Today we’re going to look at a specific tool that is very positive and has great benefits to help you get over some stuck places or areas in your playing that you are perhaps not correcting in your practicing and playing.
Most times when we’re working through a decision we come up with a pros and cons list. This time though, we’re going to make a list of the areas that cause issues in our playing and keep us from growing. So, while it may sound like we’re focusing on the problems only, we’re doing so because we’re going to be turning them into positives and more, how pulling out the problem areas, can turn them into successful ones.
To start…have some way to start making a list. It can be really helpful to have some paper and a pencil at your keyboard so you can keep track of it when you practice. Digital notes in your phone or tablet work great too…just have them accessible when you practice so you can keep track of your list.
Things that you want to look for in your playing and include on your list are:
When we start to learn a new piece, we often have patterns of mistakes…such as we miss the same note each time we play a passage, or we hold a note duration too long or short and can’t seem to remember to play it how it is written.
In your scale work, if you are having trouble with a particular scale then write that scale down on your list and what the problem is as much as you understand it to be.
Look for patterns, and any scale, or passage in your piece that you consistently mess up on should be considered a problem area and is perfect for your “problem list”.
Once you have a good problem list written or typed up with at least 3-4 specific items on it, you’re ready to start knocking those problems off that list. Being so focused on these problem areas now will make you play the entire piece much easier in the long run.
Let’s look at four main ways that you can get the most out of your practice list.
In the following video I show you exactly how to focus in on a problem area in real music like one that you might include in your list so you can see how I tackle it using this approach.
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