How To Use A Stopwatch When Learning A Musical Instrument


in Music Technique

Musical Stopwatch

Musical Stopwatch

Most people are introduced to a stopwatch as a way to track time spent doing drills for sports or exercise, but you can also time drills when you are learning to play an instrument. A stopwatch can be used for tracking the entire time you spend practicing each day as well as the time you spend practicing a particular piece.

Some people use a stopwatch to time the breaks they take while playing, while others make themselves practice for a certain amount of time before being allowed to take a break.

Time Your Practice

Practicing is one of the keys to learning a new instrument successfully. It is important to set a practice schedule that works for you and stick with it as much as possible. You can use a stopwatch to make sure you practice for the allotted time each day.

It may not be easy to remember to practice your instrument at first, but it will become part of your daily routine if you have a set schedule. Most people give themselves one or two days per week off and practice the other five or six days at the same time.

It is a good idea to start with 30 minute practice sessions and progress to sessions that last one hour or more. You may even want to practice with other people after you are comfortable playing on your own.

A stopwatch can be used to divide your lessons or practice times into segments. The first segment may be used for playing scales, followed by time to practice songs you have played before and then songs that are new.

It is a good idea to set aside time to ask your teacher questions or get feedback about your playing if you are taking music lessons. Talk to your teacher about dividing your lesson time into segments and using a stopwatch to make sure you don't go over the allotted time for each segment. You may want to add 30 seconds or one minute between segments for transition time.

Challenge Yourself or Others

You can use a timer to track the amount of time you spend practicing your instrument each week or month. Some piano teachers offer their students a reward for spending at least five hours per week practicing, while others reward only the students who spent the most time practicing their instrument outside of class.

The reward may be a solo at a recital or a gift that is related to your chosen instrument. You can also use a timer to perform drills while you practice. Each drill may last as little as ten seconds or as long as two or three minutes, depending on the skill you are practicing.

If you want to know how good you are at playing a certain song, it is fun to see how fast you can play it without making any mistakes. First play the song in the amount of time it is meant to be played.

If you don't make any mistakes while playing, try cutting the amount of time you give yourself to play the song by ten or twenty seconds until you can play the song very quickly without making mistakes. This practice is fun and can be used to learn almost any song.

Time Your Breaks

There are two ways you can use a stopwatch with regards to taking a break while you are learning an instrument. One way is to make yourself play for 15 or 20 minutes straight before allowing yourself to take a break from playing. Another way to use a stopwatch is to time the breaks you take. Give yourself a five-minute break for every 20 minutes you play so that your entire practice time is at least 40 minutes and your break time is ten minutes or less.

It is easy to get distracted when you are taking a break from playing and forget to go back, so using a timer helps you remember to get back to practicing your instrument when break time is over.

Using a stopwatch is a fun way to get into the routine of practicing your instrument and make sure you are not cutting practice time short. It is also useful for dividing up practice time or lesson time so that you cover everything that needs to be covered in the allotted time and make progress each week.

The stopwatch can be used to track the progress you are making against yourself and others who play the same instrument. It is a good idea to record your times so that you can see the progress you are making over time. It is important to take breaks so that you don't wear yourself out, but it is also a good idea to time your breaks so that you don't get sidetracked and forget to start practice again.

About the Author

Online Clock are the creators of one of the world's most popular Online Stopwatch Applications located at This stopwatch is easy to use and free; just load it into your web browser and beginning timing your music practice sessions immediately! It's also ad-free.

Luis January 11, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Great idea. I want to also mention that there are a lot of great stopwatches online. Just Google “online stopwatch” and you can pick the one you like the best. My favorite is

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