Unlearning Bad Technique

In our development as musicians we all want to progress as quickly as possible to our desired result (play like our heroes, impress people, express ourselves etc). This quite often comes at the sacrifice of good technique. I know too well being young and trying to learn a song on bass by just using one finger! The problem is when these techniques aren’t picked up on and is one of the primary reasons I would suggest that you should get proper 1 on 1 lessons early on.

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If you think you are doing something correctly but it’s not ergonomic not only can it impair your ability to learn more difficult things but it can also cause injury. Bending your hands, exerting too much force in a particular place or straining muscles to compensate can all be detrimental to your playing.

It can be little things too. Before I started university I had what guitarists and bass players know as flying fingers. My bass teacher at university (and mentor) corrected this but to unlearn my behaviour that I had had for so long was much more difficult later on that unlearning a bad technique earlier in your development.

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I obviously come from this as a bass player but I know much it applies to other instruments as well. Whether it be your air support on a wind instrument to your embouchure on brass.

Once you have found something you are doing wrong learning a new behaviour can be hard, however, it always pays off in the end. Make sure you practice the new technique each day and slowly your bad habits will change. Try not to get frustrated at the difficulty of the task and revert back to your old ways as it will hinder your progress.

Do you have any tips for improving incorrectly learned techniques? After they are identified what do you do? Let us know in the facebook comments below

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