2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
Who's Online Now
90 members (alaxid, AZNpiano, Animisha, almo82, Beowulf, Beemer, anotherscott, accordeur, 17 invisible), 502 guests, and 458 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Practicing away from the piano
#2995142 06/25/20 04:36 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 50
Notori Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 50
Hey everyone!

What are your tips for still actively practicing on days when you can't sit at the piano? Whether that's an injury, or to break up monotony, or are away from home.

I usually spend time reading my sheet music while listening to recordings, but I'm curious what other people do.

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: Practicing away from the piano
Notori #2995147 06/25/20 04:48 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 6,932
Silver Subscriber
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Subscriber
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 6,932
Record yourself and then listen to the recording while reading the score. take notes or markup the score at places that need work.


"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

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Practicing away from the piano
Notori #2995154 06/25/20 04:59 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 1,927
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 1,927
You can do mental practice but it's very taxing and requires great concentration. It's better to start with a piece you already have in your fingers and possibly memorised. Close your eyes and imagine playing the piece (hands separately at first). Hear it and see your fingers play it in real time. If something is not clear in your mind repeat it again until it is (you can repeat single phrases and sections just like in real life). Try putting the hands together in your head. At first it feels impossible, like you're a beginner again, but it's well worth doing the effort. Paracticing this way can make your pieces very solid because you never practice mistakes.

Re: Practicing away from the piano
Notori #2995171 06/25/20 05:48 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 13,793
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 13,793
I don't practice when I don't have access to a piano, because I'll be engaged in doing something else that's just as interesting smirk . If I listen to music on my iPod, it won't be stuff I'm actually learning: I never listen to someone else playing what I'm still learning. I'm more likely to be listening to Lieder or opera.

But if I get access to a piano (and I'm not fussy about how good the piano/keyboard is), I'll play it: pieces I can play from memory, or - if there happens to be sheet music on the piano or in the stool, I'll try it out. (I once had a great time sight-reading through some Scottish folk tunes, suitably embellished by myself, on a decrepit old upright that had ancient sheet music on top of it, when I was backpacking my way across the Scottish Highlands and wrangled a bed for the night in a hostel so I could dry out my clothes and tent).

If I'm at home, I play every day. Not necessarily practicing, but playing.....


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Practicing away from the piano
Notori #2995194 06/25/20 07:24 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,941
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,941
Glenn Gould said that he could memorize pieces away from the piano. He also claimed to only practice a couple of hours a day...

Frederic Chiu includes learning away from the piano in his workshops. Take a simple piece (well below your level), and try to memorize it without playing it.

That's a bit too hard-core for me. But you can also take a score and analyze it for harmony or form. Or read a biography, history, or theory book.

Sam

Re: Practicing away from the piano
Notori #2995211 06/25/20 08:59 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 259
S
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
S
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 259
I think that anything that doesn’t involve the ear is a bit of a waste of time. So I’ll do a bit of ear training interval recognition (which I find boring and can’t stand much of) or sight-singing from a piano score. I don’t have any formal voice training apart from choir singing and my voice is pretty lame, but I can sing a note and hear if it’s right or wrong.

Exercises with no sound or rhythm don’t do much for me.


Yamaha U1. Yamaha P-45. Yamaha RD-250 (a long time ago). smile
Re: Practicing away from the piano
Notori #2995296 06/26/20 05:48 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,941
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,941
Sight-singing would be a good exercise. I used to use an old-fashioned hymnal (4 part harmony), and try to sing all the lines. It was very difficult for me, and I was not very good at it, but I did improve a little. Or get that book of 371(?) Bach chorales and try sight-singing the parts.

Sam

Re: Practicing away from the piano
Notori #2995366 06/26/20 10:15 AM
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 101
N
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
N
Joined: Jun 2020
Posts: 101
I've just started 5 weeks ago. I got an app for my Android tablet, Complete Music Reading Trainer, that I practice reading notes on. At night before falling asleep, I connect my wireless headphones to the tablet (so as not to keep my husband awake) then practice hitting the correct keys on the virtual keyboard as the notes scroll by. It's been a great way to build up speed on treble clef note recognition. I didn't know bass clef at all, so the app has helped with learning that a lot. I can also use my keyboard with the app, either through the tablet mic or through midi USB cable. Definitely worth the 5 bucks or so that I paid for it.

Re: Practicing away from the piano
Notori #2995456 06/26/20 01:53 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 3,712
N
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
N
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 3,712
Originally Posted by Sam S
Glenn Gould said that he could memorize pieces away from the piano. He also claimed to only practice a couple of hours a day...
This is not an example for us ...

Re: Practicing away from the piano
Sam S #2995560 06/26/20 05:12 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 28,128
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 28,128
Originally Posted by Sam S
Frederic Chiu includes learning away from the piano in his workshops. Take a simple piece (well below your level), and try to memorize it without playing it.
I saw a video of one of his workshops. The pianists were young but already high level professionals. None could even memorize the first half of a Scarlatti Sonata. This kind of advice is irrelevant for 99.99% of pianists.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 06/26/20 05:12 PM.
Re: Practicing away from the piano
Notori #2995633 06/26/20 08:53 PM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,333
T
1000 Post Club Member
Online Content
1000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,333
My situation is that I have elderly family members living in another city. I would spend time with them for a few months of the year. As their health deteriorate, I'm spending more time away from home. The least I can do is to bring a portable keyboard along. Need to plan on taking time off for family obligations.

You can read scores and sing the parts if you're away from a piano / keyboard for a few weeks on vacation. If you take off a few months of the year, your fingers get rusty.

Re: Practicing away from the piano
Notori #2996208 06/28/20 06:08 AM
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 1,823
I
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
I
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 1,823
I enjoy playing on a table. And on other objects, too. smile I think it's an excellent practice for fingers without keyboard.

My wife enjoys when I play Mozart on her back. laugh

Re: Practicing away from the piano
Notori #2996248 06/28/20 08:50 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 4,508
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 4,508
I only feel confident playing a piece if I can practise it away from the piano.

It's great when learning a piece to go through it in my mind and see what bits are less secure. It's very easy to let muscle memory to take over and then allow some details of the mental picture of the piece to become foggy.

For example, I'm now going through a particular piece in my head. Nothing is repeated without some alteration to the melody and harmony. The piece relies on creating rhythms between the hands, which changes throughout the piece as well.

I'm trying to work out the easiest way to have a clear picture of the piece. This is the sort of thing for which mental practise is a great help. It's a technically easy piece, but I tend to stumble every now and then because I didn't learn it properly.

Mental practise isn't always particularly useful, but it can be a good way to home in on things that aren't always apparent at the piano.

Bear in mind we're talking about an advanced technique that really comes into its own when you are memorising long pieces.

Last edited by johnstaf; 06/28/20 08:54 AM.
Re: Practicing away from the piano
Notori #2996279 06/28/20 09:53 AM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 588
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 588
This youtube by pianote explains how you can excersise away from the piano

Its aimed at beginners, which fits this part of the forum nicely

https://youtu.be/JZWS27WQFj8

Re: Practicing away from the piano
Notori #2996565 06/29/20 04:55 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 3,712
N
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
N
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 3,712
Originally Posted by Bachus
This youtube by pianote explains how you can excersise away from the piano

Its aimed at beginners, which fits this part of the forum nicely

https://youtu.be/JZWS27WQFj8
This is an exercises for a pianist who is serving a two-year sentence in prison.

Re: Practicing away from the piano
Notori #2996567 06/29/20 05:06 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,126
T
Ted Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,126
I do all work on technique at my silent Virgil Practice Clavier if that counts.

Last edited by Ted; 06/29/20 05:07 AM.

"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: Practicing away from the piano
Ted #2996907 06/30/20 02:01 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 3,712
N
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
N
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 3,712
Originally Posted by Ted
I do all work on technique at my silent Virgil Practice Clavier if that counts.
Each digital instrument with a weighted keyboard is suitable for this, provided that you hear inside the pitches , which keys you press , as clearly as possible.

Re: Practicing away from the piano
Nahum #2996932 06/30/20 05:15 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,126
T
Ted Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,126
Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Ted
I do all work on technique at my silent Virgil Practice Clavier if that counts.
Each digital instrument with a weighted keyboard is suitable for this, provided that you hear inside the pitches , which keys you press , as clearly as possible.

A Virgil can provide far greater key resistance than the heaviest touch piano, acoustic or digital. Used sensibly with discretion, a few minutes a day, I have found it a wonderful invention. With me it is a purely gymnastic device. They are so rare nowadays that most musicians have never seen one.


"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: Practicing away from the piano
Notori #2996985 06/30/20 08:43 AM
Joined: May 2020
Posts: 148
D
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
D
Joined: May 2020
Posts: 148
I think most musicians today have never known the VPC existed, let alone seen one. Looking for info about the VPC I've found this post which may be useful: https://practisingthepiano.com/silent-practice-the-art-of-inner-listening/

I occasionally do pure mental practice, but I find it exhausting and beneficial only for memorization (not for accuracy or anything else). Since I am a good memorizer already (and poor sight reader), I found it not worth the effort. On the other hand, I very seldom do silent practice.

I will probably try this week. I could try softer-than-pianissimo, just-touch-the-keys-without-depressing or simply keeping-the-digital-piano-off. Hey, I can even keep it on at zero volume, record what I am doing and listen to it after! Not sure if any of these will be beneficial, I will try and see and discuss with my teacher. If any of you does any of this, let me know your opinion.

PS: the suggestions from the youtube video sounded good, not so bad as Nahum suggested.....

Re: Practicing away from the piano
Nahum #2997002 06/30/20 09:36 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 6,932
Silver Subscriber
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Subscriber
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 6,932
Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Bachus
This youtube by pianote explains how you can excersise away from the piano

Its aimed at beginners, which fits this part of the forum nicely

https://youtu.be/JZWS27WQFj8
This is an exercises for a pianist who is serving a two-year sentence in prison.

These seem excellent for anyone who works full time, travels by air, or long commutes/car trips. Not everyone has the flexibility/access to a piano whenever they want.


"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

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  BB Player 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Karsten Collection
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
Our October 2020 Free Piano Newsletter is Here!
---------------------
3,000,000+!
------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Why Is the Piano Music Marked "Trio"?
by BbAltered - 10/20/20 12:59 PM
Lesson scheduling *SERVICE*
by scotpgot - 10/20/20 12:37 PM
Missing the Blacks Keys in E
by wolfpaw - 10/20/20 11:31 AM
Need help with my keyboard monitor setup!!
by Foxtrot3 - 10/20/20 10:59 AM
David Andersen Pianos
by westexdent - 10/20/20 09:41 AM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics202,322
Posts3,015,486
Members98,956
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2020 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4