That’s a great question, I hope you get a lot of responses–it will be interesting to hear.
For me, it’s hard to practice a lot and consistently. I am progressing, but know I’d progress more if I improved the quality of my practicing (structure, consistency, focus).
The quote “It’s not how much you practice but How you practice” comes to mind; I don’t recall who said that, I’m sure many have, but it rings true to me.
I think the key is it depends on where you’re at and where you want to be and how long you want to take to get there.
Tom Hooten (LA Phil) and others use an app (Seconds Pro?) to use timers to give their sessions practice and they use a chart to track each week that they’ve spent time on each component (Clarke, Stamp, Flexibility, Long Tones, Range, etc., etc.). I’ve always thought that would be a good way to do it, I just never find myself getting there, to be honest.
I’m just an amateur, playing for fun and don’t even play in a group…although right now, who is? So I have the luxury of being unstructured, but I’m sure I’d progress faster/farther if I did structure things more.
I also have learned how important it is to play Music for a significant amount of time–I experienced this today. I wasn’t that focused on playing, sort of fitting it in here and there throughout the day. I didn’t play at all yesterday, so I was a little off to begin with. But all in all, I can’t complain–I played relatively well. But my mind started telling me that I was having a bad day, things weren’t feeling the way I wanted them to feel, etc. I was doing a lot of extemperaneous, unstructured exercises, harmonic slurs, scales, as I felt.
So I caught myself and played some music and it went very well–the focus of hitting notes in a rhythym at a set tempo, dynamics, etc. all helped focus my attention and I could more easily relate how I actually was doing to how I’ve played that music before; that’s harder to do when it’s an exercise, unless it’s trying to play it at a certain speed, hit a certain note, etc.
Those are my thoughts, FWIW. Thanks again for the thread.
I think it depends what is your aim.
Since one year I practice only thinks when the aim is clear in my head.
After playing it helps me a lot to reflect by myselfs.
During a session I practice one exercises / part in a piece etc. only some minutes than I go to the next. Maybe later back
The first ex.
Practice with a timer makes sense in my opinion.