2 practice techniques that work
One of the most important things about learning any instrument is effective practice. Mindlessly playing the same passage over and over again, or playing the same mistakes over and over again can actually hinder progress. I used to do this for years, until I learnt some more effective ways to practice. That, I will discuss just a few things that I’d found to work well. The practice technique I use most is rhythms. My teacher at music school had me do this, and I recently rediscovered it with my current teacher. What you do is take a passage that is really give you trouble. Something like a fast passage in the last variation of the first movement of the Mozart k311 sonata. I’d even done this the dominant 7 and arpeggios. First I break the passage in to sections of 2 or 4 bars. Then I play it first with a dotted quarter eighth rhythm, after 4 or 5 times, the other way around. I do this until I can play it correct both ways. Then I play the passage in triplets. After I can play it like this, I play it as written and notice the huge difference. Another thing I do is accents. I do this mainly with arpeggios to increase the tempo. First, I play the arpeggio making sure to play it in 4 beats per bar. It can be hard at first, because it’s natural to play it with 3 beats per bar. But I’d found playing it with 4 beats per bar makes them sound more even. Accent the first beat of every 4. Then accent the second beat, then the third beat and then the fourth beat. Then play it as normal 4 beats per bars with no accents. I was surprised just how well this method works.