Wednesday, December 4, 2013

One Simple Thing You Can Do to Make Your Life Easier Next Year

Mark up your holiday music.

Don't you hate it when you spend a significant amount of time on a piece of music but when you come back to it in a day or two you've forgotten how to play it? If you think it's difficult to remember tunes you're playing regularly, wait until you try to recall how you played your favorite Christmas carols a year ago!

Many of my students are busy practicing Christmas tunes this month. Some are preparing for gigs. Others are playing for their own enjoyment. Most are attempting to create a repertoire of seasonal music that will be improved upon and added to year to year. The sad fact, though, is that once the Christmas season is over most of these holiday tunes will be shelved, not to revisited until next fall.

The good news? Many of these tunes have fairly simple melody lines and they are familiar - locked into our brains in such a way that allows our hands to find them with some ease on the instrument. But chances are you've taken these tunes beyond the basic melody. I'm guessing you've worked out some arrangement ideas or have spent time figuring out how to play someone else's arrangement. You're going to want to remember that in the future.

Mark up your music.

Make notes directly on the music to help yourself remember all the stuff you've figured out during your practice sessions, i.e. hammer patterns, where to cross the bridge, which duplicate note to use, hints on how to play difficult phrases, etc. That way, you won't have to reinvent the wheel next year.

If you think this is a great idea but don't want to mess up a book of music or would rather have a clean original piece of sheet music, simply make a copy or two, then mark away!

Read more about Marking Up your music for Efficient Practice in my previous post, dated March 12, 2013

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