Are you finding yourself accomplishing about half of what you used to? Are you bothered by your weaknesses more than you used to be? Translation: this is called a ‘funk’, and it happens to practicing musicians regularly. But getting out of a practice funk isn’t as hard as you might think.
Here are 4 simple fixes you can implement today to get you happily on your way:
Going outside (especially in pristine nature) will get your happy endorphins moving along. Even though this may seem completely unrelated to your instrument and practice goals, you’ll be surprised at how effective this is.
The simple act of getting out of your regular routine and moving your body in some fresh air is the Rx (prescription) you may need right now. I once read that focusing on landmarks (mountains, trees, buildings) that are really far away is one of the best ways to lighten your mood.
Constantly focusing on what is right in front of our face is a good way to get in a funk. Get out, and the mood will quickly change.
Remember that a practice funk is temporary.
One of the best ways to get out of a practice funk is to remind yourself how far you’ve come. It’s probably been a while since you looked back to where you came from. Remember where you were a couple of years ago on this musical journey? It’s time to crack open some of the old books and see how simple all of that music looks.
Choosing some simple tunes that are pleasing to your are and playing them “just for fun” is an amazing way to lighten your mood. This also reminds you how much you love music. It feels so good to play something fun. Do it today!
Musicians tend to keep their nose to the grind a little too long. Constantly worrying about the next ‘more difficult’ trick / skill is a good way to bury yourself in a funk. Remember that music is a super emotional release, and you have the power to take control.
Choose a brand new, but simple in skill level piece. Play it. Notice what happens? Yahhhhhh…. That’s what I’m talking about. Feels good. Do this every day for a week. Your funk will fade away into nothing.
Breaking it Down into Smaller Goals
Setting smaller goals of the new skills you are working on mastering is the best way to keep yourself from getting consumed in a worrisome practice month. You may feel you are have a time-limit for learning. But do you really?
Release the idea of needing to learn a skill ‘right now’, and you’ll be able to find some clarity. Take the skill and break it out further. One. Little. Step. At. A. Time. Master each without a time-hurry. Bet you get there sooner than you thought you would!
It feels so good to play something fun!
Plan a Simple Performance
Planning a simple performance is an amazing way to get out of funky town. Don’t worry about doing anything extravagant. Dressing up and planning refreshments is not necessary. Have a church nursery in the neighborhood?
Share your talent with them this week! They’ll love it more than you”ll ever know. And, you’ll have the new found motivation you’ve been looking for.
Listen to a New Genre
We know what we like. It’s usually pretty tried and true with each person. But, have you stepped outside of your normal ‘musical circle’ lately? Just exploring a new genre for a day is enough to pop me out of ‘blah-ville’.
I don’t have to play the music on my instrument, just play it on the radio or computer. With technology and the web, you have the entire world of music at your fingertips. Take advantage! Listening to something new is enough to get your heart pumping again.
Remember that a practice funk is temporary. It’s no big deal. It will go away especially after following some or all of these tips.
Have any questions? Comment below and I will help you out.