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How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ? (Read 3310 times)

Offline Garfield

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How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
« on: July 04, 2003, 07:34:00 PM »
Hello  :D

Sometimes when I finish to study a piece, that I claim it to be in my repertoire, some kind of errors remain every time I play (not recurrent errors, it's just that one time i'll forget this note and this note, the other time i'll play the wrong note here and here, etc).
I would like to know : do I have a problem i.e did I study bad theses pieces and should I relearn, or do other possibilities exist to make the piece every time "perfect", with barely no error even when played 100 times ? (there's inevitably a way to have a piece perfect, because pianists who do concerts or things like that must have a perfect repertoire (with no error at all) to succeed, I think...)

Thank you for your answers !!

Offline 88keys

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #1 on: July 05, 2003, 04:34:01 PM »
Actually, it is impossible to get a piece totally perfect every single time. Even the greatest concert pianist occasionaly stumbles on a wrong note, although this obviously doesn't happen very often...

Anyway, there is no "magic process" with which you can polish a piece. Concert pianists reach their level of near-perfection with long hours of daily practice, and that's the only way to do it.

The question is: Is it really worth the trouble?

Personally, I don't think so, unless you plan to play the piece in front of an audiance.

If you play for your own enjoyment, there is no harm in making an occasional error. Don't try to force yourself into getting things perfect - just relax, and enjoy your time at the piano. I wouldn't be surprised if you'll even make less mistakes, once the pressure is gone.

NetherMagic

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #2 on: July 05, 2003, 10:01:50 PM »
yes thats very true 88key

Garfield you can also give your memory a more solid foundation by maybe learning the piece in and out, as in like analyze it, try to use visual memory and other types of memory to practice the song instead of muscle memory, etc.

of course that still won't be perfect, after all we're still humans and you never know if one or two neurons just suddenly burn out up there while you're playing, but it should improve your memory by at least a bit =]

good luck on your pieces

Offline amee

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #3 on: July 06, 2003, 02:55:26 AM »
To improve your memory, you can also do some memory practice away from the piano.  Study the score, and run through the music in your head.  Memorize just the left hand part on its own; usually we only know the right hand part and the left hand just follows.  Listen to recordings while looking at the score.  I find that helpful.
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." - Frederic Chopin

Offline Johnnylightning

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #4 on: July 09, 2003, 02:04:32 AM »
Quote
Listen to recordings while looking at the score.  I find that helpful.

Yeah, that works for me too. I often have my teacher play an unfamilliar piece so that I can record her. Then, I simply listen to that piece often enough to get familliar w/ it and it makes it much easier to figure out.  However, I too have the same problem and my mistakes sometimes occur on easy passages that I seldom stumble on (sorta' like a glitch). Could it be lack of concentration or over concentration?
OPEN YOUR MIND!...but not too much, your brain might fall out.

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #5 on: July 09, 2003, 06:18:27 AM »
Oh crap!  There goes my brain again!  In these instances it's usually a lapse of concentration taht gets me -
So much music, so little time........

Offline jona

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #6 on: July 10, 2003, 12:59:46 AM »
All you must do is practice. You can't expect to have a lot of pieces in your reportoire you can always at any time play perfectly. They have to be practiced over and over again for days before a performance.  
To learn a piece by heart, is relatively easy. But if you want to get rid of these small technical errors, you just need to practice more.

Offline BoliverAllmon

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #7 on: July 11, 2003, 07:10:34 AM »
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, and for a change of pace PRACTICE MORE. I remember when my friend learned Fur Elise. It took him a couple of months to really get the piece down, then hell broke loose. he would practice the piece 3-4 hourse a day playing the piece over and over and over again. He did this for another couple of months.  I heard the piece so many times that even today when I hear it I feel like screaming. But if anyone asks him to play the piece he can sit down and play the piece magnificently.

it just takes time and hard work.

Boliver Allmon

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #8 on: July 11, 2003, 08:53:35 AM »
...... with special emphasis on HARD WORK.  I know you have all listened to me gripe about the Cramer and Field sonatas I am working on.  They are both now memorized, adn I have been working on *cleaning up* little sloppy bits of both for what seems like AGES.  So all the stories, no matter how gory, are true.  You have to play the thing so many times you really do get sick of it.  But it's such a riot when you finally nail it!  
So much music, so little time........

Offline arigatuso

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #9 on: September 29, 2003, 07:00:44 PM »
I agree with you. But repetitive practice can be dangerous. I would way, practice with variety, with creativity and imagination. Try to avoid repeting always the same things. Try different rythms on the same piece of music, try other movements, other keys, add some notes, quit some notes, and then back to the original piece. The idea is to "¿ingrain?" the piece on you, and that means memorizing, acquiring technique, contro, musicality; if you repeat the same way the same piece again, and again hardly you will progress.

of course, my english is arcaic, sorry.


Regards,
Alejandro.

Offline meiting

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #10 on: September 30, 2003, 11:55:01 AM »
The only way to really perfectly kinow a piece is time. Of course you must practice etc., but you can't know it that well even if you keep practicing it for 6 months. Drop the piece after you know it well enough to perform it, and take it up again a year or a year and half later, then drop it again, and take it up again. After 4 or 5 times of doing that, you'll find that with most pieces you won't have to practice them any longer to be able to just pick it up and perform them.

mt
Living for music is a sad state. Living to play music is not.

Offline e60m5

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #11 on: October 01, 2003, 02:33:09 AM »
To really know and understand a piece is not to play it perfectly every time.

To know and understand a piece is to be sure of every note, and to be sure of exactly what you are doing every time you are playing it - or what you are trying to do.

It is easy to play a piece by flitting over the difficult passages and approximating the notes, and making up an interpretation on the fly. But is that what you would call knowing and understanding?

To know the piece, one must play it and listen to one's self playing it, and to form conclusions of one's own about the piece. It can be done, definitely.

But it does not equate to perfection in every performance.

Offline eddie92099

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #12 on: October 02, 2003, 12:18:48 AM »
Quote


It is easy to play a piece by flitting over the difficult passages and approximating the notes, and making up an interpretation on the fly. But is that what you would call knowing and understanding?


Two words: Shura Cherkassky,
Ed

Offline Noah

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #13 on: October 08, 2003, 05:56:10 PM »
Airline timetables, people.
'Some musicians don't believe in God, but all believe in Bach'
M. Kagel

Offline eddie92099

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #14 on: October 08, 2003, 09:59:22 PM »
Exactly!
Ed

Offline TwinkleFingers

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #15 on: December 04, 2003, 04:18:07 AM »
im lost what are you talking about ed and noah?
My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.

Offline eddie92099

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #16 on: December 04, 2003, 06:02:03 PM »
Quote
im lost what are you talking about ed and noah?


Shura Cherkassky,
Ed

Offline guven

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #17 on: December 07, 2003, 02:44:59 AM »
If you can play only left hand by memory from start to the end, you know it .

Offline eddie92099

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #18 on: December 07, 2003, 02:48:26 AM »
Quote
If you can play only left hand by memory from start to the end, you know it .


This of course only applies to a few works (Ravel's Concerto for Left Hand only, Prokofiev's 4th Piano Concerto, Britten's Diversions for Left Hand and Orchestra etc.),
Ed

Offline guven

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #19 on: December 07, 2003, 02:53:12 PM »
[shadow=red,left,300]No.[/shadow]

This is what some important prof.s of piano recommend.
Try it and see :)

PS. Important: as in Nemeti from F.Liszt Music Academy,Badura-Skoda...

Offline eddie92099

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #20 on: December 07, 2003, 03:34:38 PM »
Quote
[shadow=red,left,300]No.[/shadow]

This is what some important prof.s of piano recommend.
Try it and see :)
...


I know - I was just trying to make a joke  :) (albeit not a very good one!),
Ed

Offline matt_black

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #21 on: December 19, 2003, 01:01:39 PM »
Is there such a thing as perfect ?

Well there is in temr s of playing exactly as written but in fact I imagine most great compsers played things differently each time they played and as manuscript was the only recording medium of the day that was a particular rendition that they wrote down - had we had recrdong grear years ago then we would have had several versions - music is about interpretation and feeling so as long as you get into the vibe of what the composer was after and ultimately entertain and change peoples emtions then job done - who cares what note you hit?!?!?! I play a lot by ear so improvising aroubnd a basic structure is a methos i use

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #22 on: December 20, 2003, 04:10:00 AM »
I dunno, ed.  I thought it was pretty funny myself.
So much music, so little time........

Offline Dave_2004_G

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #23 on: December 20, 2003, 12:53:35 PM »
Matt - I see what you're saying, but it depends for what you want to play the piano - if you were to give a performance and know perfectly what you want to put across in the music, I'm pretty sure the audience will miss the message if the piece is full of bodged notes - they'll concentrate on the mistakes if they're too dense, you need to make your audience feel completely at ease with what you're playing before they start listening to the music properly - as in they feel comfortable that you're in full control of what you're playing

Dave

Offline leemay001

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #24 on: December 28, 2003, 10:11:12 AM »
Oh if it was only possible to play everything perfect...
  ~Lee~
To learn a piece is one thing... to know it is another.

Offline cziffra

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #25 on: December 28, 2003, 12:17:26 PM »
are you saying cherkassky was good or bad, ed?
What it all comes down to is that one does not play the piano with one’s fingers; one plays the piano with one’s mind.-  Glenn Gould

Offline eddie92099

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #26 on: December 28, 2003, 02:14:01 PM »
Good,
Ed

Offline scriabinsmyman

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #27 on: March 12, 2004, 08:18:57 PM »
When you know a piece "perfectly," you must be able to rewrite the music, note for note. you have to know which fingers goes with which note, every time you phrase, everything like that.  be able to do it all in your head, not only at the keyboard.

Offline Askenaz7

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #28 on: March 13, 2004, 01:02:06 AM »
And that is all the soul-destroying work you have to do!

Offline anda

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #29 on: March 13, 2004, 02:12:12 PM »
some time ago, i had a computer software that could take as input any cd track and then re-write the score - writing exactly as it is played, not as it should be (the computer doesn't know the original score). i used it on some very good recordings by great pianists - radu lupu, horowitz, martha argerich and others. you wouldn't believe how different the score produced is from the original - not to mention how different all versions of the same work are...

also, one more thing: i have heard tchaikovsky 1st live with most probably all notes exactly as written - as far as i could tell (and i know the concert), the pianist didn't miss anything. and yet, everything considered, it was quite a bad played concert. my point is, what do you mean by perfect? and, yes, we all happen to have a few mistakes - one wrong note in a passage, or stuff like that, happens to the best, is that really what matters?

Offline trunks

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Re: How to know "PERFECTLY" a piece ?
«Reply #30 on: April 10, 2004, 09:55:15 PM »
Pinpoint accuracy every time playing a piece is superhuman. There is nothing in the world that one could do to guarantee this degree of precision. This is machine precision. But then even machines do fail every now and then, like this very computer that I am now using to type this message (and among my friends I am the 'Mr Fix-it' on PC machines!).

Humans are humans, and will always be humans.
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist