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Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
I have a few questions rattling in the back of my head for a while now and, so far, I could not find satisfactory answers.
One of the questions I have already posed in another thread, whereas I was encouraged to create a topic of my own for the purpose of extended analysis. So I gathered my thoughts (and my courage) and created this topic.

As a preamble, a bit about myself.
I am 35 years of age, started piano lessons 2 years ago after doodling around on an ancient keyboard (yuck) for half a year. I play a VST setup of Garritan/Pianoteq with a VPC-1. I play purely for my own enjoyment (if that ever happens) and have no illusions of grandeur of impressing anyone in this life.

Pieces I have “learned” so far:
Detroit become human – Little One Kara
Very first piece, started before my lessons. Made some very critical mistakes regarding constant fingering, currently intentionally forgotten.

Beethoven Moonshine Sonata 1st movement
Second piece (first movement only, for obvious reasons laugh ). When I played the first few chords, my teacher smiled at me “Do you want to learn that”. I can “play” it but the error rate is pretty annoying. Also the first half hurts my hands, teacher says I do not distribute my body weight enough, working on it. Took me 6 months to learn, I play it every day since then to keep it fresh, because this is one of the pieces that made me want to learn the piano.

Xenoblade 2 – Leftherian Archipelago
Third piece. A video game soundtrack I adore. Speed is completely out of the question. Some passages worked well, others remained in experimental stage. Currently in memory limbo, would probably need to learn it again.

Final Fantasy VII – Succession of Witches
4th piece. Another video game soundtrack I love. Some passages work fairly well, others are… umm beyond me. I’m keeping this current, playing it every 2-3 days but right now I lack the ability to bring some passages out of experimental stage.

simplified version of Aerith’s theme from Final Fantasy VII
5th piece, and to be frank: the one that currently causes the most frustration. I can play it but never w/o my hands doing stupid stuff. Compared to the other pieces this should be easy, no?

Other pieces: Preludium from Bach. Easy to play but stupid brain just doesn’t deliver the data fast and fluidly enough. Ugh. Played it a hundred times. Doesn't get any better.

The first question in question: *chuckles*
1. How can piano practice be enjoyed or even be perceived as relaxing?
Original topic: http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/3019661/re-sometimes-its-a-chore.html#Post3019661
Originally Posted by Granyala
Originally Posted by bennevis
Practice = fun = play = enjoy (= de-stress = relax). Or not.
I always wondered how this is possible.
To me, playing a musical instrument is like an advanced sport. Everything needs to run at 110%, the slightest slip in concentration for even the briefest of moments leads to a train wreck etc.
Is it impossible to enjoy playing as a beginner (roughly 2 years now)?

I did get a few answers but I do believe people misunderstood my intentions (especially @FloRi89).
I do not expect a piece or my playing to be at 110%. I am not a professional, I am a beginner, so I am aware that this is completely unrealistic. What I meant is that >I< have to be at 110% to get through it (in a rough way and with mistakes). That makes it virtually impossible to “relax”, it makes it impossible to play with emotion too, because as soon as I try to do that -> concentration slips and off the rails I go. laugh
The other part is, that no matter how often I play a piece, I NEVER feel … well, safe. Or comfortable with it. It’s always a struggle, my hands basically always slip up. That makes “playing” the piano pretty much impossible. For me, it’s always practice. I simply can’t sit down and play a piece I deem easy and enjoy it because I do not have such a piece.

2. How do I keep stuff in my head?
This is another point of major frustration for me. We spend a lot of time learning our pieces and they fall out of memory so ridiculously easily. Since I have no reference in terms of other piano mates that learn with me and share the struggle, I have to ask: is this normal? Sometimes it feels that whenever I learn a few notes of a new piece, half a dozen notes of an old one just fall off the wagon. ._.

3. How do you guys deal with the “stupidity” of your hands?
Music is pretty straight forward on a cognitive level, is it not? If you can solve differential equations, reading musical notation and understanding the principles behind it is not hard. Tedious and a huge strain on the eyes but not in itself difficult. So, especially with pieces that are simple in nature, the brain “gets it” quickly and then you need to wait for the body to catch up. How do you keep your patience with yourself? Is there some hidden magic? Can you order patience on Ebay? I don’t know I guess I see myself as a machine that is supposed to function and I constantly ask myself: why? Why can’t you execute this simple movement pattern? Why can’t you remember this thing you did 100x already?

Oof… sorry this got way longer than I intended. Maybe I’m already getting old and start being prone to rambling. Thanks in advance to whomever reads all that and even more thanks for any insight you could share. If you deem it necessary for further diagnosis (or your amusement), I can provide records of my "playing".
Hi Granyala...

This answer is for your question #1..."How can piano practice be enjoyed or even be perceived as relaxing?"

Basic answer: Go Slower. As in real slow.

I have taught literally hundreds of students, and 100% play too fast. As in fast at the very ragged edge (or beyond) of their ability.

It is like driving your car at 150 miles per hour while in town...chances of an accident are high, and there is no brain power left over to play musically, enjoy the scenery, etc, because you are just hanging on, in fear, hoping not to crash.

When asked to slow down, at least 50% of my students will play at the very same fast speed; and some play even faster! (Because playing that piece too fast (for them) is what they have practiced...you always get what you practice)

Few actually go slow enough to make a difference, and most will then revert to the top speed.

I am not saying that you play too fast...just that it is super common, and causes the problem(s) you write about.

ps...most people have "practiced in" playing too fast w/its associated errors, so I always have them start clean with a a new piece that is a bit below their level, and practice it slow, super slow, singing the melody, consciously relaxing their body, consciously smiling...

Hope this helps!
Originally Posted by Granyala
>I< have to be at 110% to get through it (in a rough way and with mistakes). That makes it virtually impossible to “relax”, it makes it impossible to play with emotion too, because as soon as I try to do that -> concentration slips and off the rails I go. laugh
The other part is, that no matter how often I play a piece, I NEVER feel … well, safe. Or comfortable with it. It’s always a struggle, my hands basically always slip up. That makes “playing” the piano pretty much impossible. For me, it’s always practice. I simply can’t sit down and play a piece I deem easy and enjoy it because I do not have such a piece.

Hi Granyala!
I would like to give you my five cents on this one. I don't know most of the pieces that you practise, but Beethoven Moonshine Sonata 1st movement is a 5/6 grade level - way too difficult after only two years of lessons. I suspect your other pieces are just as difficult. No wonder you always need to be at 110%, no wonder you never feel safe, no wonder you cannot relax and enjoy playing a piece.

So my advice to you is to try to find much, much easier pieces, and focus on playing them as well as possible, focus on pouring your musicality and your soul in those pieces and see if this makes for a much more enjoyable practising. There are many lovely and exciting easy pieces out there - so try to find one that appeals to you, and give it a chance.
Granyala - I enjoyed your post. smile I'm a bit ahead of you in my piano studies (mid to late-intermediate), but I share many of the frustrations you describe. That should tell you that (1) it's fairly normal; and (2) it's not all going to magically go away as your skills improve. Probably not what you wanted to hear!

Originally Posted by Granyala
What I meant is that >I< have to be at 110% to get through it (in a rough way and with mistakes). That makes it virtually impossible to “relax”, it makes it impossible to play with emotion too, because as soon as I try to do that -> concentration slips and off the rails I go. laugh

I would agree that this is probably an indication that you are playing pieces that are too difficult. It's good to push ourselves, but personally I don't find it enjoyable to be constantly struggling with hard pieces. It's helpful (especially for your confidence) if you work on some easier pieces too...stuff that's at a level where you don't have to be totally focused on the notes and you can start concentrating on being musical. That's where the real satisfaction comes into play (in my experience).


Originally Posted by Granyala
How do you keep your patience with yourself? Is there some hidden magic? Can you order patience on Ebay?

LOL...I asked my teacher the exact same question last year. Perhaps we can get a group discount for PW members if it ever goes on sale.


Originally Posted by Granyala
...I constantly ask myself: why? Why can’t you execute this simple movement pattern?

This is me frequently. "This seems so simple...WHY can't I manage it??" Sometimes there's a good answer (like I need to try a different approach). Most often it's just the dreaded "give it more time." If I'm getting frustrated, I need to do something else. That piece gets put away. Maybe just for the day or week, maybe until next year. You definitely don't want to be tense when you are practicing.

Is it possible you are on the "perfectionism spectrum" like myself? It sure can make learning the piano difficult sometimes. Feel free to send me a private message anytime you'd like to vent or commiserate. smile
It seems like you already got most of the answers. You are picking pieces way too difficult for you and therefore that requires all your concentration just to get the notes right. Thtat does not leave any room for enjoyment nor expression. If you wan to train to express emotion you need to pick pieces which are easy enough that the technique is not a bottleneck.

Then i would add that as you progress, things gets easier, at least some of them. It seems to me that, like many adult beginners, you are driven by progressing fast. You are frustrated that you do not progress faster because your expectations are too high. So indeed patience is the key. How do you get patient, that is a question i can not answer. I guess you have to reset your expectations. If you can manage to play well and enjoy what you are playing even if it is a stupid song, rather than a complicated piece by Bach or Beethoven, it will bring you more satisfaction than playing very poorly a difficult piece.

Now to be honnest, i sometimes struggle to play a difficult piece, and i would not say that it is relaxing, but more that it allows me to disconnect from my other day problems. And then overcoming the difficulty makes it rewarding.

Indeed if you can post your recordings, like the Bach or parts of Beethoven, that would be interesting.
Hi Granyala, I'll try to read through your post and offer up questions/thoughts I have! (I'm only 22 so I'm not exactly a wise elder but I'll try to help!)

Originally Posted by Granyala
As a preamble, a bit about myself.
I am 35 years of age, started piano lessons 2 years ago after doodling around on an ancient keyboard (yuck) for half a year. I play a VST setup of Garritan/Pianoteq with a VPC-1. I play purely for my own enjoyment (if that ever happens) and have no illusions of grandeur of impressing anyone in this life.

First of all, what musical experience/background do you have, if any? My first thought while looking at the titles of the pieces you listed was either you're a quick learner and have good natural ability or you've dived in and are depending on muscle memory to play these pieces. Have you worked through exercises/technique/method books with your teacher or are you just playing pieces you enjoy/strive towards and mastering finger movements though those?

Originally Posted by Granyala
The first question in question: *chuckles*
1. How can piano practice be enjoyed or even be perceived as relaxing?

I always wondered how this is possible.
To me, playing a musical instrument is like an advanced sport. Everything needs to run at 110%, the slightest slip in concentration for even the briefest of moments leads to a train wreck etc.
Is it impossible to enjoy playing as a beginner (roughly 2 years now)?

I did get a few answers but I do believe people misunderstood my intentions (especially @FloRi89).
I do not expect a piece or my playing to be at 110%. I am not a professional, I am a beginner, so I am aware that this is completely unrealistic. What I meant is that >I< have to be at 110% to get through it (in a rough way and with mistakes). That makes it virtually impossible to “relax”, it makes it impossible to play with emotion too, because as soon as I try to do that -> concentration slips and off the rails I go. laugh

The other part is, that no matter how often I play a piece, I NEVER feel … well, safe. Or comfortable with it. It’s always a struggle, my hands basically always slip up. That makes “playing” the piano pretty much impossible. For me, it’s always practice. I simply can’t sit down and play a piece I deem easy and enjoy it because I do not have such a piece.

Does this happen often when you are practicing? How fluent are you with reading music and processing all the necessary information at once? When you practice and make a mistake, do you restart a piece from the beginning and try to plough through it without making that mistake, or do you take note and hone in on what you need to work on (specific bars, patterns, dynamics?)

I think it's important not to beat yourself up about not playing something 100% perfect. However, the pieces you are learning are rather substantial so I understand your thought process here. It's important to aim for 100% when playing but you can't always put that pressure on yourself. If you get into a negative mindset about playing, it doesn't help you to relax and enjoy it!

Originally Posted by Granyala
2. How do I keep stuff in my head?
This is another point of major frustration for me. We spend a lot of time learning our pieces and they fall out of memory so ridiculously easily. Since I have no reference in terms of other piano mates that learn with me and share the struggle, I have to ask: is this normal? Sometimes it feels that whenever I learn a few notes of a new piece, half a dozen notes of an old one just fall off the wagon. ._.

Ok so your ulterior goal when you are playing is to be able play your pieces from memory?

Originally Posted by Granyala
3. How do you guys deal with the “stupidity” of your hands?
Music is pretty straight forward on a cognitive level, is it not? If you can solve differential equations, reading musical notation and understanding the principles behind it is not hard. Tedious and a huge strain on the eyes but not in itself difficult. So, especially with pieces that are simple in nature, the brain “gets it” quickly and then you need to wait for the body to catch up. How do you keep your patience with yourself? Is there some hidden magic? Can you order patience on Ebay? I don’t know I guess I see myself as a machine that is supposed to function and I constantly ask myself: why? Why can’t you execute this simple movement pattern? Why can’t you remember this thing you did 100x already?

Well I'm only a beginner and my hands are pretty stupid too crazy

Something that I can see from what you've written reminds me of my own situation with violin recently. What caused me an awful amount of frustration was the practical exams at university level. I was expected to learn two pieces and two studies for an end of year exam. That was all we did. I felt that the pieces were a little out of reach for the level I was comfortable at and I wasn't able to enjoy learning or performing then like I usually was. It damaged my confidence with playing a lot. I've taken a hiatus from playing violin for a while and focused on learning piano instead. Probably why I find piano relaxing to begin with. I'd be worried if you are pushing/forcing yourself to play music that you haven't build yourself up to be able to play it.

I'll never understand what it is like to learn music from scratch as an adult as I've been learning music since I was six year old. However, I can appreciate that it is difficult learning a new language system and oh my god are some scores really small! Reading and performing music uses different parts of your brain, mainly the area associated with numbers (I think)

From my experience playing violin for most of my life, it's always important for me to keep on moving forward if I can play something with minimal mistakes, then stepping back to review now and then. I always went back and started from the beginning with studies or pieces I was playing, building up my ability again and usually surprising myself with how well I could manage after a playing break. (Sometimes it did hurt though if there were pieces that I was not able to play as well as I used to, but I'm not a prodigy of a 'brilliant player' so smile. But it will come back at some point)

So back to piano, an example for Beyer exercises I'm doing, I'm focusing on the last 10 in a section to practice everyday along with the one I'm trying to work on at the moment. I will occasionally go back and review all of the book and 80% of the time, excercises I found difficult at the time I can play better than I did initially. Not the same situation as exercises and etudes are short and pieces are long but I hope you get the idea. It does help boost my confidence and I can see how I'm improving.

To finish, Rome wasn't built in a day. Every musician will have their own pace at improving, some more than others. No one here would want to see you be on the verge of quitting for the reasons and thoughts you mentioned.
Originally Posted by Granyala
1. How can piano practice be enjoyed or even be perceived as relaxing?
To me, playing a musical instrument is like an advanced sport. Everything needs to run at 110%, the slightest slip in concentration for even the briefest of moments leads to a train wreck etc.
Is it impossible to enjoy playing as a beginner (roughly 2 years now)?

2. How do I keep stuff in my head?
This is another point of major frustration for me. We spend a lot of time learning our pieces and they fall out of memory so ridiculously easily. Since I have no reference in terms of other piano mates that learn with me and share the struggle, I have to ask: is this normal? Sometimes it feels that whenever I learn a few notes of a new piece, half a dozen notes of an old one just fall off the wagon. ._.

These two points are interesting coming from your background. You're playing songs you picked right? They're all relatively relaxing video game OSTs (and moonlight). I'm assuming you find those pieces enjoyable and relaxing by themselves?

Are you thinking about every finger press and trying to remember the actual notes on the sheet? Playing a song is not like memorizing a script. I can't transcribe any of the pieces in my repertoire from memory. My hands just remembers the patterns once I start playing.

The more you think and stress about every note press, the more difficult things become. Like any physical training, the brain can't keep up. You're training the neuron reflex arc, not direct control. Rather than playing at 110%, you should turn your brain down to like 40% and let your hands take over.

I like Final Fantasy OSTs for relaxing. The more faithful version of the pieces are very repetitive, since they are meant to be played on loop as a background track. So I can just shut my brain off and just play. To Zanarkand from FFX is usually my go to song to relax when I need a break from practicing.

Originally Posted by Granyala
3. How do you guys deal with the “stupidity” of your hands?

And this is a similar thing, your brain can't control every aspect of your hands at the speeds it needs to to play music. I'm forgetting my neuroscience class for the specific scientific terms.

Your brain gives orders to your hands but the communication back and forth is slow. So if the brain needs to dictate every single detailed movement of the muscle fibers, it's very difficult. Instead the brain needs to give more broad orders that the hands know how to do themselves.

If the brain is a general, the muscles in the hand is like soldiers in an army (with the nerves being various commanding officers). If you're have the general give specific orders to every soldier in the army individually, it's going to feel like a very stupid and cumbersome army. So instead, you train them in all kinds of maneuvers. The general would then only have to give broad orders that then gets communicated out to the units to execute themselves.

Like with any training, things are going to start slow and uncoordinated. But as the soldiers train more and more and learn to work as a unit, the arm become a more disciplined and efficient army.
Granyala - I echo what others have written. The repertoire which you've chosen, or which has chosen you, is too difficult for you RIGHT NOW.

I have started over at the piano several times in my life. The most recent was just after my 61st birthday which I celebrated by going to Germany to work with Peter Feuchtwanger in some of his master classes.

He adjusted my seating position; he adjusted how I placed my hands on the keys; he adjusted... well, several other things about my technique, and I'd already been a working professional for years. That was on Monday and Tuesday.

On Wednesday evening, we had our class recital in which he asked me to play. I was so concerned with HOW I was playing that I had a major memory slip in a piece I'd played half a dozen times in public. I improvised my way out of that glitch to a spot I could remember and finished the piece. What doesn't kill us makes us strong, but I digress.

The main point for you is that were you my student, I would ask for your patience and forbearance as we scaled your repertoire down to the simplest possible little pieces so that we could focus together on HOW you were playing them, and how you were practicing them. We'd work on getting certain movements, types of patterns to be completely automatic so that when faced with them in a more difficult context, rather than reading every note, you would grasp the entirety of a section as a single gestalt and know HOW to play it.

...and so on.

You CAN do it, learn to play the piano, that is, but it is a craft that demands patience and diligence. BTW - it's totally worth it. There's nothing like playing something so beautiful that it brings tears to your eyes as you make the sounds with your own hands the first time.
I can only reiterate Animisha's advise.

Having said that, Calavera seems to like to learn music from games like you do. You might reach out to them via DM and they may be able to point you at some simpler arrangements for some of the game music, that may still be a stretch for you but more achievable.

Good luck, and sadly I recognize too many of your frustrations which is likely an indication that I am also constantly picking music that is too hard.

Calvera's submission for the last recital
Well seems linke I misunderstood you initially. Language is complicated and flawed it seems. I can only tell you what I do, that might work for you, or not, but I’m not a teacher, so take it with caution:

1. I pick pieces on different levels. Currently I am around grade 3/4, so I will have a project piece I work on around grade 5/6, a regular piece around grade 3/4 and a whole bunch of things that are really easy for me to learn on grade 1/2. I also make sure the pieces aren’t all in the same state, to get variance there, too. That way I don’t have to be hyper focused all the time. I also make sure, to always play just for fun. Something that I play just for my enjoyment, something from my active repertoire most likely, or something fun from an app like Simply Piano.

2. I pick up to 10 pieces that I keep in the active repertoire. Every practice session I devote around 10min to play through 2 or 3 of them. That way I play each one at least once a week, for me that’s enough to keep them in active memory. Those are also the pieces I polish the most and sometimes I will drop an old one and add a new, more complex piece. I don’t look back at those, I can easily learn those again if I ever want, but usually those are pieces that I have outgrown.

3. Sorry, I can’t help you there. I have accepted that learning the piano is a marathon, it takes time. Things that were very hard a year ago are easy now. I do this just for fun, I don’t mind if it takes years. I make sure that every practice session is enjoyable, if something is currently to hard, for example because I underestimated it, I just let it rest for a while.
1. How can piano practice be enjoyed or even be perceived as relaxing?
It must first be a solvable problem, then it must be solved. That's enjoyable and rewarding.

If you can "play" the Moonlight but the error rate is high you can't actually play it. If the error rate is high it's too difficult for you to play accurately enough and well enough. Time to stop building bad technique into it and let it rest for a few years. Listen to professional recordings of it instead.

You need to work on smaller, simpler pieces. Pieces that may not move you musically but will allow you to explore musical expression without breaking your technical ceiling.

Preludium from Bach. Easy to play but ...Trust me on this, if it's by Bach, it's not easy to play. Quoting Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman...Big mistake! Huge!

You may perceive it as easy to play but the training involved for that is long. Delivering that much data fast enough means being able to chunk more information into each datum so the speed of delivery is pereived as slow. You have to develop as a pianist so that each whole bar and the bar that follows can be processed in the blink of an eye and played at leisure while you're preparing the next one. This means learning to play the piano before you start playing the pieces you love.

2. How do I keep stuff in my head?
By starting small. Memorise a whole measure every day, or half a measure, or just a beat. If you do this every day you learn more patterns, allowing larger musical extracts to be memorised. If you want to retain music you have to practise recall. Playing something everyday keeps it in short term memory, from where it fades quickly. You have to catch it at the fading point and recall it deliberately. Each time you do this strengthens the recall ability. The more you struggle to recall it, the more pathways you build into that recall and the easier it gets next time. If you go back to the music instead and make it easier for yourself you lose the ability to recall it. Struggle first then go back to the music.

When you learn pieces you want to retain you must work in small sections, short enough that your practise for that day can be done from memory. When the section has been learnt, set it aside and move onto the next section. Do not link it it with the next section. Don't try to remember it. If you do then that section will work its way into finger memory before it has worked it's way into cognitive or explicit memory. When it's in finger memory you no longer have to struggle to recall it so you lose the ability to strengthen the recall pathways.

When you get back to the beginning your recall will be strong enough that you may be able to learn longer sections next time through. Even if you leave long periods between each relearning - as long as you continue to learn in sections no longer than you can hold in working memory. Not all your pieces should be learnt this way. Only the special ones that you want to retain.

3. How do you guys deal with the “stupidity” of your hands?
Recognise that your hands are only doing what your brain tells them. Piano playing is brain training, not finger training. Forget scale playing and technical drills until you have a technique worth training. Start small. Really small, really easy. Get the basics done. Small five finger pieces from early method books. Build the connection between brain and hands. Learn how to make it musical. Use small words and phrases that teach us how to express music. Then you'll be able to do more.

Read music every day. You don't have to play it at the instrument. You have to read it and hear it in your head. Start with nursery rhymes. Written music has to make sense to you as music not as data that has to be processed. You have to take in a chunk of music at a glance, make sense of it and reproduce it at the instrument while you're taking in the next chunk. This comes slowly. You can't do it learning the pieces you want to play. You start with small easy pieces that you can spend a week on then move on.

Regarding playing with emotion. You need to express emotion. Feel it when you first get to know the piece but when it comes to playing it you need to express the emotion not feel it. Feel it when you're singing it to yourself in your head away from the instrument but express it when playing it on the piano. Convey it to others when playing out loud.

...reading musical notation and understanding the principles behind it is not hard.
No, it's not hard but it takes a few years for most of us to be able to do the necessary with it by which time we're around Grade x. At some point the level of the pieces we're doing it with is quite high and learning the Moonlight sonata is an easy and achievable goal, error free and musically meaningful. And Fantasy pieces can be played by ear. But until that mechanism is built we have to keep the material easy so we can concentrate more on the process.

Essentially we are more limited than we realise and we have to tread lighter and slower. But that makes it easier to measure progress, build confidence and speed up the results. That's rewarding and enjoyable.
By the way I do love the translation of `Mondscheinsonate` into Moonshine Sonata. A nicely literal translation which provides me with very different ideas from the intent.

Moonshine on Wikipedia

The usual translation is Moonlight Sonata.

I only wish I new a second language this well that this was the only kind of mistake I might make.
Do you remember when you were a child in the first grades of school and just beginning to read? If you were like most you probably struggled at first, reading one letter at a time and then one word at a time very slowly, and it took you a few years before you could read whole books for leisure. Well, it isn't much different with music. It just takes a lot of time, practicing very simple pieces at first, before you're fluent enough to play something for pleasure without having to worry about the mechanics.
Oh boy, this thread is moving fast. Lots of feedback to consider. Will process and reply to it in time, thanks in advance!

Originally Posted by KevinM
By the way I do love the translation of `Mondscheinsonate` into Moonshine Sonata. A nicely literal translation which provides me with very different ideas from the intent.

Moonshine on Wikipedia

The usual translation is Moonlight Sonata.

I only wish I new a second language this well that this was the only kind of mistake I might make.
*chuckles* Now that you mention it...
Oh well, it fits the way I play it anyway but thanks for the hint. laugh
Thanks for the kind words, sir/madam. I am sure I make tons of mistakes.

Originally Posted by Sidokar
Indeed if you can post your recordings, like the Bach or parts of Beethoven, that would be interesting.
Well, you asked for it. Ye have been warned, what lies ahead is not for the faint of heart (or ears).

MoonLIGHT sonata laugh
I "listened" to a podcast while playing in order to distract myself from the "ERMAGAWD I AM RECORDING THIS!!11". Despite pianoteq recording everything, there mere conscious notion that I want to show this to strangers (that are way more skilled than I am) wreaks havoc on my error rate.

I thought this one went rather well.

Bach Praeludium
Tried to play it slower 3 times and the train crashed.... so this is a (ノ°Д°)ノ︵ ┻ ━ ┻ "I'm pissed, sod it!" attempt.
I am aware that I am incapable of maintaining the speed.

Aerith's theme (simple)
Hands were definitely tired, 4 attempts to sort of get through it. Rough, but I hope you get the picture.

What I have learned already:

I've never listened to my own playing until now (away from the piano that is).
Dear Lord, I'm horrified at the erratic tempo/rhythm. Never noticed it while playing.
I swear I was not and still am not drunk! :X

Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Do you remember when you were a child in the first grades of school and just beginning to read? If you were like most you probably struggled at first, reading one letter at a time and then one word at a time very slowly, and it took you a few years before you could read whole books for leisure.
I could read before I got into School, so umm.. no. I do not remember struggling at all. Always thought school was rather boring.
Uni on the other hand... ugh.

I did start learning Japanese a month ago, so now I do experience how it is to decode Hiragana and Katakana rather slowly.
Such a lovely language. ♥
Hi, i tried to access to your recordings but i got a response that i need to ask for your authorisation, which i did !
Originally Posted by Sidokar
Hi, i tried to access to your recordings but i got a response that i need to ask for your authorisation, which i did !
It happened to me as well. Please change your settings. smile
Hmm... should work now.
Or do I need to post new links?
I think you need to spend more time on technique. The more technical skills you have in your toolbox, the more relaxing piano becomes.

I don't want to start a flame war on Piano pedagogy & methodology so I'll just say piano technique is relatively easy to understand. Check out Neil Stannard's "Piano Technique Demystified." Focus on the preface, chapter 1 & chapter 2. He's describing practicing & rotational technique. If someone insists rotational methods are useless, ignore them for now. Instead learn the rotational insights Stannard discusses then read the rest of the book.

Is this the only technique you should try? Of course not. But you gotta start somwhere!
Granyala, your links work, and you play Beethoven beautifully!! But I can also hear the uncertainty.
Originally Posted by Granyala
Tried to play it slower 3 times and the train crashed.... so this is a (ノ°Д°)ノ︵ ┻ ━ ┻ "I'm pissed, sod it!" attempt.
I am aware that I am incapable of maintaining the speed.
...
I've never listened to my own playing until now (away from the piano that is).
Dear Lord, I'm horrified at the erratic tempo/rhythm. Never noticed it while playing.

Practice with a metronome, set slow to start with of course.

Originally Posted by Granyala
I swear I was not and still am not drunk! :X

Your sure you didn't have too much Moonshine? crazy
I just listened to your Beethoven; it was remarkably sensitively played for someone so new to playing piano. You're on a good track. Also, I can understand your feelings about this particular piece; I play it about 10 times per month myself, and it never gets old.

If you get physical pain playing, something is not right. Maybe you keep your muscles too tense without relaxing in between finger/hand movements. This is certainly something I would ask a very experienced person about (eg. a good teacher), and then do my darndest to grasp the answer.
Hmm - I'm not sure that I can help.
I think the playing is lovely, tbh, but to me at times it's almost as though you are 'drifting off' with the music in places, losing concentration. If that's the case, perhaps others can advise - possibly you need to practice more without 'too much' expression to get the music more firmly embedded in the 'muscle memory', but it's something I've never completely conquered myself except by playing the pieces more often as 'exercises' and mentally prodding myself when I'm about to 'drift off.'
Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
I just listened to your Beethoven; it was remarkably sensitively played for someone so new to playing piano. You're on a good track. Also, I can understand your feelings about this particular piece; I play it about 10 times per month myself, and it never gets old.

If you get physical pain playing, something is not right. Maybe you keep your muscles too tense without relaxing in between finger/hand movements. This is certainly something I would ask a very experienced person about (eg. a good teacher), and then do my darndest to grasp the answer.

I'm not going to make any comment about technical accuracy. But QuasiUnaFantasi is right you feel Moonlight Sonata, it is lovely to listen to. But finding pieces closer to your level and building your technique through hard work with some guidance will unfortunately be part of what is required.
Originally Posted by Granyala
Well, you asked for it. Ye have been warned, what lies ahead is not for the faint of heart (or ears).

I just listened to your recordings. With this kind of build-up, I was expecting some serious train wrecks...even had some popcorn handy. What a letdown! smile

Seriously though...I think you are doing quite well. Yes, there are some obvious mistakes and hesitations. But that happens to all of us - especially when the recorder is running. My teacher has to remind me on a regular basis that I will never produce a "perfect" performance. I don't like it, no sir I don't...but such is life.

I'm not familiar with Aerith so I don't have any comments there. I've played the Beethoven and the Bach. You're doing some really lovely things with the Beethoven. Some nice dynamic changes especially. The one thing I noticed is that the melody is not always coming out. You are doing it perfectly a lot of the time, but occasionally it gets buried by the left hand. Voicing the melody is not easy though, and I think for 2 years in you've got a great start on it.

For the Bach - if you haven't done this already, you might find it helpful to practice it as blocked chords. I do this for any pieces with broken chords to get used to the transitions and the hand shape required for each chord. Then you can use different practice techniques to help even out the 16th notes and eventually bring up the speed, if you choose to.

Thanks for sharing your playing, it was enjoyable to listen to! I haven't had the nerve to post anything of mine yet.
My comments. These are not meant as criticism but just things I noticed that you may consider, or you may ignore as you see fit.

MoonLIGHT sonata

You have a good idea of what the piece should sound like and like someone else said I think you play with sensitivity, but I also think that your technique is just not good enough right now to really play this piece well. The melody is sometimes overwhelmed by the triplets and gets lost. Your right thumb sticks out too loud at times. There are places where it sounds a bit "struggled". Put it aside and come back to it in a year or two and you will be surprised how easy it is and how much better you can play it.

Bach Praeludium

It's really important in this piece to keep it moving. If you interrupt the flow it ruins the whole piece. One thing that helps is to play the whole piece as blocked chords instead of arpeggio patterns. It helps you memorize it and by listening to the chord progression it develops your sense of where the piece is going.

Aerith's theme (simple)

I'm not familiar with this piece but it was very pleasant to listen to. If you made any mistakes then I didn't notice. You keep the flow of the music very well and give it the right character I think.
Yes your links work now. Well i found it well played. Your comments are too harsh, or again maybe you are too impatient. Of course you loose track several times in particular in the Bach, but that is normal given your experience. There would a lot to say about your interpretation, but it is not really the topic. In the Beethoven, one can feel you are not secure, there are hesitations at the beginning and in some other places and you tend to loose the tempo at times, at the end especially.

What i did notice and maybe that is just a coincidence, is that all these pieces are somehow in the same character. Rather slow, arpegiatted, mostly pedaled and legato. My advice would be to scale back on easier pieces so that you can feel more secure and then work out fully the interpretation. I would also suggest you play faster pieces and pieces where you have to use various effects, stacatto and legato, runs, small jumps, and so on. You need to vary your pieces abd work on different articulation if you want to make progress. Right now you play Bach as if it is like Aerith .... but all in all, it seems like you are in pretty good shape.
I listened to the Moonlight and the Bach. For only playing 2 years I think you play pretty well. Your playing has a fairly steady tempo. The one thing that sticks out to me and may explain why you think your hands are stupid is that your playing is for the most part all one sound level. It may be a combination of not having the control over your hands that you would like, or that you do not hear it. I’m not a teacher but I think it may take several years before you gain more control over your hands and the sounds they produce on the keyboard. Try to increase your technical skills by playing different styles of pieces (mentioned by Sidokar) at a less difficult level and develop critical hearing skills by listening to lots of music, preferably played by professional pianists.
Originally Posted by Granyala
Aerith's theme (simple)
Hands were definitely tired, 4 attempts to sort of get through it. Rough, but I hope you get the picture.

I'm surprised so many people are unfamiliar with Aerith's Theme from FF7. Maybe a sign of the various age groups and cultural backgrounds here.

Anyway that sounded like the OST rather than the "Piano Collections" version right? For what it's worth, I generally feel like the the OST pieces of Final Fantasy songs are harder than they initially appear. There's some kind of awkward fingering and hand positioning, like trying to play legato while jumping multiple octaves.

Certainly there were tempo issues but overall it sounded alright. The couple places you messed up kind of make sense. Just need more familiarity with the piece really.
Okay, I'll put in my two cents. After your introduction I also expected much worse.
My diagnosis from a distance is this: You are obviously talented to a certain extent. My experience with talented and / or smart people is that they run into the wall of incompentence much later then other people, and sometimes they never do up to a certain point. And then when it happens, sometimes they have no experience of how to deal with that. You have to acknowledge that, allthough you are doing pretty well, you are moving too fast. If more practice doesn't make it better, then you are doing something wrong. Either your set of practice methods is too small, or the repertoire is too advanced.
I enjoy practicing because of the progress I make, even if I cannot play the piece I am working for a long time. If you do not enjoy practicing, then it is costing too much effort.
Six months working on a piece is a long time. Sometimes it does take this long (I usually need several months for a new piece), but I think for somebody who has been playing for two years, it is too long.
You are being too harsh a teacher on yourself!
Wee… weekends. I finally have the time, to compile the feedback and formulate answers. laugh
Originally Posted by rocket88
When asked to slow down, at least 50% of my students will play at the very same fast speed; and some play even faster!

Hey @rocket88,
oh, I definitely play too fast to soon. For mostly two reasons:

1) The pieces are played fast in their original incarnation, so my ear always expects the piece to flow and subconsciously I try to play “at tempo” way too soon.
2) Many of the pieces are of the variety that “fall apart” when I play them slowly. I find it super difficult to practice these passages, since my ear no longer gets a melody to follow and instead gets disjointed frequencies that do not make sense thrown at it.

I try to restrain myself as much as possible. I’ve read that the best practice speed is “too slow to fail” because we learn mistakes and success equally. But you know how it is, especially if you have an easy passage in midst of the harder ones. The foot just hits the gas. laugh

Originally Posted by Animisha
So my advice to you is to try to find much, much easier pieces, and focus on playing them as well as possible, focus on pouring your musicality and your soul in those pieces and see if this makes for a much more enjoyable practising. There are many lovely and exciting easy pieces out there - so try to find one that appeals to you, and give it a chance.

Hello @Animisha,
Yup. Both my teacher and I are aware that the pieces are beyond my level. And that’s okay. It’s really hard for me to find easy stuff that my ear finds pleasing. My teacher once showed me the kind of pieces that I should be playing at my level (when I asked her about the efficiency of our approach). I think I would stop playing the piano within a month if I were forced to play them. She asked me “Do you really want to play that stuff?” I answered “No, definitely not.” She chuckled and merely retorted “me neither.”
So, if some stuff doesn’t work in Moonlight, Archipelago, Succession… that’s okay. I do not expect everything to work. That’s why I stated that the easy pieces like the Praeludium or the Aerith piece frustrate me most, because I expect these to work.

Originally Posted by JB_PW
(2) it's not all going to magically go away as your skills improve. Probably not what you wanted to hear!
It's helpful (especially for your confidence) if you work on some easier pieces too...stuff that's at a level where you don't have to be totally focused on the notes and you can start concentrating on being musical. That's where the real satisfaction comes into play (in my experience).
Is it possible you are on the "perfectionism spectrum" like myself?

Hello @JB_PW,
I can take such answers, do not worry. In the back of my head I already though that more time would be needed. Still, yes: skills and time do not matter much if the technique is flawed. In that regard I do trust my teacher, she will guide me through the jungle.
Regarding the easier pieces, see above. I haven’t found any so far. As for the “confidence”: wrong person to ask. I never have any confidence in anything I do and always double/triple check myself.
Not just a possibility, a fact. Even if I hit the right notes, I immediately find 25 things that I did wrong. Guess it’s a curse.

Originally Posted by pianorla
First of all, what musical experience/background do you have, if any? My first thought while looking at the titles of the pieces you listed was either you're a quick learner and have good natural ability or you've dived in and are depending on muscle memory to play these pieces. Have you worked through exercises/technique/method books with your teacher or are you just playing pieces you enjoy/strive towards and mastering finger movements though those?

How fluent are you with reading music and processing all the necessary information at once? When you practice and make a mistake, do you restart a piece from the beginning and try to plough through it without making that mistake, or do you take note and hone in on what you need to work on (specific bars, patterns, dynamics?)

Ok so your ulterior goal when you are playing is to be able play your pieces from memory?
No one here would want to see you be on the verge of quitting for the reasons and thoughts you mentioned.

Hey @pianorla,
I had 2.5 years of flute experience when I started the piano. Regarding technological exercises and etudes: so far I haven’t played any. Did a little of Hanon in the beginning but I usually fall asleep when playing them. Super hard to stay focused, so I do not consider them very effective. So most things are learned through repertoire, yes.

I wouldn’t call my music reading ability “fluent” at all. Esp. the bass clef *chuckles* As for dealing with mistakes: starting from the beginning would be quite ineffective. Here is what I do:
I play the piece as far as I am currently working on it. If mistakes occur, I make a mental note. If these mistakes happen repeatedly, indicating a systematic error, I give the passage some attention. Within the passage I try to narrow it down further until I am at the root of the problem. If the mistakes are random slip-ups, I mostly ignore them. If too many random mistakes appear, I tone down the playing tempo.

Yes, I automatically play from memory, by the time my hands have learned the movements. The pieces I posted are played 100% from memory. I HATE having to look up and down, since my eyesight isn’t all that good, I need ~ half a second to adjust in order to see clearly. Takes way too long. Same is true when typing at a computer. I either look at the keyboard or the screen.
Surrender is not an option. When I started this hobby I said that I will give the instrument 10 years before making an assessment.

Originally Posted by rkzhao
I'm assuming you find those pieces enjoyable and relaxing by themselves?
My hands just remembers the patterns once I start playing.
Rather than playing at 110%, you should turn your brain down to like 40% and let your hands take over.
Aloha @rkzhao,
Yes, these are pieces I am quite fond of. I would not call Archipelago relaxing though. Esp. in the end, there is quite some energy to it.

Same for me. Memory only works when my hands are on the black and whites. I can’t even play the piece on the table etc.
I think that is the crux of the problem: my hands are not yet capable of doing that. Even in Bachs Praeludium, that is as repetitive as it gets, I need a lot of concentration.

Hello @seeker,
Aye, I think so too. As for automatizing patterns, I think I need to bug my teacher about it a bit more.

Hey @KevinM,
Thanks, Calavera plays quite beautifully!

Good day @zrtf90,
I agree, solving problems can be huge fun. Interesting thoughts about the Praeludium. It’s a piece that you generally find at the end of the “first year” books, so I did not perceive it as hard at all. Technically, what you do is the same in every bar. It was the first piece that I had to memorize deliberately, because my brain and hands had no trouble with the pattern at all. I do agree that speed of delivery (and constant speed at that! *hic*) is the huge challenge here.

Super interesting stuff about memorization. Thanks! What do you mean by recalling though? Playing or recalling it note for note away from the piano? I can tell you that the latter is super ineffective. I have done that as a test with a piece for my flute and considered it an unsuitable approach. Agree on the “work outside short term memory”. I learn Japanese vocabulary that way. Try to remember the words in the mid of day, no matter what you are currently doing, only give yourself hints if you fail.

How do I express emotion w/o feeling it? That does not compute for me.
Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
I just listened to your Beethoven; it was remarkably sensitively played for someone so new to playing piano. You're on a good track. Also, I can understand your feelings about this particular piece; I play it about 10 times per month myself, and it never gets old.

Hey @ QuasiUnaFantasia,
Agreed! I must have played it like 300 times by now but I still love it. Thank you for your kind words. 😊

Originally Posted by petebfrance
I think the playing is lovely, tbh, but to me at times it's almost as though you are 'drifting off' with the music in places, losing concentration.

Hello @petebfrance,
You hit the nail on the head. Maintaining the level of concentration needed is one of my biggest problems, especially what I start feeling stuff while playing. It gets a bit better if I disconnect my emotional core but not by much.
Originally Posted by JB_PW
I just listened to your recordings. With this kind of build-up, I was expecting some serious train wrecks...even had some popcorn handy. What a letdown! smile
My teacher has to remind me on a regular basis that I will never produce a "perfect" performance. I don't like it, no sir I don't...but such is life.

Crap… my very first “performance” and I already failed to meet the audience’s expectations. laugh
Thanks for the kind words. Yes, I do believe we are quite pampered by listening to near perfect recordings for decades. It makes it difficult for the ear to accept, that this is not always the case when playing live.
Good tip about the blocked chords for the Bach, got that one from my teacher too! Definitely helped but my brain simply can’t spit out the data fast enough. laugh

Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
MoonLIGHT sonataPut it aside and come back to it in a year or two and you will be surprised how easy it is and how much better you can play it.
Aerith's theme (simple)
I'm not familiar with this piece but it was very pleasant to listen to. If you made any mistakes then I didn't notice. You keep the flow of the music very well and give it the right character I think.

Hey @Qazsedcft,
Thank you for your kindness. I completely agree on the moonlight™ sonata. The piece is currently only in maintenance mode. I want to keep it in memory and ready to be recalled but I know that I currently don’t have the technical prerequisites to refine it further.
Interesting thoughts about the Aerith piece. I will have to link a better run at some point, when my hands aren’t as tired as they were when I recorded it.

Hello @sidokar,
Sounds logical, I will have to consult my teacher about supplying me with appropriate material of different styles.

Hi @ PianogrlNW,
Ooh I definitely lack control. No surprise there. Oftentimes I have to fight against my right hand in order to force it to move the way I want. Hard to explain but there is simply resistance in it. Feels quite weird and unnatural. Most easily noticed when I practice 1-3 -> 2-4 -> 3-5 patterns. It's as if the hand doesn't WANT to do the movement.

@rkzhao: well it was a simplified/stripped down version of the piano collections one. Someone on this forum suggested it when I stated that the “real version” that I want to play is way beyond me right now. laugh

Hello @ErfurtBob,
I wouldn’t go as far and say that I do not enjoy practicing. Solving problems is fun to me. Repetition not as much but I recognize that it’s part of the process. If I see improvements, I can feel that it was “worth it” and move on. I was explicitly referring to the “I relax/enjoy when I am at the piano” because that is not something I can do. Well. maybe when playing Hanon. I catch myself thinking about virtually anything EXCEPT the piano when I play those patterns. :X



Phew, all caught up now. Thank you all for so many responses, thoughtful critique and encouragement!
The Bach prelude has some hesitations but is good. The Beethoven moonlight sonata is sounding nice as you projecting the melody but I would try easier pieces as others have suggested as I think it is too long to have to spend 6 months to learn a piece.
I personally would suggest not keep the beethoven sonata in maintenance mode. I have always been advised once I've learnt a piece to move on. If it is too hard you can always come back later to finish it. If you have taken 6 months to play then I would suggest more of a reason to move on to other pieces as otherwise you are likely to only play a small number of pieces per year.
Hey Moo :),

maintenance mode only means playing it once every 2-3 days. I don't think 7 minutes is too much effort in order to keep it alive.
It's one of the pieces I want in my permanent arsenal, so I might as well start burning it in.
Originally Posted by Granyala
Interesting thoughts about the Praeludium. It’s a piece that you generally find at the end of the “first year” books...
Not in my experience. It's typically a year five piece.

Originally Posted by Granyala
What do you mean by recalling though?
We remember more than we realise. Recall is deliberately bringing the memory back.

If you play a passage fifteen times, say, most of the repeats are from short term memory. It is not exercising recall. If you get back to the piano the next day it won't be in short term memory. It will be somewhere in memory but you may not be able to recall it. The easy way to recall it is to go back to the score. A harder way is to sing the music to yourself and try to play it by ear, try to piece together snippets and put them in the right order, force yourself to recall it, etc. This is the struggle that builds recall pathways. The more pathways we have to a memory, the easier it is to recall it.

When I learn a new recital piece I learn it phrase by phrase. I don't repeat much at all, once or twice each day. The next day I try to recall it without referring to the score. When I do refer to the score I read it without playing until I can recall it the next day. Only then, when it's in explicit memory do I start repeating it. Lots of repeats before it's in explicit memory puts it into implicit memory (procedural memory, muscle memory, a cue based system). This prevents having to struggle to recall it.

Originally Posted by Granyala
Playing or recalling it note for note away from the piano? I can tell you that the latter is super ineffective.
Most performing artists and athletes will tell you the opposite. When you visualise it you can see it in micro details, play it super slow with flawless technique and every such repeat builds the same neural pathways as actually playing it. When you consciously imagine playing each note, knowing the note, the finger and the piano-key, not relying on muscle memory but explicitly going through the procedure of engaging each muscle, mentally or actually, it's a very powerful technique and it's very efficient.
Yeah five? Are we talking about the same prelude here?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prelude_and_Fugue_in_C_major,_BWV_846

I've seen multiple books that start with "hello children, this is a C!" and end with that piece seemingly being designed around a 1 year period.

Thanks for elaborating on the recall procedures. I typically practice the same way, though that comes more from the inability to read the notes while playing, since I have to watch my hands. I find memorizing for the piano much easier than memorizing for the flute (where I cannot see my hands and merely stare at the notes while playing).

So, basically, you are able to sit on the couch and write down all the notes, articulations, phrasing instructions etc of the piece from memory? Impressive.
Originally Posted by Granyala
Yeah five? Are we talking about the same prelude here?
Yes, the first prelude from the Well-Tempered Clavier. It's Grade 5, ABRSM. I doubt I've heard it played at Grade 5 level by anyone below Grade 7. The control required to play the piece uniformly well requires years of practise. Getting the notes, maybe a few weeks.

Originally Posted by Granyala
So, basically, you are able to sit on the couch and write down all the notes, articulations, phrasing instructions etc of the piece from memory?
Write out the notes? Probably not. For the snippet I'm working on I can say what they are, when they're played and how they sound but writing out the notes differs because of spelling and such, among other things. I don't pay any attention to phrasing and articulation marks once I've memorised the sound from reading and listening. I don't disregard them but I do interpret them in such a way that I'd write them out differently.

When I learn a piece I'm going to memorise I'll memorise it first as music I can sing in my head. I read the score and audiate it every day until I can hum it accurately while I'm cooking or doing the washing up. When I get to the piano and start on it I've done a structural analysis, sorted it into what I think will be the most difficult bits and what will be playable from the score. I no longer need the score to know how it should sound. I just need it for the notes.

Originally Posted by Granyala
...the inability to read the notes while playing, since I have to watch my hands.
This is a big issue with a lot of students. It would be worth your while getting some easy method/repertoire book and practise following the score while working your way around the keyboard by touch. A few minutes a day will work wonders as the weeks and months go by. Our tactile sense is very rapid compared to vision. In time you will reach the keys faster by touch than you can by vision, leaps aside, which take a quick prior glance and no more.
It sounds like a problem if you cannot play music with a score. Relying on your memory to look at your hands is not sustainable. It appears to be a problem with adult pianists that rush the basics. I would discuss with your teacher how to work on this rather than online. I am sure it will mean easier material but if you want to progress you cannot skip the basics. Good luck.
Originally Posted by zrtf90
[quote=Granyala]The control required to play the piece uniformly well requires years of practise. Getting the notes, maybe a few weeks.

I read the score and audiate it every day until I can hum it accurately while I'm cooking or doing the washing up.

This is a big issue with a lot of students. It would be worth your while getting some easy method/repertoire book and practise following the score while working your way around the keyboard by touch. A few minutes a day will work wonders as the weeks and months go by. Our tactile sense is very rapid compared to vision. In time you will reach the keys faster by touch than you can by vision, leaps aside, which take a quick prior glance and no more.
Hmm that explains a lot. Thanks, you just took any frustration regarding that particular piece away. Once I know that it is unrealistic to expect fluidity, I am no longer bothered by "brain lags".

Cool ability. I never got very far trying to make written notes sound in my head. Even single note lines for my flute pose quite a challenge. :X

I will incorporate it into my practice, have to bug my teacher for applicable pieces though. It worked fairly well with the Prelude before but there hands barely have to move anyway. I am currently learning this piece:



The left hand has to move a bit too much but the right one should be applicable for "blind play". Though I can barely play the hands together, I already don't need the sheet music. This one is so easily compressed. Barely any data in it.

Originally Posted by Moo :)
It appears to be a problem with adult pianists that rush the basics.

*whistles innocently*
Originally Posted by zrtf90
If you play a passage fifteen times, say, most of the repeats are from short term memory. It is not exercising recall. If you get back to the piano the next day it won't be in short term memory. It will be somewhere in memory but you may not be able to recall it. The easy way to recall it is to go back to the score. A harder way is to sing the music to yourself and try to play it by ear, try to piece together snippets and put them in the right order, force yourself to recall it, etc. This is the struggle that builds recall pathways. The more pathways we have to a memory, the easier it is to recall it.

When I learn a new recital piece I learn it phrase by phrase. I don't repeat much at all, once or twice each day. The next day I try to recall it without referring to the score. When I do refer to the score I read it without playing until I can recall it the next day. Only then, when it's in explicit memory do I start repeating it. Lots of repeats before it's in explicit memory puts it into implicit memory (procedural memory, muscle memory, a cue based system). This prevents having to struggle to recall it.

thumb

It's very exhausting in the beginning, especially if your ears are not trained enough, but it's the way that leads to best results.
Originally Posted by rkzhao
Originally Posted by Granyala
Aerith's theme (simple)
Hands were definitely tired, 4 attempts to sort of get through it. Rough, but I hope you get the picture.

I'm surprised so many people are unfamiliar with Aerith's Theme from FF7. Maybe a sign of the various age groups and cultural backgrounds here.

Anyway that sounded like the OST rather than the "Piano Collections" version right? For what it's worth, I generally feel like the the OST pieces of Final Fantasy songs are harder than they initially appear. There's some kind of awkward fingering and hand positioning, like trying to play legato while jumping multiple octaves.
.

Indeed this is a classically based forum, so we're probably more familiar with the Aria.

I only have one from IV but I found the Original Soundtrack to be relatively simple, especially compared to the Piano Solo album.

Granyala, I don't have much to add over the advice you have already received. Just take the spots where you hesitated and give them a large volume of slow practice.
I think she does a good job at explaining:

https://youtu.be/IQHPxjQDRfw
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