Practice Won't Make Perfect

We’ve all heard the saying that “practice makes perfect.” Here's why it's false.

The truth of the matter is “Practice Makes Permanent.” Whatever you practice, you will do. If you practice the wrong chords, you will play the wrong chords. If you practice the right chords with the wrong fingers, you are still teaching your fingers the wrong thing. That’s why it’s important to practice correctly. Practice Makes Permanent.

One of the main reasons for this is due to the issue of ‘muscle memory’. Over time, as you practice, the muscles in your arms, hands, fingers, feet, legs, lips, and even ears will remember what you are playing.

If you practice a scale with a certain fingering, over time, your body will remember that. It will become second nature. And when you try to change that, it can be quite difficult to unlearn what you have learned.

As a drummer, if you always start one of your rudiments with your right hand and never practice starting with your left, you’ll never start with your left. Your muscles 'remember' these things.

It’s vital to practice correctly! Don’t take shortcuts, because there are none. Don’t take the easy road, because it literally goes nowhere. Make sure you practice often. Practice right. 

Ryan is currently the Worship Director at The Church at Wills Creek in North Alabama. He has been the keyboardist for many Christian artists and has served with several churches including Christ Fellowship and Church of the Highlands. Ryan is the keyboard instructor for and also works as a producer, music educator, and studio musician. Ryan has two children, Josiah and Vivy, and they love spending time on their 100 acre farm.

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Practice Makes Permanent

I am a living example of what happens when you practice wrong. As a flute player in elementary and high school, I played with poor posture and wrong fingering. However, did not realize this until I was an adult and took a flute lesson from a professional. Now it is so hard to break bad practicing habits. I wonder if I will ever be able to play open hole flute because you have to have good fingering to cover the holes.