How to practise

Please feel free to share any of your tips and ways in the comments below!

So first things first:

  • Slower is much better than faster
    • I was overeager to learn a piece, which meant that I ended up learning lots of mistakes, which were a pain to undo!
  • Rhythm is always important!
    • Metronome it (I’ve lost many a mark from not keeping a steady tempo)
    • Subdivide beats in order to accurately place notes of smaller durations.
      • E.g. For a dotted quaver, followed by a semiquaver. Hear the 3 semiquavers within the dotted quaver so that the final semiquaver is placed accurately.
  • Count the rests – think of each rest as a beat of its own
    • It’s good practice so you know when to come in, whether you are doing a solo or in an ensemble.
  • Scales and exercises help an awful lot (I’ll do a post on scales separately)
  • Use a tuner and set it to play a certain note to use as a base note
    • It definitely helps for intonation!

 

Ways of practising:

  • Work in small sections, such as a phrase or even a bar
    • Each time you repeat the section, you should be aiming to improve on the time before
  • Practise from the end of the piece first!
    • Often we’ll play from the beginning, which means the end is weaker and more nerve-wracking!
  • Listen to lots of recordings of your piece
    • Listen out for the phrasing and their interpretation, as well as the style of the piece.
    • It can be useful to play along, particularly if you are playing in an ensemble
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