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May 03

Stop practicing your mistakes

by in Fundamentals

Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.

Research shows repeating mistakes by just playing through without addressing problems can be just as bad as learning it wrong in the first place.

It’s counterproductive. Instead, try slowing your practice down, getting the notes right and nailing the tricky sections. It may seem fun to bash through pieces until you finally get it right, but if you’re not careful this can reinforce the incorrect neural pathways in your brain.

It’s important to take the time to master the details and then ramp up the speed. Practice Mode in Melodics is great for this, and you can use the Auto BPM feature to automatically increase the tempo as you get better. Repeating parts slowly to get the tough sections right will pay off over time.

Here are useful practice tips to get the most out of your Melodics time:

Create a quiet practice space, away from distractions.

This is the same thinking as not having a TV in your bedroom if you want to sleep better. Keeping your musical space set up specifically for practice can help reinforce the ritual and prepare you mentally for your session.

Begin with the end in mind.

Have a goal for your practice. What do you need to focus on today?

Practice smarter, not longer.

Map out your practice sessions just like a workout. Warm up with some easier lessons, or maybe go back and try perfect something you passed last week? You might then want to go and work on something specific like hand / finger independence or syncopation, before finally ending your session playing one of your favourite lessons.

Don’t always start at the beginning.

There’s nothing more frustrating than having to play through a piece you’ve nailed only to keep making a mistake halfway through. Rather than start at the beginning each time, work on that tricky part until you’ve nailed it – then try again.

Practice away from your instrument.

Visualisation can be really helpful to re-inforce what you’ve learned during practice. Just like in golf… Be the ball!

Let us know some of your favourite practice tips below!

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