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Instrumental Musicians Top 3 Tips For Better Practice
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Sometimes learning an instrument can seem so difficult. It is easy to get bogged down with technical aspects, especially if you are finding them hard. Here are some practice techniques that you can use to help you learn smarter.

Learn Your Scales I know they are boring. However, scales are fundamentally important to music and when practiced diligently will improve your skills by leaps and bounds. Practicing your scales helps because all music is made up of scales. Often there will be passages in music that are whole or partial scales, if you have already practiced, these will be much easier for you.

The best way to practice your scales is with as many variations as possible. Play them with different rhythms, different fingerings, in thirds, sixths, chords, octaves. Play around with intervals and go up the scale that way. This will help you to keep scales interesting and will also make it much easier for you when you reach a passage in a piece of music that requires these techniques.

Plot Your Course While learning scales will help you immeasurably with the technical aspects of music, there is also the phrasing aspect of music. This is the natural ebb and flow of the piece or song, where it rises in intensity, gets louder or softer and where each phrase starts and ends. A lot of music is like a conversation. Music is not just all on the one level – it breathes and moves like poetry.

A great exercise to help you find the phrases you want to bring out in your performance is to draw it on your music. Make a photocopy and get out your coloured pencils and study your music. Mark the phrases, where they begin and end. Mark the climaxes, where the intensity is and also the softest parts. Draw, as best you can, the musical journey that you want to take the listener on.

Break it Down Once you have drawn your idea of the piece, you will need to practice it. You may think it’s enough to just play the piece through a few times, but that is not practicing. If you make mistakes, don’t keep going – you are practicing the mistakes into your performance. Instead, when you come across a difficult passage, break it down. Don’t worry about the rhythm at first, just play the notes. Once you are used to the notes and know where you are going, just practice the rhythm. Eventually you will be able to put it all together slowly and then bring it up to speed.

With these tips, you will learn much faster and smarter. What’s more, it’s the kind of learning that will stay with you for life and your instrumental skills will improve. The most important thing to remember is to keep practicing and learning new things as often as you can.


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