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Re: Resist the urge to play through - why?? [Re: Qazsedcft] #2792319 12/17/18 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft

The advice was specifically about the initial learning of a polyphonic piece before you have it under your fingers. In that context, I found that trying to play through before you can securely play each measure has a high risk of destroying the work that you have done and introducing very difficult to eradicate errors. This is mainly why I practice short blocks of a measure or two in isolation for at least one or two days until they are solid enough before I even attempt the first play through.


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Re: Resist the urge to play through - why?? [Re: Animisha] #2792357 12/17/18 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by Animisha
Why is it so very important to resist the urge to play through a piece when I am still in the first phases of practicing? Maybe it is not very useful, but what is the harm?

Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
The advice was specifically about the initial learning of a polyphonic piece before you have it under your fingers. In that context, I found that trying to play through before you can securely play each measure has a high risk of destroying the work that you have done and introducing very difficult to eradicate errors.


Thank you Qazsedcft for your answer to my question what is the harm. I understand, and you are quite right. I'll try to remember your advice a couple of years from now.
I think the above is overstating a concern. In particular, I don't think playing through before solidifying fingering has "a high risk of destroying the work that you have done and introducing very difficult to eradicate errors" for a Bach piece or in general.

When one is figuring out fingering or seeing if indicated fingering works well one may play with fingering that is not the final one chosen. So its not as though playing a piece with different from the final fingering can always be avoided. I've also had the experience of finding a better fingering than the one I have up to that point chosen when I play through a passage or the piece.

But, most of all, if playing through a piece even before a chosen fingering has been well learned gives a person satisfaction this can be a motivation to practice and can be worth it even if there might be some downsides.

Re: Resist the urge to play through - why?? [Re: Animisha] #2792360 12/17/18 12:13 PM
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Resist the urge to resist urges. Enjoy your studies. Nothing of any consequence will happen if you play this way or that way. You are playing music not doing open heart surgery. Notice how beautiful the music becomes when there is no angst or stress - just play.

Re: Resist the urge to play through - why?? [Re: Animisha] #2794481 12/23/18 09:51 AM
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For some of us, it may take weeks or months to learn a reach piece, or to get it down musically. In this case, it may be impractical to never play it through, or may lead to frustration and boredom, with the loss of motivation. I agree it is more time efficient to learn each section prior to playing through, but we have to have fun and enjoy the music too, right?

I have lately been working on working out the fingering for each section prior to practicing extensively, to avoid learning fingering mistakes that can be hard to eradicate.


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Re: Resist the urge to play through - why?? [Re: cmb13] #2794494 12/23/18 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
I agree it is more time efficient to learn each section prior to playing through, but we have to have fun and enjoy the music too, right?
Yes, and any time "wasted" is so minimal that it's insignificant IMO. Posters on threads discussing this issue aren't usually the ones that have to prepare a concerto in 2 weeks, and their pieces are often five minutes or less. So efficiency and wasting time are not particularly important.

Re: Resist the urge to play through - why?? [Re: Animisha] #2794509 12/23/18 11:01 AM
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In the beginning, we all started playing easier and shorter pieces. Repeating a measure 10x may feel repetitive and boring. Once we get to a more intermediate level, the pieces are longer and hopefully more interesting. Instead of working on individual measures, we are doing several measures at a time. And instead of just learning the notes, there are other considerations like tempo & dynamics. Last time practicing a waltz the first 2 measures before the melody comes in have stacks of quarter notes making up 3 beats. Just 2 opening measures sounded interesting. You get into experimenting with different ways of playing to make a piece sound better. Even playing just 2 measures doesn't have to be boring.

A while ago someone in the family took a conservatory exam for level 1. For 2 weeks she worked on the assigned piece and making recordings every few days. At the time I don't think she knew the piece well enough to pick out all her mistakes. A lot of times if you break a piece into sections you are able to perfect each section but when you put the pieces back together you start getting wrong notes. It's not easy to have a perfect play through. On the other hand, you can only repeat a piece so many times before getting tired.

Playing orchestral pieces with a music group you get a lot of rests in between, a whole section of long repeated notes and then a section with fast and challenging notes. You run through a piece a few times and then just spend a lot of time with the technical section because you can easily read the section with the long repeated notes. The section with the slower notes tend to be boring so you work through the section with all the 16th & 32nd notes..

Re: Resist the urge to play through - why?? [Re: pianoloverus] #2794539 12/23/18 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by cmb13
I agree it is more time efficient to learn each section prior to playing through, but we have to have fun and enjoy the music too, right?
Yes, and any time "wasted" is so minimal that it's insignificant IMO. Posters on threads discussing this issue aren't usually the ones that have to prepare a concerto in 2 weeks, and their pieces are often five minutes or less. So efficiency and wasting time are not particularly important.

Actually, I disagree. Sure, no deadlines means you can take as long as you want. But if your inefficient practice habits cause a piece that has an interest level of 2 weeks twice as long to learn, one will become frustrated and discouraged because they will continue to make the same mistakes and not see good progress.


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Re: Resist the urge to play through - why?? [Re: Morodiene] #2794560 12/23/18 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by cmb13
I agree it is more time efficient to learn each section prior to playing through, but we have to have fun and enjoy the music too, right?
Yes, and any time "wasted" is so minimal that it's insignificant IMO. Posters on threads discussing this issue aren't usually the ones that have to prepare a concerto in 2 weeks, and their pieces are often five minutes or less. So efficiency and wasting time are not particularly important.

Actually, I disagree. Sure, no deadlines means you can take as long as you want. But if your inefficient practice habits cause a piece that has an interest level of 2 weeks twice as long to learn, one will become frustrated and discouraged because they will continue to make the same mistakes and not see good progress.
To take twice as long learning it would mean one spent about as much time just playing through the piece randomly as practicing it more efficiently. But if one only played it through once a day for a few minutes that wouldn't mean it takes twice as long to learn and one might be more interested in the piece because its sounds like a piece of music.

What you seem to have suggested would be some particularly inefficient type of practicing like playing it though many times each day before one has chosen fingering and worked separately on some sections. But I never meant one should use that approach.

Re: Resist the urge to play through - why?? [Re: pianoloverus] #2794568 12/23/18 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by cmb13
I agree it is more time efficient to learn each section prior to playing through, but we have to have fun and enjoy the music too, right?
Yes, and any time "wasted" is so minimal that it's insignificant IMO. Posters on threads discussing this issue aren't usually the ones that have to prepare a concerto in 2 weeks, and their pieces are often five minutes or less. So efficiency and wasting time are not particularly important.

Actually, I disagree. Sure, no deadlines means you can take as long as you want. But if your inefficient practice habits cause a piece that has an interest level of 2 weeks twice as long to learn, one will become frustrated and discouraged because they will continue to make the same mistakes and not see good progress.
To take twice as long learning it would mean one spent about as much time just playing through the piece randomly as practicing it more efficiently. But if one only played it through once a day for a few minutes that wouldn't mean it takes twice as long to learn and one might be more interested in the piece because its sounds like a piece of music.

What you seem to have suggested would be some particularly inefficient type of practicing like playing it though many times each day before one has chosen fingering and worked separately on some sections. But I never meant one should use that approach.

I was describing the damage of inefficient practicing. And you would probably not believe how many people insist on practicing by just playing start to finish a few times per day!


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Re: Resist the urge to play through - why?? [Re: Animisha] #2794583 12/23/18 02:17 PM
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Well on the piece I’m currently learning (Chopin 72.1) I’m leaning one section at a time, but now that I’m 3/4 done, I play through it every few days. I learned p4, then p3, then p1, now I have to learn p2. Just did the fingering yesterday. I can sight read it slowly but not securely, but it is indeed fun to be able to play it, even if not quite ready to record or perform in front of others yet. Interestingly, once you have the L hand line on one page, and even some of the melody and timing, the next pages or sections become progressively easier. In this particular piece, p3 is probably the most challenging.


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Re: Resist the urge to play through - why?? [Re: cmb13] #2795588 12/26/18 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
. Interestingly, once you have the L hand line on one page, and even some of the melody and timing, the next pages or sections become progressively easier. .


Yes -- and once you have one piece by a composer, others by the same composer become easier -- you get into his head....


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Re: Resist the urge to play through - why?? [Re: JohnSprung] #2795764 12/27/18 12:13 PM
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I will play through a whole piece a few times if I am trying to select a piece for a recital or festival. An example of this is that I got a few festival options for Christmas and am skimming through them to see which might be best for me to work on. I won't play a piece more than a few times this way because of the muscle memory issue that others have discussed. That is a very real challenge.

Re: Resist the urge to play through - why?? [Re: Animisha] #2795776 12/27/18 12:39 PM
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Yes,Azariah, I mislearned one note on a Bach piece, and it's taking months to relearn it. If I'm not very, very careful, I play it the incorrectly learned way. The mistake "works", which probably makes it harder to eradicate.


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Re: Resist the urge to play through - why?? [Re: JohnSprung] #2795777 12/27/18 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by cmb13
. Interestingly, once you have the L hand line on one page, and even some of the melody and timing, the next pages or sections become progressively easier. .


Yes -- and once you have one piece by a composer, others by the same composer become easier -- you get into his head....



Agree!


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