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Perfecting difficult passages (Read 1026 times)

Offline rovis77

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Perfecting difficult passages
« on: May 23, 2018, 02:49:19 AM »
After how many times of playing perfectly without mistakes in a row a difficult passage do you consider that you have mastered it?

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Perfecting difficult passages
«Reply #1 on: May 23, 2018, 03:20:37 AM »
It's not a numerical thing it's a confidence thing.

And tbh if you focus on the musical content of whatever you're playing the notes will come don't worry about it.  Accuracy is easy come easy go.
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline keypeg

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Re: Perfecting difficult passages
«Reply #2 on: May 23, 2018, 05:51:05 AM »
After how many times of playing perfectly without mistakes in a row a difficult passage do you consider that you have mastered it?
Is that actually the method for getting at that goal?

Offline dogperson

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Re: Perfecting difficult passages
«Reply #3 on: May 23, 2018, 09:38:36 AM »
My definition of success with a difficult passage is not 'how many times in a row' but whether it no longer remains a problem with either future practice sessions or play throughs of the music.  It will not be a problem when I can repeat the passage success later in the day, or a few days later, or a month later....  without problems.

I use 'post-it-note flags' on my music to flag the measures that 'need work' so that I begin practice with those specific areas.   It may be at the next practice session... or many practice sessions later that I KNOW it is no longer a problem, and I remove the flag. (The joy of my life is removing the flags!)


Offline bernadette60614

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Re: Perfecting difficult passages
«Reply #4 on: May 23, 2018, 11:17:11 PM »
That's a great question.

I used to think:  hands alone, perfect, 5x. Then, hands together perfect 10x.

Now I think the above AND being able to play it as part of playing the entirety of the piece when I have a head cold and haven't slept well, and then still being able to play it perfectly.

A personal anecdote:  My teacher has a quarterly musical evening where all the adults play for one another.  I was scheduled for outpatient sinus surgery the day before, and told her that I thought I wouldn't be able to play. She insisted, saying that if I were a professional, I would be expected to perform.

I did..and I played just as well as I did prior to the surgery. She had me work those pieces so thoroughly that I could play despite being whacked out on painkillers (though, come to think of it....perhaps being whacked out on painkillers was the key to that smooth performance!)

Offline bronnestam

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Re: Perfecting difficult passages
«Reply #5 on: May 28, 2018, 07:19:48 PM »
Usually when I work with a small, difficult part, I am satisfied at the moment when I can play it without the mistakes 3 or 4 times in a row. (I don't say "perfectly" ...) Then I think it is time to leave it and move on to next challenge, but I am aware that I may be back on square 1 tomorrow ...

But after having done this for several days, there will be a day when I don't have to THINK very much while I play this difficult part, or maybe I don't think at all - I just play. That is when the knowledge has become sort of automatic and I may wonder why I ever had a problem right there.

But I also know that the old error might make a comeback later on, it happens from time to time. The brain is sometimes a bit mysterious, don't you think?  ::)

Offline mjames

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Re: Perfecting difficult passages
«Reply #6 on: May 28, 2018, 09:55:11 PM »
if your technique isn't crap for what you're playing then it's mostly a mental/confidence thing.