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Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level (Read 7935 times)

Offline ahinton

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #50 on: August 18, 2021, 03:56:35 PM »
In my own case I'd say that it was probably after around a month from first touching the keyboard (but then I am a composer, not a pianist!)...

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Offline ranjit

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #51 on: August 18, 2021, 05:09:01 PM »
If you're practicing 3 hours per day for 10 years, what are your injuries?  It would be unusual not to have some, especially if you have tension or some fault in technique.
I have been playing for about 6 years at this point, as you know mostly self taught, and have not faced any real injuries. I think you're overestimating the chances of getting an injury. I often practice 5-6 hours a day.

Online timothy42b

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #52 on: August 18, 2021, 06:24:50 PM »
I know a lot of musicians who experience pain and limitations on their playing, but then again I'm in my late 60s and so are my peers.  I have impingement in both shoulders and a periodic left wrist flareup.

I did a quick on "do musicians get injured" and there were many hits.  Here is just a snip from the first one I clicked on - they're all similar.

Quote
Musicians get hurt a lot. There were 173,300 professional musicians in the United States in 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. In recent surveys, nearly three-fourths of professional musicians reported past injuries and pain that affected their playing. A 2012 study of musicians in Australia's eight full-time professional orchestras found that 84 percent of the study participants had experienced pain or injuries that had interfered with playing in rehearsals and performances. Fifty percent reported pain or injury at the time of the survey. Of those musicians who recalled at least one episode of pain or injury in the past, fewer than half reported that they had fully recovered.
Tim

Offline stringoverstrung

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #53 on: August 18, 2021, 07:47:59 PM »
  Here is a clip of me practising the hardest line or so of music from the end of that piece.

In terms of practicing (here you are playing the notes over and over again which is an inefficient form of practice), you might consider looking up posts of the user Bernhard on this forum and also have a look at organizing practice time for example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKQ1m3KEAvk

Top priority is always to get a good teacher. if not possible you might try the following:
1) It looks like relaxation in the hand palm is one of the top priorities here.
2) elevate a bit the bridge of your hand (=pinky still straight but coming from "above" as suggested  by other poster. (4th finger is not involved and stuck). Compare your hand position to the following position in the video at 50:39

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf3xHZrcjPg

3) other ideas: hands separate / rhythms / read carefully posts by Bernhard on rotation, try some exercises from the book of Seymour Fink (without loosing yourself in the mechanics)

4) indeed do not make so many movements with the wrist, it hampers the movement integration and thus speed.
Think of your fingers as the prolongation of the key (=when finger is pressing the key try to have it.  If you look in the following website

https://concoursreineelisabeth.be/en/watch-listen/

Tomoki Sakata semi-final recital  at around 40:40 (i know these are octaves but still), you get a good example on how the the position of the bridge of the hand between knuckle 2 and 3 is very stable all the time.

Last but not least some great advise from Volodos:
It should feel natural, sound natural and look natural.

If you violate this, you are doing something wrong.

Certainly not a lecture just to point out that you should above all try out stuff.

Offline pianodannn

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #54 on: August 20, 2021, 11:55:22 AM »
I have two thoughts.

If you're practicing 3 hours per day for 10 years, what are your injuries?  It would be unusual not to have some, especially if you have tension or some fault in technique.

Secondly, If 3 hours a day doesn't advance you to the next level, why would you not cut your losses?  Play 1 hour a day and have 99% of your current benefit with less risk of injury, more time for the rest of life, less frustration and more enjoyment.  Plus, playing less hours forces you to be more efficient.
   I havent had any real injuries apart from a little tendonitis in the arms which cleared up quite well with a temporarily reduced regime. I think its important to ease up when you feel things getting sore or stiff, listen to your body so to speak.Also probably doesnt hurt to use joint supplements as a preventative measure.Although i dont have arthristis, i worry that one day i will wear out my fingers.
   As to why i don't cut my losses, well it seems that few people accept that any individual has any limitation to how skilled they could become, so i guess i just try to prove them right.I certainly do have my doubts at times.I don't believe training methods can substitute for aptitude, certainly not entirely.I have actually argued furiosly with people , including the late Anders Ericsson himself, as to the role/importance of talent, whom a strikingly large number of people don't believe exists, at all! Also it a case of, I put in all this work and tried so hard, why am i not getting the progress i deserve.So you just become stubbornly fixated on getting your just rewards. The other option is to just accept you will be ordinary and casually play 1 hour per day or every 3rd day, or whenever the mood  strikes.A third option is to accept it could take 20 000 hours to become good, and just continue the process, although im not sure its really practical to practice 3 hrs/day for 20 years.

Online timothy42b

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #55 on: August 20, 2021, 12:50:33 PM »
Perhaps "cut your losses" is an unfortunate turn of phrase.

Some people are just driven to play, it's an obsession.  There need be no external rewards nor any consideration of efficiency. 

Others like me tend to make some calculations on where is the most benefit for the effort.  If I play half an hour a day, I get X improvement, and am not quite good enough to play with the group I want.  An hour a day gives my 2X, and into group A but not B - can I live with that?  Diminishing returns set in quickly for me:  1.5 hours per day now gives me only about 2.2X worth of progress, 2 hours per day maybe 2.25, etc.  But, anything above an .75 hours/day starts some aches and pains in the shoulders and wrists, and much above 1 hour this percentage starts to creep up.  I haven't actually skipped a day in many years unless traveling for work, but there've been times when I backed way off to let some aging joints recover. 

But at any rate, if more practice time didn't result in more improvement, then I would start reducing practice time to see where the sweet spot is.  That's because I'm focused on results, and the time spent practicing is insufficient reward in and of itself.  Maybe that's a defect in my approach, I don't know. 

If you get satisfaction from 3 hours per day, more power to you.  I'm not criticizing. 

Caveat:  I have met people who play 3 hours per day, and about 15 minutes of that is productive.  If it were me, I'd play half hour per day, assuming the same 15 minutes of productivity and 15 of fun.  <smiley>  On the other hand, 3 hours of piano is 3 hours not spent eating, which is good for weight loss. 
Tim

Offline pianodannn

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #56 on: August 20, 2021, 01:32:28 PM »
I have two thoughts.

If you're practicing 3 hours per day for 10 years, what are your injuries?  It would be unusual not to have some, especially if you have tension or some fault in technique.

Secondly, If 3 hours a day doesn't advance you to the next level, why would you not cut your losses?  Play 1 hour a day and have 99% of your current benefit with less risk of injury, more time for the rest of life, less frustration and more enjoyment.  Plus, playing less hours forces you to be more efficient.
   I could practice 1 hour per day, but i guess that means accepting you do not have the ability, rather than try to prove what everybody insists is true, that the right kind of practice can make you "good". I dont think the evidence really suggests practice of any sort or another is the primary catalyst for success. Its pretty clear to me that some people have a vastly superior capacity for learning, and that it is mostly aquired before and soon after birth. Im afraid it doesn't really pay to be a striver. If you have what it takes to succeed, you will rarely have to strive.From my observations anyway.

Offline dogperson

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #57 on: August 20, 2021, 03:22:10 PM »
   I could practice 1 hour per day, but i guess that means accepting you do not have the ability, rather than try to prove what everybody insists is true, that the right kind of practice can make you "good". I dont think the evidence really suggests practice of any sort or another is the primary catalyst for success. Its pretty clear to me that some people have a vastly superior capacity for learning, and that it is mostly aquired before and soon after birth. Im afraid it doesn't really pay to be a striver. If you have what it takes to succeed, you will rarely have to strive.From my observations anyway.


Evidence does suggest that how you practice is important.  I suggest you look at the blog ‘The Bullet Proof Musician’ .  I Aldo suggest ‘get a teacher’…, or you just remain convinced that you don’t have enough talent.

Offline pianodannn

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #58 on: August 20, 2021, 10:07:56 PM »
I find a rather unconventional but effective way to reduce tension in your hands is what I call free jumping.
what is this free jumping?

Offline pianodannn

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #59 on: August 20, 2021, 10:20:34 PM »


Evidence does suggest that how you practice is important.  I suggest you look at the blog ‘The Bullet Proof Musician’ .  I Aldo suggest ‘get a teacher’…, or you just remain convinced that you don’t have enough talent.
  The way you practice could be important, but it is not important enough. Inherited factors will still outweigh it. There are plenty of books and blogs about the virtues of the correct approach, just as there are lots of books and blogs about Extra Terrestrials and the harms of vaccinations. It doesn't mean anything contained therein is based on fact.Its the same with the musicians blog.
   Ive had good teachers before, and progress is still very slow and difficult. Just to find a teacher who seems to have something that works could take 10 years or more.On the other hand, there are people who excel with or without a teacher, and it could be any teacher they do or dont have. They could be half way to mastery within a year, without breaking a sweat.

Offline pianodannn

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #60 on: August 20, 2021, 10:29:22 PM »


Evidence does suggest that how you practice is important.  I suggest you look at the blog ‘The Bullet Proof Musician’ .  I Aldo suggest ‘get a teacher’…, or you just remain convinced that you don’t have enough talent.
You should look at the meta analysis by Hambrick et al. That study suggested practice, regardless of what kind, accounts for only a minority of skill level.Of course their are critics of that study, as there are of all studies, who do not agree with the methodology. Still after painstaikingly correcting for all the perceived flaws in the study, a good half  of aquired skill is in no way shape or form related to practice or training.

Offline themeandvariation

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #61 on: August 20, 2021, 11:10:34 PM »
"meta analysis by Hambrick et al.."
Playing piano is not a sport.
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Offline pianodannn

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #62 on: August 21, 2021, 12:27:50 AM »
"meta analysis by Hambrick et al.."
Playing piano is not a sport.
  Well, the Hambrick analysis was never specific to sport.

Offline pianodannn

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #63 on: August 21, 2021, 12:41:16 AM »
  Also, Ericsson did say even he accepted there were inherent personal qualities, that might only be aquired early in life, or perhaps inherited, that would enable a person to reach the highest level of skill.And he was pretty much the most pro nurture activist around. I believe one of his studies showed chess grandmaster could be acheived in as little as 3000 hours, but some had still not achieved that level after 26 000 hours of training. If you look at the biography of the youngest grandmasters, some of them were competing at a national level within 12 months of first contact with that discipline. Truly superhuman stuff. Im afraid practising the right way wont cut it in that company.

Online brogers70

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #64 on: August 21, 2021, 09:52:43 AM »
To me the only useful comparison is between what you yourself can achieve with poor practice methods and what you yourself can achieve with good practice methods. What somebody else can achieve with whatever practice methods they use isn't very relevant.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #65 on: August 21, 2021, 02:28:32 PM »
what is this free jumping?
Just try to make random, accurate jumps around the keyboard without having any tension. Initially this might sacrifice hand shape, but that's okay. Just flop your hands everywhere, and eventually try to grab hold of notes while keeping that same kind of movement.

It's kind of intuitive for me, and I also use improvisation to keep it fresh. That said, perhaps think of something involving this kind of movement. But don't hit the actual notes. Just make sure that you're flying across the keyboard effectively. Any tension in your arms will slow you down, so try to be super loose.

I'd appreciate it if someone could corroborate this.

Offline quantum

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #66 on: August 21, 2021, 02:47:21 PM »
Just try to make random, accurate jumps around the keyboard without having any tension. Initially this might sacrifice hand shape, but that's okay. Just flop your hands everywhere, and eventually try to grab hold of notes while keeping that same kind of movement.

It's kind of intuitive for me, and I also use improvisation to keep it fresh. That said, perhaps think of something involving this kind of movement. But don't hit the actual notes. Just make sure that you're flying across the keyboard effectively. Any tension in your arms will slow you down, so try to be super loose.

I'd appreciate it if someone could corroborate this.

IMO this is a good idea.  I've been doing something similar for a while now and using it in improvisation.

I choose a particular keyboard technique (scales, octaves, double notes, repeated notes... anything really).  Using that technique as a frame, play random keys on the keyboard.  But the goal is that it needs to be technically concrete, sound articulate and decisive, and have musical direction.  So it is not just randomness, but cells of random activity used both as a technical exercise with intent as well as used in a musical manner.  I would describe this as taking a random cell and applying it structurally to music.

A similar thing can be done with patterns found in repertoire.  Choose a pattern, learn to transpose it to all keys, learn to play it in the opposite hand (even if it was never intended that way), play it in all registers of the piano, play it inverted , play it retrograde, and of course with every variant transpose.  After this, integrate the pattern in to an improvisation. I would describe this as taking a structured pattern and applying it randomly to music. 

 

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Offline ranjit

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #67 on: August 21, 2021, 03:01:37 PM »
pianodann--

Initially, I typed a longer response, but it was lost, so I'll keep this short.

Even if, as you say, natural variance plays a big role, you are still handicapping yourself by thinking about it that way as it encourages a fixed mindset. (I'm sure you've read the studies about fixed vs growth mindset, and suggestibility where a group of students did better than another simply because they were told they were smart, etc.)

A large part of piano playing involves physical movements. These movements are developed over time. While the amount and nature of practice in order to acquire those movements may of course vary, it's not clear why someone would not be able to learn the required coordinations.

Also, from what I've seen, the best students usually have very effective methods to work for them. Of course, they probably are able to come up with better methods more often, but I don't see any real reason why many people couldn't apply similar ideas to their efforts. I don't think reading articles about heritability will help you in any way. Sure, if you want to play Hungarian Rhapsodies, it may not be possible, or at least would require some major changes in technique. Unless you have done so already, find the best teacher in your area and take a lesson with them.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #68 on: August 22, 2021, 01:40:37 AM »
I believe one of his studies showed chess grandmaster could be acheived in as little as 3000 hours, but some had still not achieved that level after 26 000 hours of training. If you look at the biography of the youngest grandmasters, some of them were competing at a national level within 12 months of first contact with that discipline. Truly superhuman stuff. Im afraid practising the right way wont cut it in that company.
Well I've played chess for almost 35 years with a few years here and there serious study and GMs crush me dead 99% of the time. I have studied the book of endgames from Laszlo Polgar for decades and still not finished it and a small book from Lutz "Endgame secrets" which is a tiny little book by comparison but has studies which take such a long time to understand. To be a GM or IM requires a sort of talent and dedication which a vast majority of people cannot achieve.

Piano is even more evasive than chess I feel because in chess if something is wrong you can find out about it because your position became obviously bad (computer anlaysis can tell you in seconds where you went wrong) but in piano you can do something wrong for a long time and not realize it. This is not to say doing something wrong should be totally avoided, it can be a helpful stepping point when understanding what is correct since you have something to compare to. 

In Chess you benefit a great deal playing against people around your level and slightly better. It's no good just being beaten to a pulp by someone many times stronger than yourself. It is also no good playing people who you thrash 100% of the time because you have no resistance or challenge. In piano there is a similar action in place. You don't want to face a piece which is far too challenging, you want to face pieces you can manage and which offer you a little challenge here and there. However it is very useful to study very easy pieces which are under your playing ability level, this is to sharpen your practice craft and reading skills. In chess we can study puzzles rather than play games against others, there can be many chess themes that can be practiced in this manner and it is extremely useful for ones tactical awareness. In piano we need to do the same, study many small puzzles, the problem is that many people get infatuated with playing only the games. 

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Online timothy42b

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #69 on: August 23, 2021, 12:17:50 PM »
Well I've played chess for almost 35 years with a few years here and there serious study and GMs crush me dead 99% of the time.

I played quite a bit in the late 70s when I worked the night shift.  I had MCO and various other texts and worked hard on understanding positions and playing through grandmaster games.  This was before algebraic notation, to which I've never adapted.  At any rate I would usually spot my coworkers rook or queen, once spotted one of them both rooks and queen and still won, thought I was learning pretty well.

Then I spotted a grandmaster in the mall doing a simul so i sat down as soon as a chair opened.  He walked through me like I wasn't there.  Humbling. 
Tim

Online timothy42b

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #70 on: August 23, 2021, 12:19:09 PM »
To me the only useful comparison is between what you yourself can achieve with poor practice methods and what you yourself can achieve with good practice methods. What somebody else can achieve with whatever practice methods they use isn't very relevant.

That's what i think too, with one caveat.  Sometimes comparing yourself to someone else's progress can be a test of whether or not you really are using good practice methods. 
Tim

Offline pianob

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #71 on: August 23, 2021, 04:02:32 PM »
'I have memory loss, ordinary motor control and i really think these biological elements are holding me back. Further to this I was a late beginner, not taking piano seriously untill 32 years of age. I have now been practising circa 3 hours each day for the past 10 years. although I can play some pretty good pieces, my overall ability would be not remotely close to expert level,'

I was curious what you meant by 'not taking piano seriously' until you were 32? Whatever playing you did before that will be better than none. But if you only have 10 years of serious practising since 32 plus memory and motor control issues, no, you might well have to accept you won't quite manage the Chopin Ballade in g minor up to speed. It's still lovely & worth exploration even at 1/4 speed, if you have a reference recording or 2 to consult.

Learning anything as an adult can be more arduous than learning as a child or adolescent. I began learning advanced maths in my 50s & I was really, really slow, though I accepted that & enjoyed & still enjoy it. So maybe that's the answer: accept your limitations & simply enjoy. I'm thinking of a retired person I know who loves to have a go at various J.S. Bach & Shostakovich while not being remotely able to play them up to speed.

As regards slow playing of fast passages: Never rule out any type of practice on anything. It can work. Some inability to play fast may be down to not quite knowing, in the sense of  muscle memory, a fast passage. Some people will have a couple of goes slowly & deliberately then double the speed, allowing the unconscious memory to finish the job. I have seen this done on superlatively hard passages. It seems to me, so much goes on 'under the bonnet' we don't always realise.


Offline pianodannn

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #72 on: September 01, 2021, 11:25:18 AM »
   It occurred to me whilst doing some basic finger exercises, that my left arm/hand/fingers were much more responsive, and that the right did not respond so crisply to command, and that this was a  result of the right hand always working much harder performing melodies, arpeggios etc. Essentially my right arm was exhausted, and since my fingers were feeling just a bit tender, I did not play at all for 2 days.I did some research and maybe tweaked my technique just a little.What i noticed was that ONLY by resting, i was able to achieve a significant increase in agility with the right hand.No technique overcomes exhausted muscles and nerves.The nervous system does become exhausted, not just the muscles themselves.The whole system needs time to recouperate sometimes. Probably the last couple of repertoire i learned were a bit too taxing on the right hand in particular.

Online timothy42b

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #73 on: September 01, 2021, 12:28:09 PM »
It would seem you practiced past the point of diminishing returns into the area of no returns, what athletes call overtraining. 

You might be better off with a routine that has hard and easy days, like weightlifters and runners do.  Of course piano is more skill than strength but still it might help. 
Tim

Offline scientistplayspiano

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #74 on: September 13, 2021, 08:18:16 PM »
A very interesting discovery about myself, whenever I found I could not advance to another level, that is exact the moment I am going to advance to another level. I only started to learn at a late age, my hands are "set", I even had injuries. However, a little more patience and persistence always lead me to better technique, voicing, dynamics and appreciation for music. I know it is not easy and everyone is different. This is just my experience.

Offline pianodannn

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #75 on: September 13, 2021, 11:17:34 PM »
  It takes me about 8 weeks to increase the speed of some passage by 10%.And it is extremely difficult just to do that, using all the best known practice techniques.I don't know how, but some people can do that in 1 hour.Exactly how will forever remain a mystery im afraid.

Online timothy42b

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #76 on: September 14, 2021, 12:07:24 PM »
  It takes me about 8 weeks to increase the speed of some passage by 10%.

Just a suggestion, but if it were me, I might change focus.

You seem to be at the point of diminishing returns with speed, but there are many other aspects to piano skill.  Maybe in 8 weeks of hard work you increase speed by 10%, but in 4 weeks you increase rhythmic accuracy by 80%, or voicing control by 91%, dynamics by 42%, etc. 

I'd probably change my practice habits to get more results if possible, or at least try.
Tim

Offline pianodannn

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #77 on: September 14, 2021, 02:42:43 PM »
Just a suggestion, but if it were me, I might change focus.

You seem to be at the point of diminishing returns with speed, but there are many other aspects to piano skill.  Maybe in 8 weeks of hard work you increase speed by 10%, but in 4 weeks you increase rhythmic accuracy by 80%, or voicing control by 91%, dynamics by 42%, etc. 

I'd probably change my practice habits to get more results if possible, or at least try.
I suppose i could focus more on those other aspects, although that means forgetting about any more advanced music for the forseeable future, as speed is integral to advanced music, well i guess speed is not the only thing that makes music advanced. Its more that i would like to just finish off the piece i was learning, which im 90% of the way done.However developing the minimum passable speed to even complete that is proving to be heinously difficult, borderline impossible.I certainly wouldnt be attempting anything equally or more difficult for a good couple of years after attempting that. It shouldn't be that difficult, but alas it is, and im afraid there is no method that will make it less difficult.Im relativy happy with my dynamics, but no doubt there is room for improvement.Rythmic accuracy there is room for improvement, but i find it time consuming and difficult to improve that also.
     I did change my practice habits many times, trying many different things.Nothing really stands out as making a great difference to progress.

Online timothy42b

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #78 on: September 14, 2021, 03:42:09 PM »
I was grabbing some examples, I did not mean those to be exclusive.

How is your improvisation?

How is your playing by ear?

How is your accompanying?

How is your sightreading?

That's four examples of things that if you are not currently well accomplished would reward your practice time with some rapid improvement. 
Tim

Offline pianodannn

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #79 on: September 14, 2021, 10:36:33 PM »
Well they can improve your overall versatility, but they wont specifically lead to playing any more advanced music.

Online brogers70

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #80 on: September 15, 2021, 12:30:02 AM »
Well they can improve your overall versatility, but they wont specifically lead to playing any more advanced music.

You seem really very frustrated with the piano. If that's the case, there's absolutely nothing wrong with giving it up and spending your time on something less frustrating. Nothing wrong. You don't have to spend a lot of mental energy proving that your case is hopeless or giving reasons why it's hopeless. If you're not enjoying it, you can just drop it and do something else with the time.

Offline pianodannn

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #81 on: September 15, 2021, 05:27:38 AM »
   I thought you were supposed to persist with things untill you succeeded.I guess that is not a practical option.
   Perhaps ill just play noughts and crosses instead.It suits my abilities better.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #82 on: September 15, 2021, 06:01:44 AM »
   I thought you were supposed to persist with things untill you succeeded.
Therein lies the route to madness ;)

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #83 on: September 15, 2021, 06:06:01 AM »
If we don't persist don't we set ourselves up to forever chase new paths only to then eventually abandon them when things get tough? We of course don't want to bash our heads against walls for extended periods of time with no progress.

Learning more and more advanced music is not the one and all indicator for progress. I feel it can be a very weak indicator since some people can waste a lot of time to study difficult works and think they are using their time efficiently. I am more impressed by someone learning something in a measurable quick time than someone who has no idea how long something will take. You tend to be able to measure exactly how long something will take you to complete the better you get at the piano.
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Offline pianodannn

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #84 on: September 15, 2021, 06:37:47 AM »
 I think probably just step back from anything too advanced for now.I think it just means coming to peace with perhaps not being able to become advanced in the near future, maybe never.The thing is, frankly, even 10 years is not sufficient for an average person to become advanced
 and age probably works against you, making 20 years more realistic for adult beginners, who are of average talent.I'm probably to obsessed  with reaching a benchmark at this point.

Offline quantum

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #85 on: September 15, 2021, 03:30:43 PM »
Well they can improve your overall versatility, but they wont specifically lead to playing any more advanced music.

Advanced music in not a single point.  It is not a chapter in a textbook we memorize and are suddenly able to achieve.  Advanced music is the culmination of many small and diverse aspects of musical study. 


If you are able to take these:

How is your improvisation?

How is your playing by ear?

How is your accompanying?

How is your sightreading?

and improve upon them with small manageable goals, they will lead you closer to playing advanced music.


If you studied these in depth:

but in 4 weeks you increase rhythmic accuracy by 80%, or voicing control by 91%, dynamics by 42%, etc. 

you could build up skills that help with speed.


The study of music is made up of many topics that have prerequisites in other topics.  Study the foundations and that eventually ends up serving your goal.  It seems as you want to bite off goals that are too large and thus end up overwhelming you.  Study the little things, be persistent, recognize there will be hurdles, and you will succeed. 

Sometimes the thing we want to achieve in music is not the thing holding us back.  It is the supporting material that is needed to achieve that thing where the issue lies.  For example, if you want to increase speed, having solid rhythmic accuracy will go a long way to helping you with speed.  However, if you are having rhythmic problems, it does you no help to ignore them and then complain you have encountered a stumbling block with regard to speed without addressing the root causes. 
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

Offline ranjit

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #86 on: September 15, 2021, 05:42:35 PM »
The thing is, frankly, even 10 years is not sufficient for an average person to become advanced
 and age probably works against you
[/quote]
First of all, I don't think 32 is super old, and especially if you have been learning stuff all your life, you can still learn quite well. I've had friends who started doing their PhDs at that age, and didn't seem to slow down one bit. Even for those who complete their PhDs and become researchers, that's the age where they need to make their mark, and end up working (focusing and "learning") 10-12 hours a day.

You seem to be rather set in your viewpoints. I have responded earlier with the fallacy in your approach, that is, there are a lot of things which a teacher would be able to correct in a few months, which you could have improved upon 8 years ago, but instead charged ahead ignoring. Unless you do that, you can't legitimately lay claim to have exhausted your possibilities.

As someone who has self-taught for a while, there are things you miss, inevitably. There are even things you miss when you study with a teacher! And correcting those things eventually greatly improves various aspects of your playing. It may not be possible to truly understand what exactly is going on in the hand just by looking at videos, because you can only see posture, and it's impossible to see how much weight and energy is going into each stroke. And this is just one example where self-instruction will possibly fail, there are others. And one of those is not realizing when and how you can increase your expected standards. I thought it wouldn't be possible to play everything "perfectly" in one go, but it turns out it is and I've done it once or twice.

As I said, you've liked at research papers and drawn the wrong conclusions imo. For what it's worth, most students who have been playing for 10 years with good teachers can't play true virtuoso material. Is it the students' fault? Perhaps, perhaps not. We can only speculate. However, don't underestimate how much proper effort in a particular direction can get you. If you're seriously trying to reach an advanced level of playing at your instrument, spending a few hours a day is just expected, nothing special. What you need to look at is how every second of your practice can be improved.

I'm speaking from experience. People here have appreciated the fact that you've been able to dedicate 3 hours a day, and it's not bad. However if you truly want to gain an advanced level of playing, that's not what truly matters. You need to set your sights higher. Blind effort does not get you there and many people fail down that path. You keep mentioning 3 hours of effort as if it were exceptional, it really isn't when it comes to piano practice, when you are attempting to play at a high level. Most aspiring piano majors will be practicing more than that.

I say this not to discourage you. But your claim is basically that you haven't been able to get to an advanced level of playing despite putting in an unusually large amount of effort. I'm just saying the latter isn't the case.

Online timothy42b

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #87 on: September 15, 2021, 05:55:41 PM »
I applaud your dedication and persistence.  I wouldn't do it that way myself, but that's because my goals are different.  Different doesn't mean better, or worse, just different.

I had a couple more thoughts about this.

One is your practice approach.  I can't remember if you've covered this or not, this thread is getting long, but - please tell me you don't use the incremental speedup approach?  Where you start slow and speed up the metronome one click at a time, until you're at blazing speed over time?  That never works.  If you've done that a lot, you may have built speed walls that will be nearly impossible to get past. 

Which brings me to my other thought.  If you're really stuck, this may be akin to some of the dystonias.  From what I've read, whatever your opinion is about the reality of the neurological connection, the treatment is always to start from scratch and retrain the brain with a radically different physical approach. 
Tim

Offline ted

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #88 on: September 15, 2021, 11:39:44 PM »
In answer to the original question and speaking for myself, certainly not. Although limitations exist I am in principle strongly opposed to thinking about what they might be. As an improvising creator I keep whatever physical and mental tools I have in working order using a wholesome discipline but “levels” and comparisons neither interest nor concern me. I do not view the art of music as a tennis or chess tournament and impossibility proofs, while good fun in mathematics, play no part in my music. Having stated that, I concede I do experience a strange conviction that the music is all somehow getting higher and better. I don’t know where this comes from but I am very grateful for it.
"We're all bums when the wagon comes." - Waller

Offline ranjit

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #89 on: September 16, 2021, 08:27:27 AM »
From what I've read, whatever your opinion is about the reality of the neurological connection, the treatment is always to start from scratch and retrain the brain with a radically different physical approach.
This is quite fascinating. I've seen that people who have learned to play with a completely finger-centric approach benefit from chucking all of that and learning a purely gravity-based approach and vice versa. It's interesting, because you often have this story where a pianist learned a certain way for a decade before they had their mind blown by this other teacher who taught something differently. So, I thought, why should I go for the first teacher in the first place, when I could instead have my mind blown with amazing technical instruction right from the start from this other teacher? My view is that good retraining with a completely different approach is what does the trick, somehow. Even though the other way may be less efficient in some respects, it somehow just seems to click.

There are also certain counterintuitive methods which just look wrong, but somehow manage to teach you how to make wrong movements by actually making them as wrong as you can, or feel the center of a key by putting in way too much force than is necessary, etc. Learning the piano can be very strange sometimes, when you encounter something in the wild which looks utterly ridiculous and still blows your mind with its efficacy. I just live for those moments. Just when you think piano playing is just doing a boring routine over and over again, something comes along which upends everything you've learned so far, which just refuses to fit into your current view of piano playing. Honestly, if such things did not exist, I might not still be playing the piano.

I suppose I'm getting rather poetic about it, but I think piano playing really lets you into some of the deep secrets of learning a new skill. It's very rewarding. On the other hand, you can very well learn without finding these little secrets. I would say over 90% of university graduates don't as well, and just stick in their comfort zone without realizing what they can learn from that utterly crazy idea they heard someone talk about which completely went against their preconceptions. They just think the person is mad and move on!

Offline quantum

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #90 on: September 16, 2021, 11:14:51 AM »
I've seen that people who have learned to play with a completely finger-centric approach benefit from chucking all of that and learning a purely gravity-based approach and vice versa. It's interesting, because you often have this story where a pianist learned a certain way for a decade before they had their mind blown by this other teacher who taught something differently. So, I thought, why should I go for the first teacher in the first place, when I could instead have my mind blown with amazing technical instruction right from the start from this other teacher? My view is that good retraining with a completely different approach is what does the trick, somehow. Even though the other way may be less efficient in some respects, it somehow just seems to click.

The way I see it, being introduced to a single approach to solving a problem allows one the tools to solve said problem.  One may not fully understand how the solution works, but it is enough to know that applying it solves the problem.  However, when one is introduced to more than one way of solving a problem, one is brought closer to the understanding how to solve that problem.  The presentation of multiple ways of solving a problem introduces perspective.  It allows a person to go from applying a predetermined routine, to understanding how to approach a problem and eventually being able to innovate new solutions to that same problem.  Similar to how with one ear we can determine pitch, rhythm, or understand speech, but with two ears we can localize that sound in a soundstage, we can determine where that sound originates without needing to use our vision. 

There are also certain counterintuitive methods which just look wrong, but somehow manage to teach you how to make wrong movements by actually making them as wrong as you can, or feel the center of a key by putting in way too much force than is necessary, etc. Learning the piano can be very strange sometimes, when you encounter something in the wild which looks utterly ridiculous and still blows your mind with its efficacy. I just live for those moments. Just when you think piano playing is just doing a boring routine over and over again, something comes along which upends everything you've learned so far, which just refuses to fit into your current view of piano playing. Honestly, if such things did not exist, I might not still be playing the piano.

An important part of learning the skill of playing an instrument is to know when you have taken a technique too far.  Sometimes the only way of finding that out is to experiment.  For example, learning to play forte with a pleasing tone.  Not enough sound appears timid, yet too much will appear harsh.  We might need to play harsh in order to know what harsh sounds like so we can learn to avoid it. 

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

Offline pianodannn

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #91 on: September 16, 2021, 12:22:54 PM »
In regard to quantums' suggestiins re.  Improvisation, playing by ear, sightreading etc. i suggest that yes they are worthwhile and neccessary to work on, but those specific skills are redundant for the purposes of playing very fast passages, arpeggios etc. So IF you really wanted to learn greater speed at the present time, it would not help to focus on those facets. Rythmic accuracy perhaps yes, although i generally do focus on that, regardless of whether playing scales, exercises or working on  repertoire. A big thing is realising that individuals who can perform a skill well have concepts in thier mind of how they accomplish it.Now a concept is not a clearly defineable thing, and it really only exists in the creators mind.The trick is transfering a concept from one mind to another, and perhaps translating it to some degree to suit the language of your own mind. Some people can perform brilliantly, yet if they describe their approach, it may seem nonsensical and counterintuitive.Sometimes the way people accomplish things is actually not done in the way they think they have done it, if that makes any sense.They form a mental construct of what they do that makes sense to them. A rough example might be that they use gravity to impart energy to the keys or something, which could be the case with some slow fortissimo passage, but technically, gravity really can't do much overall in a faster passage, for reasons i wont bother with here. There is also a considerable range of opinion even across  similarly accomplished players, as to just what a correct tecnique is.So there is a lot of experimenting to be done, and considerable chance involved in finding just the tricks that overcome your hurdles, in a timely fashion.

Offline quantum

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #92 on: September 16, 2021, 12:43:17 PM »
In regard to quantums' suggestiins re.  Improvisation, playing by ear, sightreading etc. i suggest that yes they are worthwhile and neccessary to work on, but those specific skills are redundant for the purposes of playing very fast passages, arpeggios etc. So IF you really wanted to learn greater speed at the present time, it would not help to focus on those facets. Rythmic accuracy perhaps yes, although i generally do focus on that, regardless of whether playing scales, exercises or working on  repertoire.

As I stated earlier, learning music often involves building up concepts.  Foundational skills build up to allow one to achieve more complex skills.  If one sight reads with more fluency, it allows one to play faster because one's mind is not slowed down by overthinking unfamiliar techniques.  If one learns to improvise fluently, one is less likely to become anxious of minor errors, or let such errors stop the flow of music, or get caught up in the obsession of note perfect performances.
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

Offline pianodannn

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #93 on: September 16, 2021, 02:01:26 PM »
  What i find, is that even with extreme familiarity with a passage i.e knowing very thoroughly and confidently all the notes, the tendency to miss notes is extremely hard to eradicate, not because i dont know the correct note, but because there is just no way to garuantee precisely where your fingers will end up when working at such speed.Sometimes there can be a drastic change in accuracy and confidence, without me changing any aspect of my mindset or approach.Simply that something occurs in the mind, and all of a sudden my ability has shifted, and i am none the wiser as to what has caused it.It also occurs to me that there is a limited range of motions which can be employed to shift a hand and fingers across a succession of notes within a given time frame.In the end, only a physiological change to the capacity of the muscles, or the minds capacity to control the muscles can improve performance.Changing postures, or angles or shapes soon becomes exhausted as a means to shift fingers any faster from One note to the next.You could do what you liked with the wrist, elbow, shoulders, fingers but its not going to get you across those keys any faster, once you refine that to a certain point.Beyond that  the basic functioning of the muscles and nerves must do the rest of the work.There must be actual physiological changes to gain any further improvement, and these changes are extremely difficult to induce.

Offline quantum

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #94 on: September 16, 2021, 02:30:25 PM »
  What i find, is that even with extreme familiarity with a passage i.e knowing very thoroughly and confidently all the notes, the tendency to miss notes is extremely hard to eradicate, not because i dont know the correct note, but because there is just no way to garuantee precisely where your fingers will end up when working at such speed.Sometimes there can be a drastic change in accuracy and confidence, without me changing any aspect of my mindset or approach.

I think you need a change of perspective.  Are you saying that you want to completely eradicate missed notes?  IMO music should not be reduced to a summation of the number of correct notes.  I think you are trying to reach a goal that is highly impractical, and more importantly, completely diverts from one of the core components of music: effective communication of an idea.  You are creating a barrier to your own progress in music through chasing an impractical ideal.


It also occurs to me that there is a limited range of motions which can be employed to shift a hand and fingers across a succession of notes within a given time frame.In the end, only a physiological change to the capacity of the muscles, or the minds capacity to control the muscles can improve performance.Changing postures, or angles or shapes soon becomes exhausted as a means to shift fingers any faster from One note to the next.You could do what you liked with the wrist, elbow, shoulders, fingers but its not going to get you across those keys any faster, once you refine that to a certain point.Beyond that  the basic functioning of the muscles and nerves must do the rest of the work.There must be actual physiological changes to gain any further improvement, and these changes are extremely difficult to induce.

Physiological change is not the only component to the advancement of technique.  Physical technique requires cognitive technique.  It is not enough just to make the movements, one's mind also needs methodical preparation to be in the correct mental space to execute the physical actions.  There needs to be a mindful connection. 

For example, fast passage work can sound flat if one simply operates the mechanics of the hand.  For fast passages to transform into musical meaning one incorporates things like: phrasing, a sense of breath, direction, rhythmic accents, organizing a mass of notes into digestible ideas.  The understanding of when and how to execute this happens in the cognitive space. 

This is what people have been trying to get across earlier in the thread, work on other aspects of music.  If you improve upon them, these fundamental skills will in turn help you with aspects such as speed. 
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

Offline pianodannn

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #95 on: September 16, 2021, 03:11:24 PM »
 Well, all i can say is there is no way on earth i could "master" piano in 10 000 hours.I have no idea why anybody ever suggested such a thing were possible.It's a stupid and rediculous assertion, and i dont think any body who believes that is in their right mind.Im pretty sure anybody who actually teaches piano has students who cant play jazz, blues, rock, advanced classical etc after 10 000 hours.It just stupid and annoying that people have this idea in their head.And there are so many people that believe it, because of a book gladwell published.
  I do actually recall a statement by some student who actually had a accomplished instructor the whole time.He said he had barely scratched the surface after 10 000 hours.which kind of makes me feel better in a way.It means im not as retarded as i thought!

Offline quantum

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #96 on: September 16, 2021, 03:38:52 PM »
Well, all i can say is there is no way on earth i could "master" piano in 10 000 hours.I have no idea why anybody ever suggested such a thing were possible.It's a stupid and rediculous assertion, and i dont think any body who believes that is in their right mind.

If you say you can't, you have already convinced yourself you can not.  You have set yourself up to follow your own expectation. 

It would be more beneficial for one to simply enjoy learning about piano, than trying to adhere to some superficial benchmark of mastery in x amount of hours. 


I would suggest trying to be more flexible in your approach to learning piano.
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

Offline pianodannn

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #97 on: September 16, 2021, 10:55:58 PM »
If you say you can't, you have already convinced yourself you can not.  You have set yourself up to follow your own expectation. 

It would be more beneficial for one to simply enjoy learning about piano, than trying to adhere to some superficial benchmark of mastery in x amount of hours. 


I would suggest trying to be more flexible in your approach to learning piano.
   contrary to popular opinion, beliefs and outcomes are not related.I could believe anything, but "anything" generally doesn't happen.I DID believe i could do it.But that positive belief/expectation just led to a relatively poor outcome.How do you believe in something for which their is no evidence? If i can do it, well i should be able to have amazing progress by next week.Thats the only way people get good.So why did i try that in the past so many times, but little progress? I believed it would work, but it didn't.You cant rely on beliefs.Beliefs don't mean anything.
   

Online brogers70

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #98 on: September 17, 2021, 12:02:25 AM »
The belief that you can succeed does not guarantee success. The belief that you cannot succeed, however,  comes close to guaranteeing failure. Believing that you can succeed is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for succeeding.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Is there a time you accept you cannot advance to a higher level
«Reply #99 on: September 17, 2021, 01:20:00 AM »
Oh, come on.

The 10000 hours rule has been debunked at least once for every one of those hours, lol.

And fixed vs growth mindset is quite real, although it doesn't account for all of the variance in ability by any stretch.

I've said so countless times on the thread here that while you say you've done your research on psychology, you are really spouting simplistic pop psychology. There are very interesting papers on piano playing and neurobiology as well, which you should check out. In general, go on google scholar and read actual psychology papers if you want to get better, not Malcolm Gladwell's latest hits where he cherry picks data.

People on this thread have posted a large number of ideas and viewpoints for you to work with, but your posts here are consistently defeatist. You aren't actively engaging with what the advice people are suggesting here.

One thing is that there are no guarantees. Even with the most amazing instruction, there is no guarantee that someone will advance to even an intermediate standard. On the other hand, you'll have someone who has reached the top of their field even if they started out with terrible teachers for many years.

But the fact that there are no guarantees doesn't mean that improvement is impossible.

In any difficult field of endeavor, you will often have several months of struggle, followed by great improvement in a short period of time. Improvement isn't linear.

Improvement in speed isn't really about making your fingers work faster, it's about streamlining your movements to the point where nothing is wasted.

quantum has some great suggestions.

The posters over here are often more experienced than you would expect and have very valuable feedback. What you describe is something many students go through to one extent or another. You're still chasing the wrong elephant, it's almost impossible to guarantee all the notes are correct by trying to play all the notes correct. What you do instead is form a conception of the music as a whole, and figure out fingering and hand positioning logic, etc., to the point where things become easy and "obvious".

Another mental trick (which I use all the time) is to imagine you're an absolute beginner. You know nothing. This is especially useful in your case because all of your past experience is hampering you and forcing you down the same alleyways over and over again in your brain. Now, how do you place your hands? How do you run a scale? How do you read music on one line? etc. Just imagine you know nothing, and "teach" yourself everything from scratch again, maybe even over a period of weeks or months. My preferred way to learn is to do this over and over again. It's humbling, but you catch so many things you can improve upon, every time. Strive for true perfection, and note accuracy will come knocking at your doorstep.