Learn Any Musical Passage in 10 Minutes…

15th April 2020

Recorded a couple of years ago, this popular video discusses a single technique to accelerate your practice and help you to learn any musical passage with relative ease.

Prof.Weinberg taught at Indiana University in the USA and the Guildhall School of Music in London. He also enjoyed a busy session playing life with recordings alongside such pop greats as The Beatles & Jimi Hendrix, and classical and film work with the London Symphony Orchestra…

Technique Breakdown

As stated in the video, this technique is applicable to any musical passage. It doesn’t matter which instrument, or which notes. Rhythmically it can be flexibly applied across quavers, crotchets, triplets and more. The method remains the same; break down the notes into small groups of equal number and practice in patterns.

This exercise seems very simple, but is amazingly effective. The fingers learn the patterns, learn the jumps and intervals accordingly. Here’s some extra points to consider when attempting this:

  • What is the overall ‘shape’ of the musical passage?
  • In what style was the music written?
  • How can you, as a performer, express this style?
  • Are there dynamic or musical markings throughout the phrase?

It’s also good to work out if there are alternate fingerings that could make the passage even easier. Mark up the score with your own notation about alternative fingering options. Read more about this in our recent blog by Ben Mellefont (Principal Clarinet – London Philharmonic Orchestra)

In Summary

Whilst being a simple exercise, this technique does require persistence and repetition. If the passage is very fast, start at a slower tempo and gradually build up the speed whilst keeping zero mistakes.

Don’t let talent become a mystical attribute that is held in high esteem, it’s just practice in disguise 🙂

Good Luck!