The 4 Times Rule of Practice
To create more focus and mimic some of the pressure you will feel when performing I suggest trying the 4-Times Rule.
It’s a simple process:
1. repeat the passage 4 times without making a mistake
2. If you make a mistake, restart the process
3. If you get stumped and can’t get 4 times in a row, slow your tempo down.
4. To make it more challenging, try more repeats or a faster tempo.
It’s amazing how this simple 5-10 minute process will help you really focus on the task at hand more than if you were just playing through a few times. This type of practice is also called mindful practice.
As a teacher, I try this often with students and it becomes a game. Students really engage with the challenge and the results are very quick.