• Sandra Howe

Avoid Common Mistakes when Learning that Difficult Part

All pieces have them: “that difficult part!” Sometimes these difficult sections take us a great deal of time to learn and sometimes we give up on them altogether only to build up a large collection of pieces we only know half of due to that difficult section!

Piano and Music

Why does it happen?

Most pieces contain a famous motif or theme introduced at the beginning. It is often the most familiar, due to the music being broadly used in the media such as for backing music for films and advertising. The motif is often developed and embellished throughout. The piece can later change key introducing new ideas. It is at this point that difficulties can arise due to this part of the piece being less familiar and due to the change of key or development which can add technical difficulties to overcome. Pieces don’t always follow this modus operandi, but many do.

Common Mistakes:

  1. Rushing through difficult sections

Instead try to slow down at these parts and make friends with it. All too often learners dislike these parts and this frames the section in a bad light. Just remember, it will make you a better player when you make friends with it and really learn it from beginning to end.

  1. Settle for playing it through Playing the piece through countless times is not going to cut it. Break the difficult section down into parts and focus on it. Your teacher can help you with this. Be prepared to devote at least twice as much time to this section. Fall in love with it!

  2. Play it for fun before it is finished This is the road to failure. If you play the first part for fun, it only gets better and better, making that difficult section seem insurmountable. Playing for fun is important, in fact, it is probably the number one reason why we play. It makes no sense to outlaw it! Instead, limit your fun time. Play the first section only a few times and devote most of you time to the difficult parts.

Avoiding these common mistakes will help you not only overcome that difficult section but it will help you relish the challenge that it brings.

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