Repetition - The art of playing effortlessly
When you learn a new piece you don't just play it through once to get it right. You play it over and over and
over until you remember it and it begins to feel natural and effortless. I knew a classical player once who would
ask to borrow a book containing 20 or 30 complex pieces for the weekend. That's fine. He would come back to me in a
couple of days and say. "I played all these pieces. Have you got any more?" He made it sound like he could play
each piece like the virtuoso that he wasn't and was now bored with them.
What a clever dick. Pigs can fly easier than he could play these pieces after he returned the book. It's amazing
how easily the power of self delusion can cloud the truth if you have an ego as big as Texas. Memorizing and
mastering music comes from repetition. Even if he did memorize all those pieces on the weekend, memorizing the
music is a minor part of playing convincing music. Mastering the music can only come through discovering subtle
ways of better expressing the music with each repetition.