robjh22 wrote: ↑
Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:24 pm
I think he is recommending practicing at greater than performance speed. Any opinions on that philosophy?
I didn't watch the video again just now so don't remember his exact words, but I know of the concept. The idea is that you are able to practice-play the piece up to speeds greater than the target performance speed. This definitely works if you can pull it off even marginally. After doing one such run through, going back to performance speed feels "slower" in the sense of more manageable, controllable (than before doing so). So it works on your proprioception and also on the psychological aspect of playing.
Stephen Aron in 2014-2016 had a brief piece on his blog about this, and I think he also states that it is a technique which shortens the amount of time one needs to get a fast scale up to speed within a larger piece, like Rodrigo's Tonadilla. He also gives his prescription to how exactly to do this (but generally, it should not
be done in a way that causes you to learn things in the wrong way or to wreck you hands).
Wait I found the article: http://stephenaronstudio.blogspot.com/2 ... n-now.html
It is in the context of fast scales, but the idea I think is applicable more broadly.
P.S. Practicing in this way seems to reset the range of speeds that your brain allows (in addition to your conscious self realizing that you CAN actually move your fingers a bit faster than you ever thought possible and thus improving your psychological outlook). After a while you start to be able to do this with more and more control, and eventually you move the dial again. If you are familiar with political theory, this is like you just expanded your Overton window.
But I think this idea, restated in this way: that you should not be performing a piece on stage at a tempo which is your maximum, i.e. at the current edge of your abilities, is familiar. Stephen and Thomas just flip it around to what this means as a strategy for practicing.