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Topic: Donīt look at the keyboard!  (Read 3541 times)

Offline tempo

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Donīt look at the keyboard!
on: September 04, 2003, 07:23:49 AM
Hi, Iīm new!

Iīve heard that while practicing (in the "ideal" method), you donīt have to look down at the keyboard, and yet  you must not do mistakes. But I wonder, if youīre a beginner in sight reading (me), and donīt already have the sensation of intervals topography without looking ever at the keyboard, how are you supposed to do that without mistakes?

Sorry about my deplorable english  ;D  

Offline buck

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Re: Donīt look at the keyboard!
Reply #1 on: September 04, 2003, 02:11:04 PM
hmm.. I think it is important to involve all the senses when you want to make beautiful music.. that means using the limbs, eyes, ears..

Maybe for the beginners there's this problem of looking down so often that one forgets to read the music score, and this is a bad habit because it also slows down the playing and affects the music as a whole.  Hence, the teacher always advise us not to look down too much.  

But an occasional glance is important, I feel, during certain parts of the music.. Otherwise, we could all close our eyes while playing.  I guess it doesn't matter, as long you can feel the music while you play it.. that's the most important.  

Just my thoughts.

Offline bachopoven

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Re: Donīt look at the keyboard!
Reply #2 on: September 09, 2003, 11:30:52 PM
How long had you people played before you were able to take your eyes off the keyboard and play a new piece comfortably?

Some say it takes a devoted student 1-2 years to be able to read both clefs.

I presonally am not devoted to the piano although I love it so. I practice the piano in my spare time. After a year of inconsistent practice,  I can now read the treble and bass clefsof many intermediate pieces at 1/2 the right tempo SEPARATELY. I am confortable with playing one clef at a time at 1/2 tempo of most intermediate pieces.

But I only just starting started practicing to read both clefs at the same time. I find that hands together is a completely different story, as I expected. And I doubt that I will be able to play both hands by reading anytime soon, unless from memory.

There are many pieces I can play, hands together, from memory, but I had to read the clefs separatley at first.

Do you folks have any tips on how to go from reading clefs separate to clefs together? Any good strategies? I am really struggling.
"In the beginning was rhythm." - Haydn.

Offline TwinkleFingers

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Re: Donīt look at the keyboard!
Reply #3 on: September 10, 2003, 04:46:17 AM
speaking for myself.  I generally improvise most of the left hand with a balance of actual note reading.  This greatly improves the speed at which I can pick up a piece and play it.
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 amp

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Re: Donīt look at the keyboard!
Reply #4 on: September 11, 2003, 03:39:03 AM
Currently, I'm in a sightreading course in College. We have done a lot of work on feeling for the groups of black keys, then from there finding the desired notes, with out looking. When you are reading you notice you can use "profial" vision to find things also. Start at the bottom of the keyboard, playing the group of three black keys, move up to the next. Both hands. After, a couple times, you will already see the difference in judging octaves. Also...to sightread better, do it alot. Everyday for a little while. As, long as you are constistant, and do not stop in a piece you will improve. Start really easy (note-wise), maybe from a beginning piano series, and work up.

These ideas are for "Sightreading." However, when "learning" a piece there is nothing wrong with looking down. You want to make sure you have the right notes.
amp

Offline gingernut

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Re: Donīt look at the keyboard!
Reply #5 on: September 19, 2003, 07:34:20 PM
i dont know what i look at????

got me thinking now

hmm

oh yeah! i stare at the wall
Jamie Ashworth
piano player

Offline tysteel

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Re: Donīt look at the keyboard!
Reply #6 on: September 22, 2003, 08:01:18 AM
The best way to avoid looking at the keys, and often the easiest way to play the keyboard, is to walk the fingers along the keys.   In other words, by walking the fingers, or in other words stretching/reaching with the fingers to find the note, you maintain more contact with the keys.  As opposed to lifting the hand from the keyboard and planting it somewhere else based primarily on sight.    In other words, let your fingers take bigger steps.    


To illustrate what I'm talking about, I came across this situation in the folk song
Tum Balalaika, in which the following broken up chords are played in the bass
cleff in the first two measures.  BTW,  the second A is an octave to the left
of the first A :

D, F, A,     A, C#, E

Different ways of playing this, with identical fingering:

5, 3, 1,(hold thumb on note)  ...stretching 5, 3, 1

I could also play it with the same fingering, but non legato without gliding across the keyboard, or stretching the 5th finger.  Which would be
like this:

5,3,1 ( and letting go of note) ..move hand to the left.. 5,3,1

Which way helps you keep more contact with the keys?  You would be playing more by feel in the first example, while the 2nd example you'd be playing more by sight.

Offline Joannetmj

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Re: Donīt look at the keyboard!
Reply #7 on: October 04, 2003, 07:26:46 PM
Guess your fingers just know where to go without your eyes after some time of practice. I don't know when I stopped looking at the keyboard but I've been playing for 7 years already and I rarely look at the keys.  Can't say I've been too devoted to the piano though, but just this year I've been taking a bigger interest in the songs I'm playing and actually been going to my piano classes without a burdened feeling. ;D
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Offline eddie92099

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Re: Donīt look at the keyboard!
Reply #8 on: October 04, 2003, 09:25:01 PM
Quote
Guess your fingers just know where to go without your eyes after some time of practice. I don't know when I stopped looking at the keyboard but I've been playing for 7 years already and I rarely look at the keys.  Can't say I've been too devoted to the piano though, but just this year I've been taking a bigger interest in the songs I'm playing and actually been going to my piano classes without a burdened feeling. ;D


Do you sing yourself?
Ed

Offline Joannetmj

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Re: Donīt look at the keyboard!
Reply #9 on: October 05, 2003, 02:26:28 PM
Quote


Do you sing yourself?
Ed



Do I sing myself? What do you mean? I do sing when I'm playing the piano, if the words are there, that is. Is that what you meant?
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Offline eddie92099

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Re: Donīt look at the keyboard!
Reply #10 on: October 05, 2003, 02:54:10 PM
Sorry I was being pedantic - you said "in the songs I'm playing", implying there are words (for that is necessary in a song),
Ed

Offline Joannetmj

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Re: Donīt look at the keyboard!
Reply #11 on: October 12, 2003, 01:51:34 PM
Quote
Sorry I was being pedantic - you said "in the songs I'm playing", implying there are words (for that is necessary in a song),
Ed



Yeah most of the pieces I play have words. My teacher prefers me to play pieces I've heard before you see. I only sing when I know the words though... normally pop music. Now I finished all 3 of my pop music books that my teacher got me after my practical exam and now I'm back to pieces. The pieces are good anyway. ;)
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Offline pianoannie

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Re: Donīt look at the keyboard!
Reply #12 on: November 04, 2003, 02:29:23 PM
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Sorry I was being pedantic - you said "in the songs I'm playing", implying there are words (for that is necessary in a song),
Ed


Hmmm...then what about "Song Without Words"?  You just like to be a pain in the neck don't you?  Try to post something helpful and considerate next time.

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Donīt look at the keyboard!
Reply #13 on: November 05, 2003, 01:08:03 AM
Quote


Hmmm...then what about "Song Without Words"? You just like to be a pain in the neck don't you?  Try to post something helpful and considerate next time. 


"Without words" qualifies writing "song" (I hope that was helpful and considerate),
Ed
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