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Can't get a simple piece perfect no matter how long I spend at it (Read 768 times)

Offline dontcheeseme

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Every single piece that I do, mistakes always creep in. Or some form of awkwardness. I get one section perfect, the next section that was performed perfectly succumbs to a mistake (it's some sort of crazy self-sabotage I swear). Is it best to skip that piece and leave it imperfect as it is.......will the mistakes resolve themselves as my fingers get to know the keyboard layout a little better.......I just dont think it would be efficient to spend 5 months perfecting a simple piece. And I suspect that the subconscious mind will take care of at least some of those mistakes or awkwardness as I advance towards more difficult pieces and learn more music theory since my fingers just dont want to memorize individual notes, they only seem to go to the right keys when they 'get' the logical nature of the keyboard or absorb a template or pattern successfully subconsciously. Or am I in the wrong? What would be your advice?

Offline klavieronin

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Re: Can't get a simple piece perfect no matter how long I spend at it
«Reply #1 on: October 10, 2021, 09:37:41 AM »
It's difficult to find the balance. You will definitely find that as you advance, pieces you once thought were difficult become relatively easy. My advice would be to find the point where you feel like you aren't making any more progress on a piece, then continue playing it for another month or so. After that you can drop it and move on to something more difficult.

Offline brogers70

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Re: Can't get a simple piece perfect no matter how long I spend at it
«Reply #2 on: October 10, 2021, 09:44:24 AM »
One suggestion you could try is just to stop focusing on perfection being getting all the right notes. Keep working to perfect it a while, but think of perfection as making the lines sing, controlling dynamics, shaping phrases, deliberate pedaling with a plan. For me, sometimes focusing on voicing, articulation, phrasing, careful dynamics, and pedaling improves the "hitting the right note" issues automatically.

It's also possible that even the simple pieces are not easy enough. If that's the case, just play even simpler pieces and try to make them beautiful and enjoyable to play. Then play them a lot for fun. That might relax your attitude to the piano, make it your friend rather than your enemy.

And also, I think you are right that time, and the gradual improvement of your technique  will make pieces that were once hard to get right become easier. So it is OK to let them go after you've worked on them for a while and then come back to them later.

Offline sandaun

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Re: Can't get a simple piece perfect no matter how long I spend at it
«Reply #3 on: October 10, 2021, 10:25:13 AM »
I found that if I worried about playing a piece right, I would inevitably make mistakes. It just seems to be that way. If though I told myself that I would not worry, and stopped worrying, even though I made mistakes, they did not throw me off, and I could start making progress.

Again, for what little it's worth, I found that focussing on the parts that caused me the most trouble, inevitably meant that they were right under my fingers the next time I played them, even if I didn't play that piece for quite some time. YMMV, but that seems to work for me.

Offline dontcheeseme

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Re: Can't get a simple piece perfect no matter how long I spend at it
«Reply #4 on: October 12, 2021, 03:42:17 AM »
Thank you all! Wonderful advice!

Offline determined2learn

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Re: Can't get a simple piece perfect no matter how long I spend at it
«Reply #5 on: October 15, 2021, 01:25:20 PM »
Valuable thread. I have the same frustration. I'm almost resigned to believing I will seldom play a piece cleanly. I'm playing for my own joy so it's not so crucial.

Offline lelle

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Re: Can't get a simple piece perfect no matter how long I spend at it
«Reply #6 on: October 15, 2021, 11:23:55 PM »
I have long since accepted that I rarely, if ever, will play something completely cleanly. I still practice with the goal of playing correctly, but since I know myself as I do, I have accepted that I tend to make some mistakes anyways. I'm simply a bit high strung and that means that I sometimes make mistakes even in slow pieces, even if I'm perfectly capable of playing it cleanly as well. Allowing yourself to let go of playing perfectly takes a lot of pressure off of you, and you can spend those cognitive resources elsewhere instead. Is it really going to be less exciting for the audience if you play 5 wrong notes instead of 0?

Offline anacrusis

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Re: Can't get a simple piece perfect no matter how long I spend at it
«Reply #7 on: October 19, 2021, 09:14:35 PM »
I think sometimes stuff like this gets better as your technique gets better. See if you can find a teacher who can help you. Sometimes it's because you're playing too difficult pieces. Sometimes you're overly focused on playing perfectly, and as a result, start making mistakes.