Robert Estrin - piano expert

How to Make Corrections in Your Playing

Useful insights for all musicians

In this video, Robert talks about making corrections in your playing, no matter what instrument you play.

Released on August 4, 2021

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Robert Estrin here at with How to Make Corrections in Your Playing. I've talked about so many different techniques, from taking things slowly, of course, referencing the score, going with the metronome, doing hands separately. What could I possibly be bringing to this video that I haven't brought before? Today is just a tip that really makes a huge difference in being able to have corrections actually stick, because that's the hardest problem, isn't it? You correct something and then you make the same mistake again. You're wondering, "Why the heck do I keep missing this?"

The answer is to articulate out loud in words what the correction is. Like you're going along and you miss something, you go, "Oh." You're smart enough to have the score handy. You have the patience to find where you are in that score. You find exactly what the correction is. Then that point you realize, "Oh, yeah, it's a fourth finger on F in the right hand." That's right. The first time it goes up, the second time it goes down to fourth finger on F. Boom, you verbalized it.

It's not some abstraction that, "Oh, yeah, I'm going to get that right next time." You really make it a definite thing that is omnipresent in your mind. When you get there, you go, "What was it? Oh, fourth finger F, boom." You have that extra bit of information floating in your head for just in time when you need it, because otherwise it's so abstract if you just go, "I want to get that right." Right and wrong, it's not black and white. It has to be quantifiable, precise.

It's not just notes. You have to remember the staccato on the repeat of the second section. You go, "Oh, yeah, second section, make sure staccato in the right hand. Second section, that's right. When I get to the second ..." You think where that second section is before you play, you see you're coming into it, "Oh, yeah. When I get there, I'm going to do staccato in the right hand. Yes." Articulate it in words. If you can't put it into words, you might not really fully grasp what it is you want to do next time. If you're not 100% sure of what you're trying to achieve, you're very unlikely to achieve it.

That's the tip for today. Among all the other ways of solving problems, make sure you articulate with words what you want different in your playing specifically each time you repeat a phrase that you want to correct. That's the tip for today. Lots more coming your way. For those of you who like the videos, if you haven't already subscribed, hit the bell, the thumbs up, and we'll take this to another level together. Thanks a lot for joining me. See you again.
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