We’ve all heard it before: practice makes perfect, or perhaps perfect practice makes perfect .
I’m, as JJ Johnson called it, a “practice-oholic.” I really enjoy working out new ideas on the saxophone and maintaining optimal performance conditions. It’s become a part of who I am.
I recently read a great book by Daniel Levitin, This is Your Brain on Music. Levin mentions some research by Dr. Anders Ericsson.
Ericsson asserts that “the critical difference between expert musicians differing in the level of attained solo performance concerned the amounts of time they had spent in solitary practice during their music development, which totaled around 10,000 hours by age 20 for the best experts, around 5,000 hours for the least accomplished expert musicians and only 2,000 hours for serious amateur pianists.” source
So there you have it. Get busy – there are a lot of hours to put in if you want to become an expert.