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#2702264 - 01/05/18 05:32 AM WANTED: An opinion…  
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piano_primo_1 Offline
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I’ve been practicing about 8 years, and self taught. In general I’ve picked intermediate pieces to play, which imho, I [think] I play well.
I’ve also tried difficult pieces and played them, but only to the point of playing...around .
So then I see the more experienced on youtube and foolishly compare, although the issue’s been posted before, what’s a good way to think about the more experienced players, instead of say… giving up?
With that point I wonder if the pros sometimes compare themselves to each other and feel ,… unmotivated?
- my point is… should I make a decision based on emotion and bad comparisons?
I mean would one tell a baseball player …you ain’t Babe Ruth?
BTW He played piano.
Ruth and his first wife, Helen Woodford, 1915
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#2702266 - 01/05/18 05:53 AM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: piano_primo_1]  
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Cool picture! But that might be an American reed organ, not a piano - look at the stops. So he's pumping the bellows with his feet. They were very popular in the US and Canada. Much lighter than a piano. Think of a harmonica with a keyboard.

But it makes no difference to your point. Babe Ruth could play the piano (or organ).

Don't compare yourself to others. There will always be someone better than you, no matter what field of endeavor we are talking about. Compare yourself to yourself. Are you happy with the way you play piano? If so, great! If not, what can you do to improve?

Sam

#2702272 - 01/05/18 06:29 AM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: piano_primo_1]  
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If you look at it like it's a competition then people will always seem not as good or better than you. Hey, you asked! smiley face icon

#2702273 - 01/05/18 06:49 AM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: piano_primo_1]  
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Originally Posted by piano_primo_1
I wonder if the pros sometimes compare themselves to each other and feel ,… unmotivated?

Pros often listen to other pros, learn from them, steal ideas (great musicians steal; lesser ones borrow) and............get inspired.

They don't think: "I could never play like Horowitz, so I might as well give up."


"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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#2702275 - 01/05/18 06:56 AM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: piano_primo_1]  
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mediocre pianists post their performances on youtube as well. if you feel you have to gauge yourself by what others are doing, you can almost certainly find some recordings you'd be able to equal or surpass. if you get enjoyment playing everyday you can find time, and you consistently find forty or seventy or a hundred minutes every day to play, the music obviously means something important to you, whatever you think of others.

#2702289 - 01/05/18 07:53 AM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: bennevis]  
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Iaroslav Vasiliev Offline
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by piano_primo_1
I wonder if the pros sometimes compare themselves to each other and feel ,… unmotivated?

Pros often listen to other pros, learn from them, steal ideas (great musicians steal; lesser ones borrow) and............get inspired.
They don't think: "I could never play like Horowitz, so I might as well give up."


Indeed, there are pianists who carefully examine others' perfomances. But many more pianists are so narcissistic, they don't care the littlest bit of what others are doing. That's really the typical situation. And they definitely consider their performances the best no matter how they play.

piano_primo_1, if you can truely analyze your performance, find mistakes and see your weak spots - it's a gift. Use it for your good.

#2702318 - 01/05/18 09:32 AM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: piano_primo_1]  
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The practice of music is a journey of self discovery.

Be kind to yourself.

Forrest

Last edited by Forrest Halford; 01/05/18 09:33 AM.

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#2702320 - 01/05/18 09:35 AM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: Iaroslav Vasiliev]  
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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by piano_primo_1
I wonder if the pros sometimes compare themselves to each other and feel ,… unmotivated?

Pros often listen to other pros, learn from them, steal ideas (great musicians steal; lesser ones borrow) and............get inspired.
They don't think: "I could never play like Horowitz, so I might as well give up."


Indeed, there are pianists who carefully examine others' perfomances. But many more pianists are so narcissistic, they don't care the littlest bit of what others are doing. That's really the typical situation. And they definitely consider their performances the best no matter how they play.

I can't speak for non-classical musicians, but all the interviews I've read or heard from famous and not-so-famous classical ones (mostly pianists) - several hundreds, maybe thousands over the years - all cite a pianist (or several pianists) who they admire and learn from - not personally, but from their recordings and live recitals. Not because they want to copy them (after all, no-one can copy Rachmaninov's playing style) but because they want to get ideas from them: I've often spied well-known pianists in the audience in London's concert halls when other pianists are performing.

Unlike composers, hardly any of them publicly diss musicians they don't like......

Of course, there are egoists and egotists in any profession (not least in mine, which has no relation to music), but where music is concerned, there are very few, and we all know that we're constantly learning.


"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."
#2702328 - 01/05/18 10:02 AM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: piano_primo_1]  
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Originally Posted by piano_primo_1
What’s a good way to think about the more experienced players, instead of say… giving up?


I break it down thusly: assume there are three categories of piano players:

Group 1. People born to play piano. Their fingers flash over the keyboard and the music they make is as smooth as pure silk

Group 2. People who will never get good at the piano. Halting, choppy music. Every piece a battle.

Group 3. People who struggle with the piano but can get better with continued study and effort.

Then ask yourself, "For some definition of 'fabulous,' is being a fabulous piano player something that I still really would like to be?"

Now, assuming your answer is "yes" and assuming you don't consider yourself a member of group 1, I think you simply have no choice but to proceed under the assumption that you're a member of group 3.






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#2702332 - 01/05/18 10:08 AM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: piano_primo_1]  
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For every person in the world except one, no matter what the activity, there'll always be somebody else who does it better. So, fuggedaboutit and just enjoy doing it as well as you can.

Oh, and Babe Ruth should be sitting 2-3 inches higher.


-- J.S.

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#2702367 - 01/05/18 11:43 AM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: piano_primo_1]  
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I think we are always our own worst critic. My advice is always to compare yourself to where you were when you started as opposed to where you want to be. If you look back to your abilities at the beginning, or even just a year ago I am certain you will feel that you have made excellent progress! There is always going to be someone better than us- best to use these as inspirations rather than discouragements.


Happy Playing!

#2702370 - 01/05/18 11:49 AM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: piano_primo_1]  
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And also, Horowitz compared himself with himself and found that he didn't play well enough.
So, he quit making public appearances for a long period.
Then thought the better of it.


Czerny's Piano School Vol. 1. Reviewing basics/ear training/analysis in interesting exercises.
Opus 599. Now at #77 and giving it a break.
#2702375 - 01/05/18 12:19 PM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: RaggedKeyPresser]  
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Originally Posted by RaggedKeyPresser
And also, Horowitz compared himself with himself and found that he didn't play well enough.
So, he quit making public appearances for a long period.
Then thought the better of it.


I guess it's largely mind over matter (and emotion), or attitude.
Thanks for responding everyone, these are good tips on playing and attitude.

Besides always room for improvement, ...why care if I'm in a real dump or fool's paradise ? I guess I prefer the fools paradise, it feels better.. smile


Cheers!!!

#2702404 - 01/05/18 02:50 PM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: lisa_pianote]  
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Originally Posted by lisa_pianote
I think we are always our own worst critic. My advice is always to compare yourself to where you were when you started as opposed to where you want to be. If you look back to your abilities at the beginning, or even just a year ago I am certain you will feel that you have made excellent progress! There is always going to be someone better than us- best to use these as inspirations rather than discouragements.


Happy Playing!



This is really good advice.Might of known it but forgot to use it !!!


Cheers!!!

#2702959 - 01/07/18 05:50 PM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: piano_primo_1]  
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Originally Posted by piano_primo_1
Originally Posted by lisa_pianote
I think we are always our own worst critic. My advice is always to compare yourself to where you were when you started as opposed to where you want to be. If you look back to your abilities at the beginning, or even just a year ago I am certain you will feel that you have made excellent progress! There is always going to be someone better than us- best to use these as inspirations rather than discouragements.


Happy Playing!



This is really good advice.Might of known it but forgot to use it !!!


Sounds like wonderful advice for someone who is a complete beginner, like myself...

#2703020 - 01/07/18 08:36 PM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: piano_primo_1]  
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Moo :) Offline
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someone had a nice signature here - ' problems in the piano are 90% psychological; the other 10% is in your head'.

there was a book about talent by mathew syed, bounce, that looked talent or the myth of talent. before i read that book, yes these things did bother me. especially these videos of babies playing piano better than i could. but now i think people who do well it is many many hours of meticulous practice. so to play piano well, you need to have an obsessive compulsive / very stubborn personality and a mindset where you always push yourself (and hopefully enjoy the piano !). to think you are very good, you stop learning, so this mindset of being 'talented' often doesnt work and you cant cope with failures.

so yes i try and avoid comparing to others now but when i started yes it did bother me. now i often find that those who say they can play very hard pieces and show off how they can play X in only a short amount of piano - actually dont play the pieces well. and those that do, who knows if it is true and if it is they practice very very very hard for this short time (so cumuliatively it is a lot of time). so really when you see someone very talented, it has been many many many years of work.

i think this helps me to try look at what you can do and how youu have progressed over the much longer scale. some videos help with this. so comparing yourself to yourself can be very good. providing you use it is a contrustive, not destructive way.

and yes most problems with piano are psychological. if comparing people on youtube is bothering you and affecting your enjoyment of playing, i would try to think why does it bother you or try to avoid doing it so much. hth

#2703064 - 01/08/18 01:11 AM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: Moo :)]  
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
someone had a nice signature here - ' problems in the piano are 90% psychological; the other 10% is in your head'.

...

i think this helps me to try look at what you can do and how youu have progressed over the much longer scale. some videos help with this. so comparing yourself to yourself can be very good. providing you use it is a contrustive, not destructive way.

and yes most problems with piano are psychological. if comparing people on youtube is bothering you and affecting your enjoyment of playing, i would try to think why does it bother you or try to avoid doing it so much. hth


I am sometimes basing my skill, and interest on someone else' s (hence the lack of satisfaction) rather than my own opinion of working on a skill, It's probably common to do that, but won't sustain a real interest in practicing, so luckily those times are "come and go" , so to speak... rather than practicing. But a break never hurts either smile


Cheers!!!

#2703068 - 01/08/18 02:02 AM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: piano_primo_1]  
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I'll never be able to play "The Lark" like this young lady . . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlTgTbkcD0w

I've played for 65 years; started out young. Too young; my folks thought I was a progedy since I could play stuff by ear when I was 4.
They were wrong. After a few lessons with a few teachers, pre teen and mid teen, at least I learned the rudimentarys. But I relied on my ears and still can't read properly. Or write, by the look of things.
I backed cabaret, played in dance band (3-4 of us), church and in restaurants solo.
Got a job pre retirement, playing the organ at the local Crem. There were many more eminent organists (i live in a University city) who would have killed for that job.
I was, and remain, yours faithfully, mediocre. It was all I needed to be.

But it's fun . . . . . and I ain't giving it up!

Last edited by peterws; 01/08/18 02:07 AM.

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#2703072 - 01/08/18 03:18 AM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: Moo :)]  
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
there was a book about talent by mathew syed, bounce, that looked talent or the myth of talent. before i read that book, yes these things did bother me. especially these videos of babies playing piano better than i could. but now i think people who do well it is many many hours of meticulous practice. so to play piano well, you need to have an obsessive compulsive / very stubborn personality and a mindset where you always push yourself (and hopefully enjoy the piano !). to think you are very good, you stop learning, so this mindset of being 'talented' often doesnt work and you cant cope with failures.

Unfortunately, that is not the whole story and just like the talent myth there is also a "there is no talent" myth. There are some people who are truly geniuses and prodigies. I went to a school were there were geniuses (in the literal sense) who would get something immediately the first time they see it, sometimes even before the teacher explained it. They never did their homework and never practiced anything and yet could just figure out exam problems on the spot. There was a guy who could accurately multiply, say, 7159 times 2431 in his head in one second. When asked how he did it he said he doesn't know and that the number just pops into his head. It was obvious that he never practiced this skill.

Another favorite myth of the Internet is the 10,000 hour rule...


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#2703088 - 01/08/18 04:41 AM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: piano_primo_1]  
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Our brains all work in different ways. Which is why we like different music, different pianos, etc. I find certain pieces, or sections of them relatively difficult to play, even though the overall level of the piece is well within my capacity. It usually either a question of the rythym which is not what I expect or are accustomed to, or the 'logic' of the music doesn't make sense to me. And these are the ones I try to concentrate on these days. Sometimes it is a matter of technique, other times I need to retune my brain. After 69 years playing - not continuous - I still believe it is possible!


Roland LX7

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#2703104 - 01/08/18 07:13 AM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: peterws]  
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Originally Posted by peterws
I was, and remain, yours faithfully, mediocre. It was all I needed to be.


That's exactly my position. I played with bands, as an accompanist, at school events, for churches, etc., for decades, without caring that I was mediocre. I never read music, and didn't care that I could not. I could do what I wanted to do, well enough for people to ask me to come back and do it again.

Then some years ago I decided that I wanted to play "real" music -- Chopin, Bach, Debussy -- from a real score. I taught myself to read music, and got to the point where I could play what I wanted to play so that another person would at least recognize it.

But I never got any better, despite hours of practice. My fingers haven't gotten any quicker or more flexible, my memory hasn't got any better, and my touch is no less lumpy and uneven. I even, with some reluctance, engaged a teacher, in the hope that there was some magic formula I was missing. But, on the whole, there isn't. I just can't play what I want to play.

It is, indeed, dispiriting to compare yourself to the best in the world and, for better or worse, the recording industry and the Internet make it all too easy to do that. But I think it's reasonable to compare yourself to the pianist you want to be, and that you think you should be capable of being. In my case, however, that comparison is a disappointing one.

#2703168 - 01/08/18 11:49 AM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: piano_primo_1]  
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I only compare myself to people who don't play piano at all, so I always feel like a superstar. cool


Middle-aged curmudgeon, started learning on Nov. 3, 2016.

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#2703181 - 01/08/18 12:20 PM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: fishandchips]  
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Originally Posted by fishandchips
I only compare myself to people who don't play piano at all, so I always feel like a superstar. cool



thumb


Piano teacher and Blues and Boogie-Woogie pianist.
#2703199 - 01/08/18 01:20 PM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: piano_primo_1]  
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The guitarist Paco de Lucia was in a shop once when he heard some incredible music being played on the stereo. "It's so perfect," he thought, "Why can't I play like that?" He only started to notice some "mistakes" after he realized that he was actually listening to one of his own recordings.


Middle-aged curmudgeon, started learning on Nov. 3, 2016.

https://soundcloud.com/user-197203213
#2703456 - 01/09/18 01:01 PM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: fishandchips]  
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Originally Posted by fishandchips
He only started to notice some "mistakes" after he realized that he was actually listening to one of his own recordings.



Recordings typically are edited and tweaked to pretty near perfection.


-- J.S.

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#2703533 - 01/09/18 07:30 PM Re: WANTED: An opinion… [Re: piano_primo_1]  
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I have definitely had this experience! Often I'll try looking up a recording of a difficult piece I'm learning only to find it being played perfectly by a six year old... sigh.

When I was a kid I sometimes wondered why my teacher would care about me learning to play something that they could play so much better. Now I think that the answer is obvious-- they were sharing the gift of music. I'm playing piano for me, not for anyone else. I'll never be a concert pianist, but that's okay with me. Playing the piano makes me happy and that's what matters.


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