Do you ever just miss random notes in a lesson or audition? Are you frustrated because it feels like they're mistakes you've never made before? How do those people with super clean playing do it?
Build up the reliability brick by brick
- Take a slower tempo - 70, 80, 90% of the full tempo
- Hold onto your tempo, resist the temptation to rush and go faster.
- Expose cracks in a controlled way.
- Keep combing through the music until you can play without stops or errors. Stay run-through oriented but still demand the highest quality of playing.
- Don’t figure out how you fix things, just get them rolling, get it working, just do it. ✔
- A big part of this is improving the way you read it each time.
- Max 15 seconds on a problem. Max 3-4 replays of an error. Keep it moving!
It should feel like you are solving problems more intuitively. Figure it out like you figured out how to ride a bike: You just got it. The grand ideas and explanations can come after you can play it; the insights are just the cherry on top.
Only solve the what, not the how
- What exactly and where exactly did it go wrong?
- “late articulation measure 3, notes 4-7." Make the articulation there not late. Flow.
- “I missed notes 5-6 in the middle of that lick." Get notes 5-6 a few times. Make them solid/easy.
______This may at first be frustrating and absurd: “Well if I knew how to make it not late, I would! So I have to figure it out!” No. Just stay calm, and take an easier tempo. Just make those notes not late. Staying simple is really the key. Maybe this will lead you to count differently, tap your toe, change the way you articulate, and read ahead in the music more. The subconscious mind can optimize all four of those at once. Once you make it not late, you will realize after the fact that you changed all four of those things. If you decide it’s one specific thing, you wont optimize the rest. Plus then you have to remember to think of that solution at the perfect moment! This is often why the best players have strange explanations, they aren't solving things that way.
______Solving the what, engaging the subconscious mind, and keeping it moving will build in the no-thinking. It's not a choice, you must lay down the bricks and program the thinking out.
Caveat: All of these ideas can be completely wrong for you at this moment: Maybe you need to go slower, think more, and be more clear.
- Drill down till you know exactly what was wrong. Missed notes 5-6, notes 3-7 late, pitch of note 10
- Stay vague and just make it good with your intuitive, subconscious mind.
- "The what" must be both the problem and the answer, don’t solve the how!
How do you reduce random mistakes?
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