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This question has probably been asked many times on here, but I was wondering if anyone has any advice on structuring a routine for most benefit. I usually go through scales and arpeggios for half an hour, Including shifts to third position and third position scales, then I go through tunes I know and am learning and then Etudes, I do sometimes find myself wandering off and messing about but try to stick with this routine. Has anyone any ideas?
Wow, good for you!
I'm afraid I take a more casual approach to practicing because my only concerns are family, friends and the possibility of a little jamming with them.
You might enjoy this great thread, I read it before I even joined the FM Forum.
"Sasha's Secrets #1: Perfect Practice" on page 3 under the "Learning to Play" heading.
My routine, when I'm not injured, is divided into four blocks as long as I can practice for 30 minutes or more.
1. Warm up. Almost always just playing through one or two movements of unaccompanied Bach. I find it's good for getting me into the right frame of mind -- musical rather than entirely technical.
2. Technique maintenance. Scales, arpeggios, open string bowing, and a selection of etudes. I normally pick the etudes the same day rather than having a set rotation, but the idea is to hit as many different aspects of technique as possible over the week because I don't have that much time to spend on it in one day.
3. Repertoire. I spend almost all of this on tricky spots in the pieces I'm working on, and have been known to spend an entire practice session on just two measures of music. Unless it's the last few days before performing, I typically only play through a piece in its entirety once every week or two.
4. Technique focus. An extra bit of work on an aspect of technique I think needs improvement or remediation. I do this last because, according to the research on learning, the last thing you spend time on in a practice session is the thing that sticks best. I omit this if I need to learn a piece in a short time, in which case the last thing I work on should be repertoire.
Regardless of length of practice session, the warm-up block is about 5 minutes, and the technique focus block is about 10 minutes. Typically, I split the time in between into 1/3 technique, 2/3 repertoire.