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Developing accuracy, getting rid of flubs/mistakes (Read 443 times)

Offline sophia97

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Developing accuracy, getting rid of flubs/mistakes
« on: June 02, 2021, 09:35:20 AM »
Hi! I've played piano for about 2 years. I've never had lessons, just picked up tips here and there, I also have read some off the pianofundamentals.com site.

I can read sheet music, but I am very slow at it. My sight reading is very poor. I mainly just go through pieces I like a few bars at a time, memorizing each hand separately and then putting the hands together. I probably average about 4-8 hours a week practicing.

Over the past few weeks I've read through most of the threads in this forum and must say I've found lots of good information from many of you.

I continue to develop better habits the more I play, but I've noticed even with pieces I practice on for quite some time, I make many mistakes. Usually small mistakes on timing or wrong notes, or almost wrong notes where my finger brushes against the next key over a bit too much. Sometimes bigger mistakes where I stop for a few seconds before picking up again.

Any comments, thoughts, information or anything about weeding out mistakes I would very much like to hear. Or just anything in general that you might think my problems are, like maybe my whole song learning method stinks =p I'd like advice!

Thanks!

Offline timothy42b

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Re: Developing accuracy, getting rid of flubs/mistakes
«Reply #1 on: June 02, 2021, 11:30:01 AM »
If you had a good teacher from the start, you'd have made that two years progress in about 3 months.

If you'd had a bad teacher, you'd be exactly where you are anyway.

I think if you are going to continue self teaching, you need to add two things.  Start videoing yourself, and carefully listening to your playing, but also watching your posture and movement and comparing to good players on youtube.  Second, use a metronome at least occasionally. 

Continuing to have errors after two years can be normal, can be because your piece is too hard, can be because you're doing something wrong, etc.  The video will help sort it out. 
Tim

Offline dw4rn

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Re: Developing accuracy, getting rid of flubs/mistakes
«Reply #2 on: June 02, 2021, 01:17:45 PM »
Continuing to have errors after two years can be normal

After 40 years - playing professionally for about half of that time - I continue to make many mistakes... I think I'm fairly normal, at least as normal as piano nerds go.

On a more serious note, I agree with timothy42b that the best thing for you would be to have a good teacher. Videoing and/or recording yourself is also a great idea.

I think you are very wise to distinguish between smaller and bigger mistakes. The smaller mistakes will inevitably go away (and reappear somewhere else), and are not very important. To take care of the bigger faults, those that really hamper your playing, you need to really try to understand as much as possible about what you are doing, both musically and technically. Study music theory, harmony - think about fingerings, movement, phrasing... Again, this is so much more easily done together with an experienced teacher.

It's hard to know if you're learning method "stinks" based on what you have told us. One thing that might be good is to keep practicing the hands separately - or hands together a few bars at a time - and/or very slowly - even after you've memorized the piece. Don't just play pieces through; practice the parts where you have problems. A common mistake is to always start practice sessions on page 1, which means a lot of mistakes done towards the end of a piece never get corrected. 

Offline timothy42b

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Re: Developing accuracy, getting rid of flubs/mistakes
«Reply #3 on: June 02, 2021, 02:04:29 PM »
Possibly someone who intends to remain self taught (and there are many like this, just like some people fish without bait) would benefit from reading c c chang, and maybe going through a few of Bernhards old posts here, especially the 7 times 20 minutes stuff. 

Tim

Offline mjames

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Re: Developing accuracy, getting rid of flubs/mistakes
«Reply #4 on: June 07, 2021, 12:04:27 AM »
Two types of mistakes:

1. Mistakes because you're not comfortable with a passage or the piece in general.

2. Random, small mistakes that happen throughout a performance. Mistakes that are otherwise not recognizable unless you know the piece. Usually due to a momentary lapse of concentration or whatever.

If it's 1, post said passage and/or the entire work and tackle those problems individually. If it's 2, there's honestly no solution to this. Perfectionism is essentially impossible unless you're some freak of nature, and considering you're in my age group (I'm assuming 97's for 1997) and you just started playing you're probably not a freak of nature. Just listen to all the recordings of Horowitz, Zimmerman, or worse...contestants in international piano competitions and the like. These are the absolute best of the child prodigy group, and they still made frequent errors throughout their performances...

Mistakes are honestly unavoidable. You just have to learn how to handle them properly (ie not freezing up or messing up your rhythm whenever you make one).

Offline dogperson

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Re: Developing accuracy, getting rid of flubs/mistakes
«Reply #5 on: June 07, 2021, 12:32:59 AM »
I agree with mjames regarding random mistakes.  They just will happen and you need to learn to ignore them and keep going

Repetitive mistakes:  the problem type is repetitive errors— you make them at the same place, almost every time. The goal is to reduce/eliminate these:  when you practice, practice very slowly. If you make a mistake, do NOT keep going, thinking ‘I’ll get it right next time’ (an easy bad habit).  Stop  and play it correctly several times.  You want your brain and fingers to remember the correct way.

Offline timothy42b

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Re: Developing accuracy, getting rid of flubs/mistakes
«Reply #6 on: June 07, 2021, 12:46:06 PM »
I agree with mjames regarding random mistakes.  They just will happen and you need to learn to ignore them and keep going

Repetitive mistakes:  the problem type is repetitive errors— you make them at the same place, almost every time. The goal is to reduce/eliminate these:  when you practice, practice very slowly. If you make a mistake, do NOT keep going, thinking ‘I’ll get it right next time’ (an easy bad habit).  Stop  and play it correctly several times.  You want your brain and fingers to remember the correct way.

I would stop and fix repetitive errors but probably not immediately - you do risk building that stuttering habit so common with beginners.  And intermediates.  And advanced, though it is more subtle.

Go two to four measures past without changing tempo, then stop and fix.  If you go much further you forget what you did wrong, if you stop immediately you can build a bad habit that sometimes can't be fixed.  Ever. 

Just my opinion, I'm nobody important.

Tim

Online quantum

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Re: Developing accuracy, getting rid of flubs/mistakes
«Reply #7 on: June 07, 2021, 03:59:32 PM »
Pianosociety from 2009
http://www.pianosociety.com/threads/developing-accuracy-getting-rid-of-flubs-mistakes.3926/

This one did not appear in Google, tried a number of other search engines before stumbling upon this.

Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Online ivorycherry

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Re: Developing accuracy, getting rid of flubs/mistakes
«Reply #8 on: June 07, 2021, 04:48:09 PM »
Pianosociety from 2009
http://www.pianosociety.com/threads/developing-accuracy-getting-rid-of-flubs-mistakes.3926/

This one did not appear in Google, tried a number of other search engines before stumbling upon this.

Why do people even repost these things? @quantum, do you just google every post someone makes? Or only the ones that seem familiar or suspicious or to you?

Online quantum

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Re: Developing accuracy, getting rid of flubs/mistakes
«Reply #9 on: June 07, 2021, 05:57:22 PM »
Why do people even repost these things? @quantum, do you just google every post someone makes? Or only the ones that seem familiar or suspicious or to you?

This sort of thing has been happening for the past few months.  There is no need to check every single post before replying, but there are certain posts by new users that draw suspicion.  You can look at patterns like, the time between registering on Pianostreet and the first post, usernames (there are commonalities between a lot of the names of these one-post accounts), inconsistencies with the content of the post, hints that the post was specific to another site, clever ways of hiding links within the post, etc. 

Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach