Why do you practice the fiddle? What do you hope to achieve? Do you want to be able to play a certain tune? Or do you want to be able to play with people? Do you see a vision of yourself doing something with music in the future? Before reading further, take a moment to answer the first question for yourself, “Why do you practice the fiddle?” It may be the case that you simply want to do it and have no specific goal in mind. That’s fine too. For now, just take note of your answer.
Why set goals?
People get into music in different ways. Some just love listening to music. They feel drawn towards it and want to become part of it.
Some people experience a life change and become open to doing something new. It may not even matter so much what exactly that new thing is. They have become explorers.
And some people just love a challenge. The goal motivates them, and they experience joy when they accomplish the goal. My mom is learning the cello. She’s not really enjoying it that much, but she’s motivated to continue because she wants to excel at it. But I wonder how long she can keep practicing without enjoying it. But some people are just wired to set and achieve goals.
Perhaps you never really decided to set a goal. Perhaps you just like fiddle music and want to do it. And there’s nothing more to it than that.
Take the path as the goal
Whatever your current goal or motivation is, I’d like to offer an alternative approach.
You can directly reach your goal every time practice if your goal is simply to practice.
The key here is to nurture a sense of joy in the practice. If you can find a way to enjoy practicing, then you don’t need to force yourself to do it. Then every time you take out your fiddle and play you are successful. Every note you play is a small win.
The next time you play, please try to look at your music practice in this way. You’re not seeking some future reward. The reward happens as soon as you start making sounds and music.
If you can find a way to make practice joyful, then it follows that it will be easier to accomplish any other goal you have with music.
You may be thinking, “That’s easier said than done. How do I enjoy my practice when it’s such a struggle? How can I find beauty in these scratchy sounds?!”
Good question! This is pretty much the central question I deal with in this Fiddlosophy blog.
- “How can I practice better?”
- “How can I make it fun and productive?”
- “How can I practice consistently?”
If you find good answers to these questions for yourself, then share it with us below.
Here are some of my thoughts:
2 responses to “Practice Just To Practice”
Every practice isn’t going to be great or even good. However, you are actually learning. It comes as little surprises for me. Holding the bow; I struggled just trying to hold it properly to rosin. The struggle to hold it properly and also be able to move it sort of to my will lasted about 4 days. Then, half way dreading the struggle, I started to practice bowing when I realized I had tightened the hair and started to practice with no struggle. WOW. How tight is just right? Sweatsweat. Then I started making small adjustments. Start at “my little finger”, start at same width as the bow. I finally just tightened it, then adjusted it til it sounded good and didn’t bounce. I AM THE MASTER OF MY BOW. Well we’re still in negotiations but I feel relaxed adjusting it. Same with shoulder rest and position. When it comes, it just feels natural and I become so very impressed with myself.
Hey FiddleHed dude !! I’m gonna be 55 this week and have been playing fiddle for 18 months. I’ve never played a musical instrument. The first month or so I played in secret. I found your lessons on Utube and started getting serious.
I work 12 hr days as an ER nurse so I always have a string of days off. I afford myself now at least 2-3 hrs s day when I’m off to practice first thing in the morning I have developed a LOVE to practice. It’s like when I was a kid and took my baseball glove to bed with me anticipating playing ball the next day
Your demeanor style and guidance have exceeded my expectations. My love for the sounds that I make and the songs I’m learning are like when I was a kid partying and really getting into the songs of Led Zeppelin and all. I’m really enjoying listening and learning
I’m not in a rush. I have my whole life to enjoy this.
I really enjoy the Irish music lessons and songs and my goal is to play on an open Mike night at a coffee shop in my neighborhood around st pattis day.
Thanks a lot