Dec 11, 2008

Why daily exercises are a good thing

I was raised as a flute player, and as a flutist I got to play a LOT of daily exercises. Moyse wrote a book with daily exercises, Trevor Wye includes them in his series on flute playing, and lots of other famous flute methods include daily exercises.

Daily exercise is a great way of building your skill. Practicing for 15 minutes a day if you don't have more time (for example, when you have a full-time day-job...) is way more effective than practicing for 4 hours only once a week. Plus, you'll probably get too tired long before you reach 4 hours, if you play only once a week!

The trick to daily exercises is to concentrate your efforts. Don't just play through a piece you're working on, but focus on the difficult parts. Even better, work on exercises to build specific skills. On the piano, I haven't found a good collection of daily exercises yet, but I'm sure there must be some very good collections in the vast piano literature. I just haven't been looking for them yet, since I only (re-)started playing the piano about 10 months ago. If you have suggestions for good, concentrated, varied daily exercises, please share them in the comments!

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