Friday, August 7, 2009

Top 10 Practice Tips: Take it Slowly (2 of 10)

Probably the number one mistake that young guitarists make is playing too fast when first learning a new exercise, scale, or song. By playing too fast too soon, the player is, essentially, trying to circumvent the laws of music:

First comes technique, then accuracy, then speed. For as long as there have been musicians, that's been the sequence for mastery of an instrument. As several of my old teachers have said to me, "If you can't play it slowly, you can't play it at all." And if you can't play it slowly, you certainly can't play it fast. It makes sense to me.

Set that metronome on the slow side, make sure you can play that sheet music accurately and with perfect technique, then speed it up - slowly. And just in case you think I'm running low of wise sayings, "Slow and steady wins the race."

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