Violin Practice as Simple as Copy and Paste

By billalpert | Bill Alpert Journal

Apr 12

Recently I wrote about starting your daily violin practice with something dead simple. And that’s common sense.

But it also turns out that same idea also works for your most difficult songs, pieces or passages. In fact 90% of your practice problems can be solved in about 10% of the time you currently spend practicing! That’s great to know, when your available time on the violin is limited.

Begin by warming up for 5 or 10 minutes on a very simple song, or scale while you relax into the physical sensations of playing.

1. Find your target tough spot. Maybe a “tricky group” of 5 or 10 notes that you’d like to improve within 5 or 10 minutes.

Now, here’s the practice hack that actually uses your brain in a productive, positive way:

  1. “Copy and paste” the challenging aspect of your “tricky group” into your simple piece. For example, a rapid fire succession of hard to find notes could be pasted into a slow “scale.” This simplified version of your problem allows you to focus on the 10% of skills that will produce 90% of the results.
  2. Tune into any and all physical sensations during this process. Especially notice any tension or discomfort ANYWHERE in your body.
  3. Stop, and evaluate what you’re hearing, feeling and seeing. Frequently. Like every 15 or 30 seconds.
  4. Return to your original song, but with your new found skills. Use the copy/paste, feel, think pattern. Do this for no more than 5 or 10 minutes before moving on to a new challenge.

Copy and Paste practice is enjoyable, fast moving and effective

Using this practice system really works well because it honors your intellectual skills while at the same time honing your physical and motor skills.

Copy and paste practice is SO POWERFUL! It’s a staple of top professional musicians, yet it simple enough that even a beginner can take part. In fact, this idea is so powerful I surgically implant it (just kidding) into the brain of all my private studio students. And it’s also at the heart of my video training programs, like the 6 Week Ultimate Vibrato Workshop.

Until next time, enjoy your violin journey!

~Bill Alpert

Leave a Comment:

Leave a Comment: