Your own hard-assed training coach

I still practice my music on a daily basis. Sometimes I have a few hours, most times I have less than one, but I still try to pick up the guitar and the double bass for at least a little bit each day.

When I was in college, I would create detailed lists of the exercises and pieces that I had to practice every day. When the list began to get incredibly long, I had to start budgeting my time and assigning a time limit to each activity, just to make sure that I’d get to it and still have time for everything else. I would sometimes create sessions that would span up to an eight hour period if I could afford the time, and would mix up my routines with breaks and stretching, studying, and even how much time I was allowed to eat. It kind of went over the top there for a while, but the basic idea of creating a structured practice plan has always stuck with me.

Lately as I get more and more into my daily music activities, I have found myself again starting to work off practice schedules. Time could not be more limited. Between working full time, hanging out with my wife and kids, and taking care of all the other daily needs of modern life, I find my available practice time becoming shorter and shorter. That’s why it is even more important to ensure that I have an efficient, timed schedule for everything I need to cover. If you just flop around on the instrument for a half hour, you’re going to go nowhere.

One thing that I had always hoped for was an integrated practice coach sort of software application. Something that would let me list a series of tasks with timed intervals, and it would be oh-so-cool if it would turn into a Dr. Beat or something.

Well thankfully someone has come up with the task/time component. Enter FlexTime. The developer describes it thusly:

FlexTime turns your Mac into a hard-assed training coach for whatever it is that you do.

This is exactly what I needed. I had actually been trying to scrap together something for myself in a more web-2.0-ey vein by incorporating some of this functionality in a PHP/MySQL/JavaScript/Ajax sort of thing, but really this is almost exactly what I need to maximize my practice efficiency, and it’s pretty much ready to go here and now.

Why aren’t you practicing?

2 thoughts on “Your own hard-assed training coach”

  1. I just stumbled across your site while checking out the bass blog Big Bottom. I really like your site and content. It looks like you are also a del.icio.us user. I have been working on incorporating del.icio.us into my blog in different ways, and I think it is a really excellent tool. I’ll definitely keep checking out your site.

  2. Hey Jason! Welcome, and I liked reading your blog as well! Nice to see more and more bassists out there getting in on blogtending.

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