Tuesday, September 4, 2007

slow practice

Many students practice slowly because they are afraid to make mistakes - but how else are we going to reach the tempo of a piece if we never practice it at the desired tempo? You can't learn to walk without trying to walk, or run without trying to run. Don't be afraid to fall down a couple of times. Make the mistakes and ignore them - enjoy the tempo instead. Do a little bit at a time, but get used to the new speed. We have to become conditioned to it.

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Jon said...

A great professor and friend of mine at NEC once brought up the discussion of slow practice. He concluded that in order to play musically, we must also practice musically. Thats why his teacher, Gustav Leonhardt advised him to never practice with a metronome, because it will destroy ones sense of rythm! I also believe that practicing slowly and not musically will result in an un-musical performance. It is possibly to practice slowly and with deliberation while still maintaining some sense of musicality.

halve regal king said...

It's a very good point Jon,

However, I am wary when I hear someone use terms like "never" or "always" when it comes to the practice or performance of music.

A metronome is a tool that can be used wisely or unwisely - just like any other tool.

Best to you,


Paul said...

This completely fits in with how I'm now tending to work at pieces: slow practice of course but, by also regularly playing at the intended tempo trying to get the spirit of the piece, and what I want to do with it, so that the slow practice has true relevance and isn't just a dry exercise in achieving correct execution of the notes.
Totally agree with your comments on metronome use as well.

Just a visitor said...

It all depends on metronome you are using...there are good ones and bed ones..hehe just kidding,but this one even has ability to remind you in given time intervals of your goals while praticing:

Anonymous said...

Sorry to comment on such an old post but slow practice has become real important to me lately. I used to play a piece at the tempo I "felt it". Just recently I've started practicing slowly, say 40bpm. This has made a huge difference in my understanding and technical advancement. So far it has been a huge help and I see great wisdom in practicing below tempo.