Choosing a Goal for High Intensity Interval Practice

Having a single focus will turbocharge your practice!

To get the “Intensity” in High Intensity Interval Practice, you need to be hyper-focused. A good way to do this is to identify a primary goal. In a later post, we’ll talk about recording your goals in your practice folder. Today’s post is about what to think about when selecting your practice goal. I’ll share my goals, then give you some ideas for figuring out your own.

The simplest goal is preparing for a specific concert. If you’re a beginner, you can organize informal jams or house concerts to gain performance experiences. As soon as you’re able to, try to get plugged in with a college or community group that performs regularly. When preparing for a performance, be sure to budget adequate time to learn repertoire. As a bonus, your repertoire will be picked for you (we’ll cover tune selection in tomorrow’s post).

Another effective goal is to learn more about a specific domain of a certain genre. Maybe you want to learn Latin drum grooves or other timekeeping goals. Maybe you want to memorize several jazz standards in all 12 keys or other melodic goals. Maybe you want to solo in odd time signatures or other soloistic goals. As you gain more experience with HIIP, you’ll get better at crafting these types of goals.

For the next five weeks, my goal is to prepare for an upcoming Gypsy jazz concert. Because my time is limited (5 minutes a day, plus time for setup and tuning), I need to stick to the timekeeping domain. This will involve practicing basslines in the upper and lower registers of the bass (something that is technically challenging). In the future, I want to practice melodies in the upper register (melodic domain) and solo material – such as scales, arpeggios, etc. (soloistic domain). It’s important for me to stay focused and address each of these one at a time.

Today, take 5 minutes to answer the following questions and craft your own, single-sentence goal:

  • Is there a specific performance that I can prepare for?
  • What genre(s) am I interested in learning?
  • Which domain – timekeeping, melodic, or soloistic – do I wish to focus on?

Tomorrow, you’ll pick tune(s) to help support your primary practice goal!

Author: Leah Pogwizd

Bassist and Instructor

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