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Going backwards

Posted By: KevinM

Going backwards - 08/13/19 10:48 PM

Recently I became more focussed with my practise on practising slowly and repeating very often were I was weakest.

Initially this seemed to get good results with decent improvement. But that has gone now and if anything I feel like I have gone backwards the last few days.

I have a piano meet-up on Saturday and thought I was going to have two pieces to play. But I can’t do it now. I might go to be social.

This is really just a vent. I am not looking for help.
Posted By: Stubbie

Re: Going backwards - 08/13/19 10:51 PM

I go backwards so much I've caught up with myself again.
Posted By: peterws

Re: Going backwards - 08/13/19 11:16 PM

I've spent some time relearning previous shorties. It's sometimes like learning them from scratch. I wonder if it's worth it? New stuff's always attractive, but nothing sticks. My head's like a sieve . . .
Posted By: cmb13

Re: Going backwards - 08/13/19 11:19 PM

Two steps forward, one step back.
Posted By: earlofmar

Re: Going backwards - 08/13/19 11:46 PM

Originally Posted by KevinM

This is really just a vent. I am not looking for help.


I couldn't be of help anyway but hark, do you hear hundreds of ABF posters ''chafing at the bit'' cool
Posted By: Ted

Re: Going backwards - 08/14/19 02:11 AM

Originally Posted by KevinM
Recently I became more focussed with my practise on practising slowly and repeating very often were I was weakest.

Initially this seemed to get good results with decent improvement. But that has gone now and if anything I feel like I have gone backwards the last few days.

I have a piano meet-up on Saturday and thought I was going to have two pieces to play. But I can’t do it now. I might go to be social.

This is really just a vent. I am not looking for help.




For me, piano playing is a very dynamic activity, in that while overall objectives and routines exist, the means I use to work on them varies and it is a rare day when something new does not occur to me. Everything about my music, including technique, seems to thrive on variety. If that variety is absent my musical impulse and enjoyment dry up, therefore I avoid an exclusive routine of one particular aspect, for example slow practice, this or that hand and finger position, this or that exercise, even if they are touted by experts.
Posted By: Learux

Re: Going backwards - 08/14/19 04:14 AM

Sometimes I feel that I am standing still and not improving at all. Part of the journey.
Posted By: WeakLeftHand

Re: Going backwards - 08/14/19 05:13 AM

Like now...I’ve been working on the same songs for several weeks now. I seem to be standing still.
Posted By: akc42

Re: Going backwards - 08/14/19 07:52 AM

After concentrating very hard on Mozart's Turkish March for a couple of months I found most of my previous repertoire had disappeared. The only piece that had stayed was Beethoven's Pathetique 2nd Movement. The Beethoven had in fact disappeared before and I had spent a couple of weeks reviving it.. Seems to be much more embedded in my fingers as a result.

So I agreed with my teacher to go back over some old pieces. First up has been Bach's Invention No 13, but instead of just re-learning how to play it, my teacher has been teaching me harmony theory and chord progressions and we have been breaking down the piece into all of its chords and examining the progressions. Now as I start to put it back into my fingers, I find myself realising exactly which chord I am playing and which note must come next as a result. Absolutely fascinating stuff.
Posted By: KevinM

Re: Going backwards - 08/14/19 08:08 AM

One the things my teacher had me do to highlight my bad use of peddling, was to have me work on a couple of pieces without using the peddle.

We've gone through the pieces quite closely and redone a lot of my fingering such that the sustain peddle is not needed for achieving the nice legato.

That has been really rewarding, but after that and after I've felt like I've got the new fingering locked in everything starts falling apart. That has been incredibly frustrating when I thought I was at the stage of making these two pieces my own in preparation for Saturday's meet up. But it has all gone.

I can see from now on I am going to be much better and careful at evaluating my fingering choices early on in learning a new piece than I have been and that feels like a big win. I know a lot of patterns to watch out for now.
Posted By: QuasiUnaFantasia

Re: Going backwards - 08/14/19 08:49 AM

We're not well-oiled robots who can perform up to the same level every day. God knows how many things can cause a relatively "bad day", or "bad week", etc. At any rate, progress comes about in an uneven pace. Moreover, as we progress, our sense of how well we play will also change. I'm fairly sure that what I would have considered well played by myself one year ago would not be nearly as agreeable to me now. This change in ability to play confounds the task of evaluating ourselves.
Posted By: cmb13

Re: Going backwards - 08/14/19 10:20 AM


Originally Posted by KevinM
One the things my teacher had me do to highlight my bad use of peddling, was to have me work on a couple of pieces without using the peddle.

We've gone through the pieces quite closely and redone a lot of my fingering such that the sustain peddle is not needed for achieving the nice legato.

That has been really rewarding, but after that and after I've felt like I've got the new fingering locked in everything starts falling apart. That has been incredibly frustrating when I thought I was at the stage of making these two pieces my own in preparation for Saturday's meet up. But it has all gone.

I can see from now on I am going to be much better and careful at evaluating my fingering choices early on in learning a new piece than I have been and that feels like a big win. I know a lot of patterns to watch out for now.

Perfect example of how comprehension aids memorization.
Posted By: alans

Re: Going backwards - 08/14/19 03:04 PM

Moving forward on an instrument is the same as moving forward with a new language. There are many peaks and valleys that we need to go through-unfortunately many more valleys than peaks. I am relatively new to
the piano but I studied another instrument for a very long time. I would practice and practice and nothing ever seemed to be different, and then after weeks or a month everything would click and I felt I reached a new level. It
is the same with language acquisition. You spend weeks banging your head against your desk and then one day you wake up and realize-I'm not where I was months ago....so it's a bit of a peak, and then it's back to
a different valley again. Most skills require a tremendous amount of leg-work, days and weeks of patience and I think this is the difficulty that a lot of adults face. I have started and quit the piano a zillion times because
I lack the patience to get where I want to be going when I am at where I want to be heading. It takes a very long time and a lot of slow work-but maybe in three months or six months I'm always amazed at what I have
accomplished. It's just sticking to the practice and routine until I get there. And then of course the goal is always changing, the more we know, the better we get, the more we want to learn. It never ends.
My favourite quote above my desk reads-It's not about the destination, it's all about the journey. As long as we accept that we will be life-long learners, then I think we can be more patient with our progress.
Posted By: Moo :)

Re: Going backwards - 08/14/19 04:24 PM

Originally Posted by KevinM
Recently I became more focussed with my practise on practising slowly and repeating very often were I was weakest.

Initially this seemed to get good results with decent improvement. But that has gone now and if anything I feel like I have gone backwards the last few days.

I have a piano meet-up on Saturday and thought I was going to have two pieces to play. But I can’t do it now. I might go to be social.

This is really just a vent. I am not looking for help.


Why not play two other pieces? You can play the two planned pieces when they are more secure at another meetup.
Posted By: MichaelJK

Re: Going backwards - 08/14/19 07:10 PM

Originally Posted by KevinM
Recently I became more focussed with my practise on practising slowly and repeating very often were I was weakest.

Initially this seemed to get good results with decent improvement. But that has gone now and if anything I feel like I have gone backwards the last few days.

I have a piano meet-up on Saturday and thought I was going to have two pieces to play. But I can’t do it now. I might go to be social.

This is really just a vent. I am not looking for help.


I know how discouraging it can be when:

- You feel like you're going backwards
- Things that used to work seem to stop working
- You get your hopes up and then things don't go as planned
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