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> Need To Become More Consistent When Playing, Want to play in front of an audience and probably will this summer
vane505
post Apr 29 2012, 11:32 PM
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Hello! I have played fingerpicking on and off for about 7-8 years, and I really want to improve my consistency when playing and be able to perform live. I didn't have a good training routine before and just tried to play after a tablature until I could play it well, but in the latest 6-8 weeks or so I have started playing very slow and build up, which really have improved my learning speed and my sound when playing.

I'm still not consistent enough though and all to often make mistakes that sometimes interrupt the piece I'm playing. I might do 0-1 mistake when I play a song I feel I know well and I might accidently interrupt my playing about every third or fourth time playing (I have no issue with the right hand, it's always the left). This of course is not good enough if I want to play in front of an audience. Do you have any practice tips that could possibly help me out? Thank you!
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Nihilist1
post Apr 29 2012, 11:34 PM
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QUOTE (vane505 @ Apr 29 2012, 10:32 PM) *
Hello! I have played fingerpicking on and off for about 7-8 years, and I really want to improve my consistency when playing and be able to perform live. I didn't have a good training routine before and just tried to play after a tablature until I could play it well, but in the latest 6-8 weeks or so I have started playing very slow and build up, which really have improved my learning speed and my sound when playing.

I'm still not consistent enough though and all to often make mistakes that sometimes interrupt the piece I'm playing. I might do 0-1 mistake when I play a song I feel I know well and I might accidently interrupt my playing about every third or fourth time playing (I have no issue with the right hand, it's always the left). This of course is not good enough if I want to play in front of an audience. Do you have any practice tips that could possibly help me out? Thank you!


Slow it back down and be honest with yourself! If you mess up once during practice, start over! If you mess up live, pretend it never happened and nail the next note!

We all make mistakes when we play live. It is an art unto itself to cover up the mistake and make sure no one notices. Most of the time, they never do!

Good Luck!

-Nihil


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All the elders have fallen down...

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Ben Higgins
post Apr 30 2012, 09:24 AM
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Hi, I would consider two things.. first is what Nihilist has already said about slowing down. I have a phrase - 'Give yourself time to get it right' A lot of the time people don't give their brain enough chance to correctly perform the task that is new to it, so they trip up and go back to the start and then trip up over the same bit. If you're tripping up consistently in the same area(s) then it's definitely a case of isolating the problem area and giving yourself the time to play relaxed, focused repetitions.

Regards making mistakes whilst playing a run through of a piece - don't stop. What you're doing is actually programming yourself to stop when you play a wrong note, when in a playing situation you need to be able to ignore it and carry on. You need to train your mind to ignore mistakes and still maintain the rhythm of what you're doing. So, if you're committing to playing a run through of an entire piece, do it. If you stop every time you make a mistake you won't get the end of the piece for ages.

If you approach things two ways you should be able to tackle both issues:

1st approach - leave mistake correction to focused practise time where you isolate and repeat problem areas
2nd approach - when playing an entire piece all the way through, play it all the way through - don't stop if you mess up because you can't do that live. Well, you can but you wouldn't want to smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post May 3 2012, 09:22 AM
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All great advice from Ben! I might add that at point number 2, once you get used to the idea of going through the entire piece from one end to the other a few times, you will be able to shift your focus from being able to remember what's coming next, to being able to play every note as it should be technically played. Then, you will be able to focus at the interpretation of the piece smile.gif and then, it's off to the stage with you! biggrin.gif


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SirJamsalot
post May 4 2012, 01:57 AM
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I say hit the stage before you're "ready". Just do it. You'll never be on stage if you're waiting for that moment you're polished. When you get on stage, your nerves are going to make a train-wreck of your polished playing anyways ~ just get up there and work on it as you go cool.gif


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