That Guy

Some of you struggle with practice as much as I do. I worry that I don't practice enough, or that my practice isn't effective enough, focused well enough, or as intense as it ought to be. Maybe it's just human nature.

It's not that there aren't enough effective strategies out there. It's not that I don't have goals...maybe it's just motivation or maybe I'm not desperate enough, hungry enough, driven enough.

I was reading an article recently about running on The Oatmeal and 'the Blerch'. Basically, Matt Inman (The Oatmeal creator) motivates himself to run with his imaginary Blerch antagonist, and rewards himself with Birthday Cake when he completes a milestone objective.   

Motivation. Visualization. Objective. Reward.

Rick Estrin uses that visualization motivator (subtly) on his 'Tips and Tricks' DVD.

Here's what I propose we use as a motivator: Imagine 'that guy' - you know, the one that comes up to the stage and wants to 'try' one of your harmonicas. Let's call him 'Gus'. The guy that plays loudly in the back of the room during a show - plays badly, off-key, out of time, trying to bend the wrong notes, tin-eared and absolutely unaware how horrific he sounds. The guy that can't play Juke, or splits, or that really cool Big Walter slap, or... ok, I admit it that guy was ME.

Now visualize: With every practice session, every scale mastered, every skill acquired 'That Guy', Gus recedes a little further into the distance, and is a little harder to hear. Visualize him shrinking into the distance as you practice. Pretty soon you won't be able to hear him at all!  

Seriously, check out the link above. Matt has the right idea, use it to come up with your own motivation and reward system to energize your practice. Cheers!