March 15, 2017

Preparing to Compete - Music

When you decide to compete you will need to prepare!  While you might think, “Oh, I’ll just throw out a few tunes”, you’ll feel so much more confident (and play so much better) if you spend some time getting ready ahead of time.  How much time? Well, that depends on you!

There are three areas in which to focus to maximize your time – Music, Body and Mind.  This week it’s the Music

Before you even begin to consider tunes – read the rules! Nothing is more frustrating that talking to competitors on the day of a competition only to discover they have prepared tunes that don’t meet the rules – wrong tune types, not enough tunes for the category, too many of the same type of tune, etc.  It’s disheartening!  But I can guarantee you that every competition has rules – and that they all state that in the end, the competitor is responsible for reading and complying with them!

Learn your music – unless you have an iron ego, most of us would prefer to play our best and that requires actually knowing the music we intend to play.  Be sure you actually know the tunes – otherwise when you sit you will activate that switch in the bench – you know the one that empties your brain as soon as you start to play? Yup, that switch.

Consider a backup plan – having prepared at least two sets of music that conform to the rules can be very freeing.  This backup plan means that if for some reason you have a crisis of confidence with a particular tune on the day of the competition, you can shift to your other set.  Just knowing that makes you feel more confident and gives you flexibility to play whatever feels right that day (or to switch when everyone before you plays the same tune – don’t laugh, I’ve seen it happen!).

Practice enough to feel confident with the music itself and you’ll be most of the way there!  Next time – preparing your Body to compete.

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