What to practice?  Well, there are a lot of variables that can go into this: music genre/type, upcoming gigs, transcribing, goals, etc.

Practice or Recording Station for Pedal Steel

Let’s say we’ve got the whole day or week ahead of us, and we have a lot of time to woodshed on our instrument or the pedal steel.  Let’s make the most of it.  A lot of great jazz improvisers, and great musicians, recommend treating your practice day as three-fold:

Spend the first-third of time on: technique.  (picking exercises, bar control, bar slides, pedal control, different grips, volume pedal use, etc.)

Spend the second-third of time on:  scales.  (Modes, patterns, runs, exercises, etc.)

Spend the third-third of time on: songs.  (Upcoming gigs, Emmons tunes, jazz chord-melodies, classic/traditional country tunes, etc.)

This should ensure you’re working on the multiple disciplines necessary to become a better musician and steel player.  Plus, by the time you’ve knocked out technique and scales, you feel very warmed-up and ready to tackle those tunes (which are usually more fun to practice anyways –save the best for last!

Bun Bun - Bunny in Deep Forest

To check out some books and literature that have helped me become a better human, musician, and practice more efficiently – Click Here!