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Correcting Memorized Mistakes
#3025613 09/16/20 12:19 PM
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I am an intermediate adult pianist and enjoy learning pieces that are a little above my skill level. I know that this may not be a good idea, but I get bored easily with easier pieces. If I really like a piece, I will memorize it so I can play it without sheet music. When I start to learn it, I use sheet music, but relatively quickly I end up focusing on my hands, chords, etc. I think I do this for 2 reasons. One is to be able to play it without the sheet music. The second reason is that with jumps etc. I have to glance down at the keyboard and depending on the complexity of the piece, I get lost glancing back and forth at the music and my hands. So eventually I end up memorizing without the music.
I have memorized several pieces in this way, and I think I can play them just as well as if I was using sheet music. Problem is that if I don't play the piece in a while, I might forget portions or make mistakes. It is really easy to memorize the mistake. So my question is, how do you repair a memorized piece with mistakes. Is it best to start over from the beginning, measure by measure and practice the areas that you've forgotten or which have become sloppy? Thanks in advance.

Re: Correcting Memorized Mistakes
PabloLASF #3025635 09/16/20 01:07 PM
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Slowly play through the music with the score to check for mistakes. Do this on a regular basis with all your pieces. It could be weekly, monthly, or whatever fits into your schedule. When you identify a mistake, discipline yourself to play it slowly and correctly every time. Do not increase your tempo until you get it right every time. Gradually increase your tempo and NEVER play the mistake again.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: Correcting Memorized Mistakes
PabloLASF #3025636 09/16/20 01:17 PM
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Use the book. Be able to start from any random spot in the music. Pick a random note, and start playing from there until the end.

Repeat this from many random spots in the music.


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Re: Correcting Memorized Mistakes
PabloLASF #3025697 09/16/20 03:29 PM
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I have the same problem. Comes from trying to rush a piece. It's often easier to memorize patterns than to read and play when you're not ready to play at the tempo you picked. Your brain just can't keep up with reading.

Since you're more just memorizing simpler patterns rather than really memorizing the music this way, it's easy to mess up and forget.

My wife chews me out for this pretty frequently.

If the piece is too difficult to play and follow along the sheet music, you maybe should be practicing each hand individually to really learn them well before combining the two hands.

Like AZNpiano mentioned actually memorizing a piece of music should mean being able to play starting from any random note in the piece.

Re: Correcting Memorized Mistakes
PabloLASF #3025742 09/16/20 05:35 PM
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Thanks very much to everyone. Very useful information for me. Totally makes sense. I think I have been trying to take shortcuts. But they come back to bite you. smile

Re: Correcting Memorized Mistakes
PabloLASF #3025785 09/16/20 07:26 PM
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When I am preparing to play something in a recital, I take time to write down the score from memory. It helps me to feel more solid, even if it's just psychology. It may help you to look at your mistakes and figure out why you keep doing it and why the composer's writing makes better sense.

Re: Correcting Memorized Mistakes
wszxbcl #3025789 09/16/20 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by wszxbcl
When I am preparing to play something in a recital, I take time to write down the score from memory. It helps me to feel more solid, even if it's just psychology. It may help you to look at your mistakes and figure out why you keep doing it and why the composer's writing makes better sense.
Although some recommend this approach, I think it's totally impractical and for the OP's level. It also begs the question, what happens if/when you get stuck writing the piece out from memory? I don't think many pros do this. In fact, I've haven't heard a single top pianist mention this in all the books where the author interviews top pianists.

Re: Correcting Memorized Mistakes
wszxbcl #3025835 09/17/20 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by wszxbcl
When I am preparing to play something in a recital, I take time to write down the score from memory. It helps me to feel more solid, even if it's just psychology. [...]

How long does it take you to write out a Beethoven Sonata or whatever other major work you might be performing: many hours? Is it really worth all that time, time that you could be working out slow, methodical and focused practice at the piano?

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Re: Correcting Memorized Mistakes
PabloLASF #3025842 09/17/20 01:35 AM
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I'm not making this up....

At one of the masterclasses I observed, the master teacher told the student--who played one movement of a concerto--to hand copy the entire orchestra part. Not the piano reduction. The ENTIRE orchestra part, all the instruments and their lines. And the master teacher gave the student a postcard, so that she can notify him when the project is finished.

I was totally confused. What is the point of doing this???


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Re: Correcting Memorized Mistakes
PabloLASF #3025882 09/17/20 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by PabloLASF
Problem is that if I don't play the piece in a while, I might forget portions or make mistakes. It is really easy to memorize the mistake.

I work basically the same way, if I learn a piece then I automatically memorize it.
If I want to play it again after a longer period, I allways take the score and work through it from scratch. Then after two or three runs it is again in memory. This way, I have come across little mistakes that i memorized.

Last edited by ErfurtBob; 09/17/20 05:13 AM.
Re: Correcting Memorized Mistakes
wszxbcl #3025884 09/17/20 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by wszxbcl
When I am preparing to play something in a recital, I take time to write down the score from memory.
That is very thorough and a lot of work. Alternatively, you can also sit down and play the piece in your mind, away from the piano, from memory. Very helpful, not easy, takes a lot of concentration and you can't do anything else at the same time. I have tried it while driving a car, but that doesn't work. You could do it in a waiting room at the doctor e.g.

Re: Correcting Memorized Mistakes
PabloLASF #3025894 09/17/20 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I'm not making this up....

At one of the masterclasses I observed, the master teacher told the student--who played one movement of a concerto--to hand copy the entire orchestra part. Not the piano reduction. The ENTIRE orchestra part, all the instruments and their lines. And the master teacher gave the student a postcard, so that she can notify him when the project is finished.

I was totally confused. What is the point of doing this???
That is, the orchestral parts are proposed to be transcribed directly from the recording. A well-known method in the training of orchestral conductors.I did it mostly in jazz.

Re: Correcting Memorized Mistakes
wszxbcl #3025904 09/17/20 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by wszxbcl
When I am preparing to play something in a recital, I take time to write down the score from memory. It helps me to feel more solid, even if it's just psychology. It may help you to look at your mistakes and figure out why you keep doing it and why the composer's writing makes better sense.
When you play a piece from memory to what extent do you visualise the score? And the AZpiano - starting from a random note? Surely you need a context as to where that note is?


Roland LX706

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Re: Correcting Memorized Mistakes
PabloLASF #3026039 09/17/20 03:20 PM
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If I understand the situation correctly you memorize and play pieces that you can't read fluently. I think it's not a good practice. It shows the weakness of your reading skills. You need to work on improving your reading. And for the memorized pieces I think it'd be best to learn to play them with score now.

Re: Correcting Memorized Mistakes
Nahum #3026095 09/17/20 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Nahum
That is, the orchestral parts are proposed to be transcribed directly from the recording. A well-known method in the training of orchestral conductors.I did it mostly in jazz.

And how would this activity benefit the student who is playing the concerto movement? She's not being trained to conduct an orchestra, nor is she playing jazz.


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Re: Correcting Memorized Mistakes
Colin Miles #3026098 09/17/20 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Colin Miles
And the AZpiano - starting from a random note? Surely you need a context as to where that note is?

The ability to start playing from any note in the piece comes from 100% security with the individual notes. Context is not important.

Obviously, this is done with the score. You'd have to read the note to know where to start, but you should be able to finish the piece no problem. You'd be amazed how many people can't do that.


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Re: Correcting Memorized Mistakes
AZNpiano #3026100 09/17/20 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Colin Miles
And the AZpiano - starting from a random note? Surely you need a context as to where that note is?

The ability to start playing from any note in the piece comes from 100% security with the individual notes. Context is not important.

Obviously, this is done with the score. You'd have to read the note to know where to start, but you should be able to finish the piece no problem. You'd be amazed how many people can't do that.
Sorry - I thought you were talking about from memory.


Roland LX706

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Re: Correcting Memorized Mistakes
AZNpiano #3026167 09/17/20 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
The ability to start playing from any note in the piece comes from 100% security with the individual notes. Context is not important.

Obviously, this is done with the score. You'd have to read the note to know where to start, but you should be able to finish the piece no problem. You'd be amazed how many people can't do that.
Also, it makes for more efficient use of lesson time if you can start a piece from any place in the score. I quickly learned that my teacher expects this and it does indeed make me feel more secure. Starting from random places has become an automatic part of my practice time.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: Correcting Memorized Mistakes
PabloLASF #3026319 09/18/20 10:07 AM
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Um... you guys, pianoloverus and BruceD, I'm just a beginner, maybe "advanced" beginner. We're only talking about one or two pages at a time. Size of one Bach Invention. As I've said I do it to help my nerves before a recital. I have terrible stage fright and knowing I can write it down is one way I try to alleviate insecurity.

It doesn't take long at all maybe 15 minutes per page. I scribble it like taking dictation from memory of the sounds, and just use a slash for solid note heads. When the same thing is repeated I don't write out again, just draw an arrow from previous measures.

I put it out there for the OP because he mentioned mistakes. It's a mistake because it is different from the score. So you'd want to investigate those measures where the discrepancy occurs, right?

Re: Correcting Memorized Mistakes
wszxbcl #3026514 09/18/20 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by wszxbcl
Um... you guys, pianoloverus and BruceD, I'm just a beginner, maybe "advanced" beginner. We're only talking about one or two pages at a time. Size of one Bach Invention. As I've said I do it to help my nerves before a recital. I have terrible stage fright and knowing I can write it down is one way I try to alleviate insecurity.

It doesn't take long at all maybe 15 minutes per page. I scribble it like taking dictation from memory of the sounds, and just use a slash for solid note heads. When the same thing is repeated I don't write out again, just draw an arrow from previous measures.

I put it out there for the OP because he mentioned mistakes. It's a mistake because it is different from the score. So you'd want to investigate those measures where the discrepancy occurs, right?
If it helps you it's hard to argue against it for you, but I think a better question would be if it helps you or would help you more than the standard ways of memorizing like aural memory, muscle memory, harmonic analysis, and structural analysis among others. When you get to more advanced pieces I think you'll find writing the piece out to be much more complicated and lengthy. I would call your method an outlier technique.

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