HOW TO PRACTICE
RULE #1 - ALWAYS PRACTICE SLOWLY
REMEMBER THREE THINGS:
1. Right Notes
2. Right Rhythms
3. Steady Tempo
Here are some specific practice strategies when you are struggling with a section of your music.
1. ADD A NOTE: Start with 2 notes that you can play, then add 1 note. Practice those 3 notes until perfect and add another note. Continue that pattern.
2. CHUNKING: Learn 1 measure. Practice the next measure. Play those 2 measures. Learn the next measure. Play those 3 measures.
3. ISOLATE THE PROBLEM: When you are practicing, you don't have to start at the beginning each time! Go to the problem spot and work on that. Remember - the problem could be a measure, or just a few notes within a measure.
Find the Problem - Isolate the Problem - Practice the Problem.
4. WORK BACKWORDS: Start at the end of the piece and practice the last measure. Go back 1 measure (the next to last measure) and practice the last 2 measures.
5. LOOK FOR PATTERNS: You will often find that music repeats itself. Take the time to look through the music to find repeated notes, rhythms, patterns or phrases. Quite often you will find sections of the music that you have already learned.
6. GO TO THE "EASY PLACE": Before getting to the point of frustration and exhasperation, stop what you are working on and play something just for fun: a melody or song that you know, buzz your mouthpiece, play the Bb scale. Once you are able to achieve success again, go back to what you were working on.