Information on Practicing

As one of my teachers always said, “Practice makes Permanent. Imperfect practice is just scraping burnt toast!”

It is simple to practice for an hour a day.  What is not so simple, is to make sure this is good practice.  The criteria for good practice should be:

Is it in tune?

  • Do your open strings resonate when you’re playing corresponding notes on other strings?

Is it in time?

  • Be sure to check your time by playing with a metronome.  Even though you might feel like you’re playing in time, it is always a good idea to check.

Am I comfortable playing?

  • Does your back hurt?  Your hands?  Your wrists?  Is your head aligned and not twisting to one direction?  How is your posture?

Do I really know how to play it?

  • Can you play it by heart?  Can you play it in the dark?  Can you play it on one foot?  Can you play it upside down?  Testing yourself and playing it with different rhythms and slur patterns will make you learn it in different ways.  The more ways you know you know it, the more secure you’ll feel at the performance.

©2013 Lydia Tang Swada


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