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How to practice away from a piano?
#2964015 04/05/20 10:39 PM
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Sorry, this might be a stupid question, but one I've been wanting to ask.

If you physically or mentally must to take a break from the piano because of fatigue, but don't want to. Is there a way to keep 'practicing' without being in front of the piano? I can think of just listening to a performance of the same piece that you admire by a famous pianist and reflecting how you fall short of it. But other than that, what else can I do?

thanks.

Last edited by gtdpiano; 04/05/20 10:41 PM.
Re: How to practice away from a piano?
gtdpiano #2964021 04/05/20 11:20 PM
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Alan Rusbridger in his book "Play It Again" (P 318) recounts a story about Radu Lupu preparing for a performance of the Brahms no2 for the first time. He apparently did not touch the piano until 3 days before the performance. His wife feared he would need to cancel.

"What he'd been doing was just learning the piece by looking at it and getting it into his mind; his technique could do the rest."

No, I don't get it either!!

Re: How to practice away from a piano?
gtdpiano #2964033 04/06/20 01:43 AM
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Passive listening won't do that much, I don't think, except to let you hear what others might do with a piece, but it's a start.

Listening to other performers with the score in hand, intently following the score and making mental notes of what others do - not to copy them but to understand the why of what they are doing - is the next step.

Next, sit down with the score and study it in detail, listening to it - not on a recording, but in your mind. Understand what the score is telling you in every detail. You may be surprised at how many of those details you may have missed in your practice sessions.

If you haven't already memorized the work in question, try memorizing a portion of it just by studying the score away from the piano; it's a great mental exercise.* It need be only a few measures, but it may be those measures that give you the most trouble. See that trying to memorize a small portion away from the piano when you don't have the added distraction of transferring the score to your fingers may bring your attention to the score's details into even sharper focus.

* There are stories whose veracity has never been fully checked or proven of certain well-known concert pianists studying a new-to-them score on their way to a performance where they performed that work.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: How to practice away from a piano?
gtdpiano #2964062 04/06/20 04:56 AM
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In case your hands need some rest you can just get the score and imagine how you play it as vividly as you can. Try to imagine the sensations of every fingertip touching every key.

Re: How to practice away from a piano?
BruceD #2964148 04/06/20 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Passive listening won't do that much, I don't think, except to let you hear what others might do with a piece, but it's a start.

Listening to other performers with the score in hand, intently following the score and making mental notes of what others do - not to copy them but to understand the why of what they are doing - is the next step.

Next, sit down with the score and study it in detail, listening to it - not on a recording, but in your mind. Understand what the score is telling you in every detail. You may be surprised at how many of those details you may have missed in your practice sessions.

If you haven't already memorized the work in question, try memorizing a portion of it just by studying the score away from the piano; it's a great mental exercise.* It need be only a few measures, but it may be those measures that give you the most trouble. See that trying to memorize a small portion away from the piano when you don't have the added distraction of transferring the score to your fingers may bring your attention to the score's details into even sharper focus.

* There are stories whose veracity has never been fully checked or proven of certain well-known concert pianists studying a new-to-them score on their way to a performance where they performed that work.

Regards,

What Bruce said is very good. Also, close your eyes and listen to the score in your head, seeking new ways to express it. Critique your assumptions. Listen to the phrase lines. One more: Try to write down the score from memory.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: How to practice away from a piano?
gtdpiano #2964166 04/06/20 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by gtdpiano
If you physically or mentally must to take a break from the piano because of fatigue, but don't want to.

If this is mental fatigue, you'll probably need to take a break from any practising regardless of what you want. Try to get some rest and relaxation. Brew a cup of tea, sit in the sun, allow your mind to wander. Then stretch a little, and if you feel refreshed, go back to the piano and start to play again. If you're not yet refreshed, take a longer break.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: How to practice away from a piano?
gtdpiano #2964221 04/06/20 05:30 PM
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When I am traveling or just away from a piano, I practice on a table.

Re: How to practice away from a piano?
gtdpiano #2964233 04/06/20 06:10 PM
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When I practise away from the piano, I go through the music in my head. I find I can often come up with solutions to technical problems away from the piano.


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