Premier Guitar

"First, Learn to Practice" Book Released

May 20, 2013


Orlando, Florida (May 17, 2013) -- First, Learn to Practice, a new book by Tom Heany, explains practicing from the practicer’s point of view. Part philosophy and part nuts-and-bolts, First, Learn to Practice describes attitudes, ideas, approaches and techniques that will help you practice better and, as a result, play better.

First, Learn to Practice is suitable for players of any instrument, at any level. The book describes practicing as “searching for and mastering the ideal motions necessary to play music.” With the emphasis on motion, there is no music theory, and almost no music notation. Much of the book’s advice is in the form of clear and memorable ideas, like “Our heads learn it before our hands do” and “Music is not what we do – it’s the result of what we do.”

The book’s chapters are short and easy to read at one sitting. They are arranged in three main sections: “Seven Big Ideas,” “Seven Good Habits,” and “Tools.” Any of the Big Ideas (for example, “You affect everything by concentrating on one thing”) or Good Habits (“Be consistent”) can be used to focus your practicing for a day, a week, or a month or more. In the section on Tools, Heany describes using a metronome, making a practice plan, and “looping,” his method for getting the most out of all the repetition that practicing requires.

Tom Heany has been involved with music his whole life as a student, a teacher, a player, a writer and, yes, a practicer – for 13,000 hours, more or less. For 16 years he was the Director of Programming for the National Music Foundation. He also served as a contributing editor for the National Guitar Workshop.

For more information:
First Learn to Practice