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Topic: Playing without looking at the keyboard  (Read 4021 times)

Offline vishal733

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Playing without looking at the keyboard
on: December 13, 2017, 07:02:17 PM
Hi,
I've been learning the piano for three years, and trying to get more comfortable at it. One of the advices I've got from two piano teachers in the past is: Playing with my eyes closed, or in a dark room. So as to develop the ability to visualise the keys mentally.

What are some of the pieces/exercises I could try with eyes closed to develop my technique faster, in an efficient way?

Vishal.

Offline eldergeek

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Re: Playing without looking at the keyboard
Reply #1 on: December 14, 2017, 12:19:35 AM
Not sure I can give any pieces/exercises that fit the bill, but I would recommend going back to pieces of music that you were playing a year ago, and trying to play them again while looking at the music and NOT looking at the keyboard.

Some other things you might have a go at:

Try playing scales and arpeggios that you have previously studied - but play them without looking at the keyboard.

Do the same with some of the standard cadences (I-IV-V-I etc,) - and see if you can play them without looking at your hands.
 
Easier than the above: try closing you eyes, and feeling for the keys - I found that learning to quickly identify (by touch) the black keys F#, G#, A# with fingers 2, 3, 4- was very useful. Then try playing the B major scale using the standard fingering - but not looking at the hands!

Good luck.

Offline dogperson

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Re: Playing without looking at the keyboard
Reply #2 on: December 14, 2017, 12:43:18 AM
It does take time, persistence and patience to develop.  My teacher suggested shutting my eyes, not to feel the keys, but to develop the sense of the spatial distance of the keys with your body. Try playing a note, shut your eyes and estimate where your fingers should land for the next note.  Move, then look.  If you miss the note, repeat.  Your body will learn the distance you need to move.

Offline mjames

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Re: Playing without looking at the keyboard
Reply #3 on: December 14, 2017, 01:13:56 AM
Do you really need to train for this? Thought it happened naturally after a certain period of time. I started doing it before I realized it, maybe it's because I sightread a lot. Hey, try sightreading.

Offline tbsurf

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Re: Playing without looking at the keyboard
Reply #4 on: December 17, 2017, 11:28:39 PM
I play Hanon without looking at the keys, which has helped me develop the feel of the intervals.

Online perfect_pitch

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Re: Playing without looking at the keyboard
Reply #5 on: December 17, 2017, 11:47:47 PM
That will help to a point, but if I'm not mistaken - the biggest interval in the Hanon is a 6th???

To play bigger intervals, or even to leap from octave to octave takes a lot of work. Blind octave chord jumping also helps. Blind arpeggios as well, to help your hands feel the distance of an octave

Offline visitor

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Dribble specs Re: Playing without looking at the keyboard
Reply #6 on: December 18, 2017, 12:11:33 PM
My teacher advocates these for some targeted drilling for this, won't go Into.too much details since it woould be a rather long post but these can be useful, they use them in basketball to help kids learn to dribble without looking down At the ball, imagine how impossible it is to perfectly move.down court , avoid other payers, line up shoot, think strategically until one can manage the ball without looking at it all the time, same for piano, until familiarization w keyboard geography is learned,  it is very hard to read and progress quickly

Basically wear them while looking straight and it eliminates help from peripheral vision  down

Offline mjames

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Re: Playing without looking at the keyboard
Reply #7 on: December 18, 2017, 12:23:44 PM
i swear to god I saw that in a manga once



Playing without looking at the ball.

Offline visitor

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Re: Playing without looking at the keyboard
Reply #8 on: December 18, 2017, 12:29:37 PM
i swear to god I saw that in a manga once



Playing without looking at the ball.


Offline diminishedkey

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Re: Playing without looking at the keyboard
Reply #9 on: January 01, 2018, 08:40:01 AM
Do you really need to train for this? Thought it happened naturally after a certain period of time. I started doing it before I realized it, maybe it's because I sightread a lot. Hey, try sightreading.

I don't think you need to train for this either. I actually had to train myself to stop looking at my hands but that's another story. Somewhere in my fourth year I started to learn Bach Inventions. There was constant movement between thirds and fourths (my weakest movement at the time) and I think it was these Inventions, and time in the saddle that started to switch on something in my old brain. I could not watch my two hands at once and had to stay glued to the score. But as I became more confident I started to just know by feel where my hands were and sometimes I would even see the notes in my mind.

You could specifically train for this by doing something you find easy like a scale and being mindful of where you are. However if you just wait I am sure it will start developing naturally.

Offline timothy42b

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Re: Playing without looking at the keyboard
Reply #10 on: January 01, 2018, 04:21:33 PM
When you learn to juggle, you must learn to throw accurately to a point in space, perhaps not dissimilar to moving your finger to a key. 

You do not want to move your catching hand to get the ball.  That makes your next throw wrong.  You must use your throwing hand correctly.

There is a procedure that juggling teachers use to improve the throw.  It might help on piano. 

Throw the ball from right hand to left hand, e.g.  Catch it with the left hand.   Freeze.  Relax consciously.  Sense the position.  Now s.l.o.w.l.y. move the left hand to where it SHOULD have been.  Repeat.  You do this many times with one ball before attempting higher numbers. 

The equivalent in piano would be something like:  Look away.  Reach for A.  Stop.  Consciously relax.  Slowly move onto the center of the A key.  Repeat. 
Tim

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Playing without looking at the keyboard
Reply #11 on: January 05, 2018, 12:27:11 AM
When I read an actual response from the OP "Vishal," I will respond.  Until then, I will once again categorize this a phony website post.  And, I do have something definite to say on this particular subject (per my own experience.)

Offline timothy42b

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Re: Playing without looking at the keyboard
Reply #12 on: January 05, 2018, 03:22:30 PM
I looked at a couple of your videos.

I didn't realize you'd been here for a while.

A couple of things I noticed.

You use an office chair, which is fine, but you move it left and right.  That is going to cause problems with your spatial memory.  Reaching for an F 4 inches away isn't the same as reaching for one 11 inches away, now you have to learn two skills rather than one.

Second, you look intently at your hands in the videos I saw.  Put some music up and try to look at it, or turn on the TV and watch a soap opera.  You are reinforcing the habit of looking.

Finally, I could be wrong, but it looks to me like you play with an extreme amount of tension.  That is the enemy of feeling where your hands are.  If you could relax more you would do better. 
Tim
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