[Video] How to Correct a Mistake while Practicing Violin | Violin Lounge TV #243
Is there a mistake that you just keep making all the time in your violin playing? A difficult run perhaps?
In this video I’m going to give you some practice strategies to correct this mistake.
The practice mistake lots of people make is that when something goes wrong, they repeat it in the same tempo over and over again hoping it will improve. This is very frustrating and after many repeats without improvement you might just want to throw your violin out of the window. Well, throwing violins out of the window is quite an expensive hobby ;). You can better choose to throw random office supplies.
How to correct your mistake fast without so much frustration?
In the video I play a run and give an example of something that could go wrong all the time and how to correct it. If you keep repeating it… that’s what you practice. By playing it the wrong way over and over again, this is what your mind and body will remember and repeat in the future.
Practice doesn’t always make perfect, but practice makes permanent!
Practice only makes perfect, if you repeat it perfectly a lot of times. If you have made your mistake permanent by practice, it will even be harder to correct.
Tip 1: Play the difficult piece really slowly and analyze what goes wrong
Play in an extremely low tempo and try to figure out what goes wrong exactly? Is there a specific note or shift you have difficulties with? Before you try to correct it, you need to know exactly what the mistake is.
Tip 2: Be thoughtful about repeats
Don’t just repeat because you think the mistake will magically disappear. Why are you repeating the piece now? What is the specific goal of this repeat? Perhaps you are analyzing the mistake, are focussing on the bowing or are listening to the intonation. Click here to watch my video: How Often to Repeat Something while Practicing
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Tip 3: Know what specific technique you should train to solve your problem
After analyzing your mistake, perhaps your conclusion is that you need to improve a specific technique. For example: if you have difficulties with the key, you could practice some scales in this key to get used to it.
Tip 4: Make up variations of the piece and practice them
Play the run that goes wrong all the time in different rhythms. Play the run the other way around, so from end to start. Be creative about making up variations. Repeating the same this a thousand times isn’t that effective. Repeating different variations about five to nine times is very effective. It refreshes your mind and body with every new variation and makes your technique very solid.
Experiment with these tips and let me know in the comments how you learned to master that difficult run!
Is this video helpful to you? Please let me know in the comments below! If you like it, share it with your friends!
PS: Do you have questions or struggles on violin or viola playing? Post a comment below or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and I might dedicate a Violin Lounge TV episode to answering your question!
Repeating is a very serious thing to be cautious about. That is a wise lesson! A little bit embarassing to remember my practicing this afternoon, I did exactly the wrong thing: trying the position-changes over and over again without succeeding. Tomorrow I will give it a new chance, slow and focussed. It is true that you can easily program yourself to do the wrong thing: Last summer holiday I practiced a new piece but after the holiday my teacher said it was better to take a new piece then put all the efforts in to correct it…
Oh yes, we all need to be reminded of this constantly.