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Keep playing no matter what
#3050756 11/29/20 06:14 AM
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There is probably nothing that I fear more than losing my place and not being able to find it again - while performing for other people.
I haven´t seen this happen to any of the pros on any videos on youtube - they sure make mistakes (sometimes many mistakes) but THEY NEVER STOP!!!
I remember that especially at the very beginning, during my first lessons, when I had a memory slip or I relied on muscle memory and it failed me after hitting a wrong note, or I lost my place in the score, it would usually mean a few seconds of silence or playing completely random notes until I got back on track.
It´s a lot better now but I´d like to know if there is a systematic way in which I can practice this skill.
I am ok with playing with wrong notes, missed notes, too late/early pedal, slipped notes...anything but stopping playing.
Even if I failed completely, I´d rather keep playing random notes in identical key for the duration of the piece than just stopping.
So are there any rules, tips on how to build this skill?

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Re: Keep playing no matter what
Tom97 #3050759 11/29/20 06:35 AM
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My tips:

Practice ‘performing’ a lot .., where you pretend to be playing for others and don’t allow yourself to stop. Incorporate distractions and background noise like you might find in a performance so that you test ‘keep going’

Establish a few mental ‘safe harbors’: mental places in the music you can immediately start if you are totally lost. Mentally label them and incorporate jumping to them when you practice. Sam S had a good explanation of this previously so maybe he will chime in.


"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: Keep playing no matter what
dogperson #3050768 11/29/20 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
My tips:

Practice ‘performing’ a lot .., where you pretend to be playing for others and don’t allow yourself to stop. Incorporate distractions and background noise like you might find in a performance so that you test ‘keep going’

Establish a few mental ‘safe harbors’: mental places in the music you can immediately start if you are totally lost. Mentally label them and incorporate jumping to them when you practice. Sam S had a good explanation of this previously so maybe he will chime in.

Excellent advice, dogperson, thank you.

[Linked Image]



Steinway "A". Roland LX 706. Viscount Sonus 45 hybrid organ with 165 real pipes. Harpsichord by Marc Fontaine.
Re: Keep playing no matter what
Tom97 #3050771 11/29/20 07:29 AM
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Vikendios

Is that a Welsh Terriers in your post? My furry dog-kid is a Welshie


"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: Keep playing no matter what
dogperson #3050774 11/29/20 07:56 AM
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Lakelands. This picture was taken ten years ago when we lived in Greece, and they looked scruffy just after swimming in the sea. They are now in dog heaven but lived happily to 18+



Steinway "A". Roland LX 706. Viscount Sonus 45 hybrid organ with 165 real pipes. Harpsichord by Marc Fontaine.
Re: Keep playing no matter what
Tom97 #3050777 11/29/20 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom97
There is probably nothing that I fear more than losing my place and not being able to find it again - while performing for other people.
I haven´t seen this happen to any of the pros on any videos on youtube - they sure make mistakes (sometimes many mistakes) but THEY NEVER STOP!!!

I wonder if that could be because when they stop .... THEY DO NOT PUT IT ON YOUTUBE !!!!! smirk


Don

Casio PX-S1000, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq, Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface
Re: Keep playing no matter what
Tom97 #3050791 11/29/20 08:47 AM
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Record yourself and keep playing no matter what happen.



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
- Robert Schumann

Re: Keep playing no matter what
Tom97 #3050792 11/29/20 08:52 AM
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Years ago I was seeing a counselor (for something different) and this topic came up. He thought that my problem was that the fear of what the audience would think had created a mental block that resulted in my brain sabotaging the performance at some point even if I knew the piece front and back. He said the only way to overcome fear is to face it head on. He said to pick a spot in my first piece (this is during a live performance) and at that point deliberately stop. Then sit a few seconds and realize that regardless of what the audience thought (or what I thought they thought) it was really okay. This also helps you regain a sense of control. Then restart and go on. After a couple of times it worked and the fear (and the mental sabotage) diminished although I admit it was hard to even try this "therapy".

Yoga style deep breathing exercises help lower anxiety in almost any situation.

If all else fails, put it on YouTube anyway. Maybe you'll end up with hundreds of thousands of views like the "Looking for a City" singer. smile

Re: Keep playing no matter what
George Smith #3050803 11/29/20 09:22 AM
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George Smith: this idea of stopping deliberately is interesting and it makes sense to me smile
I caught myself doing something similar when I paly for my teacher - when everything is flowing smoothly and I play well, I sometimes deliberately stop and ask my teacher about something in the passage I just played - sometimes it drivers her crazy that I do this laugh but as you´ve said, it helps me to feel more in control.

Re: Keep playing no matter what
Tom97 #3050809 11/29/20 09:31 AM
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Serge88: recording is another chapter. I started recording myself almost every practice session after I´d bought an audio interface which enables me to record the audio coming out of my DP in a much higher quality. The result is that it makes me more nervous because there is nowhere to hide now - before I´d record myself just on my phone so the sound was not so good and if I had a slip, it wasn't as easy to recognize as it is now.

I realized that sometimes, there is a lot of ego in my playing and it is very detrimental. I think too much about impressing others... When I just let go and play with the intention of enjoying the beautiful works of the composers with others, it´s much better and it seems the ego disappears and there is only music - my hands are just the mean to get the sound out of the instrument.

Last edited by Tom97; 11/29/20 09:31 AM.
Re: Keep playing no matter what
Tom97 #3050826 11/29/20 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom97
George Smith: this idea of stopping deliberately is interesting and it makes sense to me smile
I caught myself doing something similar when I paly for my teacher - when everything is flowing smoothly and I play well, I sometimes deliberately stop and ask my teacher about something in the passage I just played - sometimes it drivers her crazy that I do this laugh but as you´ve said, it helps me to feel more in control.
I think deliberately practicing stopping--in the same place, repeatedly--should be used very, very carefully. You know the old saying, "Practice makes permanent." Instead, play in 'performance' mode as dogperson suggests and develop strategies to play through (no stopping).


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In summer, the song sings itself. --William Carlos Williams

Re: Keep playing no matter what
Tom97 #3050894 11/29/20 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom97
There is probably nothing that I fear more than losing my place and not being able to find it again - while performing for other people.
I haven´t seen this happen to any of the pros on any videos on youtube - they sure make mistakes (sometimes many mistakes) but THEY NEVER STOP!!!
I remember that especially at the very beginning, during my first lessons, when I had a memory slip or I relied on muscle memory and it failed me after hitting a wrong note, or I lost my place in the score, it would usually mean a few seconds of silence or playing completely random notes until I got back on track.
It´s a lot better now but I´d like to know if there is a systematic way in which I can practice this skill.
I am ok with playing with wrong notes, missed notes, too late/early pedal, slipped notes...anything but stopping playing.
Even if I failed completely, I´d rather keep playing random notes in identical key for the duration of the piece than just stopping.
So are there any rules, tips on how to build this skill?

As suggested already, you could record yourself.
But what I would recommend is to record a video of yourself while playing.
It is much more efficient.

I can tell the difference when I press the record button while doing my video for YouTube, it is clearly a higher stress level. And I mess up much more.
It might not be like in front of an audience, but it brings the same fear of failure, of being judged. Thus it should help anyway!


Your guide to learn how to play the piano and keyboards:
https://www.guide2music.com/play-the-piano/
Re: Keep playing no matter what
Tom97 #3050899 11/29/20 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom97
Serge88: recording is another chapter. I started recording myself almost every practice session after I´d bought an audio interface which enables me to record the audio coming out of my DP in a much higher quality. The result is that it makes me more nervous because there is nowhere to hide now - before I´d record myself just on my phone so the sound was not so good and if I had a slip, it wasn't as easy to recognize as it is now.

I realized that sometimes, there is a lot of ego in my playing and it is very detrimental. I think too much about impressing others... When I just let go and play with the intention of enjoying the beautiful works of the composers with others, it´s much better and it seems the ego disappears and there is only music - my hands are just the mean to get the sound out of the instrument.

Yes I know the fear of making mistake.



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
- Robert Schumann

Re: Keep playing no matter what
Tom97 #3050941 11/29/20 03:31 PM
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Compartmentalize. There are two types of practice. Learn mode, and rehearsal. If you are still playing clams in rehearsal, it ain't ready. Go back to learn mode. Eventually you will get to the point where you'll know the tune is ready. Also these times become shorter, if you perform enough. Just like any job, becoming easier, the more you do it.


God Bless Leon Russell
Re: Keep playing no matter what
Tom97 #3050992 11/29/20 06:50 PM
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One thing that professionals and others use as a strategy when brain lapses occur is to go to the root note of the piece, and play it in the rhythm of the piece.

For example, if the piece is in the key of C, then C is the root note. In its simplest form, this strategy is to play a C a few times in the rhythm or tempo of the piece and then segue back into someplace in the piece, such as the beginning, or a familiar phrase.

An expanded version is to play a C arpeggio, or a C chord, or a C chord followed by a row of C chord inversions. Or you can play a few notes to gather your thoughts, and go to the ending.

Or to end it, use a Cadence Chord sequence to end the piece. (Cadence Chord sequences are in many scale books at the end of each scale...Hanon has them in the scale section).

The point is to keep some sound going that somehow mates with the piece, in a rhythm of some sort that fits.

Everybody, including the professionals, have brain lapses. Stopping is like waving a flag that says "I screwed up". But keeping something going keeps the music going.

Many people will not know you screwed up, and the ones who did notice will likely give you kudos for carrying the day.

I have used this strategy, and knowing about is has taken away a lot of fear of playing in public.

Hope this helps someone.


Piano teacher.
Re: Keep playing no matter what
Tom97 #3051026 11/29/20 08:00 PM
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Something that I have figured out how to do, sometimes, is to glide through the mistake. As long as you keep the rhythm going and stay in the same key, and the mistake is short in duration, no one really notices. After the glide, don’t analyze and just keep going.



Re: Keep playing no matter what
Tom97 #3051077 11/30/20 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom97
. . .

I realized that sometimes, there is a lot of ego in my playing and it is very detrimental. I think too much about impressing others... When I just let go and play with the intention of enjoying the beautiful works of the composers with others, it´s much better and it seems the ego disappears and there is only music - my hands are just the mean to get the sound out of the instrument.

As you progress, there will be more of those moments -- the fingers know what to do, and you can enjoy the music.

It's not "home free" -- because your standards change as you improve, and it's harder to meet them -- but those moments make practicing worthwhile.


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq
Re: Keep playing no matter what
Tom97 #3051136 11/30/20 07:24 AM
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The best way to avoid memory lapses is to play with the score. Not only will you avoid memory lapses but you will also avoid the anxiety that goes along with fear about memory problems. You will also be able to learn a lot more music.

Re: Keep playing no matter what
Tom97 #3051137 11/30/20 07:25 AM
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The best way to avoid memory lapses is to play with the score. Not only will you avoid memory lapses but you will also avoid the anxiety that goes along with fear about memory problems. You will also be able to learn a lot more music.

Re: Keep playing no matter what
pianoloverus #3051140 11/30/20 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
The best way to avoid memory lapses is to play with the score. Not only will you avoid memory lapses but you will also avoid the anxiety that goes along with fear about memory problems. You will also be able to learn a lot more music.


Playing with the score is not always possible.


"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
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