Practicing Backward | The Tinturin Music Studio

Practicing Backward

Students often find that much of the music in the piano repertoire gets more technically difficult as it approaches the end, especially in late-intermediate to advanced repertoire. An effective practice technique for mastering the difficult spots is to practice backward
Start with the most difficult spot and isolate a very small group of notes and play them going forward. Practice this segment very slowly with separate hands and then with hands together. It may be one measure, or one beat. When that much is comfortably absorbed (mentally and physically), add the next measure or beat before it to make a longer segment, practicing this segment in the same manner. Then keep adding, incrementally, another small preceding segment until you can play the whole section smoothly, comfortably, and accurately with hands separate and hands together. The same technique can be used for working on the end of any phrase.

When you put the music together in reverse order, you will have practiced the end many times, and you will have learned it much more securely. You will be able to get to the end with strength and confidence. This technique is also very helpful in memorization. It will make your memory more secure.