You should put more emphasis on the quality than the quantity of your practice. There is some truth to the old adage that “practice makes perfect,” but only if the practice is actually flawless. To that end, I offer the following seven suggestions for streamlining and improving your procedure.
Gently rehearse the actions
Our bodies’ ability to store and recall motion patterns in their muscle memory allows us to act on these habits automatically, with little to no thought on our part. Walking, cycling, typing, and playing an instrument are all examples of motor learning.
Muscles need training in the form of frequent conscious guidance from the mind in order to create this memory. The mind must first memorise the structure. The next step is for the brain to “teach” the pattern to the body’s movers.
At first, it’s up to the mind to direct every muscle contraction. The speed with which muscle memory is formed is directly proportional to the degree to which the performed movements are deliberate and exact.
Additionally, the mind can train “antagonistic muscles” to relax through slow exercise. When two muscles contract in opposite directions, we call them antagonistic. By releasing tension in the antagonistic muscles, you can improve performance, decrease the risk of injury, and increase speed and ease.
Training on a miniature scale
A “practice cell” is nothing more than a limited set of exercises. A single musical cell may represent a single note or a complete composition. It is helpful to practice in little cells consisting of only a few notes. The quantity of new information the muscles have to process at once is reduced with repetition of smaller units of work. It helps the mind concentrate and focus as well.
Join the beginning of one cell to the end of the previous cell.
Muscles learn the music more effectively if the last movement of one cell is the beginning movement of the next cell.
Short bursts of practice for each individual cell
Muscles can perform a task automatically if they have been taught to do so. Set the pattern in motion with an intentional command, then watch as your muscles carry it out in rapid succession.
To avoid making the same mistakes over and over,
Changing a learned movement pattern takes seven times as many repetitions as learning it. If you make a mistake during practise, you should stop. Think back over the sequence. Additionally slow down your motions.
Take a break in between sets
The mind is better equipped to concentrate on the task at hand when brief breaks are interspersed among the repeats. If you find yourself losing concentration after just a few repetitions, try pausing for 30 seconds.
Don’t “over-practice” by skipping breaks.
The ability to learn diminishes after sustained focus, according to research by B.F. Skinner and others. Long periods of study (more than four hours) have been shown to deplete neurotransmitters in the brain that are essential for memory and comprehension. Therefore, it is recommended to train for no more than 4 hours straight, with short pauses (approximately 5 minutes every 20-25 minutes).
You can vastly enhance the standard of your practise by using these methods. It will help you maximise the efficiency with which you spend your time in practice.