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If you look at the bottom of this page, we have a two-measure run that gets repeated higher and higher.

What should I keep in mind when working on similar-but-a-little-different series of passages like this? In particular, I'm worried that if I practice one, then another, I'll be "overwriting" muscle memory in some sense. Is there anything to this worry? Is there anything I can do to consciously take advantage of the similarity?


There is no "strategy" to playing other than to have proper technique, then it will all fall together. That and all other passages need to grouped, your rotations need to be sorted and your in/out motions and forward shifts need to be placed intentionally. There are a few other things but I don't see them being a concern in this passage. You also need to know your gravity.

Get the ergonomics of technique out of the way and you won't ever be concerned with such things again. It will be challenging to find a teacher who knows what they are doing but will be worth it. Look for a teacher who trains injured pianists.

You don't have to practice what you can do such as breathing, walking, riding a bike . . . when we use the incorrect muscles to play, we have to practice constantly to maintain the incoordinate movement. When we move ergonomically correct, there is no need to practice that passage ever again, it will always be there.

Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.


It is certainly possible to have familiar passages become ingrained in your muscle memory. You can recognise most musicians by licks or passages they seem to pull off with ease, but that are actually incredibly complex.

If you then practice solely on a similar passage, and don't return to the original one, then yes, your muscle memory will replace it in the end, but reasonably regular practice of the original seems to remove this problem and you'll end up becoming proficient in both.

So keep practicing all your passages (I know - it's a time thing in the end) and you'll improve on all.

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