28 - Slow Down 

After studying Top Performers at practice one can observe 5 different strategies used:

1 – Ability to handle mistakes;

2 – Maintenance and improvement;

3 – Focus on weaker areas of expertise;

4 – Mental resilience;

5 – Confidence strengthening.

Let’s go through them all, one by one.

1 – Handling Mistakes

The fundamental concept that sets top performers and high achievers apart is how to handle mistakes. Correcting errors is vital to help us avoid repeating mistakes and leads to a higher proportion of correct trials overall.

Dividing a piece, phrase or lick into chunks simplifies the learning process into a more manageable fashion. It’s like taking our food in smaller bites rather than stuff it down the throat. It becomes more pleasurable, tasteful and digestive.

Thus, slowing things down is THE way to handle, correct and prevent errors.

Think about an awesome HD video footage that suddenly starts slowing speed narrowing down and zooming in a specific detail in the landscape. The director of this footage is intentionally guiding your attention towards the most important element in the visual frame.

While directing your own HD practice session footage, slow things down whenever necessary. Accuracy on motor coordination and earing will be enhanced.

In short, one must accurately identify (1) where each error is and (2) why it occurs. Once you spot it, repeat the passage and correct it until the chunk is stabilized with an absence of errors in subsequent trials.

Prevent those errors by slowing down, anticipating possible mistakes and address them immediately after occurrence.

Also, vary the tempo of the trials in order to grasp the chunk in its essence. Vary slower tempos to get tricky sections crystal clear accurate and speed things up to test your gradual proficiency.

Don’t forget to practice the chunk in its most complete way possible, i. e., work on its inflection, articulation, dynamic, drive, musicality and intention. Grasp the chunk’s singular unity but don’t take off-key components. Don’t decharacterize the material. Work on it with its full nuances from the beginning.

Singing the phrases, taking notes, analyzing fundamental concepts or nuances, recalling and contextualizing are other key ingredients that make you launch your playing to the next level.

Sharpen your ear, eye and motor skills and light up your path to greatness.