Jump to content


Photo

Back again and inventing new mistakes


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Scaredycat

Scaredycat

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 251 posts
  • Member: 887446
    Joined: 05-November 13

Posted 19 February 2019 - 18:56

Hi All

 

I've been absent from the forum for ages while life got in the way but now I'm back (but not quite from outer space, thank you Gloria Gaynor), if you'll have me. I have continued to play the clarinet though and my new pride and joy is an alto I picked up from Gumtree at New Year - more of that in future posts (it's nicknamed 'The Beast' for a reason!). Also, over the 18 months or so I have started to learn to play the piano and hope to take my G1 this summer. Can I ask, however, does anyone have any suggestions for resolving this problem?  

 

My three pieces are pretty much there in terms of knowing the fingering, notes etc and dynamics too. Better articulation is still a work in progress. My problem is that now, when running through the pieces, I'm incapable of getting through them without making a silly mistakes, sometimes miss-keying, sometimes rhythm. The mistakes can be different at different points each time I play and affect even the easier bits which I thought were sorted. It's almost like golfer's yips. How do I make these 'bombproof'? I've tried going really slow but, tbh, that seems to just introduce even more problems. I'm now getting worse at playing them to my teacher to the point I want to record them at home to prove I can actually do better - trouble is I can't record a problem free version. If this is all nerves, I feel ridiculous, I'm an adult and my piano teacher is lovely and supportive. Grrr! It's so annoying. It feels like I'm going backwards. 


  • 0

#2 Velvet

Velvet

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Member: 899010
    Joined: 23-May 18

Posted 19 February 2019 - 19:27

Have you memorised the pieces? (I’m not a teacher).

You might find that you’re actually playing quite a bit from memory rather than reading the music score, and when you return to the score you’re getting a ‘glitch’ as the brain refocuses to what it’s seeing, not what it’s been autopiloting.

You could also maybe take a break from the pieces for a couple of weeks. Just not practice them. You don’t want to practice mistakes in to them. Are you bored of playing them and frustrated that the mistakes are still there? And... are you setting your bar too high, as an adult, wanting perfections vs good enough to pass well?

Good luck with it all.
  • 2

#3 Ligneo Fistula

Ligneo Fistula

    Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1239 posts
  • Member: 529803
    Joined: 28-September 12
  • United Kingdom

Posted 19 February 2019 - 20:21

Nice to see you're back, Scardeycat.  Remember: one foot in front of the other...

 

Gosh! Your post sounds almost identical to the accuracy issues that I was having when I was preparing for grade 1 piano.  There was lots of feedback from the lovely forumites.  Hopefully these can help you too; see https://www.abrsm.or...844&hl=accuracy.

 

Selfishly I'm very keen to see what further ideas respondents come up with here as, sadly, I am still having issues with 'random accuracy failures' as I prepare for my grade 3 (hopefully n the Summer session).


  • 0

#4 EllieD

EllieD

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 580 posts
  • Member: 897806
    Joined: 04-June 17

Posted 19 February 2019 - 21:08

I take a different view. Those of us taking exams are only human, this is a hobby, and we are not professionals. I don't think it is possible for me to play a piece without a few hiccups, and that's probably true of most of us. If you feel that you need to be able to play a piece to 100% of what you think you should be able to do, then you will never get there. The mistakes are part and parcel - accept they may happen, the bombproofing needs to be more about making sure that whatever mistake you make, and wherever you make it, you do not lose track of the rest of the piece. Keep going. Don't think about what you've just played, only what's to come.

 

I found putting breathing marks in piano music helped … ahem!! … but I discovered I wasn't really breathing … 

 

And also really make sure that the two bits of a piece you really are on top of are the beginning and the end.

 

Good luck!! You will be fine, a musical performance with the odd blip is infinitely more pleasurable to listen to than robotic perfection.


  • 1

#5 Penfold42

Penfold42

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Member: 899233
    Joined: 30-September 18

Posted 19 February 2019 - 21:34

Hi, I too am a new adult learner. I have never played any instrument until I started the piano. I too have gone through a spate of messing up On one of my grade 1 pieces. I just kept failing to start it correctly and I also had some fingers misplaying at certain sections. I just slowed it down and played the few measures that were causing me problems. I probably practiced them for a 15 minutes and went to another piece and then went back to it again. It was a slow process but I feel I got back to being comfortable with it after about 10 days. Also to echo Ellie this is a hobby, try and remember to enjoy your playing and don’t artificially inflate pressure on yourself to be perfect. I’m sure you’re better than you think you are.
  • 0

#6 Scaredycat

Scaredycat

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 251 posts
  • Member: 887446
    Joined: 05-November 13

Posted 19 February 2019 - 22:24

Thank you everybody. I see I'm not on my own with this. LF, thank you for the thread link, very interesting. Perhaps parking these pieces for a week or so wouldn't hurt as I admit it would be nice to hear something different for a bit. I spent a contented 40 minutes dabbling with another of the G1 pieces and then worked on some scales with the 'Beast' tonight which made a pleasant change. Hopefully my teacher won't mind. I think part of the problem is that I can see the G1 within reach and could potentially do ok with a following wind if I don't sabotage it, but that's what it feels like I'm doing. Yes, I think of playing the piano and clarinet as a hobby, but music is an increasingly important part of my life now and I wouldn't be without it. A bit soppy, but there it is.rolleyes.gif 


  • 0

#7 _DaVid_

_DaVid_

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 169 posts
  • Member: 895117
    Joined: 03-March 16

Posted 20 February 2019 - 20:01

I know from experience it is very easy to get bogged down in playing only the three pieces for the exam. It's a trap that you cannot let yourself fall into...It gets worse the further you go up the grades. For an adult, time to practice can be hard to find, and you soon will have only time for pieces from the syllabus and scales. Don't go there!

Mistakes will happen, and don't tell your teacher you play perfectly in the house, she's heard it more times than you've had hot dinners!

Personally, I have found great enjoyment in playing new music every day at a far easier level than 'my grade'. I can play pieces with zero mistakes, or very few indeed, because the pressure is off in a way. Don't be afraid to play studies like bürgmuller or suchlike at pre-grade 1. Play loads of them, enjoy them. Your sight reading will vastly improve too.
  • 0

#8 Scaredycat

Scaredycat

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 251 posts
  • Member: 887446
    Joined: 05-November 13

Posted 20 February 2019 - 20:15

Rest assured DaVid, I do not tell her I play it perfectly at home as we both know that I can't, lol. However, suddenly last week in my lesson I couldn't get it any of the pieces right at all and it was far far worse than when played at home. I'm not sure what triggered that. Oh well, I will continue to practice the selected pieces and a few other others for variety. It all has to help, right?


  • 0

#9 _DaVid_

_DaVid_

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 169 posts
  • Member: 895117
    Joined: 03-March 16

Posted 20 February 2019 - 21:22

Rest assured DaVid, I do not tell her I play it perfectly at home as we both know that I can't, lol. However, suddenly last week in my lesson I couldn't get it any of the pieces right at all and it was far far worse than when played at home. I'm not sure what triggered that. Oh well, I will continue to practice the selected pieces and a few other others for variety. It all has to help, right?


That's perfectly normal. It's a very rare week indeed that I play anything at all approaching close to the way I do at home. Infuriating, but normal, I'm sure.

I am labouring the point about keeping reading new pieces. Pick very easy ones, just do enjoy the playing of them for all they are. It will help enormously for your grade pieces I promise. Make time for it each practise, the exams aren't going anywhere.
  • 0