How to Make the Most of Your Practice Sessions

Hello! I’d like to start by thanking everyone for reading my interview in the March edition of the LocalsGuide. I’ve been meeting so many wonderful people in Ashland and look forward to many more great musical conversations in the coming months!

As a performing music instructor, I’m looking for students that are eager to learn and are excited about taking their playing to the next level. I can help you to achieve your playing goals by giving you structured, bite-sized lessons filled with all the knowledge you need to succeed! Having a private instructor not only keeps you accountable but it also vastly speeds up your progress. An instructor also gives you perspective that you may not see otherwise.

Here’s what a current student has to say about taking private lessons.

I have been taking lessons from Todd, since January and I am so impressed! He is extremely knowledgeable on all aspects of music that I want to study. He is also very patient and able to explain things in a way that is easy to understand. I highly recommend Todd if you truly want to be successful.

Jim DeHart

Drum Student

Practicing is huge part of playing better. Here are a few tips to get your practice sessions more productive.

Warm up

Warming up is a vital component of a productive practice session, and one that is too often skipped.

All serious and professional athletes take the time to warm up before working out, and the same should be true of musicians Without stretching them out and getting them prepared, you risk performance injury, which can hamper your ability to play.

Pick an exercise, a scale, or anything that really gets your fingers moving. The key is to start slow. Increasing the speed gradually from a very slow point will allow your body to ease into the necessary motions and wake up all of the required muscles.

Record yourself

If you don’t already, record some of your practice sessions! The tape doesn’t lie! Your recordings often reveal ugly truths, as all of the small playing errors are right in your face. This is a good thing, however, since it allows you to identify problems in your playing that are difficult to hear otherwise.

Apply your practice

This is probably the most important part of practicing. With any new concept, make a point to rehearse it through application. The best way to do this is to insert it into a song you’re working on. If you’re learning a handful of new chord-voicing concepts, take a song that you like and run through the changes using only the new chords you’re working on. Or take that fancy new lick you just learned, play it in every key, then write a solo around it. If you practice new concepts by simulating a real-world playing environment, it’ll be significantly easier to actually apply them when performing.

Thanks again for such a warm welcome and please, if you see me around town feel free to say hi! If you feel it’s time to get serious about your playing, give me a call at (541) 331-0709 or visit