I think something professional musicians don't do enough is talk about the things that we struggle with. And I'm not talking about those tricky passages in ridiculous music, I'm talking about the stuff we REALLY should know by now.
Theres a basic music skill that i still really struggle with, and has brought me some mild personal shame. (It should be noted that I cover this struggle pretty well)
I struggle to count bars rest. Small ones are fine, but once we get past 5 or 6 theres a pretty good chance i will have miscounted. And if I haven't miscounted, I'm probably convinced that I have.
I have some very vivid memories of sitting in youth orchestra as a young flautist, completely lost within yet another 56 bars of rest. Most of the time I would have memorised the cue, so I would try and guess where about's in the music we were and anxiously listen out for the cue (whilst simultaneously praying I hadn't missed it already)
After my first year I started to develop a "backup counting" technique that I still occasionally take advantage of to this day. I would take note of the music on my "neighbours" music stand. For a piccoloist, that usually means you can see flute 1 and 2 and Violin. I would seek out the rehearsal mark and place it on their music.
Whilst this technique works reasonably well, it does have it's flaws. Sometimes each person would be playing from a different edition of the score, which leads to irregularities in the layout, thus making "cheating" difficult. It also isn't 100% effective at solving the problem of missed cues.
Now, I'm considerably better at counting bars rest now than in my early flute years, but I still find myself getting lost more often than I think I should be.
Any advice about counting bars rest is welcome in the comments. I already double check my counting on my fingers. THANKS :)