A Renewed Quest For Speed

Jazz educator Steve Nixon wrote this excellent article on how to play fast tempos. I stumbled across his excellent website as I was trying to research practice methods for how to play faster.

In point #7, Steve says that he learned that to be able to play fast, your fingers need to be used to the feeling of playing fast. That was a light bulb moment for me! I have been practicing entire songs, pushing the tempo to my limit, but still that limit is kinda slow for gigging.

For the past couple of days, I have been breaking down the elements of my practice routine, and making sure I can play each 1- or 2- measure exercise at full tempo before I move on.

Progress has been slow so far; I might spend half an hour or 45 minutes on a single arpeggio or turn. But it’s fun to finally see my fingers move fast!

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