Tools to Help You Practice Better

It doesn't matter whether you're sitting down for your first lesson on a new instrument or you've been playing for years — you have to practice. To improve your playing, there are some tools available to you that will help you get the most out of your practice time.

1. Use a Metronome

A metronome is useful in lots of ways during practice.

If a piece has a fast tempo, you will not be able to play it accurately at that speed when you first begin learning it. Using your metronome to learn it at a slower tempo will help you familiarize yourself with the music as you practice. Once you feel comfortable playing it at a slower tempo, you can start raising the tempo until you reach the suggested beats per minute (BPM) speed.

If you're a musician, no matter your skill level, this tool is a must-have. Browse through our metronome inventory to find one to help your playing.

2. Use a Tuner

If you play certain instruments, like pianos, you may not need one. Some instruments stay in tune mainly on their own. If you play an instrument that requires you to tune, like a guitar, using a tuner will help you keep it in pitch. Practicing with a tuner will not only help you keep your instrument in tune, but will also help improve your ear.

The more you use the tuner while you play, the better you'll be able to recognize certain note. Having a better ear will also help you easily pick up on mistakes. If you don't quite get that chord right, you'll be able to tell right away.

A tuner is a great tool because it is pretty inexpensive. Knowing how much it could help you practice better, check out our range of tuners online, from clip-on guitar tuners to standalone ones.

3. Record Yourself

This is a really underrated tool that could help you improve your playing. You can make an audio or a video recording. With an audio recording, you can make notes of any areas where you're having problems and possibly pick up on certain things that you need to improve.

A video recording would be very helpful if you're a performer. You can see yourself as the audience would see you without ever going on stage. You may notice some things that could make your playing, and your performing, much stronger.

You could use Garageband to record yourself and other similar tools. But if you want a quality recording, even when you video record, too, you should get a high-quality microphone. Check out our inventory of microphones now to find the right one.

4. Make a Schedule

If you like to put off practicing or just have a busy calendar, it may help to create a practice schedule. Use a planner or other similar calendar tool to map out which days of the week you'll practice and for how long.

If you know your scheduled practice time is the only time you can practice, you're more likely to make the most out of it. On the flip side, if you tend to slack off while practicing, you can help yourself by doing more deliberate practice.

5. Create Multiple Sets of Warmups

If you're just starting out, warmups will help you become a more confident playing and will give you the building blocks you need to learn more complicated music. Even if you're a pro, warmups will get your hands moving (depending on your instrument) before you dive into harder stuff. Professionals often practice and warm up before shows in order to make sure they are fresh and ready to play their instrument to the best of their ability when on stage.

To find great deals on the tools we mentioned, and even ones we didn't, check out our store online or visit us at one of our two convenient locations in the Bay Area of California.

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