How to practice music efficiently

I’m sure you have wondered how to practice music in a more efficient way. Especially when you end up watching some virtuoso guy playing difficult parts easily and effortlessly. All that with virtually no mistakes. No playing errors. Nada. How the heck is that possible?! Even when you finally learn something reasonably complex, you just can’t seem to be able to play it without making at least a couple of mistakes. So how do the pros do it? Here’s how.

How to practice music efficiently

  • Firstly, you of course need to have the urge, a strong desire to want to learn how to play the new, seemingly impossible thing on your instrument.
  • Close out and shut down the negative, questioning, second guessing parts of your mind. You do that by focusing on the task itself, and advancing step by step.
  • One of the important aspects of knowing how to practice music is knowing the term muscle melody. It’s one of the three keys to it, if you will.
  • Once you figured out the notes you want to play, start playing the sequence very slowly. Super slowly. The slower, the better. It’s not only the tempo of the piece that needs to be extra slow. It’s the movement of the body parts that are involved in playing that piece (fingers, limbs, mouth, etc.), too. Try to imagine yourself as a scene captured with super slow camera.
  • how to practice musicAfter a couple of very slow tries, you’ll get it down. Then comes the second key to this whole thing: repetition. With repeating the stimulus of playing the piece correctly, the memory will be very strong in your brain. The reason why you need to do it slow is because the brain needs to experience the correct sequence repeatedly. If you would repeat mistakes, or a mix of correct and incorrect versions, the brain wouldn’t be able to get a clear, strong signal on which version to learn. Repetition is the occurrence of the very same thing multiple times, not a sequence of even just slightly different things.
  • The third key for how to practice music efficiently: sleep. Following the practice, you need to get a very good sleep. That’s when your brain actually learns what you practiced. It kind of sorts out the data you put in your memory during the day. The next day, you’ll experience how much easier it is to play the piece you practiced the day before.

How to practice music efficiently

Some tricks:

  • Don’t practice things that are too similar to each other on the same day. It can confuse your brain and eliminate the positive effects of repetition.
  • When you need to learn pieces that require the simultaneous movement of different body parts – fingers, limbs, etc. – practice the movements separately. You’ll notice that the parts will learn the… um, parts perfectly.
  • When independent movement of different body parts is required, it also helps to figure out the rhythmic pattern of the parts separately. That way, you’ll be able to hear the rhythmic relationship between the parts and the whole.

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