The last few weeks have been a time of uncertainty for everyone, and sadly it looks like it could be a while until we get back to normality. However, it’s important to embrace the positive changes that we can make during these strange times and make the most of our time indoors.
That’s where Rockschool’s Practice Package comes in! We’ve created a list of a few resources that can help you keep your mind busy and stay positive while hopefully making some musical progress along the way.
Practise with Purpose Diary
Our free downloadable practice diary is great for giving yourself structure to your routine. It has space on each day of the week to write what you did, what you learnt, and how you want to improve. Set yourself regular goals, and if you can check in with your teacher during video lessons then there’s also room for them to suggest which areas you should focus on.
We’ve also included some useful tips from the talented teachers that make up our Teacher Registry. Even if you can’t meet with your teacher as you usually would, the advice we’ve provided might help you to think about things differently.
Nothing can replace having a face to face lesson with a teacher who’s an expert in their field, but Replay can certainly help to replicate some of the scenarios you encounter in a lesson.
You may be used to playing a solo part while your teacher comps, or vice versa. Replay allows you to play along to full band accompaniment, giving you the feeling of playing with others.
Practise with Purpose blogs
There's loads of material over on the News section of our website to give you advice on how to make the most of your practice. We've condensed some of the key tips for you on this page, but if you want to read more then click HERE.
Warm upIt’s always tempting to jump straight into your pieces when you practise, but taking an extra bit of time to warm up thoroughly can help improve your tone and sound.
Scales improve technical fluency, but remember to actively engage with them so that you’re not simply passively playing them as an exercise.
Focus your time
You may have more time on your hands than usual, but this doesn’t mean you should aimlessly practise for hours and hours on end. Keep your sessions efficient by allocating specific time slots to focus on different aspects of your music-making.
Take a break
When something’s not working, don’t get frustrated! While a routine is important, variety is the key to keeping interested and motivated.
It’s inevitable you’ll come across some difficult passages that you won’t be able to conquer in one session, so break things down into smaller chunks to make progress.
Listen to new music
Now’s the time to catch up on those albums you’ve been meaning to dive into. Try something different, revisit an old favourite, or find a new music playlist and hit shuffle!
Transcribing is often neglected because it is a painstaking process, but it is perhaps the best way to improve your improvisation. Whether it’s a Charlie Parker bebop solo or a sizzling Carlos Santana break, transcribing expands your musical vocabulary no end.
Head over to our Spotify to see playlists for guitar, bass, drums, piano and keys, all conveniently sorted by grade. We recommend the keys grade 6 playlist – there are some real bangers on that syllabus, even if we do say so ourselves.
Of course, you may want to reach further afield to broaden your musical horizons, in which case we recommend checking out Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist. It’s a great way of discovering new tunes that is based entirely on your listening history.
We are definite fans in the RSL office, but of course other streaming services are available…
We hope that you're keeping safe and healthy in this difficult time. If you want to share your practice routine with us, then get in touch at email@example.com or send us a private message us on Instagram or Facebook!
Don't forget to enter for your Rockschool exam before April 3rd if you'll be exam ready between May – end of July 2020.