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Learn to play fast - part three: Step 2 Rhythm

Remember part 1, where I wrote: “Why are these passages difficult…?

Because of how the brain works: So many notes, there’s no time to ‘think’ every note, to send a message to your fingers/tongue for every note.”

Well, you can use the trick I reveal in this blog to train the brain in sending messages faster and faster!

The whole point of this is to start with just 2 fast messages after another, then 3, then 4 and so on, and vary which ones you stick together...Uhm, that’s not very clear is it…? Let me clarify with an example.

Let’s say you want to play this passage from the Ferling 48 Etudes:

That means your brain needs to tell your fingers to change position really quickly 58 consecutive times! Now, by playing the passage with this rhythm

instead of the 16th notes….they only change position really quickly twice - you play 2 notes quickly after another!

The little bit of extra time on every long note gives the brain time to prepare for the following 2 notes. Once it knows how to do that, you can add a note and train the brain to play 3 consecutive notes quickly after another, and so on. And that’s all there is to the trick :-)

Let’s put that into practice. Follow these next steps and train your brain to let the fingers fly!

1. Play the passage, including articulation, dynamics, and character in this rhythm:

2. Now turn the rhythm around and don’t forget to play the articulations, dynamics and character!

3. Well done, you can now play 2 consecutive notes really fast after another! Let’s add a note….

4. And turn that around too. This of course means that you now train a different set of messages from brain to fingers.

5. You should be pretty happy with yourself by now, everything’s pretty warmed let’s take it one step further: 4 fast notes and one longer note!

6. You might have guessed...yep, we turn that around too! Don’t forget the articulations, dynamics and character...and well, the trill...maybe let’s forget that just this once?

That’s enough for today, congratulate yourself on a job well done! Come back tomorrow and do this again, but now faster and with metronome!

I do hope you’ll enjoy adding this trick to your practice routine. I’m always so happy after I do this - I think this good sweaty brain-and-fingers-workout gives me an endorphin rush!

Thanks for sticking with me and see you next Blog, step 3: back-to-front!

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