst?
-bad self-esteem?
-too busy?
-bored?
- no teacher?
-don't think it does any good?


Any of these fit?
Why not all of the above :D

Put down your horn and start listening to all you favorite sax greats. If that don't get you a honking, please seek immediate medical attention!
 

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tjontheroad said:
Put down your horn and start listening to all you favorite sax greats. If that don't get you a honking, please seek immediate medical attention!
Amen to that. I do a lot of listening at night. It makes me want to practice but I can't because it's always late and I don't want to **** off the neighbors. :(
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2008,
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I personally am motivated by my own not playing.

I had a teacher tell me once that If I miss one day of practice, no one notices. if I miss two days, I notice. If I miss three days, and my Audience notices.

I dont want people to hear my playing and think that I used to be better, or to sound undedicated, cause for me that'd be embarrassing
 

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Discipline. Mayho
 

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Amen to that. I do a lot of listening at night. It makes me want to practice but I can't because it's always late and I don't want to **** off the neighbors.
I get the same way. Like right now I really want to do some practicing, but it's 2 am. I can only hope I feel the same way in the morning.
 

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Saxgal137 said:
How do you all get motivated to practice when you are feeling very unmotivated?
Learn to operate/play on something other than motivation. Motivation is a huge variable that you need to learn to get along without, because it won't always be there. Motivation can be a huge detraction to boot. :)
 

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I dont really have an alto right now and I'm just not motivated to pull out the soprano. So in the meantime:

Oddly, reading a musician's autobiography is helping motivate me; try the Miles Davis Autobiography (w/Quincy Troupe). Very good read so far, can't put it down.

That and, as already said, listening a lot. I'm taking up piano too, learning some chords and a few standards to keep things moving. Maybe I'll do some transcribing too.
 

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Forum Contributor 2009 & Mouthpiece Patch Mogul
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Saxgal137 said:
How do you all get motivated to practice when you are feeling very unmotivated?
Like getting motivation to do most other things I break it down into small chunks to get me started...

Do I have the motivation to:

Walk to my sax case...
Open it and take out my sax...
Set it up whilst listening to a previous recording of me (a good one!)..
Practice a few scales, long tones etc...
Play a favourite tune...

By that time I`m usually under way. If not, I repeat the last step until I have sufficient desire to continue with stuff I wouldn`t have just "jumped" at.

Actually, most times I have no difficulty at all finding motivation to play my sax. Just sometimes I have other menial tasks (eating, washing, shaving etc) that I lack motivation to do ;)
 

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Great question:

These days I'm getting a huge motivation from working on tone production exercises and feeling like I'm taking my tone to the next level with each practice session--I'm really just dying to get back to my little cubicle and make some noise! Feedback from other players really contributes too.

Rory
 

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I discovered years ago that simply getting started when
feeling that way was the hurdle.
Don't even think about whether you want to practice or not.
Don't fight the unmotivated feeling, it happens.
Don't think about all the stuff you have to do. Don't think.
Just tell yourself to just do this - open the case and setup the horn. Then tell yourself that since it's setup, you might as well play a couple of notes. Next thing you know you'll feel "motivated", or at least into your practice session.
 

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Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
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I like this last post. Just get on with it. It's part of your day like eating or sleeping. Don't judge the first few minutes too much. Maybe put a player you really like on the stereo and play a drone on the root of your favourite track. Try to get enjoyment out of doing even the simplest things on your instrument. Build from there.. And if you can't get together the energy/motivation to even play a note.. Just listen. That's a very underrated form of practising.
 

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Book a big where you are responsible for the band and you are playing all of your own original music. Write a bunch of tunes and play them somewhere. Or even just book a gig where you are leading the band and you are playing favorite standards or whatever music you want. The point is that you have some hand in the creative process, you have a specific goal to practice for, and you have a deadline which you are in control of preparing for. I make my greatest progress in these situations. The few months before my junior recital involved my undertaking some avenues in my playing that I never went for before (memorizing 20 minutes of virtuosic classical solo literature and five original tunes on alto and flute, specifically). Something like that will really put your butt into gear.

The biggest bottom line, though, is do you have gigs coming up? Could you do a better job on that gig if you spend some time in the shed? Then get to it! Necessity is the mother of motivation, or something :)
 

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I've had this same problem before; I used to avoid practice like the plague. The biggest cause was that I simply wasn't enjoying myself. I tend to overkill on music I need to work on for some upcoming event - an audition, competition, performance, etc., and having to work on the same difficult spots time and time again was frustrating, and causing me to dread practice. I would concentrate only on that particular music and nothing else. Now that I've added some diversity into what I play, though, practice has become much more enjoyable. That lack of motivation will occasionally creep back up on me, but as soon as I get a chance to listen to some wild, complicated jazz it comes rushing right back. I do the same thing as agent27 though, listen at night and get an uncontrollable urge to do some unreasonably late practicing. ;)
 

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I find that even if I'm lacking motivation at a certain moment, I just become immersed in the sound that I make. Never happened to me with piano, but with saxophone, my practice time goes so fast because I'm honestly enjoying myself.

Just try not to think about how much you don't want to practice, and get on with it :). Works for me.
 
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