Practicing Effectively For Quicker Progress – Part 2

Last time we looked at the big picture for planning our practice and then taking a
action to get results by working on the most challenging parts apart from the rest of the piece and then later putting it all together.

Today I just want to say that it takes practicing perfectly to play perfectly.  Here’s what I mean:

Here’s a definitive method to discovering exactly where the parts that need the most work are, the ones that need some work, and the parts that you can just ignore.

You’ll need something to record your playing on for this one.  You’ll also need the sheet music, tabs or written notes of the piece in its entirety, that means from start to finish, every single note.

Here’s the process:

1) Play the entire piece 3 times through entirely into you recorder.  If you make a mistake don’t stop and correct it, just keep going.

2) Listen back to the tape.  Every time you hear a mistake circle it in the sheet music or tabs.

3) When you are done you will have some parts that are circled 3 times, others 2, others once, some not at all.

4) The ones that are circled 3 times are your most challenging.  Plan on practicing those first and more often.  Ones with 2 circles are second priority.  Those with one may have just been a fluke but practice them anyway.  If its not circled just ignore it.

5) Repeat the parts until you can play them SEVERAL TIMES with no mistakes.  Don’t just get one good one and move on!  Play then 4 or 5 times IN A ROW, NO MISTAKES.

6)  Now you are ready to play the whole piece.  Get out your recorder, record it 3 times again and repeat this process.

7) Keep repeating the process until you can play the whole thing 3 times with no mistakes.  Yes, I’m aware this mat take weeks or even months.

Hope this one helps you become more of a perfectionist when it comes to practice.

-Bob