This is a difficult technique to master. If you can do it you will have the advantage of the music being firmly in your head before going anywhere near your instrument.
To use this practise method you need a section of music – it could be something you have played before or could be something totally new.
To begin you need to decide how much of this section of music you could play from memory first time. Usually you would begin with a few notes or a few bars and as you get more experienced you could start with larger sections of music. Once you’ve decided it’s on to the memorisation.
You need to spend time just looking at your music (we’ve not touched our instrument yet!). Notice every detail of the section you have selected. Go over this several times. Next close the music and see if you can still remember it. Once you are happy that you can remember it is time to go to your instrument.
Try to play through the section you have learnt on your instrument without the music – we’re not looking for perfection here (not the first time anyway :wink: ). What you should be able to do is to play the section of music through without any wrong notes and with most of the dynamics. How did you do? If you played it correctly then you can move on and learn another section. If not go back to the music and spend some more time looking and learning and try again.
The next time you do this you should try to learn a bit more before going to your instrument, if you did 1 bar the first time try doing 2 bars the next time. How much can you learn in one go? Remember you need to be able to play all the notes and dynamics to consider the section learnt.