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Wobble, Wobble Wobble #2519984
03/11/16 07:08 PM
03/11/16 07:08 PM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 62
T
Tonedeef Offline OP
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Tonedeef  Offline OP
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Posts: 62
A strange phenomenon, at least it is for me. I have never been a self conscious or nervous individual. I will sing in public despite the fact that I have absolute zero singing ability. Now here's the rub: my teacher is very pleased with my progress and tells me that everything she gives me to practice I do without question. With this in mind she has started to give me some more complicated pieces to work on which I actually enjoy getting to grips with. I usually end up playing them fluently when alone in my own living room. When I get in front of her however my fingers seem to freeze. I had guests round this evening and when playing some stuff had pretty much the same experience. The scary thing is, I was experiencing this on some very simple pieces. I have just jumped back on piano and pretty much rattled through everything that I was stumbling on approximately ninety minutes ago. Can anybody please tell me what the heck am I going through, is it normal and how do I get round it?

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Re: Wobble, Wobble Wobble [Re: Tonedeef] #2519989
03/11/16 07:33 PM
03/11/16 07:33 PM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 638
Melville Saskatchewan
F
FrankCox Online content
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FrankCox  Online Content
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Joined: Jun 2015
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Melville Saskatchewan
I, for one, can't play worth a hoot if anyone is listening other than my bird. If I'm playing and my wife walks in, I lose any ability I have to do what I'm doing immediately. I then plug in my headphones and carry on with no issues.

I was not intended to play in public, apparently. Doesn't matter since that was never my intention anyway.


If you're a zombie and you know it, bite your friend!
We got both kinds of music: Country and Western!
Casio Celviano AP-650
Re: Wobble, Wobble Wobble [Re: Tonedeef] #2519996
03/11/16 08:02 PM
03/11/16 08:02 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 255
Near Yosemite, California
MeganR Offline
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MeganR  Offline
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Near Yosemite, California
There was a recent thread about lesson anxiety that I just re-read yesterday because I've been running into the same thing. As soon as I start thinking that I don't want to make a mistake/play a wrong note, I do, and it goes downhill from there.


Schumann - Sheherazade Op. 68 No 32, Ravel Prelude in A minor 1913, Scarlatti Sonata in D Minor K32/ Soundcloud

[Linked Image]
Re: Wobble, Wobble Wobble [Re: MeganR] #2519999
03/11/16 08:23 PM
03/11/16 08:23 PM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 144
Lacey WA
L
leel Offline
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Lacey WA
Amen to that cry

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Re: Wobble, Wobble Wobble [Re: Tonedeef] #2520007
03/11/16 08:49 PM
03/11/16 08:49 PM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 461
C
Coyotewoods Offline
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I have an even stranger wobble.

There's this one section in the piece I've been learning, where one of my cats jumps up and does a slow crawl over and under my hands as I'm playing. It's creepy how consistent he is in doing this.

So now I stumble as I approach this section, even if he's not in the room. And it's the easiest part in the whole darn piece.

Re: Wobble, Wobble Wobble [Re: Tonedeef] #2520040
03/11/16 11:16 PM
03/11/16 11:16 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,245
Australia
E
earlofmar Online content
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earlofmar  Online Content
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Posts: 3,245
Australia
practising and performing are really two different beasts. The best way to cure the problem is to perform more regularly, to get used to the sometimes subtle and not so subtle added pressures performing entails. By doing this we learn how to cope in times of added stress and stop our own minds from derailing our performance.

I believe the failing at your piano lesson to play something you play at home may have a different explanation, or at least it did for me. In my first two years of playing I came to the conclusion that it was mainly the not always reliable muscle memory I was using to learn. This was well demonstrated by the fact I could not pick up a piece from a random measure. Since learning music is such a different experience I believe it took some time for my brain to join in and become a full partner in the learning phase. Nowadays with the two different memories being used my pieces appear to be more robust and can handle a bit of pressure. Whatever the reason, you will find it is only a matter of time before you learn how to play in different environments.

At the lesson it is important not to switch into your performing alter ego until you know how to perform. For me there was also a problem of not being able to move into a different space with a different piano, different lighting, stool, score position, just about anything and not be put off my game. Again, the answer is practice in different environments with different pianos and conditions and before you know it you have that problem licked.



Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

13x[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: Wobble, Wobble Wobble [Re: Coyotewoods] #2520043
03/11/16 11:22 PM
03/11/16 11:22 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,245
Australia
E
earlofmar Online content
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earlofmar  Online Content
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Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,245
Australia
Originally Posted by MooseNotes


So now I stumble as I approach this section, even if he's not in the room. And it's the easiest part in the whole darn piece.


It is a self defeating prophecy of thinking this is where the problem will be within a piece, and sure enough that's exactly where the problem will be. Similar to what the OP is describing it only takes a small variable to throw us off. By practising the problematic section many times over and creating good associations with that section should work.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

13x[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: Wobble, Wobble Wobble [Re: Tonedeef] #2520048
03/12/16 12:08 AM
03/12/16 12:08 AM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 1,419
Orange County, California
bSharp(C)yclist Offline
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bSharp(C)yclist  Offline
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Posts: 1,419
Orange County, California
I experience the same thing. My teacher recommended I film myself, so I did and the first time it was fine. It was more like testing a piece of electronics. Then, when trying to film myself again , and with nobody in the room, I freak out. I hate it. I may have to start using some heavy medications smile Turn the camera off, tell people to leave the room, and I'm OK.

It's all mental I guess. I told one guy and he told me to stop being selfish (thinking of yourself) and just play the damn thing. To think of it as offering something nice to someone (the sound of the music), rather than thinking, oh, look at me playing, I'm great, but if I make mistake I suck. Not sure if this "Zen" approach will work yet, lol. Maybe meditation will work.


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Re: Wobble, Wobble Wobble [Re: Tonedeef] #2520053
03/12/16 12:52 AM
03/12/16 12:52 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,245
Australia
E
earlofmar Online content
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earlofmar  Online Content
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Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,245
Australia
It's 90% psychological and 10% in your head smirk


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

13x[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: Wobble, Wobble Wobble [Re: earlofmar] #2520061
03/12/16 01:07 AM
03/12/16 01:07 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,423
Richmond, BC, Canada
C
Charles Cohen Offline
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Charles Cohen  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,423
Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted by earlofmar
It's 90% psychological and 10% in your head smirk
. . .

practising and performing are really two different beasts. The best way to cure the problem is to perform more regularly, to get used to the sometimes subtle and not so subtle added pressures performing entails. By doing this we learn how to cope in times of added stress and stop our own minds from derailing our performance.



Both exactly right!

Try recording yourself playing, with nobody else in the room. That's something midway between "alone" and "performing". Do it enough times so that you get used to it.



. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Wobble, Wobble Wobble [Re: bSharp(C)yclist] #2520091
03/12/16 03:33 AM
03/12/16 03:33 AM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,929
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Whizbang Offline
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Posts: 1,929
Originally Posted by bSharp[C
yclist]To think of it as offering something nice to someone (the sound of the music)


I've made some inroads with this--try to communicate the feeling of the music and not worry as much about the accuracy.

It's still very hard and quite often it feels like there is a force field between what I want to do and the keyboard. Things wobble a lot then.


Whizbang [Linked Image]
amateur ragtime pianist
https://www.youtube.com/user/Aeschala
Re: Wobble, Wobble Wobble [Re: Tonedeef] #2520125
03/12/16 06:57 AM
03/12/16 06:57 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,001
Northern England.
peterws Offline
7000 Post Club Member
peterws  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,001
Northern England.
Perhaps an ugly ish music teacher would be less of a distraction. . . .


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

"[Linked Image]"
Re: Wobble, Wobble Wobble [Re: Tonedeef] #2520249
03/12/16 02:10 PM
03/12/16 02:10 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 1,037
R
Ralphiano Offline
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Joined: May 2015
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One wonderful day, soon, when the government has cameras in every room, we will be used to it, and all become great performers! Can't wait! laugh


Ralph

Casio Privia PX-760
Pianoteq Stage
Pianist since April, 2015
Re: Wobble, Wobble Wobble [Re: Tonedeef] #2520406
03/12/16 11:30 PM
03/12/16 11:30 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,382
western MA, USA
H
hreichgott Offline
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H
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,382
western MA, USA
Perfectly normal. The more you play in front of people, the less nervous-making it is (for most folks). The more you play that specific piece in front of people, the more secure it is. The first performance of any piece is always rough. Professional performers often prepare for big concerts by playing the same program in front of people several times before the big day.

Last edited by hreichgott; 03/12/16 11:31 PM.

Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

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Re: Wobble, Wobble Wobble [Re: Ralphiano] #2520531
03/13/16 12:02 PM
03/13/16 12:02 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 255
Near Yosemite, California
MeganR Offline
Silver Subscriber
MeganR  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 255
Near Yosemite, California
Originally Posted by raubucho
One wonderful day, soon, when the government has cameras in every room, we will be used to it, and all become great performers! Can't wait! laugh


I feel sorry for the poor schnook of a snoop that has to listen to my practice sessions.


Schumann - Sheherazade Op. 68 No 32, Ravel Prelude in A minor 1913, Scarlatti Sonata in D Minor K32/ Soundcloud

[Linked Image]
Re: Wobble, Wobble Wobble [Re: earlofmar] #2520557
03/13/16 12:59 PM
03/13/16 12:59 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,845
Midwest USA
Stubbie Offline
Gold Subscriber
Stubbie  Offline
Gold Subscriber
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,845
Midwest USA
Originally Posted by earlofmar
practising and performing are really two different beasts. The best way to cure the problem is to perform more regularly, to get used to the sometimes subtle and not so subtle added pressures performing entails. By doing this we learn how to cope in times of added stress and stop our own minds from derailing our performance.

I believe the failing at your piano lesson to play something you play at home may have a different explanation, or at least it did for me. In my first two years of playing I came to the conclusion that it was mainly the not always reliable muscle memory I was using to learn. This was well demonstrated by the fact I could not pick up a piece from a random measure. Since learning music is such a different experience I believe it took some time for my brain to join in and become a full partner in the learning phase. Nowadays with the two different memories being used my pieces appear to be more robust and can handle a bit of pressure. Whatever the reason, you will find it is only a matter of time before you learn how to play in different environments.

At the lesson it is important not to switch into your performing alter ego until you know how to perform. For me there was also a problem of not being able to move into a different space with a different piano, different lighting, stool, score position, just about anything and not be put off my game. Again, the answer is practice in different environments with different pianos and conditions and before you know it you have that problem licked.

+1. Heck, I get thrown off if the tuning of the piano is slightly off. Or a bird flies past the window. smile

Playing "in public" is something that never gets easy for some; for others practice makes it better over time. For me, it's a slow process but there is some progress.

Playing in front of others (this includes one's teacher) pressure tests how well we have really internalized a piece. Yes, I can record myself playing it at home and use it to prove I can "really" play it, but the truth is, I need to be able to play it right every time. Then I've nailed the piece.


[Linked Image]
Re: Wobble, Wobble Wobble [Re: MeganR] #2520712
03/13/16 08:18 PM
03/13/16 08:18 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 1,037
R
Ralphiano Offline
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Ralphiano  Offline
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Posts: 1,037
Originally Posted by MeganR
Originally Posted by raubucho
One wonderful day, soon, when the government has cameras in every room, we will be used to it, and all become great performers! Can't wait! laugh


I feel sorry for the poor schnook of a snoop that has to listen to my practice sessions.


It will just be some bureaucrat. You can delight in tormenting your tormentors! grin


Ralph

Casio Privia PX-760
Pianoteq Stage
Pianist since April, 2015
Re: Wobble, Wobble Wobble [Re: Tonedeef] #2520779
03/13/16 11:26 PM
03/13/16 11:26 PM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 272
Boston
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INBoston Offline
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INBoston  Offline
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Boston
Oh gosh, yes, that's me. I had a tuner come out the other day. He took the cover off, tuned the piano, and before putting it back together asked me to test-play it. Umm... yeah, I had to start 4 times before I got going, and that was with butterfingers and head swimming. All because the cover was off and the tuner was listening.

I HATE this, I never have public speaking anxiety, and I am a pretty confident person in general. Something about piano that makes it so hard for so many of us.


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Yamaha CLP 545
Re: Wobble, Wobble Wobble [Re: INBoston] #2520797
03/14/16 12:57 AM
03/14/16 12:57 AM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,929
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Whizbang Offline
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Whizbang  Offline
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Originally Posted by INBoston
I HATE this, I never have public speaking anxiety, and I am a pretty confident person in general. Something about piano that makes it so hard for so many of us.


Summary of a recent study

Full Nature article

Key quote from the summary:

Originally Posted by Nature

For instance, previous studies8,9 have shown that the performance quality of skilled pianists deteriorates both technically and artistically, when playing in front of an evaluative audience compared to when playing alone. Further, measurements of electromyographic activity have indicated that persistent low-level muscle tension in the arm and shoulder, induced by the presence of an audience, can lead to increased keystroke force resulting in a loss of fine control of dynamics and temporal fluency within musical performances


In short, you did play it better at home.

Just putting yourself out there helps, but it takes many applications. It feels like this (and, wow, I don't recall '70s TV being so cinematic):





Whizbang [Linked Image]
amateur ragtime pianist
https://www.youtube.com/user/Aeschala
Re: Wobble, Wobble Wobble [Re: Ralphiano] #2520840
03/14/16 05:26 AM
03/14/16 05:26 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,171
Louisiana
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Rerun Offline
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Rerun  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2007
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Louisiana
Originally Posted by raubucho
Originally Posted by MeganR
Originally Posted by raubucho
One wonderful day, soon, when the government has cameras in every room, we will be used to it, and all become great performers! Can't wait! laugh


I feel sorry for the poor schnook of a snoop that has to listen to my practice sessions.


It will just be some bureaucrat. You can delight in tormenting your tormentors! grin



They would enjoy watching the torture. grin


Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD


[Linked Image]




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