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11. Thoughts

Purpose: Get inspired and learn to practice efficiently.

Credit: Jon Antonsson

  • Learn as many simple standard tunes as possible, by picking them up by ear.

  • Break down each tune into manageable phrases.

    • If you encounter a challenging part, 'zoom in' on that specific spot and apply some 'motor oil' to smooth out the passage.

    • 'Zoom' out and make sure that the newly oiled section harmonizes within its context.

  • Play the tunes both with and without ornaments.

    • Even though there’s nothing wrong with incorporating ornaments, it's good to be aware of any 'involuntary' ornamentations or articulations that may arise.

  • Be kind to yourself if you’re unsure about the 'correct' placement of all ornaments.

    • The key is to have fun and acknowledge your awareness. That mindset takes you a long way!


  • Once you’ve established the foundation of the tune, experiment by adding or removing ornaments in different sections.

    • Feel free to exaggerate or understate the melody.

    • Be creative, take liberties, and introduce variations to the tune.

    • Extend a note where there are usually many, and vice versa.

    • Twist the tune inside out until you’ve crafted ‘your own’ version of it.


Traditional music is alive and constantly changing and I believe that traditions should continue to evolve and therefore:

  • Let the tunes find their unique place within your musical realm.

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