• Sandra Howe

Need to Start Again? Try A Different Approach



How familiar is this?

“Let’s start from the beginning”

“Oh no, can I start again?”

Starting again when we get into a pickle is one of those situations musicians grow accustomed to. It happens frequently, for many different reasons. It’s not something to be worried about, afraid of or upset about. It happens. It’s just one of those things.

However, when starting again becomes a practice technique we need a rethink

We have told children for eons that “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!”. We think that by trying again, we will get it right. We even go so far as to brainwash ourselves into thinking that if we try harder we will get it right. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that this will work, not any time soon. You will get into a cycle of repetition and mistakes that will lead to frustration.

Instead why not try a different approach. Ask yourself one question:

“What is the problem?”

And you will be closer to playing the piece through without having to start again. When you work to recognizing and solving the problems, you will play without problems. Trying harder solves nothing. It hasn’t changed anything. If you haven’t made any changes, what makes you think you will play it better this time? Concentration? If you don’t know how to multiply, concentration is not going to help you solve 2 x 2.

You need to look at the problem, understand it and try different ways to solve it. This is a usable, useful practice technique. Starting again, is not.

If this has helped you, click below to pass it on.

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