I practicing bassoon enough?’ is often something bassoonists ask
ourselves. But a more pertinent question may be, ‘is my practising a waste of
violinist Noa Kageyama thinks musicians’ practice can often be mindless, and therefore
counter-productive. Habits such as repeating the same section over and over, or
playing a piece on autopilot, can harm our playing in the long run. ‘You are
actually digging yourself a hole, because what this model of practicing does is
strengthen undesirable habits and errors’, she says.
she advocates ‘deliberate practice’, a more scientific approach to practicing.
This is a slower and more focused way of playing our instruments, and involves
regular observation of where, and – more importantly - why, we’re making
approach is hard work, but you’ll be happy to hear that when done correctly,
results can be obtained in a short amount of time: ‘keep practice
sessions limited to a duration that allows you to stay focused. This may be as
short as 10-20 minutes, and as long as 45-60+ minutes.'
Camden, a famous British bassoonist, in his book Bassoon Technique (P.16,
Oxford University Press 1962), writes rather wittily on the need to
are many most earnest and conscientious students who blithely recount the hours
they have spent at work each day, cheerfully believing that their progress will
match the hands of the clock, speeding onwards. To listen to them practice is
often to be very disappointed. Most of the time is virtually wasted effort.
They will play through scales and studies many times, making the same mistakes
each time. If they are aware of them and go back, they will play the whole
thing again, instead of picking out the naughty bits and working at them with
great concentration until they are correct. Other times they will pick out the
bits they like to play and do these over and over again, while the tricky
passage lurks round corner and trips them up almost unnoticed! Ten minutes’
hard work at a few little bits is worth hours of aimless 'playing'.’
let’s take some time to assess our practicing methods. We may soon be reaping