One of the things we don’t often realize is the foundational work amazingly talented people do to get where they are. Basketball players practice shooting free throws. Quarterbacks play catch. Golf players work on their putts. Gymnasts stretch. These things are the most foundational exercises any of these people continue to do on a regular basis.
Any professional musician knows that scales and warm-ups are the best at preparing our bodies and brains to perform. As a pianist, if I only have 10 minutes to sit down to play, I try to knock out my major scales and the chords in each major key quickly, precisely, and efficiently! As a vocalist, if I’m getting ready to perform on a short notice, I focus on my breathing technique and make sure my vocal folds are warm and buzzing properly. These things continue to make me a stronger musician.
Here are 10 tips for building foundations:
1. Do the Brain Work First – If you think through what you need to do before you do it, you will be more likely to do it properly the first time.
2. Dive In – Doing it poorly is better than not doing it AT ALL.
3. Go SLOWLY – Slow and incorrect is better than fast and incorrect. If it’s slow, you can figure out where and how to correct it.
4. Connect Practice to Other Consistent Things – Play/Sing your scales before or after each time you brush your teeth, eat breakfast or dinner, or right after homework if you're in school.
5. Be Kind to Yourself – You’re not going to start off playing/singing perfectly. Don’t expect perfection.
6. Work Hard – Work that skill until you’ve got it.
7. Breathe and Relax – Nothing ever gets better with frustration, stress, and tension. Stay calm. Breathe.
8. Don’t Over Do It – Do it 3 times with excellence and then move on.
9. Perform for Someone Else – You can’t get over those performance nerves unless you dive in.
10. Ask for Feedback – You won’t get better unless you get good feedback. (This is why we’re here to help!)
Give us a call to help you set up your very own foundations routine!