The Jam with Lauren Blog

Practical tips from Lauren about becoming a better fiddler.

Three ways to keep practicing on a schedule

August 13, 2014

Practicing your fiddle regularly is a sure-fire way of building your skills. But how do you keep practicing on a schedule, especially when things get busy? Here are a few tips to make a regular practice schedule easy.

1. Keep your fiddle case open

Obviously, find a safe place in your home for your fiddle to live. But keep your instrument unpacked so you’re more likely to pick it up when you walk by and play a tune. It’s also one less step when it comes time to practice. Which leads me to….

2. Make an appointment with your fiddle

Chances are, if you have an appointment with someone, you’ll show up. Practice can often be pushed off to the next day and then the next too easily. Establish a routine.

My dad likes to practice in the morning for 15 minutes while the coffee is brewing and he’s toasting breakfast. His practice is taken care of for the day if he can’t get back to his fiddle, but chances are he’ll be motivated to pick it up after work because he’s still inspired from the morning.

And if you’re not a morning person, that’s okay, just pick a time each day that works for you. Set an alert on your phone so you know it’s time. It’s better to get your hands on your instrument every day for a shorter amount of time than binge practicing for hours every weekend.

3. Set goals

Goals can be anything! Like, “I want to learn a new tune a week.” Or, “I need to learn chords to tunes I only know the melodies for.” And “I want to be able to jam this tune with my friends the next time I see them.” Often a social situation is a great motivator. No jam in your town? You could start one! Suggest to a friend so you can play together. Search out fiddle camps and festivals and put them on your calendar a year in advance so you can make sure to plan and look forward to an event!