Woodshedding (noun) a centuries old practice technique designed to produce correct and consistent performance through relentless repetition. Sound like fun? Not likely.
The legendary jazz saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker is often cited as a musician who owed his success to the woodshed. As Parker told the story, after some embarrassing performances as a young musician, he began “woodshedding” eleven to fifteen hours a day. As a result, a frustrated horn player became a budding jazz genius.
“Woodshed practice” produces good results with this simple formula, which I call the Woodshed Theorem:
Repetition x Endurance (physical and mental)
The more repetition you do, and the longer you can stand it (that’s the endurance part), the better your results.
All we musicians know that repetition is a necessary part of learning our craft. That’s why we practice. And it is certainly true that the more we practice the better we get. But” taking it to the woodshed” is not without its downside. Let’s look at the pros and cons.
There are some clear benefits to “woodshed” practice:
There are some downsides:
Do we need to abandon the woodshed? I don’t think so, but I would like to offer you these tips to keep you happy and healthy while you’re there: