Sunday, January 6, 2019

How To Achieve results from your practice sessions....

I get asked this question all the time...."I practiced all week, but when I play I still make mistakes..what am I doing wrong?"

My response is a simple question...are you practicing or are you playing? There is a difference!
Practice is working on certain sections until they are ready....Playing is going over the song several times....So, what are you doing? Are you breaking down the sections and playing them over and over until you can do them without mistakes? Do you practice the section until you can play it without looking at the music? Are you listening to the section with a critical ear to see that all the notes are clean and clear? Are you practicing at a slow, but consistent speed and then adding each section to the one before it? Correct practice makes for correct playing. Developing good practice habits is one of the best ways to develop clean, clear banjo picking and believe me, you can tell the difference!
Try these practice tips for a week and see if you can tell the difference...

1.Begin your practice with a 10 minute warm can be old songs or finger exercises. This gets your fingers warmed up and ready to begin their workout. Skipping this step, will usually result in tired "crampy" fingers.

2. Once you are ready for the new song...take a section at a time...practice it 10-15 times at a slow rate of speed...(I know, you want to play many slow banjo songs do you know, right?) Practicing at a slow speed helps you get the timing right, the fingerings correct and helps you learn the song so you do not have to think about what you are playing. Playing is muscle memory. When your fingers know what to play and when to play it, the song will begin to sound like the song.

2. Get a metronome and set it to 50-60 bpm. Keep the song at that rate of speed until you can do the whole verse that speed....then begin speeding up at a few beats per minute faster. Pretty soon you will have the verse at a nice speed that you will be proud to show off.

3. Add each section to the previous sections. When playing, go from one section to the next with ease. Iron out any stops or pauses. Listen for clean notes.

4. End your practice by going from the beginning of the song to where you finished today's practice. Now you should see some results on how you sound. I like to record myself playing the song every so often so I can hear the results.

Results come from good practice develop them from the beginning.

Getting things ready....

The books are almost ready and I am getting things ready on my part for you to purchase
my books.....I am so excited and ready for these to be in your hands...Give me just a couple of days
and I will get back to you on the details...…