408 • Bona Fides

When, while practicing, you experiment with the evenness of a passage, the balance of a chord, or the gesture of a melody, you can accidentally get it wrong, but you cannot accidentally get it right.

Determining and setting up exactly what you want to hear, what to imagine, and what to expect before playing, is critical for good practicing of details - technical passages, melodic lines, sound balance, up to character studies ~ etudes. It's like lining up billiard balls and then giving it a shot again and again. Experimentation reveals which resolve produces results, i.e., which setup works best. One in ten shots will yield a better result than the rest - 10% success vs. 90% failure in execution. Hone in on the one better version and keep experimenting, repeating that setup and execution, eventually increasing the number of good versions. Practice until you play only bone fides versions - 100% success in execution; then increase the scope and complexity of your setup and restart. Practicing makes that which works reliable and consistent.

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