1. Practice slowly.
If you can’t play it slowly, you don’t truly understand it.
Quick is fun and exciting, but it is a lot more gratifying when it is precise!
Steady tempo is also essential, use a drumbeat backing track or metronome if you find your self racing. Faster is not better. Steady and accurate with feeling and dynamics IS better.
2. Start from the end.
We love that upper left-hand corner of the page.
That is why the beginning of so many pieces are so solid!
TRY THIS Start from the end. Before you play through your piece. Play the ending, precisely and powerfully 3 times.
“End on a good note.”
Audiences remember the first thing they hear as well as the last thing they hear.
3. Practice transitions.
We as musicians tend to “chunk” our music.
We play one section, then another.
The bridge between the two often gets neglected and even more frequently, sounds neglected.
Be sure that you take the time to smooth out the places where you move your hands to a new spot, or where there are repeats or codas or the rhythm, mood, tonality, or meter changes. I can help you find these spots if you need to identify them.
4. Memorize your music.
Simply stated, if it isn’t memorized, it hasn’t been practiced enough.
When we are glued to the black dots on the page, we miss out on the joy of actually creating music.
You have to be able to allow the music to lead you.
Each note should not just last the prescribed number of beats; it should rise and fall with the emotions that you are experiencing in the music.
This can only happen if you aren’t reliant on reading the notes on the page.
You need to know your music well enough to look away.