Maxims for success
1. Time counts
2. Focus on the tricky bits first
3. Use consistent fingerings
4. GOOOOOOOO SLOOOOOOOW, very slow with a steady beat. Engage your best friend--the metronome.
5. Be patient. Speeding up before you are ready can undo all the hard work you just did.
6. Spend extra time on scales, chords, and arpeggios, these boring bits are the key to rapid progress. Listen for evenness of tone and steadiness. Be cognizant of the relaxed feeling in your body and the gentle rhythm of your breathing.
7. Have fun, a happy expectant attitude goes along way.
You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.
I'm a professional pianist and music educator in West Toronto Ontario. I'm also a devoted percussionist and drum teacher.