I first published this post on top tips in October, 2015. I am republishing it now, with a couple of updates.

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The first of an occasional series of tips – these are quick and easy to read, and I hope they will be useful in your practice.

Top Tips #1: Start Anywhere!

When you have thoroughly learned a piece and you’re getting it ready for a performance or an exam, it’s a great idea to be easily able to start from anywhere in the piece.

Left to your own devices you would probably start in a comfortable place, such as the beginning of a phrase or section. That’s fine, but for a challenge use a random number generator to decide for you where to start.

1. Figure out the number of bars in your piece – let’s say it’s 87 bars long

2. In the Min field, enter 1. In the Max field, enter 87

3. Press the Generate button

4. Play from the bar that comes up – not the bar before or after for convenience but the bar specified, even if it is in the middle of a phrase

random.org

There are many ways to do this – make a decision beforehand how far you’re going to play on from the bar you started at. It could be 1 bar, or 4 bars – whatever!

Tracking

If you have divided your piece into sections, you can use the random number generator for that too.

For details of this approach, click here.

Tied Notes

If the bar you land on has tied notes, depress the key(s) silently before you begin. Here’s why…

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