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One of those days (Read 757 times)

Offline bzzzzzt

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One of those days
« on: May 23, 2016, 06:42:42 PM »
Do you ever have a day that you sit down at the piano and are just terrible (in comparison to your usual playing)?

I spent a long time yesterday working on a Bach Prelude before a lesson tomorrow.  All going well - I worked systematically, fixed lots of problems, was happy with myself.  Sat down today expecting to see the benefits.  AWFUL - worse than before my practice yesterday.  It was like I was drunk, hands stiff, brain not reading ahead.  I did a load of scales, arpeggios and exercises and it has helped a bit but still not great.

This happens to me from time to time but its very annoying on a day when I hoped to get a lot more work done.  Does anyone have any tips on how to overcome it?
Beethoven 2/3
Chopin 10/9

Offline briansaddleback

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Re: One of those days
«Reply #1 on: May 23, 2016, 06:52:02 PM »
This advice from is just for you, bzzzzzt....
This is a natural progression we all have. Nothing wrong with it. It will pass if you keep working on it diligently and take a look at the broad perspective of progress in terms of months not day to day.
Also, sometimes sleep on it. Not meaning just over night. But sometimes working on something else for a week or two can, in some ways, make coming back to the Bach reveal that your nerves just needed to assimilate everything and get it set into you to actually deliver something you would appreciate.

Also, most importantly, what I learned through my teacher (from Juilliard, why I mention this? just because) told us in class that it is important that If you have these types of practices, is not to just glaze over it or do it half-baked bc you are just not getting it and frustrating you. Which is sometimes the intuitive direction to go. But to finish off that practice whether it is another fifteen minutes or another hour, strong, whether you broke through or not, or think you have learned something or not, bc, it is within that frustrating process you are engaging your brain in ways that it is beneficially taxing. Just like the muscle growth usually is due to that last rep that you cannot hold up but struggling to, not the 11 reps prior to it.
Work in progress:

Rondo Alla Turca

Offline kawai_cs

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Re: One of those days
«Reply #2 on: May 23, 2016, 08:26:26 PM »
Just like the muscle growth usually is due to that last rep that you cannot hold up but struggling to, not the 11 reps prior to it.

I find it a very good comparison. I have heard the same advice from my teacher too. If you are working on an issue, work as long as you solve it. If you get up and go do things and then come back you will have to start from the beginning, which will cost you more time. He compared it to boiling water for tea. If you want to make tea boil it till it has reached boiling temperature. If you stop the kettle before water is boiling and start later again you need to start the process over from scratch.
And you don't need to overcome those bad piano days. They occur to everybody, even professional pianists (I know from my teachers) and usually after intense practicing. Schumann wrote in his Album for the Young: if you have practiced diligently many days recently don't hesitate to take a day off from piano.
Chopin, 10-8 | Chopin, 25-12 | Haydn, HOB XVI:20

Offline briansaddleback

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Re: One of those days
«Reply #3 on: May 23, 2016, 08:49:47 PM »
But what I am saying is that you don't have to solve it if you can't that session. But importantly, you sincerely rack your brain on trying to solve it and work it out. Put in a good effort and time. and then leave it alone.

Oh

and Hi there Kawai!
 :-*
Work in progress:

Rondo Alla Turca

Offline bzzzzzt

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Re: One of those days
«Reply #4 on: May 23, 2016, 08:54:30 PM »
Thanks, both.  I think you're right - sometimes when it feels like wading through treacle and you're not making any progress there is something going on deep inside your fingers or brain that somehow solves the problem by the next day!

(Hope so or it'll be an embarrassing lesson tomorrow)
Beethoven 2/3
Chopin 10/9

Offline kawai_cs

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Re: One of those days
«Reply #5 on: May 23, 2016, 09:28:03 PM »
Oh

and Hi there Kawai!
 :-*

Eew, what are you doing??!!
Chopin, 10-8 | Chopin, 25-12 | Haydn, HOB XVI:20

Offline briansaddleback

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Re: One of those days
«Reply #6 on: May 23, 2016, 09:36:24 PM »
Eew, what are you doing??!! lol

oops ..what am i doing , correct ma'am ..
wrong emoticon.

it was this i wanted to post:
 :P
Work in progress:

Rondo Alla Turca

Offline kawai_cs

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Re: One of those days
«Reply #7 on: May 23, 2016, 10:19:08 PM »
But what I am saying is that you don't have to solve it if you can't that session. But importantly, you sincerely rack your brain on trying to solve it and work it out. Put in a good effort and time. and then leave it alone.


As much as I loathe it I have to agree with you on this. This piece of advice is actually valid for regular, good sessions not for "those days".
Chopin, 10-8 | Chopin, 25-12 | Haydn, HOB XVI:20

Offline briansaddleback

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Re: One of those days
«Reply #8 on: May 23, 2016, 10:32:37 PM »
As much as I loathe it I have to agree with you on this. This piece of advice is actually valid for regular, good sessions not for "those days".
you loathe agreeing with me??
Work in progress:

Rondo Alla Turca