How to practice at home a new piece

Dear frieds, today,I was asked this question on facebook:

Hello Master. I would like to receive some advices from you about the moment when one is going to play a new master piece. How should I start with it? And, what do you think about how long must be the time to study? I will be so gratefull with you, because I feel that I have a trouble with my studies´s technique. I hope don´t be bothersome with all this questions. Thank you so much!

My answer:

Preparing a piece must be carefuly done. First read the notes and sing in the same time. If you are experimented, you can play first view, but never play without hearing and singing the note before ( inside you, or really). Then second time, add the rythm, count… you have now an idea of the style, of the composer, and imagine which king of sound he( she) was thinking, in comparaison with all your musical culture. You can now also make an analysis of the structure of the piece. Look at the piano part and note on your bass part all the indications you need to be able to lead the piece when performing. The pianists or conductors have a big advantage: they have the score! We must prepare also our « score », noting for instance the rythm of the piano when we don’t play, etc… Notice the dynamics asap. Then begin to fix the fingerings and bowings. The one depends on the other, you will experiment yourself which fingering is well with a bowing, discuss with your teacher, etc… no bowing is obligatory, no fingering, it must just fit to your hand and be logical with the music, that’s all… innovate for yourself, take lessons with many professors as possible to be rich on fingerings.Then you can practice, enjoy, rehearse and rehearse, you will be soon able to play by memory, that is great…

How much time per day?         Are you a big wardrobe, or a normal person? it depends on you, never exagerate. For instance, if you don’t have big hands and arms, never more than 3 hours per day…. it is a question of health… so, in this case, choose between the scales and technique and the music pieces… or do both not too long… respect your body and stop immediately if you feel a tendinite could come…

Enjoy bass!  :-)     Thierry Barbé

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