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How Concert Pianists Make No Mistake
#2422330 05/19/15 06:32 AM
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Batuhan Offline OP
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It's impossible for me to make no mistakes during a performance even I work alot with particular piece that i'm going to perform at public i can't overcome my excitement my hands are shaking, memory slips don't leave me alone and sometimes i stop playing for 1 or 2 seconds until remember particular passage is there any technique or method for not making mistakes at public performance? I know practice makes perfect but even i practice the piece one thousand times still making mistakes at sometimes i'm thinking of quit playing piano because of it i'm very despair about mistakes help i can't even play one piece from beginning to end without mistakes crazy


Sorry for my English, I know it sucks, but I'm trying to improve.

Re: How Concert Pianists Make No Mistake
Batuhan #2422331 05/19/15 06:38 AM
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Maybe they do make tiny mistakes, but maybe they know a way to mask it and put the piece back on track without us hearing it? If they don't make mistakes, well that's the difference between the pro's and the amateurs, no?

Re: How Concert Pianists Make No Mistake
Batuhan #2422343 05/19/15 07:30 AM
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If you were a conservatory student and making mistakes at exams would cost a lot, you would eventually learn how to make very few or no mistakes through all those years.

Re: How Concert Pianists Make No Mistake
Batuhan #2422345 05/19/15 07:31 AM
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Part of it is preparation, and part of it is coping with mistakes when they do happen.

If you are always very secure playing the pieces in practice, but performance makes you go to pieces, you may just need to practice performing more. Play in front of a couple of friends and family, then in front of a small non-judgmental audience, before you go on to play in front of a big audience. The more we play for audiences the less weird and scary it gets.

The best way to cope with a mistake is just to go on to the next note with no pause as if nothing happened. If that's not possible then skip quickly to the next place you can start from.

And remember, even though it might feel like the worst possible thing is to make mistakes... for the audience, the worst possible thing is to be bored! So don't worry about mistakes too much as long as you are prepared. Just do your best to communicate the music beautifully and interestingly. That's what an audience wants.

PS I find that the more experienced I get, the more "logical" my mistakes are. I might play the wrong voicing but the correct melody and harmony, or I might play a cadence from another point in the piece instead of the cadence that belongs there. It's like the errors I make when I speak in my first language, as opposed to the errors I make when I speak in other languages. The better I know the language, the less obviously horrible my errors. Usually.

Last edited by hreichgott; 05/19/15 07:35 AM.

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Re: How Concert Pianists Make No Mistake
Batuhan #2422374 05/19/15 08:44 AM
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The other way around is, that's why they became concert pianists. Because they never make mistakes.

Re: How Concert Pianists Make No Mistake
Batuhan #2422376 05/19/15 08:50 AM
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I personally find that a lot of it depends on how you learn a piece. Even though it is very difficult to work on a piece as slow as needed, and not to play at tempo before you're ready, it is very fruitful in the end. Of course, it takes a lot of discipline to be able to do that, and I still fail a lot in that aspect, but when I do stick with that, mistakes (especially ones during performance) seem much rarer, because I have programmed my mind to play the notes and nothing else (not ingraining bad habits by making a lot of mistakes, etc).

Again, very difficult to stay disciplined with this approach, but it worked really well the few times that I could do it.

Re: How Concert Pianists Make No Mistake
Batuhan #2422392 05/19/15 09:38 AM
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Concert pianists do not make no mistakes.

Discussion closed?


Regards,

Polyphonist
Re: How Concert Pianists Make No Mistake
Batuhan #2422394 05/19/15 09:43 AM
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I think of them as multi-talented and disciplined piano-animals. They just dont have to think about many things, because "it" (the fingers, the musicality) just works more easily for them, than for others.

E.G. Friedrich Gulda was one of those gifted, who used to rave about the 8-hours-a-day-practicing key-hammerers...

or the ultimate example for me is Maurice Murphy with his trumpet:
"Just put it on the face and press till it hurts." [Update: citation corrected]

It is simply cruel.




Last edited by lophiomys; 05/19/15 09:46 AM.
Re: How Concert Pianists Make No Mistake
Polyphonist #2422403 05/19/15 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Concert pianists do not make no mistakes.

Discussion closed?


I don't think the discussion should not close. Make no mistake; concert pianists do not make no mistakes.

Also, they're generally the cream of the crop, at least when it comes to technique. As Hakki said, that's a big reason they are concert pianists (not the only reason, but a big reason).

Re: How Concert Pianists Make No Mistake
Batuhan #2422409 05/19/15 10:36 AM
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What is considered a mistake?

Big fumbles, stops - they don't make those. At least not when they're well prepared.

But everyone makes a couple note slips, especially if it's a very difficult piece full of large leaps. For example, I have never heard any pianist play the leaps in the coda of Schumann's Fantasie, 100% clean. Same with the cross-keyboard octave leaps in the end of Don Juan paraphrase. It is simply not possible by a human being to play those kinds of passages 100% clean every time, unless they're playing it at a really, really safe tempo... which is much worse than makign a few slips.

So, again, i'm not sure if these minor slips are even considered as "mistakes" - because if they are, then i've never ever heard any pianist not do them, unless they were playing very slow pieces.

Re: How Concert Pianists Make No Mistake
Batuhan #2422410 05/19/15 10:41 AM
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I have never been to a piano concert that was entirely devoid of mistakes. Among the pianists I've heard in concert have been Horszowski, Horowitz, Arrau, Pollini, Schiff, Peter Serkin, Brendel, Ohlsson, and Perahia.

Recordings can be made mistake free, thanks to the tape splice (or its digital equivalent).


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Re: How Concert Pianists Make No Mistake
Batuhan #2422412 05/19/15 10:44 AM
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Just do it.


Poetry is rhythm
Re: How Concert Pianists Make No Mistake
CianistAndPomposer #2422414 05/19/15 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Svenno
What is considered a mistake?

Big fumbles, stops - they don't make those. At least not when they're well prepared.

But everyone makes a couple note slips, especially if it's a very difficult piece full of large leaps. For example, I have never heard any pianist play the leaps in the coda of Schumann's Fantasie, 100% clean. Same with the cross-keyboard octave leaps in the end of Don Juan paraphrase.

I've heard well-known concert pianists do all those. The big stops and the perfectly clean Fantasie March coda at high speed, by the same pianist. More than once.

In the end, everybody have off-days. The trick is to be over-prepared. We can all play simple pieces perfectly, ten times in a row. But very few of us here (if any) can play Scarbo perfectly once (not even Hamelin managed it wink ) - because that piece pushes our technique to the limit.


"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: How Concert Pianists Make No Mistake
Batuhan #2422415 05/19/15 10:50 AM
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Even if I play the notes in the right order, I will still be annoyed about other details i.e perfectly balanced voicing/ tempo changes/ musicality/ lack of structural insight.

The perfect pianist for me is Glenn Gould. What a perfectionist. Plus he had the technique and ear to bring out more details in a piece than anyone else and with greater frequency too.

So, yeah, I wouldn't consider any pianist 'perfect' unless they were Glenn Gould (playing something he enjoyed i.e Bach, Beethoven, dare I say Mozart and Chopin (it's quite good actually!))

I just double bracketed. Oh my.

Re: How Concert Pianists Make No Mistake
Batuhan #2422417 05/19/15 10:54 AM
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+1 on Gelnn Gould

Re: How Concert Pianists Make No Mistake
Batuhan #2422419 05/19/15 10:56 AM
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Godowsky brushed off Hofmann's mistakes as "spots on the sun."

My teacher heard Rubinstein leave out a whole page of a Chopin work--it didn't matter at all, so fine was the performance.

My mistakes are more like a black eye on the Mona Lisa.





WhoDwaldi
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Re: How Concert Pianists Make No Mistake
sirwormsalot #2422448 05/19/15 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by sirwormsalot
Even if I play the notes in the right order, I will still be annoyed about other details i.e perfectly balanced voicing/ tempo changes/ musicality/ lack of structural insight.

The perfect pianist for me is Glenn Gould. What a perfectionist. Plus he had the technique and ear to bring out more details in a piece than anyone else and with greater frequency too.

So, yeah, I wouldn't consider any pianist 'perfect' unless they were Glenn Gould (playing something he enjoyed i.e Bach, Beethoven, dare I say Mozart and Chopin (it's quite good actually!))

I just double bracketed. Oh my.


Astoundingly, even Gould made small errors occasionally.

So even he wasn't perfect, which is actually a relief!

But still, he's as close as you are going to get, in
terms of not making mistakes.

Lang Lang is another nearly perfect pianist!

They are the gold standard!


Re: How Concert Pianists Make No Mistake
Batuhan #2422473 05/19/15 02:09 PM
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Only Michelangeli never made a mistake.


Gary
Re: How Concert Pianists Make No Mistake
Batuhan #2422486 05/19/15 02:47 PM
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Perfection is a myth, and a harmful one.

Great musicians make mistakes--they just do it a lot better than other people.


1989 Baldwin R
Re: How Concert Pianists Make No Mistake
Batuhan #2422487 05/19/15 02:48 PM
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A couple of thoughts here...

Concert pianists definitely do make mistakes, but there are a couple of things to note. The best are absolute animals at concentration, probably better than most of us are capable. This is learned through years and years of hours-long practice. Most of us just don't prepare mentally like that. I've noticed that many mistakes come from moments of lapsed concentration "I haven't made a single mistake yet!...D'oh!"

Also, one has to consider the massive technique the best have at their disposal. Songs that seem impossible to us, with their level of preparation, don't provide massive technical challenges. I have some somewhat simpler pieces that, as long as I maintain my concentration, I can play without any glaring errors.

Also, error-free playing is more than hitting the right notes. Hitting one note a bit too loud along a smooth legato passage is something we might not notice in our playing, but will be a glaring and obvious error to the pianist.

For the rest of us, as others have said, concentrate less on mistake-free playing and more about playing a complete musical performance, and coping with mistakes smoothly.


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