(This is written by a musician with musicians in mind, but has cross-disciplinary relevance and is intended to inspire both beginners and experts in their field.)

What I have to say, is this: Practice! Practice…when you are inspired and uninspired. Practice through colds, tears, jackal voices of doubt and despair, paranoid delusions and family interruptions, after (or during) sleepless nights, after a gig, before a gig, when you have a spare ten minutes. Practice secretly or openly. Proudly or humbly. Obsessively and compulsively. Nonchalantly, playfully. Or defiantly. Practice! Practice through sore throats, broken nails, sub-standard equipment, noisy neighbours, cold, heat, thirst and hunger. Submit. Surrender. Or dominate and command your practice – but do it! Whilst Rome burns, practice! Whilst the waters rise, practice. Practice like there’s no tomorrow. Practice as though your life depends on it. (It does.)

Practice in practice rooms, sheds, forests, bedrooms, even in the prison cell of your mind, quietly, whilst honing courage and biding your time, if that’s what you have to do. Practice whilst you can hear others  resenting your practice and saying so. Lovingly assail them with the steady transformative beams of your practice. Your practice will change you, sharpen and rearrange you. It will reverberate through and shape the days to come…did you think you had a choice? You don’t. Practice. What makes practice easier? Practice. Practice the art of practicing. Practice HOW to practice.

Practice. How can you not? Practice in spite of it all. Because you’re worth it. If today’s practice session or gig was below par – hit the strings/keys/vocal chords with  a better attitude tomorrow. If today was easy – don’t get slack. Now you see where you have to go. So do it. Do whatever it takes. If you lose control of other things in your life, don’t lose control of your practice. Practice until your living room and public stage become one seamless, elemental expression of flow. Be like an eagle, wings drawing thermal arabesques above a mountain. Lean gently in or tip headlong into your practice. Let yourself be held, blessed and instructed by the glowing pathways of your practise. Devour it. Be hungry. Trust it. Practice makes perfect.

Practice! Because when you are not training, someone else is training…to kick your arse. So straighten up and fly right. Because it’s a gift that you give to yourself that trumps all material goods. Because it’s a labour of a love, a deed of power, a magical, non-negotiable act. Because sound heals cells in brain and body. (Individual, planetary and galactic.) Be both the iron in the fire and the smith at the forge. Be the potter and the clay. If you have hands, touch your instrument every day.

It’s all about the doing of the thing. In time, it will do you. You will become the work of art, and really, is there anything else in your life more worthwhile?

(Photo by Ron Hector. Pheasantry Jazz Club, Kings Rd, London, Oct 2013.)



(P.S. For those that don’t know me, I am a ‘Nu Jazz’ singer/songwriter, pianist and guitarist, based in London, UK. You can can check out my tunes and videos on my WEBSITE and come and like myFacebook Music page. Come and say hi…I would love to hear from you!)



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