July 10, 2013

Put your music on a diet

Do you ever get overwhelmed with the amount of music you are trying to learn?  Does it ever seem like you have too many tunes only partially learned and none of them are ever going to “get there”.  That you’ll never get the tunes down well enough to actually enjoy playing them?

If so, maybe you need to put your music on a diet.  You know, cut back.  Only take in a little bit at a time.  Really savor those few tunes and sink your teeth into learning them, getting comfortable with them, and settling on your basic arrangement.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t learn all the things you want to, it just means that you don’t stack 10 or 15 or 30 new tunes on your music stand.  You winnow that down to a manageable few and really work on those.  When you’re happy and comfortable with the first few you can add another couple on – and build up slowly.  And don’t forget to keep practicing the tunes you’ve just learned – otherwise you won’t get them into your fingers in a way that will get your comfortable enough to play them.

This slow and gradual buildup of repertoire will allow you to enjoy the tunes you’re learning, fight overwhelm, actually learn the tunes, and have successes with your new tunes.  Unless, of course, you prefer that feeling of drowning in dots that can stem from not being able to play any of your tunes at all.  For me, I prefer to actually play tunes rather than swim in them.

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