Piano | Percussion | Practise
Piano | Percussion | Practise
Piano | Percussion | Practise

Book Review: The Art of Practice

by David Connors

TL;DR: Don’t waste your money on this book. It is shallow, short and poorly written. The useful information in it would fit on a napkin. It concludes with a legal threat against copying, though it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to.

Dittmar capitalises on his reputation as a Cirque Du Soleil performer, which initially drew me in, given their extensive practice and expertise.

It’s troubling when you spend USD$36.99 + shipping (AUD$75.37) on a book, only to discover it’s a mere 98 pages with large text. If you’re as stupid as me and bought this book, you’ll find this pearler on page 37 (and believe me, getting to page 37 was an effort): “I pride myself on being transparent with you and it’s important to do so but what’s even more important is to give you results in advance, so let’s not waste anymore of your time and begin!”. At least Laido honestly admits that the first ~40% of the book was a waste of time.

The ostensible message from this book is Laido Dittmar recounting his life from a failed circus performer to being a successful circus performer by finding <insert amazing secrets here, buy my online course> method enabling time to make AmAzINg PrOgReSs. There’s scant evidence to support his assertions. On page 26 he almost sounded like he was going to do something empirical by asking experts a series of structured questions: “[as many of] ‘the best of the best’ [five questions]” only to quickly conclude with “But in my case, questioning them didn’t work at all.”

After like the 10th or 20th time, repeatedly listening to the same kind of answer, which were all so similar and unclear I understood they couldn’t really tell me even if they really wanted to, simply because they weren’t clear about it.

The Art of Practice and Speaking like a Valley Girl by Laido Dittmar (might even be an insult to Valley Girls)

The entire book can be summarised by the advice I am sure you’ve never heard of before:

  • Practice according to the 80/20 principle.
  • Do the hardest parts of your practice while you’re fresh.

At the end of the day, this is an MVP (Minimum Viable Publication) to shill his “master class”. Check out the cringe material here: https://thebookofpractice.com/masterclass – the enticement to subscribe is right at the end of the book just before the legal threat, which contains:

  • A notice to bad guys who “who wants to go to jail and/or get sued?”
  • [ … ] I will have my attorney contact your and make you wish that you’d never had such a stupid idea in your life. Count on it.
  • I regularly and actively search the Internet for people who violate my copyrights. By adding this warning I hope you don’t end up like the ones who tried and paid the price for it.

A great closing note for your paying customers.

The book is useless, and its high-gloss finish even prevents it from being useful as BBQ kindling. You’ll get a more instructive, to the point, and satisfying learning experience by talking to ChatGPT.

Go read this instead: The Talent Code and The Little Book of Talent

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Thank you for this review. My impression without reading the book is that this was as shallow as you indicate. Not sold on Amazon, and when I asked the author why on his FB ad page he replied with nothing tangable and noted I was the one “missing out” when I said I would not buy without an independent review. Classic hucksterism by degrading my decision to not buy withiut being informed.

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