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