You could call it laziness, you could call it an educational exercise, but what you can't call it is a waste of time. I'm a clarinet player, which means I'm used to seeing a lot of notes that aren't necessarily musically important. One of the ways I learn music is to simplify it. I naturally gravitate toward more musical pieces with less virtuosic technique, but that is almost impossible to avoid when you study any music formally, especially clarinet solo standards.
The music below is an excerpt from one of the etudes that I'm currently working on. How would you simplify it to make it easier for sight reading and understanding?
Here's what I did to the first 8 bars:
- Anything that looks like a flourish or a turn is OUT.
- Anything that is an elaboration of a longer note is OUT.
- Big flourishes become eighth note points.
I actually practiced like this before I added the other notes in, and guess what? The flourishes were more even and more in time than if I had practiced them from the beginning. I often forget to practice like this because I get so stressed about learning all the notes. I need to remember that this is how you learn all these notes in such a short period of time!
Disagree with my reduction? Awesome! I love to discuss music - feel free to leave me a comment below or reach out to me by email. I'm more than happy to write retractions for anyone who convinces me. :)
Have no idea what I'm talking about, but want to learn? These skills are learned partly by composing! We only have a couple spots left in our Young Composers Camp. Learn all about this and the exciting world of composing! OR take private lessons and discuss how you can get out of practicing a bunch of notes with your own personal teacher! Happy practicing :D