When learning a new instrument, finding a good routine is key! Here are five tips to help establish a good practice routine!
– SCHEDULE YOUR PRACTICE SESSIONS!
Allocate an amount of time to learning your instrument each week. Whether it’s by adding it to your calendar or mentally noting that you’re going to practice every morning or every night, it’s important to make learning a new instrument part of your day-to-day. We recommend starting by practicing 15 minutes everyday instead of doing 1 long session per week. For example, you’ll gain muscle memory much faster by repeating strumming patterns or chords on your ukulele everyday.
– WARM UP
As elementary as it may seem, warming up is a vital component of a productive practice session, and one that is too often skipped once an intermediate level of playing is reached.
All serious and professional athletes take the time to warm up before working out, and the same should be true of musicians. You’re working your muscles on a much smaller scale; the muscles in your fingers, hands, and wrists all are getting heavy use.
Pick an exercise, a scale, or anything that really gets your fingers moving. The key is to start slow.
– START WITH THE HARDER STUFF
We recommend starting your practice with whatever technique you’re currently working on. A lot of people are tempted to simply start playing their favorite songs over and over again, but if your goal is to improve your playing, you’ve got to work on technique. We recommend spending 30%-40% of your practice time on repeating a scale, a strumming pattern, a new chord etc..
After working on your technique, you can move on to playing your favorite songs and end your practice session on a high note!
– RECORD YOURSELF
Another concept that is far from new, yet often underutilized, is listening to a playback or watching a video of yourself. Recording yourself essentially allows you to be your own private instructor, and with the affordable and easier-than-ever technology available, there’s no excuse. You’ll be able to see if you’re not holding your uke correctly, if the transition from one chord to another isn’t smooth, and more.
– HAVE FUN!
Obviously being disciplined and consistent when learning an instrument is important as it will help you improve faster. However, let’s not forget the main reason we play; because we like it! Enjoy playing your uke. Pick it up whenever you have a chance and don’t be shy to try new things!
Featured ukulele: Flight Sophia Tenor