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First time but not every time. #2808588
01/30/19 11:55 AM
01/30/19 11:55 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 340
Arizona USA
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Finfan Offline OP
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Finfan  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 340
Arizona USA
This is a trend I have noticed in myself and I am wondering what it is about. When I have a piece I am struggling with which is pretty much every piece I try to learn. I will be plagued by stumbles, and restarts. However it seems like frequently when I sit down to start practice for the day I will play it straight through on the first try and then return to struggling. Is there some reason for this? If so how do I keep that initial state?


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Re: First time but not every time. [Re: Finfan] #2808595
01/30/19 12:16 PM
01/30/19 12:16 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,301
Midwest USA
Stubbie Offline
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Stubbie  Offline
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Midwest USA
I have experienced that phenomenon as well. I think my head gets in the way on subsequent times through. It's like playing in a recital or some such and thinking to yourself, hey, this is going well! and then everything goes south.

I have to slow myself down and really concentrate on subsequent times through, and often even that is not enough. Then it's back to working on the parts where I crashed and burned.


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In summer, the song sings itself. --William Carlos Williams
Re: First time but not every time. [Re: Finfan] #2808609
01/30/19 12:57 PM
01/30/19 12:57 PM
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 494
Ireland
Sibylle Offline
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Sibylle  Offline
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Posts: 494
Ireland
That’s interesting. When I’m in the process of learning something, it’s usually the first time that goes wrong. But it also happens in the middle of practice, when I get too stuck on something. The other day, I was tearing my hair over a piece, then finally took a deep breath and decided to just do a playthrough to break up the monotony. I was a little distracted, my thoughts wandered, and suddenly I realised I’d played half the piece without stumbling, without even thinking about it.

I have nothing even resembling a rational explanation as to why these things happen!


Sibylle


"Not a shred of evidence exists in favour of the idea that life is serious." -Brendan Gill
Re: First time but not every time. [Re: Stubbie] #2808615
01/30/19 01:11 PM
01/30/19 01:11 PM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 733
Sweden
Animisha Offline
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Animisha  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 733
Sweden
Originally Posted by Finfan
This is a trend I have noticed in myself and I am wondering what it is about. When I have a piece I am struggling with which is pretty much every piece I try to learn. I will be plagued by stumbles, and restarts. However it seems like frequently when I sit down to start practice for the day I will play it straight through on the first try and then return to struggling. Is there some reason for this? If so how do I keep that initial state?


I have the same experience, and I think it is concentration, plus

Originally Posted by Stubbie
my head gets in the way


During the first play-through I am fresh and concentrate on playing correctly, but during the playing I start to remember all the other things that I should think of while playing the piece, louder on this note, lighter on that one, and great, I nailed that passage, and during the second play-through these thoughts are a hindrance to my concentration, and I start to make mistakes.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: First time but not every time. [Re: Finfan] #2808689
01/30/19 04:17 PM
01/30/19 04:17 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 1,654
Warsaw, Poland
Qazsedcft Offline
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Qazsedcft  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 1,654
Warsaw, Poland
I find quite the opposite is true: I crash and burn on my first play through, then after practicing section by section I can play the piece through much better. Unfortunately, my teacher usually only hears the first play through... wink


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Mozart Sonata in G major, K. 283
Moszkowski Etude op. 91 no. 18
Chopin Nocturne in C-sharp minor, op. posth.
Re: First time but not every time. [Re: Qazsedcft] #2808753
01/30/19 07:45 PM
01/30/19 07:45 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 2,843
In the Ozarks of Missouri
NobleHouse Offline
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NobleHouse  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 2,843
In the Ozarks of Missouri
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
I find quite the opposite is true: I crash and burn on my first play through, then after practicing section by section I can play the piece through much better. Unfortunately, my teacher usually only hears the first play through... wink

Copycat cool


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Re: First time but not every time. [Re: Finfan] #2808757
01/30/19 07:53 PM
01/30/19 07:53 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 6,262
Reseda, California
J
JohnSprung Offline
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JohnSprung  Offline
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J

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 6,262
Reseda, California

I'm very vaguely remembering this from I'm not sure where, perhaps a PBS show or news article.... But the way the brain is supposed to work, remembering something you don't know well sort of loosens up the memory chemically, like softening the glue that holds it there. That's why it's squishy the second or third time through. So, it's important to have the sheet music handy and go over it the right way when this happens, so you stick it back in place correctly rather than randomly.


-- J.S.

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