Ever practice like this?

beatdat

Senior Member
I was practicing a musical exercise, and the last bar was giving me a hard time. So, I isolated the bar for a bit and kept going over it. When I done, instead of starting at the beginning of the exercise, I started at the second last bar, and went over the two last bars for a bit. When I was done that, I started at the third last bar and went over the last three bars for a bit. I kept doing this until I ended up at the beginning of the exercise.

I have to say, it was an interesting experience, almost as if I was seeing the exercise for the first time, but with a greater understanding of it than I had up until then. I'm inclined to try it again with other pieces.

Anyone else ever try this, or have another interesting approach to practicing something?
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
There’s a lot of ways to do this kind of thing, but my favorite is to start at the middle of the difficult spot, then (always very slowly to begin with) play one note forward, then the original note, then one note back. When I master that, go two notes forward from the hard spot, then play it backwards until you are two notes back from the hard spot. It’s a continuous looping, reversing and then going forward again.

It’s really helped me learn hard xylophone parts, but it applies to any instrument.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
There’s a lot of ways to do this kind of thing, but my favorite is to start at the middle of the difficult spot, then (always very slowly to begin with) play one note forward, then the original note, then one note back. When I master that, go two notes forward from the hard spot, then play it backwards until you are two notes back from the hard spot. It’s a continuous looping, reversing and then going forward again.

It’s really helped me learn hard xylophone parts, but it applies to any instrument.
I was taught pretty much the same thing when I played piano growing up. Essentially, the point was to not just isolate the difficult part, but to play a bar before it and a bar up to it a bar after it so that you learn how to lead into the difficult part and come out of it.

Thinking about what I was doing in my original post, I realized that part of it was giving the later bars in the piece equal playing time. Too often, I think we start something but not always finish it, so the first bar gets played more than the last bar. What I did helped give the last bar and those proceeding it equal playing time.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Sure. Do it with students, too.

If you're working on something hard and the tendency is to start from the beginning and you never get to the end, this might be a way to go about it.
 
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