Practise strategies

Get the most from your practise time
  • Make sure your instrument is set up properly, practise time on an unplayable instrument is wasted time.
  • Know that it’s up to you. Your playing is not improved by lessons, it is improved by practising in between them.
  • Schedule your practising – assign twenty minutes a day rather than ‘When you feel like it’.
  • Layer your practise – separate your tone and timing rather than trying to nail both at the same time – it’s not realistically achievable.
  • Always practise to a rhythm. When practising scales count through them evenly, when you are practising a chord change do so within a count of four to encourage rhythmic rigour. Rather than speeding up the count add more strokes of each chord to reduce the time available for the chord changes in increments.
  • Avoid speed. Trying to play fast before you can play accurately will truncate your learning. Accuracy makes speed achievable, not vice versa.
  • Practise the passages which need practising. It is pointless to practise a whole piece of music if the same four bar section is consistently giving you trouble.
  • Take notes of points you are consistently struggling with and discuss these with your tutor.
  • Set yourself goals. Focus on a piece to improve the standard within a set timeframe if you can.
  • Keep it varied. Don’t keep going around the same few pieces. Even if you don’t get bored your brain will and you will stop improving.
  • Keep it interesting. If you are getting bored with your set pieces tell your tutor and seek alternative pieces. Play music you love.

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