The dirty room theory

Fellow double bassist Matt Frisch has a great post on practicing, and it’s worth a read for anyone who is engrossed with instrumental study:

hella frisch: the dirty room theory of practicing

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about practicing, and coming up with bizarre theories and analogies as I often do. I think that practicing is a little like cleaning your room – both tasks never seem to quite get finished, and both can be a bit of a chore, even though we’re much happier after we’ve done them well.

Also, just as the way you clean and organize your room says an enormous amount about you (Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink has a great chapter on this subject!), practicing can be an extension of your personality. In the past, I’ve been the type of person who keeps things in a state of semi-disarray, just messy enough that if someone is coming over I can quickly shove everything into drawers and closets and create an illusion of neatness. I’d like to be more organized – not only is it stressful to have to shove things in drawers all the time (stressful for me, as well as the drawers), but it’s pretty obvious when someone lives this way. You don’t have to poke around much to find the chaos beneath my veneer of order – just ask me for a pair of scissors, or where I put my keys!

Read on…

2 thoughts on “The dirty room theory”

  1. Thanks Joe, I’m honored! Your site is a great source of inspiration, providing that extra ounce of motivation when it’s time to pull out the Petracchi and do some thumb position dust-busting.

  2. Any time. Even though I’m no longer making a living at playing the bass, I still find myself obsessed with practicing and wishing I could find just a little more time every day to comb through some more of the knots in my playing.

    This topic reminds me of an earlier post on the subject.

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