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June 21, 2005


Rules of effective practice

Just happened to read about the Wynton Marsalis’ “12 rules of effective practice” (for learning Jazz) which I thought was equally applicable for Tango as well.

Here is a brief summary.

  1. Seek out the best private instruction you can afford. It can take years to figure out what a good teacher can show you quickly.
  2. Write out a schedule. Include fundamentals always.
  3. Set realistic goals. Set goals. Chart your development. Challenge yourself.
  4. Concentrate when practicing. Develop the ability to FOCUS. Do not “just go through the motions.”
  5. Relax, practice slowly.
  6. Practice hard parts longer. Confront your deficiencies.
  7. Always play with maximum expression. Give yourself over to what you are doing. Do everything with the proper attitude. Do not be a cynic. The expression you play with is your style.
  8. Learn from your mistakes. Do not be too hard on yourself. Resolve to improve each day.
  9. Don’t show off. Expression, not tricks or gimmicks. Showing off misses the point of group playing.
  10. Think for yourself. Respect your teacher, but think things through for yourself.
  11. Be optimistic. How you feel about living is who you are – “Music washes away the dust of everyday life.”
  12. Look for connections between your music and other things. The more you discover similarities in things that seem to be different, the greater the world you can participate in.
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1 Comment
  1. Sep 30 2011

    Marsalis is a consummated musician, but some may not be aware of that, so perhaps you might want to clarify that you’re talking about tango musicians before the perennials clueless try to make another foolish association about how we learn to dance tango at the social level.
    Thank you for the information.

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