Why Do I Keep Making Mistakes? in Teaching and Learning Posted September 27, 2014 Many words of wisdom here and might even help me! I especially agree with Tradewinds Ted's "amateurs tend to practice a tune until they get it right, while professionals practice a tune until they can't get it wrong." He's also right about how we forgive ourselves in practice. In storytelling it's easy to do the check your memory idea given here for memorizing music. Music memorization was always a problem for me and even if I learn something, it's not something that stays with me after a gap in time, unlike "running my mouth." However once learned, re-learning is always easier. My reason for bringing my own field of storytelling into the picture is because I remember another storyteller was criticized for insufficient practice by someone who was a classical guitar player. She gave some kind of ratio, don't remember exactly but maybe 4 hrs. for a piece? Learning a story to tell, as opposed to memorizing word for word, is far less and I suspect we musical amateurs are comparable when practicing until we get it right. I've also found a few other musical problems not fitting just the practice end. My mother was trained to teach music. Wisely she didn't try to teach me, BUT she still would call out from the next room "That's not right!" I could hear my own mistakes. Didn't need to think she was, too. When playing for others somehow my "they just want to enjoy this and have fun" storytelling attitude disappears and I know ""That's not right!" shows . . . especially if anybody in the audience is a musician. When playing at our local folk society there's a bunch of them. It also doesn't help that, like you, David, my internal metronome is entirely too forgiving. My storytelling concentration plays to my audience. The talk here about focus and concentration shows I dare not do that with music. On another forum for a different instrument I asked essentially this same question a month ago. Someone said he tells his students "to avoid two things when they make mistakes in front of an audience: don't stop (break rhythm), and don't change your facial expression. These are dead giveaways, and if you can avoid them your audience won't even notice many small errors. Of course, some things are too big to hide, but this will cover many of the small ones. And if you play the wrong note or chord, but it doesn't sound bad, do the same thing the next time through if you are playing multiple verses; for your audience it becomes just part of a unique arrangement!" Unfortunately both that rhythm problem and a too expressive face tend to work against me on his advice. Thank you for this discussion. I plan to do a condensed version of it and put it on as a further look at the problem on the other forum. At least I have an excuse I can always give: Now you know why I'm a storyteller and not a musician!