Creating the Perfect Practice Space

What does your practice space look like?  I'm referring to the space, room, or area that you sit down and practice your instrument. Is it messy or is it clean? Does it have art hanging on the walls and various other furnishments that inspire? Is it bland and detrimental for you to succeed in efficient practicing?

For a practice space to work for you, to allow you to be the most efficient musician when it comes to practicing, it has to be clean and void of all distraction such as clutter and garbage. One reason why this is necessary is that clean rooms, even nicely designed and furnished rooms, lead to better inspiration of the human mind.  Why do you think big corporate companies hire expensive Space Planners and Interior Designers?

Setting up your Practice Space:

Pick a room, if not already done, to start your practice routine in - every day. Set up your gear and instruments, and make sure that it is somewhat devoid of sound coming from other places - i.e. family, friends, pets etc...

Set up a workstation, a place to keep your sheet music, documents, music and industry magazines, and lesson notes. Organize this area.  For example, if you are looking for, let's say, a book on Modal Jams and Theory you can find it quickly without ruining the flow and groove of your practice regiment.

If you have a computer in this room, or a stereo or nowadays an ipod then this is ideal. This is a place where you can bring up jam tracks or recording software to practice too. Such as when you want to practice improvising in various keys or the original key, you can bring up a jam track or record some chord progressions quickly and easily without having to dig around.

Set up the place in which you sit and actually practice your musical instrument. Make sure you have a good sturdy music stand and a spot to place your metronome. It should be close to where you keep most of your sheet music etc... The key here is to make sure the flow of your practice routine is as uninterupted as possible.

Hang some magazine pictures of your favorite and most inspirational musicians on the walls.  Any art that you like would work too. Anything that inspires you - color, photos, sculptures. But make sure it is clean and neat.

When you walk in to the room, close the door and put your belongings somewhere away from your main station for practice, leaving the room as neat as possible and free of distraction. Turn your cell phone off! Neat as possible can not be any more important!

Those are the first preliminary steps for setting up and maintaining a great, inspirational, and work friendly practice space. Practice makes perfect and allows us to become the best musicians possible, thus having a room filled with distractions - be it noise, garbage, clutter, clothes etc... - can easily throw us off track from our musical goals.

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