How to correct mistakes in your piano playing

By Robert Estrin


How do you correct mistakes on the piano? While this sounds like a really complex subject and seems impossible to cover in just one short article and video, the truth is, if you’re looking for an answer for how to correct all your mistakes on the piano; that is impossible! What this article focuses on is how to cement corrections you make so the mistakes can be eradicated permanently!

There are many practice techniques to correct mistakes including going slower, stopping and starting at precise places, playing each hand separately; the list goes on and on. What’s equally important to just correcting problems, is how to cement corrections to avoid making the same mistakes again and again.

Here is the secret to making corrections stick. Play your trouble spot over and over again solidifying the corrections until you can play the section perfectly, and not only perfectly, but comfortably too. You might get it three times in a row perfectly. But if you’re still a little hesitant or straining to finish, keep working until you can play it with ease, with as little tension as possible.

This is where most people stop. But this next step is vital to retaining the correction and continuing to play the passage correctly. The fact of the matter is that we are all prisoners of our own routines. Whatever we have done repeatedly in the past, we will do again; it’s just in our nature!

So how do you actually make corrections stick? You may play your problem spot over and over again ten times in a row perfectly. Yet when you play the piece later, you will surprise yourself and make the original mistake again! So how do you avoid this?

First, you must solidify the correction in the context of the piece going back to the beginning of the section. But even this isn’t enough. You must then go back to the beginning of the entire piece or movement. When you play, be sure you are present so that when the corrected section comes, you are aware of it at that moment! Once you play the correction from the beginning of the piece a number of times, the correction will be permanent!


Now watch my video demonstration: 



Thanks for joining me!

Robert Estrin


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