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Recently I have gotten myself into quite a practice slump. I used to be able to practice a whole hour and actually play for most of that time. But now I have to force myself to practice, sometimes its not even for fifteen minutes and I don't even really play most of that time. I have had a fear of practicing properly in front of everybody.

I come from a family of people who have learned to play an instrument but only practice about five minutes out of the entire year. And when they do play all they do is run through their music and say that they are "practicing". With this being the way they practice, they think that it's right. So whenever I try to practice scales, or scale exercises, warm-ups, or overtones; they always walk in and say "Stop!! Practice your music, stop just making sounds."

So whenever I start practicing I always warm-up with overtones and then scales and then work out of the Rubank Advanced Method. But after about five minutes I start have a feeling that they are about to walk in and tell me to stop. So I just stop, I don't even get to my music.

So my question is how to get through this practice slump so that I will get back to practicing for long periods of time every day.
-Thanks
 

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What Mr. Oatts says at the beginning of this masterclass has been very helpful to me to break patterns of habit or 'slumps' in my own practicing:

 

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Recently I have gotten myself into quite a practice slump. I used to be able to practice a whole hour and actually play for most of that time. But now I have to force myself to practice, sometimes its not even for fifteen minutes and I don't even really play most of that time. I have had a fear of practicing properly in front of everybody.

I come from a family of people who have learned to play an instrument but only practice about five minutes out of the entire year. And when they do play all they do is run through their music and say that they are "practicing". With this being the way they practice, they think that it's right. So whenever I try to practice scales, or scale exercises, warm-ups, or overtones; they always walk in and say "Stop!! Practice your music, stop just making sounds."

So whenever I start practicing I always warm-up with overtones and then scales and then work out of the Rubank Advanced Method. But after about five minutes I start have a feeling that they are about to walk in and tell me to stop. So I just stop, I don't even get to my music.

So my question is how to get through this practice slump so that I will get back to practicing for long periods of time every day.
-Thanks
I think as sax players, we've all heard that while practicing from someone. If you always sound good while practicing, you're probably not practicing, you're just playing tunes.

When I worked on cruise ships, and even worse when I was in an apartment, I had this problem too. Even if nobody walked in, I always had the feeling that they might, and it was distracting.

My only advice is made a solid written out routine, and stick to it. At least YOU know it's the right thing to do, even if your family doesn't understand.

Maybe they'll understand in a few yrars when you can play circles around them.

Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk 2
 

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I sometimes write things when I'm getting into those kinds of slumps. You could just write things out without the horn there, and then see if they sound how you expected them to sound on the horn. Chick Corea mentioned doing a similar thing to take his mind of the idea of "practicing."

You could get into transcribing or playing with recording. That might help make it sound like you're "playing music" to your family.

-Bubba-
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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What Mr. Oatts says at the beginning of this masterclass has been very helpful to me to break patterns of habit or 'slumps' in my own practicing:

Great link! Thanks for sharing.
 

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i ahve an idea. play a note one time every 60 seconds
then every 30 seconds, every 15, 7, 3, 1 second. play like 30 notes at 1 second. then go to the next note. that way taking a break is kind of intrinsic in the process i guess? im not sure why your having problems practicing. if its motivation this should help.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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i ahve an idea. play a note one time every 60 seconds
then every 30 seconds, every 15, 7, 3, 1 second. play like 30 notes at 1 second. then go to the next note. that way taking a break is kind of intrinsic in the process i guess? im not sure why your having problems practicing. if its motivation this should help.
Really?
 

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Sorta falls into that category of "whatever works for you" and "Your Mileage May Vary" regarding motivation. It's clearly an individual zen sorta thing. BigVsax's video post would certainly work better for me, but I find that just having a playing situation has been my best motivator.
 

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There are many facets to practicing playing songs is just one of them. Maybe you should care less what they think or even explain that you are after a more inclusive sort of practice that involves more than just playing songs. Good luck
 

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There are many facets to practicing playing songs is just one of them. Maybe you should care less what they think or even explain that you are after a more inclusive sort of practice that involves more than just playing songs. Good luck
I agree ......You have to not care who is listening and what they think period.
 

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I would work on staying focused more than worrying about how many minutes or hours you're practicing. 15 minutes of solid focus is better than 2 hours of noodling around (although some noodling can be a good thing).

If you're hitting a wall with something, move on to something else, or change up whatever it is you're practicing. If it's scales and you're getting sick of them, perhaps change the rhythm. Or maybe instead of practicing scales to develop technique, transcribe or read out of a book a lick that you really like, and practice playing it SUPER cleanly.

I think that you should vary what you practice, otherwise it turns into a chore, so have some goals in mind, but find different ways of working towards those goals to keep yourself on your toes and keep yourself interested.

I hope that helps!
 

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This one never seems to get old!

 
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