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Blog overview

How to practice slowly

Cameron, in Music lessons
Nov 24, 2020 | 2 min read

Practicing slowly is an important part of your daily routine. It is important to not just play at fast tempos, but to also slow down the music so that you can truly understand and appreciate each note. If you can play a piece perfectly at a slower tempo, you will find it much easier to progress to faster tempos than if you simply tried to practice at a fast speed without first starting slow. With that being said, many musicians struggle with effective slow practice because they do not approach it in the proper manner. So here are some methods you can use to practice slowly:

  1. Pay attention to your technique

When practicing slowly, musicians often let their minds wander off because they aren’t focusing on the speed and intensity of their playing. This makes it difficult to spot mistakes in your technique as you aren’t fully concentrating on every note individually. Try to be aware of each movement of your fingers and hands, which will help strengthen your mind-muscle connection. Doing this might seem trivial, but will help you when you’re playing at much faster tempos.

  1. Split your practice into chunks

This technique is often used when practicing quickly, but it can also work well for slower speeds. Breaking up a song or section into chunks of 3 bars or less will allow you to truly master each aspect of the music, which should make you more comfortable with playing the piece from memory or even starting in the middle of the song.

  1. Use a metronome

This goes without saying, but using a metronome is essential to any practice routine. Many musicians forgo the use of a metronome when practicing slowly, as they feel that it isn’t necessary when playing at comfortable speeds. On the contrary, a metronome will help you understand the space between each beat, and where to place every note. This  can be just as useful as using a metronome for fast tempos, as the slower bpm can give you a fuller understanding of a song’s rhythmic structure.

  1. Slow the music down too

When practicing slowly, most people practice their instruments solo without any accompaniment. This makes it difficult to understand the part that you are practicing in context of the song. Using software, you can easily slow down the song to match your tempo, which will be both more enjoyable to practice with and better for your musical technique. You can use Garageband, Riff Studio, Anytune and a variety of other apps to do this.

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