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80

You will always make mistakes, so the key is practicing in a way that eliminates mistakes. "Practice makes perfect" is a Big Lie. If you don't practice in a smart method you will never get that good -- so what is important is not just practice itself, but good practice technique. When practicing a piece of music or song, there are really two modes I ...


19

Two aphorisms: "Perfect practice makes perfect permanent." - Me "Don't practice until you get it right, practice until you can't get it wrong." - Lewis Carroll?


18

Musical memory comes in two flavours: unconscious (muscle) memory and conscious (mental) memory. Muscle memory comes with repetition and can prove to be surprisingly long-lasting - provided it has had sufficient reinforcement over time. It's something that gets ingrained every time you play a piece - provided you know it well enough to play it without ...


18

Practice makes perfect. Really, there is no magic to it. Just keep practicing so that you won't make that mistake again. Practice or practise (see spelling differences) is the act of rehearsing a behavior over and over, or engaging in an activity again and again, for the purpose of improving or mastering it, as in the phrase "practice makes perfect". ...


11

Start with small chunks and gradually add to them. I sometimes start at the end of the piece, learning the last 4 bars, then the last 8, last 12 and so on so when I come to perform the full piece, I'm always moving towards the more practised part of the piece. After introducing your fingers to the chunk, play with a metronome as slowly as you need to to ...


11

This won't help with full orchestration and the like -- if you're hearing all that clearly then you're way ahead of me. But for melody, shape of harmony, rhythms you want to capture, etc, a voice recorder can help. I've found that sometimes a melody deteriorates as I try to transcribe it from my mind, so I start by singing/humming/la-la-laing it into a ...


9

I would first suggest, if you have a say in the matter, try to cover songs that you can connect with on a personal level (that you don't find to be nonsensical). I'm sure you chose this one for some reason, maybe it's just about the instrumental aspect, but you will find memorization easier if you can find personal meaning in it. The lyrics aren't ...


9

There is a distinct pattern going on in this (known as a sequence) which is actually easier to see in the sheet music for it. I'll include it so it can easily be referenced. Let's look at the bass note in the first measure. The first three notes are just descending in the key (A minor) then jumps up a major 3rd to "lead" to the next note. The upper part ...


8

About practice the music itself to be able to play it perfect, refer to the already accepted answer from Kyle Brandt. This is a good answer! About being able to play it perfect before an audience This also requires something else: Self confidence and experience. The first time(s) you play before an audience, you will most likely make mistakes, even if you ...


8

There are a number of great ways to practice any given pattern. Taking the rhythmic skeleton of your passage, you can apply 3 different Duple-based patterns, each with two 16ths and an 8th. Modifying the rhythm of each triplet thusly helps to develop 3 overlapping schema for each possible way to group 3 notes. Note, it's better to think of these, not as ...


7

After seeing this question, I decided to join music.SE and hopefully contribute something. It's been a while since I read The Inner Game of Music, but the main concept stuck with me: Performance = Potential - Interference Most musicians (and performers of other kinds) only try to maximize their potential, usually by the methods listed above. ...


7

Think of the reason you're giving names to notes: communication. So, it depends who you're communicating with, their expectations of you, and your expectations of them. When I play soprano ukulele, I think in terms of the guitar fretboard - the intervals between strings are the same as the top four strings of a guitar. So in my head, I play a guitar "D" ...


6

There are plenty of good answers here (in particular, the discussion of the major practicing pitfall around "practice makes perfect? No, practice makes permanent!"). But I'm a little surprised that no-one has yet really focused on the very big issue of what actually happens during a performance, when the mistakes we fear and hate still make their visits - ...


6

1.) "Sing" the song in your head a second ahead of your fingers. 2.) Memorize your piece so that you can play it from memory. Start with a single measure and play it without the music in front of you. 3.) Practice Scales and Arpeggios. Do them for every key major and minor until you can do them (literally) blindfolded for the entire length of the keyboard ...


6

Concerning ornaments (dynamic, expressive and tempo indications are a different case) I think you should try to look at them and train yourself to play them as they are written and by this I mean that you should train to see them as very useful abbreviations, as composers do to write down their music faster elements of style, that can be interpreted ...


6

As a general rule of thumb, you should be including these. I can think of two things you should always keep in mind with ornaments: They often were not written by the composer: They are many cases where they were not written by the composer, but rather by the editor. If this is the case, it probably means (assuming a good editor) that these ornaments were ...


6

You might want to try learning songs by ear - from a recording instead of from sheet music. Playing a song that's in your head is a skill in itself and it's not something you'll pick up by reading sheet music and playing it. Someone with more experience will have to say how much it applies for classical music, but it seems like it's a good skill for an ...


5

You should memorize the shapes. You shouldn't need to think about anything when playing these chords. One method to build familiarity is to pick a particular chord and play it, then play the first inversion, then the second, the third, and back to root (an octave higher). Then come back down. You quickly pick up which notes are involved in the chord and ...


5

In a lot of performances (possibly excluding classical performances with known scores) you may never know there is a mistake. I know of many artists, myself included, who have a variety of ways to play particular pieces - I vary mine depending on the venue and audience mood, for example. I excluded classical performances as for the majority, anyone who ...


5

I suspect it's probably different for different people. For me, it's discipline, discpline, discipline. For a new piece, I start by learning each section on its own, and only play the entire piece through two or three times per session. After that stage, I start practicing it as a performance piece. I'll start out a little slower than the intended final ...


5

Especially if everyone in your ensemble follows suit, you can think of this as playing with a different reference ptich frequency. Nowadays, most tuning uses a reference pitch of A'=440Hz. You can think of down-tuning your guitar as redefining this reference pitch to be a different, lower, frequency. For example, declaring A'=415Hz is the same as down ...


4

Perform easier material. You can probably play "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" without any mistakes, right? Even in front of an audience? Practice makes playing a piece easier. Someday, if you keep practicing, "Für Elise" will seem as easy as "Twinkle".


4

These are perhaps more important that the notes, in conveying what the composer wanted. So definitely memorise them!


4

From what you say, it's clear that your ears or voice are not the problem. If you can sing along properly to a song, it means you're absolutely not tone-deaf. And harmonizing with a song is something that not nearly everybody can do, so you're not lacking anything there. To improve your ability to memorize music, your first and foremost option is to learn ...


4

There is nothing really complicated about these chords. What I think is throwing you off is that some of the chords are missing 5ths and some notes are above the staff. Here is the basic analysis of the chords broken down by measure: C | D7 Em | Am7/G Em/B | F#m/A Gmaj7sus2/A | C/G D/F# | C | C5/G Em/B | F#/A Gmaj7sus2/A | C/G ...


4

If I understand correctly, you find it easy to remember individual melodic lines (monophony), but have trouble remembering chord progressions (polyphony). I'm going to guess that this problem is related to ear training. You can mentally "hear" a monophonic line, and even mentally "sing" it, which allows you to remember intuitively how it goes. You can then ...


3

Yes you can! That is as much part of the piece and everything else. If something says pizzicato you should not use your bow to play it. You should memorize those specifications if and as much as you memorize the pitch and duration of each note. A proper interpretation of a piece will try to take into account each and every information the composer ...


3

I find the "T'ai Chi" method of practicing something as slowly as you can but focussing on the minute details of every movement really helpful and the difference it makes can be amazing. You need to be focussed tho and not just on the notes but the movement between the notes - everything should be smooth, fluid and gentle (even when playing loud). Your ...


3

In long pieces, the part you've known the longest has been practiced many, many more times than the "newer" sections. Therefore, it is important to know where you are in the piece, make your correction on the spot and continue on. Do NOT start at the beginning again, hoping that you'll magically make it through the spot where you made your error. There is ...


3

If what you're trying to do is memorize the note names, then it's best to stick with one tuning, and learn the notes in that tuning before moving on to others. Standard tuning is a good choice since it is the "standard". Learning the note names in this tuning will facilitate many other types of learning and communication with others within the guitar ...



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