How to get better ... fast ... with Practice Loops

In this video I demonstrate how to use Practice Loops to dramatically speed up your technical development.

Even the most complicated passage can be learned in groups of 2 notes. Often you will find there is a particular transition point that is causing you trouble. For example it might be a particular change of string that is causing a stumble.

Isolate the Transition point and practice that.

You master the tremelo the same way you master any musical pattern.

  1. By LOOPING the pattern so you can play many repetitions in a short time
  2. By playing the loop as musically as you can - with rhythm, articulation and dynamics and attention to timbre
  3. By choosing different starting points in the loop

The standard right hand tremolo pattern p - a- m - i is a variant of our basic STROKING pattern a - m - i - p.

Let's practice the standard right hand tremolo pattern.

  1. Abstract the pattern and apply it to different material (In this case a C major scale in first position)
  2. Make a pedal tone of the upper tonic
  3. Choose different starting points in the loop

Steady, and with the marked accents:

Then begin on i, changing the pattern from p a m i to i p a m.

Exactly the same notes but played in a different order:

Then begin on m, changing the pattern from i p a m to m i p a.

Maintain the regular accent pattern to make sure you are not just running the notes in an indistinct loop.

Then begin on a, changing the pattern from m i p a to a m i p.

Needless to say, all this should sound like a piece of music. Perhaps an excerpt from a toccata?

Benefits:

  1. You have learned a musical technique from various angles
  2. Created a useful musical device which you can use as an introduction, an interlude, a joining passage or in a composition.
  3. Have become comfortable with playing a continous tremelo (melody) as the thumb moves closer and further away from the other fingers while playing a bass part.