When you make a mistake

By Robert Estrin


For this newsletter, I’m going to talk about what to do when you make a mistake in your piano practice. There are basically three essential go-to techniques that you can rely upon in your practice. Any time you make a mistake, you should do one of these three things. Let’s say you’re playing something fast and it’s sloppy, and you want to clean it up. What can you do to fix it? You can just go back and try it again, and maybe it’ll come out better. But suppose it doesn’t feel quite right. What can you do? I’m going to give you three practice techniques that are absolutely indispensable! These should be your go-to routines any time you have problems in your piano practice.


1 Go slower, play hands separately, or take a smaller section.

If you are having trouble with a section of music, try going slower. The metronome is a great tool for slow practice. What else can you do? Play hands separately. You could just play the right hand alone to get it solid. And lastly, take a smaller section. Maybe you’re working on the whole first section and you’re having problems along the way. You could take half of that section or a quarter of that section. You could take just two measures! The most important thing is to identify the amount of music you can master at a time. Try taking just the small section where you have problems and really cement the corrections. Then you can expand upon that with larger sections.


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2 What you want to avoid is repeating a mistake.

If you make a mistake once, try it again, and maybe you will get it. But if you make the same mistake a second time, alarm bells should go off. You must do something different. Why is this so imperative? Well, I always talk about how you must get something perfectly at least three times before you move on. Why? Because three times in a row cements things. It begins to really come together in your hands and your head. Well, the same thing is true of mistakes. If you missed something twice and then you just flippantly go and play it again and make the mistake a third time, now you’ve really cemented that error. It’s going to be harder to dig out of that because your hands and ears are getting used to it.


3 Once again, either slow down, play hands separately, or take a smaller section.

Embrace these three techniques any time you miss something, and I guarantee that the productivity of your practice will skyrocket! Let us know how these techniques work for you in your practice! Leave it in the comments here at LivingPianos.com and on YouTube! Thanks again for joining me, Robert Estrin, here at LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Resource.





Thanks again for joining me, Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com