When dealing with something subjective like music it’s difficult to make definitive statements about what is right or wrong. Even so, I often find myself listing “rules” to students. We all know that rules are made to be broken, but I’m going to try to compile a list of things I work to incorporate into my own playing as a sort of default. I try to impress these “rules” upon my students in the hopes of ingraining them into their playing.
The number one thing we have to remember is that music is like a river - not a swamp. It must move.
We must always remember that music should either sing or it should dance.
When practicing a section of a song, don’t ever end on the last note of a measure…you must play over the barline!
This will help to give the music forward motion and bring it to life. So if you’re working on measures 1-20, play 1-20 plus the first note in bar 21. The music will thank you.