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#2116748 - 07/12/13 07:01 PM Re: when is enough enough [Re: TrapperJohn]  
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dmd Offline
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Originally Posted by TrapperJohn
Originally Posted by Peyton

I don't read it as trying to be "perfect". I see it as always wanting to make it better (not "perfect"). For me that is what keeps the music alive. You don't have to be a famous touring concert pianist to keep trying to improve a piece.


How much better? When does "diminishing returns" kick in? That is, with each new effort when does the difference not make a difference; when is better not hardly recognizable as better?

And when does one just plain get sick and tired of playing the same piece over and over and over... laugh



I think that you absolutely do get sick and tired of playing the same piece over and over. But then, you remind yourself that it is necessary if you wish to be able to play something very well and not just ok. It just plain requires repetition and plenty of it.

Now, you can stop playing something for awhile and then come back to it in 2 or 3 months and then hit it hard again for a week or so. There are any number of ways to get the reps in ... but you do need the reps.



Don

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#2116784 - 07/12/13 09:32 PM Re: when is enough enough [Re: dmd]  
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TrapperJohn Offline
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Originally Posted by dmd


Now, you can stop playing something for awhile and then come back to it in 2 or 3 months and then hit it hard again for a week or so. There are any number of ways to get the reps in ... but you do need the reps.



I know this works - I've used this "technique" several times with favorite pieces I really loved - work on it until its "finished" - set it aside to rest for awhile - then hammer it again with even more determination and intensity - it's invariably better with the 2nd and 3rd efforts - sort of like a romance with a spirited, haughty and independent woman! smile


Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.
#2117920 - 07/15/13 06:55 AM Re: when is enough enough [Re: TrapperJohn]  
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Peyton Offline
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Originally Posted by TrapperJohn
Originally Posted by Peyton

I don't read it as trying to be "perfect". I see it as always wanting to make it better (not "perfect"). For me that is what keeps the music alive. You don't have to be a famous touring concert pianist to keep trying to improve a piece.


How much better? When does "diminishing returns" kick in? That is, with each new effort when does the difference not make a difference; when is better not hardly recognizable as better?

And when does one just plain get sick and tired of playing the same piece over and over and over... laugh


That's what I'm trying to say... if it's a beautiful piece (take any Chopin prelude for example)... I never ever get tired of playing it over and over. I think part of the reason is because I'm constantly thinking..."I can make this better." For me that just makes playing even more enjoyable... knowing that "I'm not there yet" and that I can still improve. You ask "When is better not hardly recognizable as better?" and I don't know the answer because I've never reached that point. Maybe, if anyone else was listening, they would not hear the difference, but I do.


"One's real life is often the life that one does not lead."- Oscar Wilde
www.youtube.com/Biffer5
www.peytonart.com

#2117930 - 07/15/13 07:32 AM Re: when is enough enough [Re: Sand Tiger]  
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iceporky Offline
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Originally Posted by Sand Tiger
Some seem much more interested in maximizing their abilities. For me, if I have twice as much fun and get half as far, so to speak, I'm willing to make that trade off.


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#2117951 - 07/15/13 09:27 AM Re: when is enough enough [Re: Peyton]  
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outo Offline
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People are different...I am a perfectionist and always will be. That is probably the reason why I got so sucked into learning piano... Finally something that I won't get bored at because things become easy or "done".

There are pieces that are not worth perfecting, but many are and I don't think I will ever get permanently tired of them. They may never be perfect enough in my own ears, but I will leave them for a while when I see no improvement and come back later when I have evolved enough to make them even better. I can easily understand why some real pianists feel they have never finished a piece they have been playing for years.

I think I enjoy solving problems more than just playing things.
At least for now performing is not interesting to me. I just want to uncover all the secrets to the perfect sound and technique smile

#2118056 - 07/15/13 01:28 PM Re: when is enough enough [Re: Peyton]  
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TrapperJohn Offline
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Originally Posted by Peyton
Originally Posted by TrapperJohn
Originally Posted by Peyton

I don't read it as trying to be "perfect". I see it as always wanting to make it better (not "perfect"). For me that is what keeps the music alive. You don't have to be a famous touring concert pianist to keep trying to improve a piece.


How much better? When does "diminishing returns" kick in? That is, with each new effort when does the difference not make a difference; when is better not hardly recognizable as better?

And when does one just plain get sick and tired of playing the same piece over and over and over... laugh


That's what I'm trying to say... if it's a beautiful piece (take any Chopin prelude for example)... I never ever get tired of playing it over and over. I think part of the reason is because I'm constantly thinking..."I can make this better." For me that just makes playing even more enjoyable... knowing that "I'm not there yet" and that I can still improve. You ask "When is better not hardly recognizable as better?" and I don't know the answer because I've never reached that point. Maybe, if anyone else was listening, they would not hear the difference, but I do.


OK - fair enough - but then if you got to the point with a piece where it was near perfection to most listeners, and they no longer could say it had gotten better; and more, if after a series of attempts you couldn't hear any difference or tell that the latest version was better - would you know or recognize or acknowledge that point?


Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.
#2118080 - 07/15/13 02:32 PM Re: when is enough enough [Re: TrapperJohn]  
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Peyton Offline
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Peyton  Offline
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Originally Posted by TrapperJohn
Originally Posted by Peyton
Originally Posted by TrapperJohn
Originally Posted by Peyton

I don't read it as trying to be "perfect". I see it as always wanting to make it better (not "perfect"). For me that is what keeps the music alive. You don't have to be a famous touring concert pianist to keep trying to improve a piece.


How much better? When does "diminishing returns" kick in? That is, with each new effort when does the difference not make a difference; when is better not hardly recognizable as better?

And when does one just plain get sick and tired of playing the same piece over and over and over... laugh


That's what I'm trying to say... if it's a beautiful piece (take any Chopin prelude for example)... I never ever get tired of playing it over and over. I think part of the reason is because I'm constantly thinking..."I can make this better." For me that just makes playing even more enjoyable... knowing that "I'm not there yet" and that I can still improve. You ask "When is better not hardly recognizable as better?" and I don't know the answer because I've never reached that point. Maybe, if anyone else was listening, they would not hear the difference, but I do.


OK - fair enough - but then if you got to the point with a piece where it was near perfection to most listeners, and they no longer could say it had gotten better; and more, if after a series of attempts you couldn't hear any difference or tell that the latest version was better - would you know or recognize or acknowledge that point?


To tell you the truth, I don't think I put that much importance on what "listeners" think (unless of course you are talking a master pianist/instructor). I love it when people say "that was beautiful" and, although I certainly appreciate praise and want people to like what I play I still know it was no where near what I really wanted it to sound like. And John, I don't think I think of pieces that I'm working on (and I have been working on some for over 15 years now) as "versions". To me that sounds too cut and dried like "Here is this way and now here is this way". There are so many possibilities and so many nuances that I never think of them as separate versions. I don't think I'm expressing my self very well here but I think in a nutshell, if that's possible, what I'm trying to say is that I feel that a piece of music is kept alive by the musician always trying to make it "better"...not "perfect".( Who is to say what is "perfect"?) The most boring artists and musicians are the one's that have found a formula that works and just keep doing the same thing over and over.

Last edited by Peyton; 07/15/13 03:19 PM.

"One's real life is often the life that one does not lead."- Oscar Wilde
www.youtube.com/Biffer5
www.peytonart.com

#2118194 - 07/15/13 07:17 PM Re: when is enough enough [Re: adultpianist]  
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TrapperJohn Offline
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Peyton - very well done! I've pressed you pretty hard on this, and...

You've taken every question and objection that I raised and blown them aside like so much dust in the wind...

I stand enlightened and somewhat humbled.

Looking forward to hearing/seeing your latest "unfinished" gem in the Aug. ABF Recital!


Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.
#2118267 - 07/15/13 09:23 PM Re: when is enough enough [Re: TrapperJohn]  
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Peyton Offline
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Peyton  Offline
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Maine
Originally Posted by TrapperJohn
Peyton - very well done! I've pressed you pretty hard on this, and...

You've taken every question and objection that I raised and blown them aside like so much dust in the wind...

I stand enlightened and somewhat humbled.

Looking forward to hearing/seeing your latest "unfinished" gem in the Aug. ABF Recital!


You have come up with some very good and interesting points as well. It's a very enlightening discussion with no obvious answer but one I love to ponder.

Another thought I was having about "finishing a piece"... Just as a painter has to at some point say the painting is "done", sign it and frame it, so a composer must do the same. I wonder if Chopin always played his published pieces in a similar fashion while performing? I'm guessing he was always changing here and there but I would love to know.

Last edited by Peyton; 07/15/13 09:24 PM.

"One's real life is often the life that one does not lead."- Oscar Wilde
www.youtube.com/Biffer5
www.peytonart.com

#2118410 - 07/16/13 05:33 AM Re: when is enough enough [Re: Peyton]  
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TrapperJohn Offline
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TrapperJohn  Offline
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Originally Posted by Peyton


Another thought I was having about "finishing a piece"... Just as a painter has to at some point say the painting is "done", sign it and frame it, so a composer must do the same. I wonder if Chopin always played his published pieces in a similar fashion while performing? I'm guessing he was always changing here and there but I would love to know.


I don't know for sure since - contrary to popular public opinion - I wasn't actually around when he was performing (I'm old, but not that old laugh ) I'm guessing that what you're guessing is in fact the case. Any good biography would probably shed much light on this.

From my own reading I've learned that it was a rare exception when any of the major Classical or Romantic composers ever performed any of their own works "as written" - improvisation and variations were the norm...this went to their highly prized reputation for "spontaneous creativity"...


Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.
#2118515 - 07/16/13 11:08 AM Re: when is enough enough [Re: adultpianist]  
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Ataru074 Offline
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Enough is when you are not yet comfortable to move to the next piece. I don't believe you can reach the "perfection" of the piece you are studying now, without moving on to the next "level". I believe you can perfect the "now" piece in few years, when your general technique will be more mature.



Private Piano Teacher. MTNA
working on:
Albeniz: Iberia
Beethoven: Op 53
Bartok: Mikrokosmos vol. 5
Debussy: Estampes
Moszkowski: Op 72
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