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Tips & Tricks: 5 Steps to Learning Difficult Passages in Violin Music

Sheet NotesA lot of times I notice that my students like to start a piece over from the beginning again when they make a mistake. This is not the most effective way to practice, and will lead you to playing the beginning of the piece very well, but not having mastered the rest of it. If you look at my music, you’ll notice that I have markings all over it, most notably brackets around the areas where I have trouble. Here is my method:

    1. Play through the piece and notice where I am having trouble, I bracket these bars. If it is a multipage piece I will also put an ‘X’ at the top of the page so I can find the problem spots easily.
    2. Practice just the bars in the brackets. I often use my metronome to slow the passage down and speed it back up to the speed of the rest of the piece.
    3. Practice the problem bars along with the bar before them. This is an important step that you need to make sure you don’t skip as sometimes it can be hard to reincorporate these bars into the music.
    4. Practice the whole line in which the problem bars reside.
    5. Start from the beginning of the piece.

I hope this helps you practice more efficiently.

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