Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Ways to get the most out of practice

Yep, I'm still at it! Here are some of the different tricks and ideas I'm using to keep myself motivated through my practice. Unfortunatlely, this post is only going to be of use to serious musicians...
  • Practice each hand on its own and try to memorise the part. It's amazing how I come to remember one part by its relationship to the whole.
  • Put the metronome on set to slow and try to get the whole thing even. When the piece has a lot of big chords, this is very valuable. I use first one hand then both, trying to get it as even as possible.
  • Put the metronome on set to fast and challenge myself. I play just one passage at a time and try to get it really moving along. It forces me to get the rhythms even.
  • Just play through the piece and focus on the interpretation. If I really don't feel like doing drills, this can help me to get into practice.
  • Play backwards from the end. Work on a passage at a time starting with the big finale! That's always the bit that needs to be confident if the energy is going to keep through - otherwise you're just waiting for the hard bit to start.
When I'm really having trouble motivating myself, I think about how important it is to do justice to the piece of music. I'm not really motivated by exam results, so it's more useful to play properly through respect for the composer. If only I could find an equivalent motivation to get me working hard on my maths!

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