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sight reading on harder pieces


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#1 adultpianist

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 22:56

When I learn harder pieces I read the music and practice hands separately then together.   I find I cannot keep my eyes on the score because I am too busy looking down at my hands to see if they are going in the right direction.   My teacher has never pointed this out and has never said keep your eyes on the page so you can follow the notes as you play.   I look at the keys and then when I eventually look up at the score I have lost where I am at because I have not been following it.

 

In other words what I am doing is memorising the score which is fine because all concert pianists play from memory but one of my pieces I am learning to play, I have seen people look at the score and never look at the keys.   I need to learn how to do this and they seem to play by watching the score and their fingers automatically go on the right notes without them looking.

 

Any ideas how I can perfect this?  This girl hardly looks at the keys

 

 

 


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#2 Keron

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 00:59

When I learn harder pieces I read the music and practice hands separately then together.   I find I cannot keep my eyes on the score because I am too busy looking down at my hands to see if they are going in the right direction.   My teacher has never pointed this out and has never said keep your eyes on the page so you can follow the notes as you play.   I look at the keys and then when I eventually look up at the score I have lost where I am at because I have not been following it.

 

In other words what I am doing is memorising the score which is fine because all concert pianists play from memory but one of my pieces I am learning to play, I have seen people look at the score and never look at the keys.   I need to learn how to do this and they seem to play by watching the score and their fingers automatically go on the right notes without them looking.

 

Any ideas how I can perfect this?  This girl hardly looks at the keys

 

Well

1. Your keyboard geography has to improve

2. You have to make your glances at the keyboard quicker 

3. You should be strongly aware of where you are on the page. My teacher always admonishes either playing from memory or playing from the score as if you play multiple bars from memory and have a lapse, then you'll struggle to find your way again. If your glances were swift, though, and you pivoted your gaze down at the fingers and then up again a few ms later then you'd find you'll not lose yourself. 

 

With regards keyboard geography you can only improve by practice. Perhaps try sightreading below your current - glance at keyboard - level while looking at the page or playing simple sequences of notes hands separately without looking down.


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#3 cho10

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 07:24

Hi
Practice, practice, practice.
This is what I find helps me overcome problems with the piano.
I discovered the benefit of not looking at my hands mostly on my own.
I guess it has to do with having learned how to type without looking once upon a time (half a century ago).
My teacher was surprised the first time she noticed that I was doing this but simply because I was
preparing for my Grade 1 exam and she mentioned that she had intended to discuss the merits of this afrer my exam.
Anyway you are on the right track if you insist with this because you won't lose your place on the score anymore.
Good luck!
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#4 adultpianist

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 08:11

Hi
Practice, practice, practice.
This is what I find helps me overcome problems with the piano.
I discovered the benefit of not looking at my hands mostly on my own.
I guess it has to do with having learned how to type without looking once upon a time (half a century ago).
My teacher was surprised the first time she noticed that I was doing this but simply because I was
preparing for my Grade 1 exam and she mentioned that she had intended to discuss the merits of this afrer my exam.
Anyway you are on the right track if you insist with this because you won't lose your place on the score anymore.
Good luck!

 

Ok thanks. I will try harder.   


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#5 BadStrad

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 10:50

Agree - you need to improve your keyboard geography. Maybe start with some drills that you can play without looking at the keyboard. Most importantly go reeeeeeeaaaaalllllllyyyyy slowly so even if it takes you five minutes to process an F# on the page into a finger on a key you hit the right key. You might need a quick glance at first (emphasis on *quick*) but keep at it and it will get easier.
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#6 Clovis

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 11:25

Try beginning a practice session with a series of chords, both hands, octave by octave up and down the piano. Start with C major as low as you can and go all the way to the top, then jump back down to the first chord you started with. Make sure all your fingers are over the correct keys before you sound the notes. In time you'll be able to move from octave to octave without looking.

 

Arpeggios and broken chords of various kinds would also help, and again, aim to be able to do this without looking at your fingers. But – as BadStrad says – make sure you go slow at first.

 

The Dozen a Day books are quite good for learning keyboard geography.


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#7 Espresso Addict

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 02:45

Scales have helped me a lot, especially contrary motion out to three octaves (so beyond my peripheral vision) and scales in tenths. I've  tried playing easy scales in tenths with the LH displaced an octave or even two and looking entirely at the LH.

 

Just playing a grand is helping me a lot because the music is so much higher than I'm used to, so peripheral vision is less available.


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