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Topic: Memorizing without playing  (Read 4788 times)

Offline zoolander

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Memorizing without playing
on: July 29, 2003, 01:20:31 AM
Anyone got some tips how I can learn to memorize pieces without playing them on the piano? I'm totally new to this.

Offline allchopin

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Re: Memorizing without playing
Reply #1 on: July 29, 2003, 03:03:22 AM
playing by ear?
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline zoolander

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Re: Memorizing without playing
Reply #2 on: July 29, 2003, 03:32:50 AM
ahh.. sorry, the question was terrible formulated.

What i meant was learning pieces just by reading the score, without actually practising it on a piano.

Offline allchopin

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Re: Memorizing without playing
Reply #3 on: July 29, 2003, 05:58:36 AM
oh ok so you mean sight-reading...
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline Ktari

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Re: Memorizing without playing
Reply #4 on: July 29, 2003, 06:44:18 AM
Er... at first sight, what I thought he meant was, like, when you look at a score, to just memorize it without touching the piano -left hand goes g f-sharp, blah blah? ... sounds kinda funky to me, i would probably do it... well very difficultly, cause i have memory problems, but by trying to hear it mentally? hehe that's actually not a bad idea to like rigorously mentally memorize a piece on top of muscle memory (my flotation device *hums*)
~Ktari

Offline R.Q.

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Re: Memorizing without playing
Reply #5 on: July 29, 2003, 08:21:18 PM
I have done this often. It is especially useful when I have to learn a piece for a concert and don't have a piano nearby. I would even suggest that all your standing repertoire should be learned this way, since it greatly aids memorization by training your perceptive memory before your aural or motoric one.

The first thing to do is Just sort of play the piece in your head, by which I mean try to imagine how it would sound. With practice this can be done down to the last detail.

Then (and this is optional but helps for memory) analyze the piece harmonically - see what chords it is built on and study its modulation until you could just play through with just these chords.

then sit down at a table or any hard surface and work out the technical details - fingering, phrasing etc..

When you've done this, you often play the piece much better when you actually get to the piano! And often you already have it memorized.

For more information on this read Josef Hofmann's "Piano Playing Questions Answered"

Good Luck

~ Young Virtuoso
~R. Q.

Offline zoolander

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Re: Memorizing without playing
Reply #6 on: July 29, 2003, 11:48:47 PM
Thanks for the response on the topic.

I once heard of a guy who drew up a full size keyboard  on his table so he could practise his organ lessons.
Could this be something to try? My school where i practise closes at 9pm and they won't let me have a key. So much music. but so little time to play  :-/

Offline RiskyP

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Re: Memorizing without playing
Reply #7 on: July 29, 2003, 11:59:16 PM
I've tried this before... it hurts your fingers eventually and gets very boring very quickly. When you are practicing music and no sounds come... well, it makes me feel rather unproductive.

Then again, Rachmaninoff had to practice his third concerto on a silent keyboard only and then premiered it in New York city... It could be beneficial if you know what you are doing... I obviously don't.  

Offline R.Q.

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Re: Memorizing without playing
Reply #8 on: July 30, 2003, 03:03:15 AM
zoolander, I would not advise using a table as an alternative to a real keyboard - merely to work out your basic technical details. For instance in Chopin's first prelude (an easy example) I wouldn't just sit and pound away, but get down the basic arm motions, fingering etc... and - a tip I forgot to Mention - write down what you decide.

One of the things I love about learning away from the piano, is that we can't just play to hear ourselves - we are forced to concentrate and learn something or be bored to death. I would definately advise trying to learn at least a few pieces this way, but definately advise against using a hard surface to practice the same way you use a keyboard. It results, as RiskyP pointed out, in sore fingers. on the other hand, If you go in for pylometric finger training...  But that's another topic.

Good Luck,

Young Virtuoso
~R. Q.

NetherMagic

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Re: Memorizing without playing
Reply #9 on: July 31, 2003, 10:17:56 AM
the desk idea is a definate no-no, not only will your fingers eventually hurt, you also have much less sensitivity about if you're hitting the right notes or not, and the table doesn't offer any touch so you'd be pretty dry

and it gets boring too  ;D
 

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