How to start anywhere in your music

By Robert Estrin

In this latest article, I’m going to show you how to start anywhere in your music. To have effective practice, you must be able to start anywhere. Let’s say you’re playing a piece of music. You mess up somewhere, and you keep starting at the beginning. Maybe the next time you get it, but you haven’t really solved the underlying weakness that caused that problem in the first place.


Being able to start where the correction is made is vital.


You want to be able to start where the correction is made, but sometimes it’s really hard to even find that place. I want to demonstrate this with a piece that’s difficult to start in the middle because it’s counterpoint. I’m going to use Bach’s Invention No 1 in C majorWatch the video to see the demonstration! This piece does divide itself into some macro-sections that I can articulate for you. Suppose you have an issue in the middle of a section. So you decide to just start the whole section again. Whether you get it again or not, it doesn’t really matter because you still have the same odds moving forward of getting it or not getting it. Just finding the exact place is a big challenge! You must read your score and identify where it is. Now you know where to start, but you can’t start there. It seems totally foreign.



The reason it’s hard to start in the middle of a section is that you don’t know what fingering to use.


When you’re starting in the middle, it’s hard to figure out what fingering to use. So, here’s the tip. Go back to a place you can start from. When you get to where the issue is, stop and pay close attention to what fingers are on what notes in each hand. Then you lock it in, and you can start from there. Now you can make the correction and get it solidified by playing through the passage a number of times. Then you go back to the beginning of that macro section and connect it several times until it is smooth.


To recap: Step one is: Find where the correction is. Step two: Go back to a place you can start from before that place. Step three: Lock in what fingers you use to start in that measure or phrase so you can effectively start there. Without this method, you get there, and it’s almost like you’re reading the music for the first time! It seems totally unfamiliar. Have you ever had that experience where you almost feel like you don’t even know the piece when you try to start in the middle? Your fingers know where to go, but you can’t solve the underlying weakness because you can’t start right at that particular spot. Well, now I’m giving you the tools to start from anywhere in any piece!


This is the way to have effective, productive practice!


Zero in on the places that need work and start from there. Solve those issues first, then correct them with the whole macro section. Try this in your practice! I guarantee that you will have a boost in productivity like you’ve never seen before! Let us know how it works for you in the comments here at and on YouTube! Thanks again for joining me.


Thanks again for joining me, Robert Estrin here at