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Topic Options
#1659613 - 04/13/11 04:19 PM I play piano like I play golf..
cardguy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 977
I recorded myself performing some Chopin, and in listening I instantly realized I was playing with way too much caution, My old golf teacher use to say, "Hey dummy, how many times do I have to tell you that you have to give up control to gain control?"

I swear, as I was listening I could almost see my overly careful, mingy little golf swing lurking just behind the notes.

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#1659615 - 04/13/11 04:33 PM Re: I play piano like I play golf.. [Re: cardguy]
Batuhan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/21/09
Posts: 1021
Loc: Istanbul
Bring yourself to the beauty of music. Forget about making mistakes like horowitz he always make mistakes at the concerts but we can ignore it cause he is playing with heart, passion he feels music. And he is the best pianist. Watch him and learn something.
_________________________
Sorry for my English, I know it sucks, but I'm trying to improve.


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#1659623 - 04/13/11 04:47 PM Re: I play piano like I play golf.. [Re: cardguy]
Chris G Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/09
Posts: 737
Loc: Portland, Oregon
If I played piano as badly as I play golf I would have quit the piano years ago, just like I quit golf years ago.

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#1659628 - 04/13/11 05:12 PM Re: I play piano like I play golf.. [Re: cardguy]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 22172
Loc: New York City
I play golf the way Sokolov plays piano...or maybe I play piano the way Sokolov plays golf.

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#1659630 - 04/13/11 05:18 PM Re: I play piano like I play golf.. [Re: Batuhan]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 22172
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Batuhan
Bring yourself to the beauty of music. Forget about making mistakes like horowitz he always make mistakes at the concerts but we can ignore it cause he is playing with heart, passion he feels music. And he is the best pianist. Watch him and learn something.
I think a better solution is to work on your technique so you don't have to play so carefully but can still be accurate.

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#1659632 - 04/13/11 05:22 PM Re: I play piano like I play golf.. [Re: Chris G]
cardguy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 977
Originally Posted By: Chris G
If I played piano as badly as I play golf I would have quit the piano years ago, just like I quit golf years ago.


Don't think I haven't considered it :-)

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#1659669 - 04/13/11 06:14 PM Re: I play piano like I play golf.. [Re: cardguy]
Tim Adrianson Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 1577
Agree with Chris G -- I'd love to play golf even with SOME proficiency, but simply am terrible at it (and a short temper to boot). Stick to piano, which, for whatever reason, seems to be ever so much more of a "fit".

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#1659682 - 04/13/11 07:01 PM Re: I play piano like I play golf.. [Re: pianoloverus]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Batuhan
Bring yourself to the beauty of music. Forget about making mistakes like horowitz he always make mistakes at the concerts but we can ignore it cause he is playing with heart, passion he feels music. And he is the best pianist. Watch him and learn something.
I think a better solution is to work on your technique so you don't have to play so carefully but can still be accurate.


thumb

+1
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

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#1659694 - 04/13/11 07:53 PM Re: I play piano like I play golf.. [Re: cardguy]
daviel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
I can't putt at the piano either!
_________________________
"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#1659778 - 04/13/11 10:58 PM Re: I play piano like I play golf.. [Re: pianoloverus]
cardguy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 977
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Batuhan
Bring yourself to the beauty of music. Forget about making mistakes like horowitz he always make mistakes at the concerts but we can ignore it cause he is playing with heart, passion he feels music. And he is the best pianist. Watch him and learn something.
I think a better solution is to work on your technique so you don't have to play so carefully but can still be accurate.


My post was half tongue in cheek, but only half.

The golf analogy actually works pretty well because to play well they both require exquisitely fine motor control, which in turn depends on near absolute relaxation.

When I first took up golf 20 years ago, I resolved to become the best golfer I could possibly be. I went to the range every day and hit balls for hours. I took many lessons, read many books. I practiced til my hands bled. After a couple of years of this I developed, not surprisingly, quite a sound golf swing. At the driving range, other golfers would ask me if I was a pro.

And yet...and here's the kicker....On the golf course, I STILL BASICALLY SUCKED. Why? Because I couldn't find a way to relax consistently under pressure..

Piano it seems to me is no different. I don't care how good your technique is, if you can't find a way to just let it flow, you won't play nearly up to your ability..

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#1659780 - 04/13/11 11:02 PM Re: I play piano like I play golf.. [Re: cardguy]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6451
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Rubinstein said that a mastered piece is "a free walk on firm ground". I think it is an excellent quote. Try to make it your own. smile
_________________________



Music is my best friend.



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#1659800 - 04/14/11 12:01 AM Re: I play piano like I play golf.. [Re: cardguy]
sarah_elizabeth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 466
Loc: Texas, U.S.
I have a very similar tendency, too... I suspect part of the problem is personality. wink I tend to be overly cautious at times when I feel "under the gun," so to speak. Another common issue is worrying about wrong notes; my teacher has often said that she'd rather hear an expressive phrase with a few klonkers than a note-perfect rendition that's also perfectly dull. Yup, a tall order for us perfectionists! laugh

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#1659833 - 04/14/11 02:08 AM Re: I play piano like I play golf.. [Re: cardguy]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4264
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
As the long-handicap wannabe remarked to his caddie ...
in puzzlement as he stood up on his drive at the Home of Golf St Andrews ...
and his drive clattered with a lingering fade into the unplayable dense heather ...
“Golf is a funny game” ...

to which the Scottish caddie replied ...
“It wa’ nae’ meant ta’ be”.

But if you’re no good at the keyboard and at golf ... why not take up sky-diving? ... which is said to be less frazzling on the nerves.

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#1659898 - 04/14/11 06:14 AM Re: I play piano like I play golf.. [Re: cardguy]
bennevis Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 8993
Temperament is a strange thing...I've seen softly-spoken, mild-mannered taciturn pianists transform into raging maniacs when in front of the piano keyboard, and conversely, voluble, loud-mouthed, garrulous, extroverted and flamboyant people play as if afraid of injuring the housemites on the keys. Never judge a book by its cover, as they say...

Most of my colleagues are amazed that when I go on holiday, I risk my life climbing and mountaineering at high altitudes as well as doing fun things like sky-diving, paragliding, hang-gliding, bungy-jumping, white-water kayaking etc, because I'm introverted and taciturn by nature cool. And similarly, when I'm at a piano, I transform into, well, a different being: I never play for safety except when I'm learning a new piece. Wrong notes whizz by too fast to be heard...... grin
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#1659903 - 04/14/11 06:56 AM Re: I play piano like I play golf.. [Re: cardguy]
jnod Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/09
Posts: 794
Loc: Toronto
I play piano like I play chess: I'm ambitious but accident-prone.
_________________________
Justin
-------
Bach English Suite #5
Scarlatti Sonata K141 . L422
Mozart Sonata K333
Schubert Impromptu opus 90 D899
Schubert Moment Musicaux opus 94 D780

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#1659915 - 04/14/11 07:27 AM Re: I play piano like I play golf.. [Re: cardguy]
LimeFriday Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 303
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: cardguy

Piano it seems to me is no different. I don't care how good your technique is, if you can't find a way to just let it flow, you won't play nearly up to your ability..


This is exactly the conversation I had with my teacher a few days ago. Her solution - take up yoga wink Not instead of piano - but in addition to. If not yoga - then mediation, or whatever works in aid of relaxation of the mind and muscles. It remains to be seen whether this makes a difference. I've yet to try it.

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#1659936 - 04/14/11 08:17 AM Re: I play piano like I play golf.. [Re: cardguy]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4983
Loc: boston north
Try singing loudly and carefree while you play.

Your fingers will just have to keep up!
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1659962 - 04/14/11 09:22 AM Re: I play piano like I play golf.. [Re: cardguy]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 22172
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: cardguy
And yet...and here's the kicker....On the golf course, I STILL BASICALLY SUCKED. Why? Because I couldn't find a way to relax consistently under pressure..

Piano it seems to me is no different. I don't care how good your technique is, if you can't find a way to just let it flow, you won't play nearly up to your ability..
Why be nervous? No one's going to repossess your Bluthner if you hit some wrong notes. Your practicing at home seems analogous to the driving range, no?


Edited by pianoloverus (04/14/11 10:26 AM)

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#1659979 - 04/14/11 10:10 AM Re: I play piano like I play golf.. [Re: cardguy]
daviel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
I do not know about anybody else, but with me if I am really prepared I can relax. Usually if I am too cautious that is an indication that I do not know the piece as well as I thought I did. I guess in my reptilian-brain way back there I really know I am not prepared so I over-compensate and seize up. If I over-practice a piece I am more confident and more relaxed.
_________________________
"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#1659996 - 04/14/11 10:41 AM Re: I play piano like I play golf.. [Re: cardguy]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1278
Loc: chicago, il
know what you mean cardguy. have you ever checked out the "inner game" books? (golf, tennis, music). really quite effective at distinguishing between Self 1, which is the overly critical internal voice, and Self 2, which is the source of your innate capabilities.
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

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#1660068 - 04/14/11 01:09 PM Re: I play piano like I play golf.. [Re: pianoloverus]
cardguy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 977
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: cardguy
And yet...and here's the kicker....On the golf course, I STILL BASICALLY SUCKED. Why? Because I couldn't find a way to relax consistently under pressure..

Piano it seems to me is no different. I don't care how good your technique is, if you can't find a way to just let it flow, you won't play nearly up to your ability..
Why be nervous? No one's going to repossess your Bluthner if you hit some wrong notes. Your practicing at home seems analogous to the driving range, no?


Yes, it is. Good point. However, as soon as i start recording myself it's like heading out to the first tee at Augusta :>)

Alas, the golf analogy breaks down because I don't have nearly the technical skills at the piano that I do with a golf club. I actually have a little bit of golfing talent.

Bottom line here is that recording myself is a brutally painful exercise. Every little slip, flaw, mistake is right there in all its painful playback glory...

Pieces that I thought I was playing half-way decently have to be taken apart and reconstructed measure by measure. It's a tad discouraging .

I was happier in my ignorance :-)


Edited by cardguy (04/14/11 01:10 PM)

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