The Better Practice Routine?

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the practice thing. Everyone seems to have an opinion on just how to go about it. Do you do 10mins of scales then 10mins of sight reading then 15mins per piece? Or do you take the time you have and then divide it into equal parts?

The more I’ve been thinking about it the more I have to ask, does it really matter? Do you have to do scales every single day in order to progress ‘on track?’ It definitely helps but what if you get into such a mind numbingly dull routine that by the sixth day you want to give up all together?

And what if you need to practice Sight Reading? The dreaded part of an examination. Hated by all except for those who can do it easily. What then?

Personally I warm up with a group of scales (majors, minors, melodics etc) then move onto a piece that I like and can do. Why? Because if you don’t want to play then what on earth are you practicing for? Then onto sight reading and finally onto the tricky passages in whatever piece I am working on. It takes from 45mins to an hour if I don’t have a show coming up.

But is it enough? I’d love to hear from you. Which camp are you in? Do you prefer and rely on a regimented practice routine or do you prefer something more flexible such as my style? Have you tried one and found it doesn’t work?

What do you think?

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