• Play things correctly from the start! If there is a difficult passage, play it very slowly to ensure that the pitches and rhythms are correct. If you start playing passages more quickly than you’re able to, you will learn things incorrectly and have to work twice as hard to unlearn and relearn the correct way
  • Use a metronome to train your tempo sense and track your progress as you begin to play difficult passages faster
  • Break difficult passages down – just pitches or just rhythm. Pay attention to articulations and dynamics, learning them from the beginning
  • Make sure all parts of your solo are prepared – don’t always start practicing at the beginning of the piece. You should plan to work intensely on different sections of the piece over several days
  • Practice “backwards” – play the last 30 seconds of the piece, then add the preceding section, etc. until you are playing the whole piece beginning to end. This will enable you to feel more confident the further you get into the piece. Use the same method to master playing longer technical passages (e.g. play the last 4 notes, then the last 5, then the last 6, etc.)
  • Record yourself! You don’t need to have a high-end recording system – just something that will help you identify elements that need improvement (notes, rhythm, intonation)
  • Once you know the piece well enough to play it through beginning to end, get used to playing without stopping, even if you make mistakes. It will help you get used to letting go of mistakes that may happen and keep from compounding them as you continue. Of course, remember where you have problems and focus on fixing them in subsequent practice sessions

Posted in: Audition Preparation