Practice Tip: Go Slow
When one of my students is having difficulty playing a phrase or switching between a pair of chords, I often find out that they are practicing it too fast (or, not practicing it enough – more on this later).
Let me ask a question. If you try something ten times in a row, would you like to get it right more times, or get it wrong more times? Of course, you would rather be more right than wrong. If you practice a passage faster than you are able to perform it, most likely you are getting it wrong 9 out of 10 times. The one time you get it right, you probably got lucky!
If you practice something slowly and repetitiously, you’re setting yourself up for success. By slow, I mean at a speed that you can accurately perform your musical exercise (phrase, chord switch, scales, etc).
A metronome will help you play at a slow and even tempo. For example, say you are having difficulty switching between a G and D chord. Set your metronome to 50 and switch chords every 4 beats (or 8 beats, if you need more time). When you are able to do this, see if you can switch chords every 3 beats, then every 2 beats. Get it?
Practicing slow is one of the short cuts to success in learning your instrument. It will make you a more solid and consistent player!