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Random "failure"...

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Random "failure"...

Postby lol_nl on Wed Feb 08, 2006 8:15 pm

(Posted same thread at pianosociety forum)

Sometimes I play VERY bad, other times very good. I'm trying to find out how this has happend and how to change.

It depends each day, but normally I have around 33% of the day "bad luck", although I don't know if it's luck.
That 33% are times when everything just goes wrong from the first second I sit on the piano. The other 66% goes normal, fine or sometimes even extraordinary good.

Why are there these random "failures" when everything just goes wrong? Does it depend on me?

1)What happens
This is what happens when it happens:

I'm just not able to play well. Mostly it starts with my fingers very cold. Then I try to warm them up by playing (don't have a lot of time, so have to play, can't wait until heating is warm) and sometimes it works and my hands do wounderful work. Other times it remains the same and that can cause a lot of trouble. There are also times when my hands are warm but I still can't play properly.

Then the second part starts. My scales are terribly bad then and my velocity almost 0. I have the feeling not having fully control about my hands and they do a job their own.

Also slow pieces I can't play well. I can't get the melody right, my pedal use is even bad, and everything goes wrong.

My concentration drops very fast (or was that before I started to play and is that what causes it?)

I make random slips. I don't hit keys I ALWAYS hit when I play normal, how much I try to concentrate, it won't help.


My first guess goes to my concentration. Probably that caused it in the first way. Maybe it is just that I don't concentrate enough. Maybe it's because either I just come from school and my mind is still there or I have other important things to do, loads of homework, etc.

My second guess goes to my hands. Maybe playing with cold hands IS very bad and can cause many bad things happen if I don't deal well. Yes, I say "if". So there is a way how to deal well?


I would like to hear from you.

But this is what I try:

I keep playing. I don't mind the bad things that happen. Sometimes this works, other times I end up still with a bad feeling and slightly depressed (but not DURING the playing).

I play continuous scales, etudes and other technical things. This has worked the best until now. I just start playing slow and speed up during the piece. At the end I normally NEVER have problems with this. The only thing is that this only takes me about half an hour to do, and then I have not much time left for other pieces (I don't like playing continously for more than 1.5 hours, then I just collapse....and small breaks I hate as well).

I wait hours until my hands are warm. By then it's already bedtime.

So is there any explanation for this? How to deal?

I would like to hear from you, as this is one of the things that bothers me the most while playing piano.


EDIT: After reading 1 of the treads at pianosociety I came to a slightly other solution:

-Start with a GOOD warming-up, also mentally (that's what I REALLY need!)
-Play pieces in other order. (see other thread)
-Don't fool around with old pieces.

I still have a question:

-Is it good to play 2 hours non-stop, maybe with some little breaks? Or should I play each time less than an hour and play many times a day? What is more useful? My teacher suggests the second, because he says that I get too tired when I play non-stop. But if I divide it too much, my warming-up gets into trouble. I don't like warming-up and if I have to do it many times a day, it may cause problems with practising.
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Postby edinburghpianist on Tue May 02, 2006 10:35 pm

That's a good point. I have the same problem sometimes. I think heating is quite important and doing warm up exercises (but basically, if the room is too cold your fingers won't be as agile).
Also, I hate to say it but I think the most important thing is practice because once you know the piece back to front, you won't be temperamental in your performances. I guess that's what professionalism is about - leaving nothing to chance and the particular situation.
I like your advice about practice order - might take that on board and stop having haphazard practices of whatever I feel needs the most work just then. I've heard that lots of smaller sessions are much more advisable than marathon ones although I guess 2 hours ought to be manageable (and you might want to increase your stamina).
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