Three Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Practice

Clarinet Practice Planning


Before you start to practice, ask yourself “what,” “why,” and “how.” This helps to set the intention for your practicing, allowing you to be more productive!

The “what” allows you to identify what will need your attention. Is it:

  • Fundamentals?
  • Articulation?
  • Embouchure?
  • Scales?
  • Excerpts?
  • Orchestra Repertoire?
  • Chamber Music?
  • Solos?

The “why" gives a reason for your practicing. For example, the why could be things like:

  • I need to have this excerpt up to x tempo by a certain date for an audition
  • I have my recital coming up and I am starting to do practice performances of my solos
  • Rehearsal for this chamber piece I’m doing starts this week and I want to make sure I am well prepared
  • There is this one tricky passage in this orchestra part where I am going to work to nail the notes
  • This etude address a weak point in my technique so by practicing it, I will be making improvements

Then you can figure out “how” you want to approach it:

  • For tempo related things, you can use interleaved practicing or go up by 5 clicks and down by 4
  • For chamber music and orchestra parts, considering listening to recordings and score study so you know exactly how your part fits in with everyone else
  • For solo performances, working on practicing things by memory and recording it to hear where you are doing great and where needs so extra attention
  • For etudes, approaching them with the metronome, trying them in rhythms, and changing up articulation can help to keep it interesting

Start using this before your practice sessions and see how it helps to improve your focus and in reaching your goals! Looking for resources to help boost your fundamentals? Check out the FREE downloads available here!

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