Hi! Here are some of my thoughts on practice which come from my own experience and from helping my students. I think practising is a very individual thing and each person needs to explore a bit to find what suits them best and be free to be flexible from day to day. Anyway here are some common practice problems and I hope you might have fun with my suggestions!
1. Wandering concentration
~ if possible find the best time of day when you feel alert and calm
~ be clear - Decide how long to practise for, what you’re going to practise and what you want to improve
~ Try to stick to the plan!
~ divide your practice up into sections eg. 10 minute chunk for each piece
~ Having a goal like a performance coming up can focus the mind
2. Lack of inspiration?
~ have a chunk of practice time when you don’t worry about playing everything correctly….let your imagination go wild for a bit!
~ try experimenting with different sounds - what is possible on your instrument?
~ put your instrument down and sing the music, mime playing it, or even dance to it!
~ try some improvisation (can be simple as simple as you like - even on one note)
3. Feeling stuck/tired/aches and pains/discomfort
~ put the instrument down
~ listen to a recording or read about the music you are playing
~ take a short break, refresh and continue ~ lie on the floor with your knees bent and some books under your head, allow some of the tension to let go
~ never keep push yourself if you are in pain
4. Stuck on one difficult bit?
~ try to simplify as much as possible
~ don't keep going over and over on autopilot!
~ slow it right down, maybe use a metronome
~ how many ways can you invent to practise it?
~ if you’re brave, try recording or filming yourself for extra feedback
Good luck! And happy practising…