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The Practice of Practice

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  255 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Talent means nothing when it comes to getting better. Practice is everything. But exactly what is good practice? How does good practice create talent? And what in the world does a pinwheel have to do with practice? The focus of this book is music practice, but these techniques and mindsets can be applied to any skill you want to improve.

This book covers essential practice
ebook, 276 pages
Published June 8th 2014 by Sol Ut Press (first published June 1st 2014)
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Beth Robinson
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Very accessible and with great information. I enjoyed the stories, how he brought in different theories, and suggested ways they could apply to an individual. I'm looking forward to rereading the book and translating the ideas into the kinds of things I practice - as I am most definitely not a musician.
Terry Noel
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Harnum has produced a solid book on what it means to practice and how to get better at it. Combining current research with his own experience as a musician, he takes the reader through both the fact and the feeling of becoming excellent at something. While music is Harnum's particular context, the principles found in this book can be applied to nearly anything in life that allows improvement.
Philo Vance
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is excellent if you're trying to learn how to do ANYTHING better. Check it out.

Wonderful for musicians. Very helpful and insightful for anyone who is trying to learn or improve any skill. Don't pass it up.
Mario Nzualo
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
really good book on learning and practicing. the book focuses most on music but I am going to apply it to dancing. really inspiring book.
Apr 26, 2016 added it
Shelves: music
Interesting book about practice. Harnum presents several angles, though sometimes I wish he would've dug into some harder "skills" from the different performers he spoke to. I.e. nutritional habits, etc.
Mar 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Intersting book, not only for musicians - contains lots of good ideas about how to practice to get better at what you do.
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent mix of advice and anecdotal information, with lots of great reference material and links.
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
The rather informal tone and the short chapters make this book very readable, and an light commitment for those looking to pick some ideas about practicing.

Despite citing several scholarly sources, the book is not academic by any means. It should probably be approached as a compilation of ideas vaguely supported by scholarship, and strongly support by the author's personal experience. There is something here for everyone, although experienced musicians will probably be aware of the techniques an
Tom Kleinert
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great, fun read for any musician

I struggle with looking at the long list of songs I'd like to learn and deciding what to work on. This book helped me create "mini-goals" to focus my practice. Instead of grabbing at lots of different things every time I sit down, I've got things I can complete and check off the list. The author has great sense of humor, and best of all -- he recommends naps.
Janis Berzins
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A great book about practicing musical instrument. It really made me think much more broadly about the practice. The book is also easy to read, so I finished it really fast, which is a plus. A lot of ideas I will implement in my practice routine, which is great. This book is very useful for every musician, even the one, who knows how to practice. Great book.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not sure how I stumbled onto this book. It was a freebie Kindle. I've never read a book about practice before. This is about practice in general, rather than a specific instrument. Some useful ideas.
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
A really helpful book that has given me lots of ideas about different ways of practicing. The book successfully introduces a number of approaches that can work for different individuals and styles. Most importantly, it demystifies practice and often redefines it as a fun activity. Thank you.
Gábor László Hajba
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book, made me re-think my musical practice approach (I have to admit that I started making and learning music in January 2018).

If you think, you're stuck at your current level, read this book. I bet you'll end up with new ideas how to approach practice and improve yourself.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I will be reading this again. Worth multiple reads.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read on practicing and music psychology. Very entertaining to read too. Highly recommend.
Mary Lewis
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I need to get the physical copy of this and annotate the heckin heck out of it. SO useful.
Jun 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Harnum's "Practice Like This" has much of the same material but is a better read. This book goes into more depth on a lot of things I didn't care as much about.
JJ Meredith
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good survey of science regarding "deep practice" and mirror neurons, with a variety of strategies to freshen up your practice routines.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book is about how musicians practice, and the mentality behind mastery achievements. There are several takeaways I have from reading this book.

* Always challenge myself out of my comfort zone. Craft my practice to go beyond what I feel comfortable with at the moment, and keep making marginal progress. It might not feel like a lot at the time, but as little progress accumulates, we can see a huge difference.
* Have fun. Think of each time we spend with our instruments as a session for creativ
Peter Swenson
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music
Every musician should read this.
Dawn Lennon
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Finally, a book that puts practice in a broader, deeper perspective than just putting in hours and keeping a log. Harnum, himself an accomplished musician and music educator, provides a holistic view of what it takes to keep getting better at whatever musical instrument you play. And it's a book for everyone at every stage or age in their music adventure.

Written in concise, short chapters, replete with internet links, references to musicians, events, and studies, this book covers everything from
Sergiu Burlacu
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a very enjoyable read. The chapters are short, with many catchy stories of practice rituals of great musicians. Practice is a very personal ritual, some people have very structured routines while others need to allow for as much flexibility as possible and spontaneity. For a long time I've been searching obsessively for the perfect practice schedule instead of just practicing. Since reading this book, practicing became more enjoyable, I managed to find balanced between structure and cre ...more
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
Not really worth reading. Didn't take much away from it. The entire book could have been summarized by a single page bullet list without loosing anything important.
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Informative, very interesting, written in a very accessible tone. Liked it very much and learned a lot ftom it.
A book somewhat based on his blogposts but he did a good job fleshing those out and adding more information to his book. Lots of links to media and musicians and many nice reminders about practicing.
Matthew Giobbi
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Nancy L Osterhaus
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Sep 08, 2014
Rēñ MĦřĵñ
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Mar 02, 2018
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Jan 19, 2018
Wilbert Van Der Kruk
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Sep 06, 2018
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I'm a author, musician, educator, and proud Alaskan. I play trumpet, guitar, and anything else that makes a cool noise.
“No matter what gifts you have, practice is the only way to get better at anything.

"If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery it would not seem so wonderful at all” - Michael Angelo”
“If you want to get better, you simply have to practice. There’s no way around it. Even though Prasad, Sona, and Rex all had beneficial early experiences with music, each has had to spend thousands of hours in practice to acquire their musical prowess. Rex told me, “If people could’ve lived my life and all the hours I’ve spent practicing the tuba alone in some little room someplace, they probably wouldn’t label me as being particularly talented.”[6]” 1 likes
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