Essential Secrets 3: Have Specific Goals
Have Specific Goals
Know what you are trying to do before you do it
Do you ever find yourself starting a practice session feeling unclear on what exactly you’re trying to accomplish? You know you need to make your song sound better, and you’re sure there’s a technical exercise to help you master it. But, you don’t know where to start.
The trick is to have extremely focused, specific goals every time you walk into your practice space. Decide what part of the song should be your focus, and know what you’re trying to master.
Create these specific goals each day before you start practicing. You’ll get much more done when you have a specific result you’re shooting for, and creating your plan will save you enormous amounts of time.
Here are three ways to make your goals more specific:
1. Choose a specific tempo. If the performance tempo is 120, your goal for today may be 60.
2. Focus on a specific section. Instead of learning an entire song, just learn one section of the song. Make sure that your goal is to play the section accurately without stopping or re-starting.
3. Fix a specific problem. Tackle the exact notes that are difficult for you. Every musical problem has a technical solution that you can figure out.
Creating specific goals will completely change your focus in the practice room. Instead of having a vague notion that your playing needs to be better, you’ll have specific targets to hit quickly today.
Imagine what you’ll accomplish with this goal: “I’ll play the last two measures of the A section and all of the B section at half-speed, with accurate rhythms and dynamics.” That’s so much better than saying, “This song needs some work.”
If you want real results fast, don’t be vague. Ambiguous goals lead to ambiguous results.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET