Have you ever been learning a certain piece and had it almost all completed and polished except the practice spot?
I have. And I know my students have as well. I spend large portions of my teaching time helping students make it through these elusive trouble spots.
Some students even ask me if they can play the whole piece except that part. (funny, but no)
Take your repetition number all the way to 100
Here are some of my best tips and tricks to fixing up those spots so they will shine like the rest of the piece:
1. Identify the spots before starting to learn the piece.
2. Bracket them with a highlighter or a pencil.
3. Work on this spot 20 times and then evaluate.
4. Give it a rest for the rest of the day.
5. Next day, look at it again. Listen to a good example of what it is supposed to sound like. (hopefully it is a piece I have dissected for you and provided a recording)
6. Count the spot carefully aloud. Name the notes aloud.
7. Do another 20 repetitions. Then play the spot backwards 5 times. (the notes, not you)
8. Day 3 – you are probably almost proficient. Take your repetition number all the way to 100 today.
9. Celebrate! It’ll be easy now.
5 thoughts on “The Practice Spot”
My teachers alway told me to practice well, because practice doesn’t make perfect it makes permanent. So when I have a really tough spot I go super slow, and aim to first get the note pitches perfect, then the rhythm, then I slowly start to put it up to speed. I have also done the reading the notes backwards, and that really keep you on your toes!
You are totally correct, Grace. Practicing well is the aim. Practicing does make permanent, so practice carefully and smartly. 🙂
Yeah, I have one and still now I need to read the notes, if not, quite impossible to accomplish it. But still in the way!
So true – practice makes perfect. I follow your advice Rebecca and I’m getting there. I have an exam in the next couple of months and your advice is timely. Thank you.
You are very welcome, Maria. I’m so glad I can help. 🙂 Rebecca