practice techniques

Practice Lab: To Build Technique Faster, Try a Ladder

We all know what it’s like to work hard to improve an aspect of our technique, whether it’s a fundamental skill like tonguing or something specific like a fingering pattern in a piece of music.  We approach it in all the ways we know we’re supposed to: start slowly, speed up gradually, alternate between faster and slower tempi, break the pattern into pieces, vary the rhythm, etc. And then do it over and over again.  Applied deliberately, these time tested techniques do produce results, but they require many hours of repetition, and can leave us feeling impatient and wondering which practice technique to try next.

I can’t eliminate the hours of practice required to master a technical skill.  What I can offer is an addition to your toolkit that will improve your efficiency in both developing new skills and improving existing ones.