Feeling a Little Stressed About Rhythms?
A general observation: it takes bravery to work on things slower or in smaller bits ( “reduce the load"). Many people think that there just isn’t enough time to practice things slower or in smaller chunks, but we’ll improve faster since we’ll be able to isolate what’s holding us back…we can pinpoint the problem rather than practicing the mistake. So be brave! ID your problem spots, break them down into small chunks, attack a few in each practice session. Then try to recall each chunk you’ve mastered ( “levered practicing” – the recalling is what really makes a difference!). Notice we’re not going for mindless repetition…over and over takes a long time to achieve results. So be sure to repeat things that work (the right rhythm, the right notes, the sense of ease in the body, how this is easy to play, etc. = this helps us be successful). Whatever we repeat is what we're going to get in a performance setting. Choose wisely!
Back to the tricky rhythm issue. Set a met to the smallest increment on the page for the passage chunk you've selected. If you have a metronome that will chime per quarter note/downbeat, great. I love using Tonal Energy – the best option out there for a phone, I think! Pick a much slower tempo (really) than performance tempo. We’re going for comfort first, so it's important to set achievable goals. If we make lots of mistakes, it's time to reduce the load/make it easier. That could mean selecting . . .