It is human nature that we don’t do a lot of the things we know. And that certainly includes practice techniques that we’ve learned over the years, like flow studies, flexibility exercises, long tones, multiple tonguing, and more. We need to stay on top of all of these with regularity, but we don’t always do it.

Virtually all of the thoughts I’ve posted in this blog on practicing are already known to anyone who has ever been a student musician; so the question isn’t, “Do I know about this or that technique?” The question is, “Am I
using it?”

I have a very fine professional horn player friend who says, “Every day I have to learn to play the darned thing all over again.” She starts every day with the basics.

I think each of us needs to:

a) Figure out which exercises or practice regimens we need to maintain regularly, and;

b) As needed, retrieve practice techniques from the past to meet new challenges in the present.

Liz Axtell (MWS Principal Horn) shared a couple of links, one of which focussed on one of those techniques we may be forgetting to do routinely,
practicing slowly.

We all slow down technically difficult passages to learn them. However, this article shows how practicing really slowly bestows benefits that go far beyond merely learning the tough passages.

Liz also recommends this regarding
how much we should practice, and this link for a whole lot of great thoughts on music-making in general (thanks, Liz!)