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Tip : Find benefit in the “boring”

Don’t neglect the more “boring” tasks of practice.

It’s really important to spend a few minutes each day practising the exercises your teacher recommends. For example scales, and long tones for wind and string players.

But why?

Scales, played neatly at a good speed, help to strengthen your finger muscles and also aid you in understanding key signatures. They also help you when sight-reading, as scale passages become almost automatic! Scales help to tune your ear in to major and minor tonalities and give you a sense of the roles of scale degrees—useful for improvisation!

Long tones help wind players develop their diaphragm (where your “puff” comes from!) and improve stamina, tone and tuning. String players develop better bow control, tuning, vibrato and arm strength. Listening intently while you play long notes develops your ear for timbre and intonation, helping you become a more expressive performer.

You’ll find that most traditional “boring” practice activities actually have these kind of underlying benefits!

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