Play Fast or Slow

by Todd
(Kent, wa)

I'm a 51 year old beginner on keyboards. I've learned right hand first then left hand and now I'm playing with both together...{yay}

I'm learning the first song I can recognize {jingle bells} but I keep making mistakes.

Is it better to learn ANY song by playing it slowly till you get it?

I'm trying to play it at it's tempo but its tough making so many mistakes on a song EVERYBODY KNOWS! thx

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Yes, always start practicing slow!
by: Maria

Congratulations to learning Jingle Bells! More to come soon I’m sure!

The short answer is: Yes! You should always start learning a piano piece slowly. Actually, in slow motion.

Because, what kicks in as you start learning a piece is your muscle memory. You should program every little movement and combination of movement that you make.

For it to be programmed correctly- obviously every single note and movement must be correct. Otherwise the message to your fingers (muscle/motor memory) becomes "confused" and your fingers won’t know what to do- so to speak.

Doesn’t sound much like music making, does it?

It’s rather mechanical at this stage- yes, but you must also program every musical intent as well! Every little thing. So, you must also play musically- but in slow motion.

Although it sounds "mechanical" it’s actually a process that needs very little time. We have amazing bodies/minds. And the motor/muscle memory kicks in immediately out of instinct.

So, make the movement right the first time, with every little detail correct including musical intent- and that’s it! You have learned it.

The repetitions we make after this are to "fine tune" and make sure that we put this memory even deeper and more secure in our minds. Then we can learn the next new thing and so on.

So, practicing ridiculously slow the first time/s is key to learn a piece very fast!

Here I’ve written a practice plan that you can have a look at:

Piano Practice Chart

Good luck with your practice!

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