33 Random Thoughts I Have While Practicing

Is it just me, or does your mind tend to wander more often than it should when you’re practicing?

I’ve actually stumbled upon some pretty great blog ideas while practicing, but other thoughts…not so much. Here are 33 random thoughts I’ve had while practicing:

  1. Can you wear teeth whitening strips while practicing, or will they move around?
  2. I wonder how bad it is to drink coffee during my practice session…
  3. I really should stop crossing my feet when I’m practicing.
  4. I wonder how many reeds I’ve ever played.
  5. Have police ever used reeds to collect DNA evidence?
  6. They should make an – but for clarinets.
  7. Are there any historical reeds that are still intact?
  8. What should I eat for dinner?
  9. If I eat a snack now, I’ll just have to brush my teeth again.
  10. Why does the Mendelssohn Scherzo never get easier?
  11. Ditto Daphnis.
  12. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could transfer my current clarinet skills to my 10-year-old self?
  13. Why is it more fun to practice without wearing shoes?
  14. Remember that time you squeaked in orchestra during your solo in 7th grade?
  15. Or that time you missed the page turn in the 4th movement of Muczynski’s Time Pieces?
  16. I should really play more contemporary music.
  17. *practices a little* But am I actually improving?
  18. Somebody should make a reality TV show about the life of classical musicians (in addition to Mozart in the Jungle).
  19. I wish I could watch TV while I practice.
  20. Why do my cats hate the clarinet?
  21. I wonder which composers were cat people.
  22. Why are certain types of people drawn to certain instruments?
  23. How long have I been in here?!??
  24. I shouldn’t have spent so long practicing Kroepsch.
  25. Has anyone actually finished all 416 Kroepsch exercises?
  26. But…what do you do when you’re done? Do you go through them again? Or are you done with Kroepsch forever?
  27. Are you ever done practicing technical exercises?
  28. I wonder if all those years of playing video games helped or hindered my technique?
  29. I should practice more etudes.
  30. What does my practicing sound like to non-musicians? Do they think I’m crazy for playing everything over and over again?
  31. Do they like the music I play?
  32. I wish the clarinet was more culturally relevant than just Squidward.
  33. I should practice more.

Leave a comment below with your most random practice room thoughts!


  • Dan

    >it would be cool to trace both clarinets and previous owners.
    Since the only really identifiable information about instruments is the serial number (image recognition is probably hopeless), it’s not terribly hard to make. I think the selling point should be a place to check if your instrument is not reported to be stolen or missing though.
    If you are really interested, I could make a quick prototype, but promoting it is on you — I apparently was born for obscurity to the point that sometimes people I know personally have been using my works without realizing I’m their author, and in a few instances even sent me links to my own works. ;)

    • jennymaclay

      I have never seriously thought about creating a database like this, but by all means you should create one if you feel so inclined!

  • Dan

    It’s definitely not just you. I get those too, such as:
    1. [Looking at the window that under certain conditions reflects only the clarinet but not me] Do vampires prefer nickel-plated keys?
    2. What does the impendance spectrum of this trill fingering look like?
    3. Is there an instrument no one played Handel’s sonatas on yet?
    4. I should transpose that piece to the clarinet.

    >They should make an – but for clarinets.
    Wait, you mean for tracing “artistic genealogies” or tracing previous owners of instruments?

    >Are there any historical reeds that are still intact?
    Depends on the definition of historical, but I’ve stumbled upon someone selling a box of seemingly unused Weltklang reeds on the internet, and Weltklang went out of business in the early 90’s I believe. If their reeds were as awful as their saxophones, they are better left unused forever though.

    >I wonder which composers were cat people.

    • jennymaclay

      Haha great practice room thoughts! Now I wonder if vampires prefer nickel keys….
      And for it would be cool to trace both clarinets and previous owners. For historical reeds, I was thinking about older reeds (like Stadler’s reeds for example), but certainly any unused reeds from the past are interesting!

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