Sometimes I have no motivation to practice. I can offer a lot of excuses.
- I’ll do it after this.
- I just don’t feel like it.
- I’m feeling frustrated.
- I’m feeling discouraged.
- I’m tired.
- My body aches.
- I’m too busy.
- I have other things to do.
- I can’t get to it.
- I just can’t seem to get organized.
- Add another excuse here: __________________
Any of these sound familiar?
We all know only way to progress, improve and get better is to practice. No ifs, ands, or buts! But at times, we just don’t practice.
Now, hopefully, this doesn’t happen often or for long periods of time. It happens to me from time to time, and I’ve even had a few stretches during the summer when I didn’t practice for multiple days. Right now, I’m in a good space, practicing every day, so I thought I would take a look at what may be happening when I don’t practice for one reason or another.
Some days I am just plain lazy. I am prone to wasting hours on the computer, whether it is working on non-essential things on one of my two websites, checking all my favorite sites (over and over), or chatting with others. Or, maybe I’ll catch up on that TV show I missed last night. How about doing a little yard work that can wait until tomorrow? I love working outside. You get the picture, don’t you?
Some days I put off practice because practice is work. Some days practice is not fun. It can be frustrating or discouraging. On days I feel like this, I need to ask myself do I really want to do this, learn how to play the fiddle? The answer is yes. So, what can I do to make practice seem less like work, feel better about it, and make it more like fun? Some days I will just have to bite the bullet and work, but so many other times I can really make my practice fun and encouraging if try. How? Here are just a few tips:
- Practicing scales? Scales can be real boring, but I can change things around using a lot of different rhythms, patterns and variations, so my scale practice is different everyday. Even something as simple as practicing my scales with drones adds interest.
- I can play some of the tunes I have already learned and play fairly well now. At one point each of these was a challenge. I’ve gotten better! That encourages me to do the work at hand, the next challenge, whatever I may be avoiding. I know I can do this!
- Sometimes I’ll even make up words to a tune I’m trying to learn. Even if it already has lyrics, I’ll ignore them and make up my own. For me, this seems to make my task easier.
- I tend to slide over to pessimism at times. You know, the glass is half empty, not half full. I have been working on this in my fiddle practice. At the end of each practice, I write down at least one thing I accomplished or did well -more if I can- and I leave it in my practice room where I can see it. I also hang motivational pictures, even funny ones, to help me. Here are a few I have posted right now in my practice room. I look at them often.
And, some days, I feel like I just don’t have time. Hey, I’m an adult; I have responsibilities. Responsibilities come first. What I tend to forget on these days is my happiness and well being are my responsibility, too! If I don’t take care of myself, I won’t take care of anything. I’ll burn out. My learning to play the fiddle is an important part of my happiness and well being; it is a responsibility to myself, and it is just as important. Realizing that has helped me miss less days of practice. And, if those other responsibilities are looming heavy on me, must be accomplished before the end of the day, even a shortened practice on a given day is better than no practice at all when it comes to my mental health.
So, what keeps you from practicing? It’s your turn. Leave a comment below. I’ll stop here. I need to practice my fiddle now. Have a good day.