Music Practicing 101: The Looping Drill

Sight-reading can be fun. Think of it as a new adventure that you're reading about and you have no idea how it will end. Photo by R-M Arca. The Looping Drill has become my favourite practice drill as of late. It is great to use at any stage of music mastery, the learning stage, troubleshooting, polishing, memorizing or reviewing. It is an effective way to practice only what needs more work.

Start by playing through your piece or technical exercise. When you hit a snag, play that bar five to seven times before moving onto the next one.

I find that usually by the third repetition, my fingers start to "get" it. However, it isn't until the fifth to seventh repetition that I start to consistently get it.

You can combine the looping practice drill with the Smarties Drill or any other drill to improve your accuracy and consistency. Here is a video demonstration of me using the looping drill:

I am in the process of revamping my Music Bag of Tricks, which are cards that show many of the practice drills my students and I use to achieve efficient and organized music practice. My gaming hobby is heavily influencing the design and set-up.

My Music Bag of Tricks will be tested by a handful of teachers and students before making them available to the general public. They will be available for music students, music teachers and any musician seeking for new ideas on how to practice music efficiently. Stay tuned!