From the top. Part 3: the big tackle!

So, to sum it up, the problem is studying a piece by playing it from the top only every time. No good! Little progress, big frustrations, exit door to quitting playing music. Like I said: no good. No good at all.

On the previous post, we saw the road map solution. If you haven’t read the previous post, go do it now. It’s a good one, I loved it! It will change your life for ever.

I’ll wait…

So, you’re with me now?!

All right! Now, I need to specify that the road map method is one of the many method to tackle a piece of music. I’ll give you another one, just one more (Because, you know, after that, you need to come take lessons with me, that’s the whole goal of these blogs here). Ok, I’ll be generous, I’ll give you one and a half more.

Here’s the half first: go slow! Yes! This is the one every music teacher in the world say to their student from a whisper to a scream, all lesson long. GO SLOW, for crying out loud!

Now, I’ll give you the one one. The real one. Not the half one. Well, you get me.

You can practice the piece by sewing. I know, I know! It sounds strange. And I’ve never talked about this one because, usually, it comes after the sausage method (Look it up! It sounds more kinky than it is) or the organic method, or the warm up method. The sewing method happens once you have done some of the other methods and you still can’t piece together your work.

So, the premise is, to make it very clear, you already have spent some time road mapping, and you have sweated other the difficult passages. Those are not perfect but there are getting there. You have applied different learning tricks to get to the point where you got your piece in pieces (Hahaha!). But, and that “but” hurts, but you still can’t play the thing fluidly.

What to do? Move to Guatemala? Make an apple jam? Clean up your bedroom?

No! To all of these questions, the answer is: NO!

What you need at this point, my friend is the sewing method.

There are many ways of doing the sewing method. We’ll take the most common one: “the one bar before” bid. You have a part that you know and you need to attach it to another part. That other part is pretty difficult and you had to practice it like crazy to get it, and even now, you heart skips a beat every time you’re about to go into it. Okay! So part A is fluid, it’s all right, it’s good, it’s fairly easy. Part B is getting there, it’s playable, but it’s difficult. Here’s how you approach it. You go to the last bar of part A and you try to play that with the first 2 or 3 bars of part B. You just practice that over and over until you obtain a fluid transition between the two parts. You are, if I may say, sewing the two parts together. That’s why it’s called the “sewing method” and not the “pouring tea method”.

Ok, so that was a three part blog. That’s pretty good.

I need to talk about something else.