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Re: How to practise for errorless performance?
Moo :) #2971512 04/25/20 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
I never heard of these before I joined the online world but they look horrendous. I am not sure of the supposed benefits as I have never used them but I think it would win a prize for most dull way to learn the piano. Maybe you will enjoy the Brahms 51 etude series. Another musical crime!
The Brahms exercises are mostly meant for very advanced pianists.

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Re: How to practise for errorless performance?
CosminX #2971515 04/25/20 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by CosminX
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xubDL9CrHoQ

Came across this one today while having this exact same issues as the OP.
On my current piece it seems to have worked but had to leave the camera on while practising those repeats and after a while, I was able to play through a few times in a row (then I stopped in order not to jinx it :)) )
Red button phobia.
Interesting that Estrin says something like "Maybe you've played it TEN times perfectly" yet some posters on this thread suggest practicing passages/pieces TWO HUNDRED times even after the technical and musical problems have been dealt with which I find outrageous!

Last edited by pianoloverus; 04/25/20 05:23 PM.
Re: How to practise for errorless performance?
Moo :) #2971518 04/25/20 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
I never heard of these before I joined the online world but they look horrendous. I am not sure of the supposed benefits as I have never used them but I think it would win a prize for most dull way to learn the piano. Maybe you will enjoy the Brahms 51 etude series. Another musical crime!
The Brahms exercises are mostly meant for very advanced pianists.
Originally Posted by Moo :)
If you do not use musical score, how exactly do you learn to correct errors? If I had an error in bar 4 in the left hand. I could just play the left hand, play in rhythms just in bar 4 and do lots of things. I have never memorised anything. Can people do this without a score - I would think it is quite hard to start from bar 4 or even just play the left hand on its own ? I am not a fan of memorising music and this perhaps is another reason I would not waste time doing it !
If they can't do it without looking at the score, they look at the score. My guess is many who memorize their pieces could correct errors without looking at the score. You don't have to necessarily do anything like what you described to correct an error, but you do have to play the passage x times with the correct note and figure out why you made the error.

Re: How to practise for errorless performance?
Animisha #2971519 04/25/20 05:31 PM
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Random mistakes can easily become repeated mistakes. If I play a piece many times and then I play it and make a mistake I've never made before, if I don't fix the mistake immediately it will nearly always be there the next time I play. It is almost not about difficulty, a brief lapse in concentration causes you to make a mistake in a trivial section. If you don't fix the mistake there and then your brain will remember that mistake and you become doomed to repeat it. The longer you leave it the more work it is to remove the mistake from memory.

I've had two other error types in performance/recording not mentioned. I had a piece with a section that was difficult for me. I drilled it and drilled it. In the performance I made a mistake in a trivial section immediately before the difficult bit. I was thinking about the difficult bit that was coming up, not the trivial bit I was currently playing. I managed to stumble through and get it back together in the difficult bit.

Not in a performance but doing a recording I've done the opposite, got through the difficult section brilliantly, briefly lost concentration and there is this tiny hesitation in the recording just after the difficult bit unrelated to the difficulty of what I was playing.

Re: How to practise for errorless performance?
pianoloverus #2971524 04/25/20 05:46 PM
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Random mistakes I would argue are not really random. They would normally occur in predictable places. Faster passages. Bigger jumps etc.

Re: How to practise for errorless performance?
Moo :) #2971580 04/25/20 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
Originally Posted by Bhav
I've found that Hanon exercises have also helped me to improve with my accuracy.

I never heard of these before I joined the online world but they look horrendous. I am not sure of the supposed benefits as I have never used them but I think it would win a prize for most dull way to learn the piano. Maybe you will enjoy the Brahms 51 etude series. Another musical crime!

An error in your thinking here is that Hanon exercises are not how to learn the piano, but how to improve at the piano.

Scales, Arpeggios and Chords are a million times more boring, Hanon gets more or less the same job done in just the first half of the book.

Very little else gets you as much improvement in such a small space of time as these exercises do, and if done properly you can get through the crucial first 31 Hanon exercises in a few months or less.

Or you can spend 20 years learning slowly and ineffectively and never getting any better as was my case before I learnt Hanon.

If you actually bother to try them, the gains are astronomical.

Last edited by Bhav; 04/25/20 08:10 PM.

'Its too rare to break a hand from playing the piano ... But playing Hanon as written will break your hand'

- Self proclaimed 'piano teachers' on the internet.
Re: How to practise for errorless performance?
Animisha #2971670 04/26/20 05:00 AM
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I only ever play Hanon nos. 1, 6, 15, and 20. The rest of part 1 is just more of the same and mostly a waste of time. Part 2 is all of the standard scales and arpeggios, which get practiced anyway. From part 3 the ones for trills and repeated notes are useful.

Re: How to practise for errorless performance?
wouter79 #2971675 04/26/20 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by wouter79
PREPARE / READ AHEAD
Wouter, thank you for your comment! This was very interesting and something I never do.


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Re: How to practise for errorless performance?
Animisha #2971678 04/26/20 06:05 AM
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Not sure that Hanon can help with accuracy. I think it's more about fine control of dynamics and articulation.

Re: How to practise for errorless performance?
Animisha #2971731 04/26/20 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by wouter79
PREPARE / READ AHEAD
Wouter, thank you for your comment! This was very interesting and something I never do.

Let us know if it also works for you?


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Re: How to practise for errorless performance?
Animisha #2971748 04/26/20 11:19 AM
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Random mistakes tend to happen for me under two conditions: 1) I am not concentrating on the music hard enough; 2) I am concentrating on the music too hard! There's this conceptual zone where things seem to work right, but it's really hard for me to get there. I think that if I had started younger when my brain was softer, it would feel more natural for me. smile I try to think of it like talking: I don't have to think about every movement and position of my tongue, teeth, lips, throat, etc. - I just think the sounds, decide to make them, and they come out. When I get into a similar frame of mind on piano, with my fingers doing the "talking," it usually goes much better!


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Re: How to practise for errorless performance?
Animisha #2971753 04/26/20 11:33 AM
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In relation to what Animisha calls confusion errors I think I've found a similar thing to what TheophilusCarter has found for random errors.

I can concentrate on what is the exact note variations to do the correct exit from a repeated pattern, this requires a lot of concentration and is still far from being reliable. What I found works more reliably is thinking about the musical exit from a repeated pattern and then my fingers follow through. It also requires less concentration to get right which means there's more mental room for taking other things into consideration.

Re: How to practise for errorless performance?
wouter79 #2971755 04/26/20 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by wouter79
PREPARE / READ AHEAD
....

This works for me during practise, but if I am recording, I want to be focussing on giving my all to the notes I am about to play. I aim to be in a place when recording that I don't need to be looking ahead and I can concentrate on the now.

Re: How to practise for errorless performance?
KevinM #2971900 04/26/20 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
Originally Posted by Ruth CM
I hit this same issue when I was recording Pathetique 3 for the online recital: at some point it just felt like I was recording over and over and hitting my head against a wall. Finally, I just let it go and played it to the best of my ability, concentrating on the styling aspects rather than every correct note, and enjoyed it much better that way.

I think this is just generally good advice for recording or performances. The focus on not making a mistake often makes a piece less interesting and the expression is often lost in the process, I know this well. Mistakes will happen anyway.

Thanks KevinM. At the end, I had two recordings that I was picking from; one that was much better stylistically and one that had more correct notes. I chose the first one as musicality and expression was what I was going for.
If I listened to another player that made some mistakes in notes but had excellent musical expression, I would assume they were one off mistakes and they actually do know the notes, it just didn't execute in performance on that one day at that one time. But if it were the reverse I would question if they understood the music.
Of course, it would be ideal to achieve both at the same time!
Also wanted to agree with another poster who made the analogy to rock climbing and that a piece technically below a performer's capability would logically lend itself to more "perfection".

Re: How to practise for errorless performance?
wouter79 #2972064 04/27/20 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by wouter79
Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by wouter79
PREPARE / READ AHEAD
Wouter, thank you for your comment! This was very interesting and something I never do.

Let us know if it also works for you?
Wouter, the first thing that happened was, of course, that I started to make more errors, and I had to turn the metronome down from 80 to 60 pbm, but I felt it was a very interesting experience. Also, it is a very good way to identify which measures I am not certain about yet. Most measures I know so well that indeed it is enough to just take a short look at them, then play them while I look at the next measure, but there are some measures where I cannot do that.


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... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: How to practise for errorless performance?
Animisha #2972088 04/27/20 03:09 AM
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One error I still keep on making is attempting a current 16ths 4 notes octaves with fingers 1, 2, 3, 5, instead of 1, 2, 4, 5. The latter makes it a lot easier and strain free, but my brain automatically uses the former then I can't play it!


'Its too rare to break a hand from playing the piano ... But playing Hanon as written will break your hand'

- Self proclaimed 'piano teachers' on the internet.
Re: How to practise for errorless performance?
Animisha #2972166 04/27/20 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by wouter79
Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by wouter79
PREPARE / READ AHEAD
Wouter, thank you for your comment! This was very interesting and something I never do.

Let us know if it also works for you?
Wouter, the first thing that happened was, of course, that I started to make more errors, and I had to turn the metronome down from 80 to 60 pbm, but I felt it was a very interesting experience. Also, it is a very good way to identify which measures I am not certain about yet. Most measures I know so well that indeed it is enough to just take a short look at them, then play them while I look at the next measure, but there are some measures where I cannot do that.

Yes, when you stop reading ahead you can usually speed up but at the expense of not being prepared. For me the being prepared leads to less errors but yes you may have to get used to it first.


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Re: How to practise for errorless performance?
Animisha #2979854 05/16/20 11:24 AM
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Update! smile Yesterday, thanks to your good advice, I made an errorless recording of the piece that was the immediate reason why I created this thread. Apart from the advice to read ahead - which worked best when playing at lower speeds - I cannot really say which other advices helped me most. Doing something else than I had been doing with this piece certainly contributed to this success. So, thank you!

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Re: How to practise for errorless performance?
Animisha #2979971 05/16/20 03:21 PM
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That's great! Now you need to practice until you can't get it wrong. wink

Re: How to practise for errorless performance?
Animisha #2979973 05/16/20 03:27 PM
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Great to hear that my approach seemed to help you!

Read ahead has its effect also when you start going faster, and the slow work prepares you for doing the same at faster speeds


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