QUOTE(LearnerFlute @ Jul 9 2012, 09:30 AM)
I am learning a study and at the top it says each crotchet is 102. The piece is mostly semi quavers so I have to play four notes for every click. That is never going to happen. The best I can do it and still play the right notes is setting the metronome to 160 and playing a semiquaver for each click. I think that works out to less than half the speed! I am feeling a bit gutted that I seem to have come to a point in my flute playing where it seems like I can't progress any further.
Perhaps I am being too harsh on myself...
When your teacher gives you a new piece of music, how long does it take you to be able to play it properly? It took me a week just to learn the notes! There a lot of accidentals and E#s which I get confused with. I know the theory but when I am playing, my brain can't process the notes quick enough!
Is it possible I have reached a certain standard and will never get any better or is this something to power through?
I am not sure if I can help since I don't know where you stand in your studies. But from your comment that you already have trouble reading the many accidentals that don't apply to the key signatures, my guess is, that you try to achieve something in speed where you already lack security when it comes to reading.
I am currently in the process of speeding up. However, I just got my last accidentals and up to 6 key signature signs secure. I can almost securely do 80 bmp from sight on a crotchet with semiquavers and some odd demisemiquavers on a beat when they are just spread nicely in between. But when it comes to 96 (which is close to your 102), I have to really know the piece already quite well, and even better before I speed up to 116 or 120.
So, my advise would be that you practice first reading the notes better which you can do with etude practice. If you have done an etude and can play it securely including the accidentals, you can do the next and check with the new one, where you still get stuck by playing from (first) sight still with accidentals. Before you are not secure with that, I would really recommend, you stay below 80 bpm.
The other thing is that it doesn't help you to speed up when you loose control over quality. A staccato at 120 bmp has to sound just as lovely and nice as a staccato at 80. And when your muscles aren't properly trained, you won't be able to procure that. For the lifting of the fingers applies the same.
You cannot rush things. Before you get where you most likely want to be, it takes you hours and hours of very concentrated and focused practice. And when you are there, you still find new things to the same topic. That all results into quality. I guess, the proverb quality over quantity can be translated into quality over speed when it comes to music!
Remind youself, a long way begins with lots of very tiny steps.