How to Practice – Get Detailed
There are times that starting at the beginning of something and playing until you reach the end is a good plan. However, more often there is a better strategy.
1. Divide the piece into manageable portions.
2. Practice each section slowly 5-15 times.
3. Combine several sections and practice them together.
4. Isolate any difficult measure. Practice it alone. Then practice it with a measure on either side. Next practice it with two measures along each side. Put it back in context.
5. Play the piece in full. Listen carefully to yourself.
6. Isolate any challenging areas and practice them again.
Getting detailed is a more efficient way to practice because it allows the harder sections to become easier faster so the entire piece gets better. Playing from the beginning to the end will often make the easy sections good in a hurry, but leave the challenging sections as treacherous traps for your fingers.