Saturday, May 5, 2012

More practicing help

I recently discovered a blog, Practising the Piano, written by the pianist Graham Fitch (I have added it to my blog list here), and his most recent post is an excellent guide to how to make the most of your practicing experience, starting with having a good teacher and going on from there. Here is a link to that post (British spelling courtesy of the original author, and respect for cultural differences :)):

Top Ten Tips to Maximise Your Practising

I actually already do a lot of these, but one I have been trying out the past couple of days is the idea of doing "one measure + one note"; that is, play just one measure and the following downbeat, stop, rinse, repeat as needed. He suggests at least doing a set number of repetitions, perhaps three, but I am finding that some measures require many more.

So far I'm finding this is especially helpful for two main issues:

  1. Understanding where each downbeat is (in fact, where each beat is).
  2. Ferreting out where there are technical and musical problems on a small enough scale to be able to fix them then and there.
I'm sure as I delve into his list further it will continue to help, but I wanted to share this particular idea because it kind of goes against a distaste for emphasizing bar lines that I have somehow imbibed over the years. Maybe you don't always want to emphasize them, but you do need to know where they are.

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