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An off night
#2847855 05/13/19 05:50 PM
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Everything I practised and played tonight left me cold. Fast or slow, loud or soft it all sounded off.

I could not feel the rhythm, the music sounded discordant. It felt a little depressing and this isn’t what I came for.

I assume others experience something similar at times.

I have no idea whether I was just playing worse than usual or whether my ear is becoming more discriminating.

This is just a vent, I am not looking for answers, I am not stopping the piano or anything. If perhaps I need a short break, I am having an enforced one for a couple of days late this week.

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Re: An off night
KevinM #2847858 05/13/19 05:54 PM
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Totally, there are some nights where I'm practicing and nothing comes together, it's like I forgot the last 3 months of work. For me it's usually correlated to not having enough sleep, but not always.

OTOH, it's balanced by the occasional days where I feel like "man, I got this, I can really play!" and everything comes out really really well.

If only I had the latter on recital days, it's so far been the former frown

I have started recording every practice session now partly so I can catch those golden moments!


Now learning: Chopin C# minor Nocturne (posth) and C minor Prelude (big chords), Mozart Sonata in C K. 545
Instruments: Yamaha N1X, Kawai ES110, Roland GO:PIANO
Re: An off night
KevinM #2847859 05/13/19 05:56 PM
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I sometimes have this happen to me. I just feel like everything is wrong. My hands don't know what to do. My timing is off. My usually good memory forgets even very obvious notes. Often, I just stop early rather that bang my head and come back the next day. By the next day, often what was ailing me has passed.


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"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
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Re: An off night
KevinM #2847865 05/13/19 06:09 PM
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It is good to hear others experiences, solidarity, shared experience and the knowledge that the joy will return all helps. I did stop a little early but not much.

Re: An off night
KevinM #2847873 05/13/19 06:25 PM
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In summer, the song sings itself. --William Carlos Williams

Re: An off night
KevinM #2847874 05/13/19 06:26 PM
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It's never happened to me.







HAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


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Perhaps "more music" is always the answer, no matter what the question might be! - Qwerty53
Re: An off night
KevinM #2847878 05/13/19 06:58 PM
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Happened at my lesson last week, of all places! I was *relatively* certain I'd do well. But, it was a very stressful day at work, and I guess I never really relaxed.

Oh well! We've all been there, and will likely be there again (but hopefully not too soon).

Re: An off night
KevinM #2847883 05/13/19 07:13 PM
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Yes I had trouble with my C maj scale a few days ago. Well it is considered the toughest one. Just saying..


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Re: An off night
KevinM #2847884 05/13/19 07:20 PM
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Been there; done that; now, where did I put that t-shirt?

Cheers!


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Re: An off night
KevinM #2847898 05/13/19 08:16 PM
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I would think most of us beginners have had this experience-probably multiple times.



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Re: An off night
KevinM #2847904 05/13/19 08:46 PM
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I have heard a term for this malady which I have adopted; ‘ mitten hands’. The only solution is walk away and wait for a better time. Sometimes in lessons I think ‘where did THAT come from?’ when my hands insist on doing something totally bizarre. ‘Gotta 😆 ‘

Re: An off night
KevinM #2847908 05/13/19 08:56 PM
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I keep a log of my daily practice. It helps me to track my progress. I like to go back and read it at least once a month. There are at least two different occasions when I have written Don't know who was playing but it wasn't me (sorry guys my quotation key does not work). I haven't written it both in the positive and the negative. I find taking a deep breath and moving on to the next thing I want to play helps. Even taking a day away from playing.


Barbara
...without music, no life...
Re: An off night
KevinM #2847923 05/13/19 10:14 PM
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When I'm having an off day I turn it into a day where I play everything ridiculously slowly to ease it off a bit. This way, you can still make a bit of progress.

Re: An off night
KevinM #2847927 05/13/19 10:33 PM
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I'm not offering an answer or a solution; just know that you're not alone...

"She looked me over
And I guess she thought I was all right
All right in a sort of a limited way for an off-night..."


Learner
Re: An off night
KevinM #2847935 05/13/19 11:40 PM
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I probably do have these inferior occasions but they don't seem to matter as much as decades ago. These days I treat a mishap as an opportunity to investigate and solve problems. In other words I adopt an objective frame of mind, rather like solving a puzzle. Strangely enough, if the opposite occurs and playing goes exceptionally well I analyse it in the same way and try to find out what I was doing to cause it. Improvisation is completely different in that its quality doesn't become apparent until much later when listening to the recording. I have created some of my best stuff while functioning atrociously in the actual playing, or so I thought. Learn to like whatever happens by thinking about it objectively and turning it to advantage.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: An off night
Ted #2847939 05/14/19 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Ted
... Learn to like whatever happens by thinking about it objectively and turning it to advantage.


Wise words, but easier said than done. I have gotten to the place where I can shrug it off, but have not been able to analyze it. Maybe I haven’t worked at it dnough, but it appears random.... and improving my skills doesn’t seem to make a difference.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Re: An off night
dogperson #2847952 05/14/19 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by Ted
... Learn to like whatever happens by thinking about it objectively and turning it to advantage.


Wise words, but easier said than done. I have gotten to the place where I can shrug it off, but have not been able to analyze it. Maybe I haven’t worked at it dnough, but it appears random.... and improving my skills doesn’t seem to make a difference.


There is indeed a mystery about it but I have grown to like surprises. An example occurred this morning while playing the Rhapsody in Blue, which I have enjoyed since I was a kid. My playing of one particular passage really irritated me, deadly dull, no musical interest at all. So I did something different, didn't matter what, anything would have done, to just throw off entrenched habit. In this case I changed fingering to something entirely new to see what would happen and it opened the gates to a completely new sound. That seemingly trivial but serendipitous event then affected not just that piece but everything I subsequently played and lifted my mood out of proportion to the cause. I suppose habit is essential to discipline, but it can also be a prison as far as mood goes, and getting rid of it sometimes works wonders.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: An off night
Zaphod #2847953 05/14/19 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod
When I'm having an off day I turn it into a day where I play everything ridiculously slowly to ease it off a bit. This way, you can still make a bit of progress.

This is also my solution, even though just slowly and not ridiculously slowly, because otherwise I would fall asleep.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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Re: An off night
KevinM #2847960 05/14/19 01:43 AM
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Originally Posted by KevinM

I assume others experience something similar at times.


Yup.


Whizbang
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Re: An off night
dogperson #2847969 05/14/19 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by Ted
... Learn to like whatever happens by thinking about it objectively and turning it to advantage.


Wise words, but easier said than done. I have gotten to the place where I can shrug it off, but have not been able to analyze it. Maybe I haven’t worked at it dnough, but it appears random.... and improving my skills doesn’t seem to make a difference.


Have you read "The Perfect Wrong Note" by William Westney. I seem to be recommending it a lot recently, but I found lots of help in there about using mistakes as an opportunity to improve. I'm particularly thinking about being mindful as the mistakes happen to learn why.

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