Sunday, January 26, 2014

Practicing for Adults

Dick Hensold's lecture on how to practice is one of the best resources out there if you're interested in getting better results in a limited amount of time available. Although Dick is a bagpiper, what he says is relevant to all musicians. Here's what he says on metronome practicing at multiple speeds:
It doesn't really help to pick a practice tempo and stick to it. What helps is to pick a practice tempo and do a bunch of repetitions, and then pick another tempo, and do a bunch more repetitions. Different tempos, either on different days or on the same day, depending on what you have time for. Ideally, for a passage that you have been working on a while, warm up slowly, then practice a series of repetitions at your fastest comfortable speed. Then put the metronome on, slow it down a little (maybe one click), and do another series of repetitions, then down another click and do another series of repetitions. Please notice that you slow down as you continue to add repetitions, not speed up. I don't know why this works, but it really smoothes things out, as well as giving you all the speed and accuracy you need.

(Via Lifehacker - read the comments too)


  1. Anonymous8:42 AM

    As an adult piano player, I always had difficulty figuring out the correct technique for me. This lecture is quite thorough and offers interesting advice that I need to put to use right away! Thank you. - Angel

  2. I found it useful too, Angel!

  3. Thank you for this article. This will surely help those who are seeking other ways to practice piano. I always advise my piano students to start at a slow speed and then gradually increase their speed as they repeat playing the piano piece. But maybe this won't work on all students. Advising them to pick a tempo and do repetitions on that tempo is something new. Practicing with the metronome on (to those who have metronomes) is also helpful.