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If you do not practice you will not improve. It’s as simple as that.

This is the first place to look if you feel your improvement is not what it should be. How much are you practicing and how are you spending your practice time?

I suggest you keep a practice journal to track these issues. You can use an app on your phone if you like, or, if you want to go “old school,” here is a PDF download you can print and copy:

Practice Log

Make several copies of this handout and use one page per day to track the amount of time you are spending and what you are spending your time on. This page is divided into 3 sessions per day. This is a good starting point – try to log at least 3 sessions per day – even if each is only 15-20 minutes.

You are better off spending a little time practicing every day than you are not practicing at all for 3-4 days and then trying to make up for it by practicing for 3-4 hours on the next day. Slow but steady wins the race.

How much time is enough? That depends on your goals. If you are a performance major in college, you had better be logging 2-3 hours/day regularly if you want to be competitive in this job market. If you are a music ed major, the expectation may be less but that does not mean you shouldn’t strive for excellence. I like the idea that every student reach his or her individual full potential, regardless of major.

If you have a busy day with little time to practice, I recommend you do a daily routine as opposed to practicing repertoire or ensemble music. A daily routine is designed to cultivate your fundamental skills slowly but surely over time and is the most important part of your practicing. If your fundamental skills improve, everything you play gets better but if you practice your solo, then just your solo is likely to improve.

Here is a free routine I wrote that you can try – it helps you improve by challenging you musically, which should make it fun to play!

Viral Routine

Here are some excellent resources for Daily Routines:

DRTT web scaledDRTBone Student Front scaledDRBT Web scaled







Purchase Daily Routines for Tenor Trombone.

Purchase Daily Routines for Bass Trombone.

Purchase Daily Routines for the Student Trombone Player.

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