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New Rhythms (Practice Tip)

Still having trouble with rapid passagework? Well, if you haven’t checked out my tip on “rush-to” yet, I’d give that a look; but one other trick might help you out.Most of the rapid passages we struggle with consist of an onslaught of 8th, 16th or 32nd notes. However, if we break these up into feasible portions, we can make sure that:

A. Our muscle memory is primed to tackle the whole passage, and B. Each finger is the same volume as the last (i.e., no dropped or missed notes).

This is implemented through the use of rhythms! Similar to “rush-to,” we can use accents to determine various ‘foundational points’ within the phrase. However, we can also use it to practice any difficult leaps or twists in the fingering; this is achieved by picking a rhythm different than the straight 16ths (or whichever), because this often highlights where the difficult intricacies lie. What are some pieces you’ve played with fast running notes? How have you conquered them?

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