A Lesson on Practicing Slowly (For Atharv)

A lesson on practicing slowly for Atharv who is an 8 year old classical guitar student from Victoria studying with my good friend Natasha Pashchenko who is an excellent teacher. The main points in this lesson are to trust your teacher, understand the difference between practice and play, and to practice at a variety of slow tempos. Let your teacher guide you on how fast to practice. Another important factor, especially for youth students to understand, is:

Pros focus on playing at a high quality level and never practice faster than they can play well.

If you want, you can break your slow practice into three ways:

  • Ultra Slow – Play so slowly that you can focus on playing each note like a pro. The goal is to play each note at the highest quality level you can. You can make each note sound nice and full, check your technique and positions, and build confidence.
  • Slow – This tempo allows for more focus on small grouping of notes played in a legato way.
  • Medium Slow – This tempo should still be slow but with just enough push to form phrases (larger groups of legato notes with musical shaping and direction).

The main point is that you can practice at a variety of tempos to keep things interesting and each tempo allows you to focus on different aspects of your playing.

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