Are you a couch potato?
If you watch the TV and cannot refrain yourself from playing a music instrument while doing it, then you are my kind. When I started playing the guitar, I spent the first 6 months trying to nail a barre chord, one of the easiest chords to play after the 5th chords like Smells Like Teen Spirit catchy line. The difficult part of starting to play any music instrument is getting over the first months when you are actually unable to get some decent sound out of it. But if you pass that moment, then you are in it.
What’s the Lazy Musician strategy?
My strategy was what I call the Lazy Musician. You do not have to pay that much attention to what you are doing, otherwise you will ultimately getting bored, or you will have spent little time on practice than you could have if you use this strategy.
But I want to make this clear: music is dedication and listening, not just some structured movement involving our procedural, long-term memory. But we need to trick our mind, and build up over hours repeating the same stuff, and if you’re too much aware of it, then you are screwed. The Lazy Musician is actually exploiting the dead moments during your day, especially when you are watching your favorite TV series or a Marvel movie; and while you are in such state of bliss you pick up a pattern or two and keep on practicing them for the length of the show.
It seems a stupid thing to do, but you are actually exercising some basic movements you will need when you have to focus on your playing. Rehearsals, composition, or transcribing, these activities need you full attention and cooperation with your fellow musicians or alone with you instrument. But if you sense you do not have time to practice, and want to become a master, then grasp every moment you have and fill them with boring and absolutely fundamental practice.
Where does it come from?
I am doing this, but this is not out of the blue. On one side, when studying at the university, I had a special teacher who wanted us to practice simultaneous interpreting at least 10 minutes a day. We didn’t – and couldn’t – practice any other day; we needed to do it every day, at least 10 minutes. And on the other side, my music teachers taught me that music practice can be meditative, mind-emptying practice. And what better moment than when you are aimlessly ending your day, waiting for the right moment to go to bed?
The luck of the percussionist
Or even better, as percussionist, finding a 5-minutes’ spot and tap over a table, or keeping the tempo with the right leg and play your thighs when you are sitting in the metro? This article come in a moment of pause, while I am trying to figure out what to do with my handpan. I am a little confused, not sure what to study to be the player a want to be. So I just pick up my handpan, choose some interesting diddles and play them while I am watching Friends for the 20th time. This has been my favorite routine, lately, with one of my beloved TV shows!
We have a lot of time to practice, and this is why we can all be musicians. Well, my dear, be that Lazy Musician, and play whatever you can find on your way!
P.S. Elisa says hi and I love her as she is very patient with my repeated and incessant – almost compulsive – practice 😉