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Not Playing for a Long Time

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  • ReedGuy
    replied
    Re: Not Playing for a Long Time



    I agree about over practicing. I recall recently getting ready for a recital and I wanted things to be just perfect. (Okay, I'm crazy, so like when do I not want to play perfect?!!!!) I ended up playing the thing (even though I knew it down pat), so many times, that I made some silly mistakes and realized I was overplaying the piece and needed to chill out. I chilled out and it worked out just fine at the recital. I can't wait to play on an organ with 137 ranks again!!! </P>


    Oh, did I mention I've been told that I'm my own worst critic? I practice atthis church and sometimes I've gone there late at night. I always thought I was in there alone. I remember working on Franck's Choral No. 3 and I wanted it perfect. So there were times when I got really upset with myself and said things aloud such as, "get it right, don't you know a sharp when you see one?!! That's it I'm not leaving until I get it, I don't care how late it gets!" (Picture Basil Faulty from Faulty Towers getting really mad at his car which keeps on breaking down, minus the swearing). Well, I didn't know that in there was someone taking sancturary in the church and actually living there. I never swore, but man she must think I'm just plain nuts! </P>


    On a separate note, I do find that a trouble sectionI may encounter in a piece seems to work itself out over time. </P>

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  • andyg
    replied
    Re: Not Playing for a Long Time



    I have to echo what's been said before.</P>


    It's something that I come across as a teacher, too. I'll have a student go on holiday for a few weeks, come back and play a piece with little practice and do things better than before they had a break!</P>


    I sometimes get students to take a break from a piece [though certainly not to give up on it!] - not to even look at it for a couple of weeks, to lose any bad habits they may have got into. Doesn't always work, but does more often than not.</P>


    Over-practice is a problem for some, and this is the solution.</P>


    Andy</P>

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  • nullogik
    replied
    Re: Not Playing for a Long Time



    This is not a unique feeling. </p>

    I find that when learning a new piece, I get to a point where the more I practice the piece the "more wrong" it gets i.e. I begin to make stupid silly mistakes I didn't do in the past.</p>

    I've found the leaving it for a week or two and coming back to it prevents this from happening. It seem like this is a case of "over practicing".
    </p>

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  • Don Furr
    replied
    Re: Not Playing for a Long Time

    [quote user="diaphone32"]

    I have found that if I have been studying a piece on either the organ or piano very hard for a long time, it usually improves if I come back to it later after a long break.</p>


    I now have a large pile of music which I would love to learn but am finding it very hard to play accurately, so I'm going to leave it for a while and come back and play thoseparticular pieces to see what happens!</p>[/quote]
    I agree with what you guys are saying. I find it easier if I leave a hard piece for several days before trying it again.

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  • Guest's Avatar
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    Re: Not Playing for a Long Time



    I have found that if I have been studying a piece on either the organ or piano very hard for a long time, it usually improves if I come back to it later after a long break.</P>


    I now have a large pile of music which I would love to learn but am finding it very hard to play accurately, so I'm going to leave it for a while and come back and play thoseparticular pieces to see what happens!</P>

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  • afuller5
    replied
    Re: Not Playing for a Long Time



    John,

    </p>

    I have experienced this phenomenon also, but it was not after a vacation away from home.</p>

    The first time I play a choir piece after not playing it for a few days (or sometimes the first time I sight-read the piece) I will play it better than I had before. Many times that is the best time I play it during my practice session. I think it may have something to do with more concentration on playing. Mentally (either consciously or unconsciously) you are aware that you have not played the piece in a while. Thus, you are more focused on the printed score and the mechanics of playing. After the first time through the piece, you remember some passages. You will recall even more when you work on the difficult passages. Thus, when you play it completely through again, you will be playing some "by memory," even though you are "reading" the score. There will probably be some "muscle memory" involved as well. Now, mentally your are aware that you are more familiar with the piece than the first time through. Thus, you are not concentrating as much and make a few more errors. Hopefully, over a few days of practice all (or at most all) of these errors will be eliminated.</p>

    Well, that's my take on the situation.</p>

    Later,</p>

    Allen</p>

    P.S. In my church (also Southern Baptist), I play all of the choir pieces on piano.</p>

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  • Mark Pratt
    replied
    Re: Not Playing for a Long Time

    I"ve had the same experience with the organ and other stuff I play. I don't recommend taking 23 years off (collectively) like I did. I could barely hold a chord and play a bass line when I stated again.

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  • jbird604
    replied
    Re: Not Playing for a Long Time



    Interesting. Thanks, guys.</P>


    Perhaps a week or two without practice would be something to do once in a while. Wouldn't want to count on keeping one's agility if NEVER practicing, though!</P>


    I'm guessing that the relaxation and de-stressing has a lot to do with it. Not only was I away from the organ, but away from work and household chores too.</P>


    John</P>
    <P mce_keep="true"></P>

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  • telemanr
    replied
    Re: Not Playing for a Long Time



    I experience this as well.</P>


    I too believe it is the brain consolidating information.</P>

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  • Havoc
    replied
    Re: Not Playing for a Long Time

    You're in a different mindset, more relaxed and at the same time more concentrated. You don't have the immediate reference to what/how you played yesterday making you at ease. At the same time you really want it to be very good to prove you didn't lost something during your break. So you are highly concentrated. Because you don't have the burden of daily life but fresh holiday memories this goes better then during the year.

    Sometimes leaving a piece that isn't working and getting on your nerves for a few weeks can really help because of the same reasons.

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  • Menschenstimme
    replied
    Re: Not Playing for a Long Time



    Yes, I too have experienced this phenomenon. My guess is that the break gives your brain an opportunity to gel and sort itself out.</P>


    Whatever works . . .</P>

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  • jbird604
    started a topic Not Playing for a Long Time

    Not Playing for a Long Time



    Just got back from vacation and did not touch an organ console the whole time(except for sitting on the bench at Trinity Wall Street in NYC-- wish I could report that I got to play it, but did not. Just sat there and took some photos. Saw several other historic churches and organs, but did not play anywhere.)</P>


    The last service I played was on June 1. I don't think I even so much as turned on my practice organ the week following, and we left town on Friday the 6th. Probably worked on an organ or two that week, but my associateMatt is the one who sits down and checks them out when we're done. </P>


    We got back last weekend but had a minor emergency at home and wound up not going to church, so tomorrow morning it will have been 3 whole weeks since I played. I did pick out the hymns earlier in the week and played through them on the practice organ.</P>


    I was quite surprised that I seemed to play better than usual! In fact, I was reading hymns, even a couple that we don't sing very often, and playing them perfectly on the first try. Could it be that taking a two or three week holiday away from the organ has actually improved my playing? Or am I just experiencing beginner's luck? Wonder if any of you ever take such a break and how you find yourself playing when you come back to it?</P>


    John</P>
    <P mce_keep="true"></P>
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