Practicing takes up a huge amount of a musician’s life. Creating an organized practice space can help make sure you’re getting the most out of what you put into your craft. Whether you're a solo artist or a band, here are some helpful tips on arranging an efficient, comfortable, and fun space.
This is huge. We are such a media crazed society that sometimes it’s hard to put down the phone. To make sure that you’re really giving yourself full attention, turn your phone off or on silent during your practice session. All focus needs to be on tuning into your work and leaving the rest of the world outside.
Wherever your practice space may be, it’s important to keep it tidy. If space allows, designate a room you’re comfortable in for studying. Keeping your surroundings clean will help your mind focus better. For further organization, put together folders of music you’re working on. I personally find it helpful to have separate folders for songs I am currently working on, would like to work on, and those I already know. This keeps everything neatly organized so you’ll know exactly where to locate your music.
Set a Timer:
Depending on your schedule, practice sessions can range anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours or more a day. Whatever your schedule, set a timer for yourself. This will help you stop checking the clock to see how long it’s been and let you focus on your practicing.
Once you have an organized space, write out some goals for yourself. Put them on the wall, in your folders, or wherever is best for you so you know what you need to be working on when you get into the zone. This will encourage your growth as a musician and help with determination.
If you’re in a band, practice takes on a whole new meaning. Incorporating what you know about individual practice to your band rehearsal will help make things run more efficiently.
Part of the fun of being in a band is that you have different individuals coming together to create music as one. This can be a bit hectic at times as certain members of the band may have more or less musical training than others in the group. To create a smooth practice session, remind your band members that you’re all learning together. Playing with another is much different than solely relying on yourself.
Find the Right Space:
Cramming a five-piece rock band into your bedroom is probably not going to be the most productive space. Find a space that can accommodate your group and allow you to move comfortably. If none of the members in the group have a large enough space, you may want to consider renting a practice room.
This is equally as important for a band as it is for individual practice. When you’re with your band, be respectful that the other members are taking the time out of their day for this meeting and everyone should be equally invested. When the bandleader is trying to communicate with the group and one of the members is busy texting, important information and time is being lost. If you’re having a longer practice, send those texts or check emails during a break. The rest of the time your phone should be off or on silent.
As with individual practice, goals with your band are vital to success. Communicate with each other about what needs work and what’s going well. Set goals for each rehearsal so you’re moving forward as a group.
Incorporating these tips into individual or band practice sessions will bring more organization and ensure that you're getting the most out of your time.
Kathleen Parrish is a singer and songwriter from Seattle, WA. While she specializes in lyrics, she enjoys writing short stories, poetry, and journalism.