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Do you play barefeet?
#1794442 11/23/11 06:55 AM
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I was at a concert last night given by Alice Sara Ott: she walked gracefully on stage in a slinky white dress, looking like she was about to do a pas de deux, except that she was barefeet. And no ballet dancer I've ever known would throw herself into Liszt's Études d'exécution transcendante (her specialty - she often plays all twelve in one concert) like she does.

I half-expected the Steinway D's pedals to be covered with something warm, like my piano's pedals are (I've got 1 1/2 pairs of baby socks over the three pedals, held on by rubber bands, so my bare soles wouldn't get chilly on contact with metal grin), but no - it was bare feet on bare metal for her. I also noticed the way she walked - all on tiptoes, like a ballerina. The only time her heels touched the floor was when she was sitting at the piano.

So, do you (or have you tried to) play barefeet in your home, and if so, do you get a tactile pleasure from the closer connection to your instrument?

P.S. If you've never heard of Alice Sara Ott (aged 23, German-Japanese), she's one of those svelte and beautiful young women (like Yuja Wang, Lise de la Salle and Khatia Buniatishvili) who seem to revel in playing Liszt, as well as taking over the planet....... 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."
Re: Do you play barefeet?
bennevis #1794443 11/23/11 06:58 AM
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Quite often actually, when the weather is hot.

Oh, and yes, Ott is hot...

Re: Do you play barefeet?
bennevis #1794444 11/23/11 07:04 AM
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She played, er, Für Elise as her first encore (the first time I've ever heard it played in concert), no doubt noticing quite a few youngsters in the audience. Then came La Campanella........


"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."
Re: Do you play barefeet?
bennevis #1794450 11/23/11 07:20 AM
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It's more ... organic that way. smile


website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
Re: Do you play barefeet?
bennevis #1794468 11/23/11 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis

P.S. If you've never heard of Alice Sara Ott (aged 23, German-Japanese),...... who seem to revel in playing Liszt,


I like her already.

Re: Do you play barefeet?
bennevis #1794504 11/23/11 10:17 AM
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so how was the playing?

Re: Do you play barefeet?
bennevis #1794655 11/23/11 02:26 PM
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Yes, especially in the morning. Also in summer when I don't wear socks. Playing barefeet does feel a little different than playing with socks on (or with shoes, but I play with shoes on only at my piano lessons (and sometimes not even there) and in concerts). Socks, especially woolen ones make the pedal more slippery but otherwise it isn't very different.


Working on

Chopin: op. 25 no. 11
Haydn: Sonata in in Eb Hob XVI/52
Schumann: Piano concerto 1st movement
Rachmaninoff: op. 39 no. 8

Re: Do you play barefeet?
Verbum mirabilis #1794677 11/23/11 03:10 PM
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We don't wear shoes in our house. However I keep an unlaced, old running shoe under my piano bench and slide it onto my right foot when I play. I find my foot gets a little sore from pedaling without a shoe.

Re: Do you play barefeet?
bennevis #1794687 11/23/11 03:31 PM
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Most of my practice on weekdays is early in the morning (using headphones on my digital) before I get dressed. So yes, I play with bare feet quite often but I do not derive any pleasure from the experience.

Re: Do you play barefeet?
bennevis #1794721 11/23/11 04:08 PM
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I do, if it is not too cold...



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Re: Do you play barefeet?
bennevis #1794722 11/23/11 04:09 PM
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PS: I wouldn't play barefoot in public though.



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Re: Do you play barefeet?
ChopinAddict #1794737 11/23/11 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ChopinAddict
PS: I wouldn't play barefoot in public though.


Exactly, which is why it's more useful to practice WITH shoes - I find it less tiring too. Plus, I practice at a conservatory so I always have shoes on :P

I just hate doing it with heels - but flats look so unflattering on stage.........



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
Re: Do you play barefeet?
Pogorelich. #1794741 11/23/11 04:42 PM
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It is just that I walk around in my flat barefoot when it is hot. Aussies hates shoes. Many also walk around barefoot in the street when it is hot, although I don't...
But surely if one intends to play in public one should get used to use shoes also when practicing at home.



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Re: Do you play barefeet?
bennevis #1794781 11/23/11 05:28 PM
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Hum a few bars... laugh


"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas
Re: Do you play barefeet?
bennevis #1794788 11/23/11 05:47 PM
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Sometimes shoes on, sometimes off. Considering my "vast" performance experience, I've played in very low heels and sparkly ballet flats. Getting across the stage in high heels can be risky...and noisy.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: Do you play barefeet?
gooddog #1794807 11/23/11 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by gooddog
Getting across the stage in high heels can be risky...
At the end of a Carnegie Hall recital Bella Davidovitch stepped out of one her high heeled shoes as she was leaving he stage. She walked a few steps before realizing what had happened, and then stopped with a rather embarrassed expression as she looked at one her shoes perched on the stage a few feet away.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 11/23/11 06:16 PM.
Re: Do you play barefeet?
bennevis #1794822 11/23/11 06:26 PM
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Evelyn Glennie performs barefoot. As does a female singer whose name I never can remember other than it starts with a "B" and is fairly long, something like "Breugganimosen".

Re: Do you play barefeet?
bennevis #1794824 11/23/11 06:31 PM
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Funny, I remember a similar discussion on a drum forum I used to frequent. Lots of musicians prefer a tactile connection to the ground, I think. For piano I prefer soles because the pedals feel uncomfortable otherwise, for whistle I prefer just socks.

Re: Do you play barefeet?
bennevis #1794842 11/23/11 06:44 PM
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I do all the time. I only realise how cold my feet become after I finish practicing though!


Ravel - Une Barque Sur l'Ocean
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Re: Do you play barefeet?
Drunk3nFist #1794856 11/23/11 07:07 PM
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alcohol does that wink

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