Muscle Memory Archive

Many musicians teach themselves mistakes at every practice session.  They’re usually not even aware that these errors are happening. This habit of learning mistakes is so commonplace because of the way most musicians practice their music.  A typical attempt at learning a song looks something like this: –Start playing at the top. –Stop when a […]

Using repetition when learning to play a musical instrument is extremely important.  By playing something accurately over and over, you train your muscles to go through the actions needed to make music.  And, your brain learns patterns through repeated exposure to the same information. Unfortunately, your muscles don’t really know right from wrong.  They just […]

When I speak to groups of music students about music practice tips, how to learn music, and achieving goals, muscle memory is always one of the main parts of the discussion.  When your muscles can correctly and automatically play all the notes in your music, your performances are easier and more fun. But, one aspect […]

If you are breaking down your music into sections, you give yourself attainable goals, help the memorization process, and learn everything faster. However, you should be aware of one common issue with practicing sections: making a smooth transition from one section to the next. Here’s a look at the unsuccessful process of learning sections for […]

  Playing a musical instrument sometimes requires unnatural positioning of our bodies to play well. But, to the extent we can, musicians should try to keep their fingers, arms, jaws, and torsos in neutral positions when practicing, rehearsing, and performing. In a neutral position, your joints won’t be hyper-extended.  You’ll be able to use just the minimum amount of […]

Using Loops to Learn Music

Setting up a practice loop is one of the best ways to learn a song.  Rather than going through your piece from start to finish, you’ll need to work on small sections that need the majority of the work. Creating and using a practice loop is the nitty gritty of the work itself.  Here’s a […]

Very Slow Practice

When musicians need to learn some very difficult music, they turn to the technique of Slow Practice.  When playing slowly, you teach  your muscles to play the notes correctly.  Basically, your muscles learn a sequence that will eventually allow you to play through a section flawlessly. Most musicians picture slow practice like this: Set the metronome […]