By: RV - September 17, 2012
A must read for any musician! If you want to get the most out of your practicing sessions, you should read this book and apply the suggested strategies.
5.0 out of 5 starsJust what I needed
By: AmzLuv - June 23, 2012
Stop wasting your time practicing without this guide. And follow it to the letter. Kaplan has it all figured out, you just need to follow the system. You will progress much, much faster and view music and your instrument in a new and elightened way. The Technique of the First Try is especially invaluable if you have an upcoming audition.
By: Defygravity - December 14, 2011
Need help making your practice load fit the time allotted? More to the point do you feel that the time you spend is just not productive? Are you practicing more and enjoying it less? This book will help with these and other problems and explain why the negative things that happen during practice can often be signs of positives if we react to them in the correct way. Baffled by this double speak? Get the book and by all means do what it says - the author points out that for the system to work it needs to be followed - give it a chance - it will free up your practice tremendously.
By: KnitMom - October 10, 2011
This book is fantastic - it has helped me get back into my practicing with great results. I have been playing violin for 3 years, and have improved just by playing my pieces a bunch of times each week. However, I was getting to the point where I stopped improving so much just by doing that. I bought this book, and read it all, marking some tips that I thought would be helpful. I ended up marking a lot of tips. I've started incorporating them, and the first week my teacher said "whatever's in that book, just keep doing it!" It has given me a focus for my practicing, and helped me to figure out what I want to accomplish with each piece. Plus, it's very motivating to follow the plan and see results. I would highly recommend this book for anyone looking to make their practice sessions more productive.
By: David - November 23, 2008
As a long-time music teacher and professional musician, my own experience confirms the dismay I see on the faces of students confronting the task of practicing. This book is, to say the least, extremely helpful in clarifying the practice process. More to the point, it is inspiring, insightful, and, I believe, essential to students of all levels. Wanting to learn music brings us together, but understanding and communicating how to do it is a gift from a Mr. Kaplan.
By: Aage J. Barlundon - August 7, 2008
I have studied music for years, and only recently started to produce the outcomes I have desired. When I stumbled upon this book while minding my teachers two cats I knew I had found the secret ingredient missing in my practice routine. I knew I could improve my planning, but I didn't know how. This book puts it right in front of you in easy to follow techniques. Also, the ideas on expectations are great. Just keep improving, one step at the time, and success will eventually follow. The way he puts it is, again, easy to understand and follow. "Better is perfect, and PERFECT is irrelevant!" If you ever want to make the most out of your practicing buck, this book is a must!
By: ronjazz - December 12, 2013
out of 5 stars - Highly Recommended
Brilliant, immediately helped me get more done in less time. Useful for all instruments and for singers as well. Anybody will benefit.
By: Amazon Customer - December 6, 2013
out of 5 stars - Major Change to My Practicing Time
The attitudes and especially the laminated sheet have helped me improve my playing. I also add more techniques as time goes on. Techniques are deep and vital to improvement, but there's no "all at once". Great stuff!
By: H. Dehaven - October 4, 2005
This "Practice Log" is the best thing to happen to my guitar practice time in years! By sitting down and planning your daily practice a week in advance, you set yourself up for a much more orderly practice time.
Yes, you could create a log for yourself. However, I bet that you would not think of all the little extras that are included in this one. One of those little extras is a laminated sheet to plan your week (on one side) and your next day (on the flip side) of practice. I suggest that you use permanent markers for things that do not change often (erase with rubbing alcohol) and use non-permanent markers for the things that change often (erase with water). That has worked best for me with less mess.
The graphs that you generate in the back of the log tell it all. If you are not putting in the time for practice, there it is in black and white. YOU see it and YOU know why you are not advancing as you might want. There is just something about graphing it out that makes it more obvious where the problems are. Speaking of which, there are sections to make note of what you feel your weak areas are and what your strong areas are. If you are working with an instructor, this information could be of use to them. If you are "self-teaching," it certainly tells you where you need to focus your future practice!
The instructions explain how to use the log in simple terms. This is a "tool" that would be useful to the beginner all the way to an advanced player. There are sections for you to "reflect" upon your practice over the past week/month/etc. There are also sections to make notes on ways that you think of to improve your practice or find more time for practice.
It will take you a week or two to get used to the system, but it is worth it. I saw significant improvement in my time management when I began using the log.
It would have gotten five stars instead of four if there were better goal-setting sections. Goals are implied by the material that you are scheduling into your practice, but I think that a section with weekly/monthly/yearly goals would be helpful. On the other hand, it is nice to have that separate since you may have a two-year or three-year goal for your musicianship as well, and each log book holds only 16 weeks of data. Having these goals written out separately may work out better. Besides you can print your goals out in big red letters and put them on the wall in your practice area to always keep them in sight! It is my humble opinion that you need daily/weekly/yearly/and long-term goals in order to stay motivated.
By the way, I use these logs for guitar practice, but I don't see any reason that they could not be applied to piano, voice, or any instrument.
You owe it to yourself to at least try one. It may work for you too! Besides, it is an inexpensive experiment and you may just find that you also enjoy using them.