Practicing your instrument is fun, isn't it? I know it is a daunting task to learn a new piece of music, scales, or musical exercise. But when you nail it, it feels good. The only problem is, how do you practice correctly? Sure you can practice for hours a day and get no where on a song. Or you think you get somewhere, but you just don't retain the knowledge. Your problem probably is, you're not practicing correctly. My father once told me, "My football coach always told me, if you don't practice perfectly, you won't play perfectly." I know he's talking about football, but the same concept holds true for instrumentalists. It doesn't matter if you play a woodwind, brass, strings or percussion instrument, practicing perfectly will help you get better quicker.
A simple tip for better practicing is playing your scales. Maybe, make it a point to do two or three before you start your practicing through the day. If you don't know a scale, learn it. Then start to gradually speed up your tempo to help with speed when you are practicing faster songs.
Start off a song slower than written. I know, that's boring. The thing is, if you speed through a song you will miss accidentals, key changes, certain rhythms, and trills/grace notes. If you go slow and gradually speed the tempo, you will not miss those things, and you'll retain more knowledge of the piece of music.
For more tips on how to practice better please click here to read Perfect Practice means Perfect Playing By Alexa Gates.