When practicing something difficult, see if you can break it down into a series of small, intermediate steps.
I’m currently working on the “Banks of the Ohio” solo by Paul Shelasky (with Blue & Lonesome). I’m feeling challenged by some of the double stops. In particular, I just can’t play the D4A2 double stop in tune yet. This happens a few times in the tune. 🤯
I’m trying to practice what I preach and use the micro-practice process. I realized that the first three double stops are not as challenging for me. It’s going from D1A0 to A2D4 that’s beating me up. So I concentrate my practice energy and time on that one transition:
To solve this particular musical problem, I broke the “target phrase” into a few intermediate steps. I work on each intermediate step and then try to play the whole target phrase.
I’m also cheating a bit by sliding into A2. I have faith that once I master this, I won’t need the cheat. As long as I’m aware of what I’m doing than it won’t become a crutch.
It’s a bit frustrating to not be able to do it easily. But I know that if I invest the time in this now, I’ll better be able to do this particular double stop when it arises again.
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Here’s the solo I’m learning.