Simplifying To Make Music Practice Easier Simplification

Take a step back and look at a problem from a new angle.

We all encounter tricky passages when w

e practice. Sometimes playing the passage over and over again doesn’t seem to solve the problem. Use this method to reduce the problem and clear a path to playing it correctly.

When you reach a tricky section clear out some of the musical elements to make the section easier to play.

 – If a rhythm is giving you a problem play it all on one note. Or perhaps leave some notes out to make is easier.

Notes – If your section has lots of tricky notes miss out every other one or every second one. Perhaps if you have semi-quavers you might play just the first of every group of four.

Elements – Simplify other elements such as dynamics, articulations and speeds. Change them to make them simpler.


Once you have simplified a section practice it until you are happy that you can play it that way five times in a row without any mistakes. When you can do this start to rebuild the section.

If you missed some notes out try adding one or two back in. If you changed the rhythm add a couple of beats back in. The trick here is not to add too many details back in at once. When you’ve added some details practice this until you can play it five times in a row.

Continue adding small details back in until you have built the music backup to it’s original form.

If done correctly this method will help resolve those tricky passages.

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