Thursday, August 20, 2020


One of the current ideas that's floating around in this time of Covid/Lockdown is creating challenges online.. You know, for 1 month I'll only cook with tofu/exercise an hour a day/stop watching reality shows etc. But in our daily practice sessions, we can challenge ourselves in more practical ways, no matter what it is we're working on…..

1. Change the tempo
Whatever you're working on, play it after several different tempos, especially slow ones. That's where you'll find out if you really have something together or not…..

2. Change the dynamic
A very similar concept to #1, but now we're working on varying the volume of what we're working on, and not just playing it FF and then pp, but utilizing crescendos and decrescendos too!

3. Change the articulation
Okay, so now you can play the lick faster or slower and louder or softer, but how about the whole thing as dead strokes? Doubles? Buzzes?  Or combinations of the aforementioned and the original idea? This will really kick your behind, believe me!

So, as we can see, there are many ways to vary any idea we're practicing to learn it in a more complete way. One of the other benefits of this is, the idea we've been practicing becomes much more available to us in a playing situation if it doesn't rely on a specific tempo, dynamic, or articulation. We can even revisit old ideas and breathe new life into them by practicing this way.
Have fun and good luck!

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