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Developing accuracy, getting rid of flubs/mistakes

Discussion in 'Technique' started by nowpiano, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. nowpiano

    nowpiano New Member

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    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!
     
  2. s_winitsky

    s_winitsky Member

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    If it means anything, one thing that helps me is recording my music. It takes me much longer to prepare for a recording, but I find the process forces me to remove most of the flubs. It also really makes me listen to my own playing. Though getting rid of flubs/mistakes is hard for anyone (esp me.)

    Some will say 4-8 hours a week is not nearly enough, though to be honest, as a busy person, I am lucky if I can get even that. I think I read somewhere once that it takes at least 10,000 hours of practice to become expert in something. At 4-8 hours a week this will take quite a few years ;)

    In terms of sight reading, the only thing I could recommend is getting as much music as possible. I find it really important to have sheet music that is easy enough to sight read, yet still fun and enjoyable to play. I turns out the world is full of piano music like this. I personnally like to develop my memorization skills and sight reading skills at the same time.

    Anyway, just my 2 cents :)

     
  3. nowpiano

    nowpiano New Member

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    Thank you for your reply. I have noticed improvement ever since I started really listening to all the mistakes I make.

    I usually play through a song without stopping, then go back to the messy parts and practice them through until I'm happy with it. That produces good results, however after a few more plays through the piece, I often find myself having to repeat this process.

    As for the sight reading, I believe I'm just too lazy to buckle down, play through easier pieces, and work my to harder pieces.
     
  4. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    That is not uncommon. It takes a little while to get everything together. Between practice sessions, there may be a little back-sliding, but you will get back to where you were much quicker.

    Also, within a practice session, there is sometimes a point of diminishing or even negative returns. When that happens, go to something else, but don't let it frustrate you. It will come back together after you have slept on it.

    As far as sight-reading, the material that one can sight-read comfortably is usually a couple of levels behind what you can master technically. Get music that falls into that category. Check out your library or friends.

    To me, sight-reading means that you should be able to reasonably accurately play through the piece at or near tempo without stopping or correcting as you play and to incorporate most of the expression and articulation marks.
     
  5. Radar

    Radar New Member

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    I find what works for me is playing slowly enough that i don't make mistakes. I only speed up when I'm confident I can do it with a minimum of flubs. The more you practice something wrong the harder it is to fix it.
     
  6. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    It is important also to not "correct" as you play. If you do play a wrong note or rhythm or whatever, stop and analyze what caused the mistake. In many instances, the mistake may be a symptom of an actual problem that occured earlier -- incorrect or inconvenient hand placement or fingering, a subtle error that you did not notice, etc.

    Note, you can't really correct a mistake as you play -- if you played a wrong note, correcting it just adds a wrong rhythm among other things.

    I distinguish between two types of practice -- 1. is practice for solving problems, and 2. is "performance" practice. The former is the "don't correct as you play" type (among other things) the latter is to continue regardless (but still not correcting as you play). Here, the big thing to hold onto is the rhythm. (I hope that made sense).

    Scott
     
  7. Horowitzian

    Horowitzian New Member

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    Re:

    That is an annoying personal piano demon of mine...I have to work to resist the urge to "correct" while I'm playing. I've gotten better about it as my technique has improved, however. I find that whenever I'm making a lot of errors that I am too tense (often from a lot of other things going on), and I will often just stop and close the piano at that point, and pick up again later or the next day.
     
  8. StephenC

    StephenC New Member

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    Practice a song and don't move on to another piece until you perfected the first piece you are practicing. Also add more time to your practicing a week, or better, per day. Rapid reading of sheet music is also helpful to improve your playing skills. But also take in mind that you should memorize by ear, each piece you play. Memorize it through hearing every note, every sharp, every flat there is. And never ever stop practicing.
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    *LOL* StephenC, that's a 3-year old post you are replying to. The original poster has long left these premises. I know you mean well :wink:
     
  10. StephenC

    StephenC New Member

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    Oops, apologies then. :)
     

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