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Is it realistic goal to play everything with closed eyes? #2897579
10/06/19 12:22 PM
10/06/19 12:22 PM
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hag01 Offline OP
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So I encouraged by my teacher I started to practice playing without looking on my hands, I either close my eyes or look at the notes sheet.
It seems like I must get used to it in order to get to the next level, I feel like I can't develop more freedom on the keypad if I'll continue to look on my hands.

How ever I wonder if it is a realistic goal to play everything with closed eyes, even when there are big jumps.

By the way,I tend to think that professional pianists can play everything with closed eyes easily, a lot of this forum member are professionals, can someone approve this?

Last edited by hag01; 10/06/19 12:23 PM.
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Re: Is it realistic goal to play everything with closed eyes? [Re: hag01] #2897622
10/06/19 02:05 PM
10/06/19 02:05 PM
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Simon_b Offline
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Hi

I posted a few months ago about improvising with my eyes closed, and how different I found it. Certainly I think there are benefits to playing with your eyes closed, or at least not looking at your hands. I'm pretty sure it helps develop your musical ear.

However doing it 100% of the time, isn't for me. And I'm sure there are plenty of great professional players out there who don't close their eyes. My general rule of thumb for something like this is, if you gain from it musically, and it isn't taking away from some other aspect of your playing then do it.

For me though its an occasional thing that I use to mix up my practise routine - when it exists!

BTW I am not a professional.

Cheers


Simon
Yamaha CLP535
Vox Continental 73


Play what you enjoy listening to, listen to what you enjoy playing!




Re: Is it realistic goal to play everything with closed eyes? [Re: hag01] #2897624
10/06/19 02:09 PM
10/06/19 02:09 PM
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Playing with your eyes closed is definitely not needed to get to the next level or to any level. Most professional pianists look at their hands a lot when playing without music.

Most professional pianists would be more successful than most if they tried to play with their eyes closed but they would never be successful enough that they would play that way in a concert or recording.

Some do think it's beneficial to practice some of the time with your eyes closed, but I've never heard anyone claim that being able to play with your eyes closed is a requirement to reach a certain level. When one plays while looking at the score there is almost always some peripheral vision or quick glances of the keys involved.

If you have to look at your hands a lot while playing with the score, then it makes sense to try and reduce that amount because looking at your hands a lot while playing the score is awkward.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 10/06/19 02:11 PM.
Re: Is it realistic goal to play everything with closed eyes? [Re: pianoloverus] #2897649
10/06/19 03:08 PM
10/06/19 03:08 PM
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hag01 Offline OP
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pianoloverus, OK, so not with closed eyes all the time, but lets say without looking directly on hands, look only on the score, and use only peripheral sight, is this a realistic goal?

Re: Is it realistic goal to play everything with closed eyes? [Re: hag01] #2897663
10/06/19 03:49 PM
10/06/19 03:49 PM
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Iaroslav Vasiliev Offline
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If you just get the score and try to play not looking at your hands right away, it will be a complete waste of time in my opinion. You will either get used to playing many wrong notes or develop a bad habit of touching keys in order to find the correct one. In order to really begin to play with your eyes closed you need to practice blind jumps first. Begin with jumping and landing on the same key, then on the adjacent one, then 2 keys away, 3 keys away... But don't wait that you will be able to read music not looking at your hands soon.

Re: Is it realistic goal to play everything with closed eyes? [Re: hag01] #2897700
10/06/19 05:53 PM
10/06/19 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by hag01
pianoloverus, OK, so not with closed eyes all the time, but lets say without looking directly on hands, look only on the score, and use only peripheral sight, is this a realistic goal?
All good pianists, even at the highest level, look at their hands at least occasionally when playing with the score. When playing without the score all good pianists look at their hands a lot more, and some look at their hands almost all the time.

I don't think there are absolutes about how much one should or should not look at their hands when playing with the score. It depends on one's level and the particular piece. A place where you need to and it would be appropriate to look at your hands now might not fit that description a few years from now. The main thing is to learn to play with a score while not continually looking at your hands.

Re: Is it realistic goal to play everything with closed eyes? [Re: hag01] #2897715
10/06/19 07:16 PM
10/06/19 07:16 PM
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If you're a beginner, then yes you should practise without looking at your hands. Learn where your fingers are on the keyboard.



"The piano keys are black and white but they sound like a million colors in your mind.”
– Maria Cristina

Re: Is it realistic goal to play everything with closed eyes? [Re: Serge88] #2897718
10/06/19 07:27 PM
10/06/19 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Serge88
If you're a beginner, then yes you should practise without looking at your hands. Learn where your fingers are on the keyboard.


I’m a beginner and my teacher told me to look calmly back and forth between my hands and the music, and not to get locked into either place, and not to stress about it too much. She also told me not to bend over the keyboard because that reduces one’s peripheral vision.


Yamaha U1 Silent Piano
Re: Is it realistic goal to play everything with closed eyes? [Re: Serge88] #2898047
10/07/19 07:55 PM
10/07/19 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Serge88
If you're a beginner, then yes you should practise without looking at your hands. Learn where your fingers are on the keyboard.
But I think that would imply that advanced pianists should also not look at their hands(at all) when playing with the score which is simply not the way they play. There is a difference between not looking at your hands at all(which you seem to imply because you don't quantify your statement) and not looking at your hands a lot.

Re: Is it realistic goal to play everything with closed eyes? [Re: hag01] #2898318
10/08/19 05:16 PM
10/08/19 05:16 PM
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Just go to youtube and watch Wang, Schiff, Horowitz, Brendal, Argelich, Gould, Kissen, etc. You'll see them all looking at their hands. I would suggest that if anyone tells you to not look that you ask them to demonstrate their ability to play better than this group wink.


Shigaru Kawai SK-2, Kawai MP11SE
Re: Is it realistic goal to play everything with closed eyes? [Re: hag01] #2898375
10/08/19 08:53 PM
10/08/19 08:53 PM
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Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder managed to pull it off. I see no reason why others could not.

Another question is whether or not it is even a worthwhile goal to be able to play without ever looking. The consensus in this thread so far seems to be "probably not."

Having a feel for the keyboard and being able to find things nearby to your hand's current position is a great skill to have. For large jumps, practically everybody will look. And it's not surprising, either. Try consistently making a three octave jump with speed and accuracy while wearing a blindfold. It's real tough.

My take: learn your scales and arpeggios well enough that you never need to look. For performance pieces, look all you like.

Re: Is it realistic goal to play everything with closed eyes? [Re: hag01] #2898507
10/09/19 07:54 AM
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hag01 Offline OP
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I told my teacher yesterdays that the fellows from pianoworld.com saying that the truth is somewhere in the middle and it is not good to look at your hands all the time, but professionals still look at their hands from time to time and also you can use peripheral vision.

He answered: Fair enough but in order to that you first have to practice a lot with not looking at all and with peripheral vision, after you well trained you can combine the three.

By the way, I think that playing all scales and arpeggios with closed eyes shouldn't be very difficult and it is a must.

Re: Is it realistic goal to play everything with closed eyes? [Re: hag01] #2898510
10/09/19 07:56 AM
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Last edited by hag01; 10/09/19 08:04 AM.
Re: Is it realistic goal to play everything with closed eyes? [Re: hag01] #2898535
10/09/19 09:14 AM
10/09/19 09:14 AM
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I'm 66 years old and can't remember ever hearing this issue discussed. That doesn't mean it's not an issue. My brain/hands/fingers over the years have developed a tactile memory. It seems like when I place my hands on the keys, they're sensing and picking up the black/white piano key terrain - the pattern. Jumping up or down an octave or two is trickier and for me, requires looking down. But most of this is unconscious, developing over many hours of practice and playing.

I do believe that a pianist's focus should ideally be used on listening to the music he/she is playing.


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