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Topic Options
#1077694 - 01/08/08 02:41 PM Flying blind
mullyman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 168
Loc: Japan
Does anyone here practice with their eyes closed? I don't want to become dependent on having to look at the keyboard when I play something so in my practice sessions I've been setting aside some time to play with my eyes closed. I'll do my regular practice looking at the sheet and checking my fingering etc... and then when I feel confident enough to play it smoothly enough I shut my eyes and do a few minutes that way. Does anyone else do this or am I just a freak?
Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles never had the option.

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#1077695 - 01/08/08 03:08 PM Re: Flying blind
Akira Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 1645
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
I think incorporating this technique into one's practice routine is a good idea. I sometimes practice with my eyes shut with memorized or easily memorizable pieces (like Hanon, for example), so I can put my entire focus on the sounds my fingers are creating (too hard, too soft, uneven, timing problems, etc.). I think it also helps to develop a 'feel' for intervals feel like (third, fourth, fifth, etc.). Eliminating sight from the equation allows one to better focus on those types of elements -- at least, that's what I think.

P.S. I don't think you're a freak. If you are, take comfort in knowing that are two of us in the world. \:\)

#1077696 - 01/08/08 03:19 PM Re: Flying blind
mullyman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 168
Loc: Japan
I've been finding that playing without looking at my hands makes things easier at times. Remember, I'm a total beginner here so playing something like Twinkle Twinkle little star with both hands is still a challenge for me. But I'm finding that closing my eyes helps me keep the rhythm with my left hand a little easier. Seems like every time I look down at my hand I'll move the wrong finger. hehe!!

#1077697 - 01/08/08 04:02 PM Re: Flying blind
Akira Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 1645
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
I've been finding that playing without looking at my hands makes things easier at times.
I'm a beginner too.

I'm curious how you manage to sight read and look at your hands at the same time (or are you playing by ear?). I try to keep my eyes on the sheet music. Once I look down at my hands, its all over (I'll inevitably lose my place). \:\(

#1077698 - 01/08/08 04:32 PM Re: Flying blind
mullyman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 168
Loc: Japan
Well, I've been playing guitar for close to 25 years so looking at music and playing isn't anything new to me. It's just doing it on another instrument. Plus, my sight reading for the piano isn't all that sharp at the moment. I'll read and play a few times and then muscle memory takes over and I move away from the sheet and watch what my hands are doing. I really shouldn't do that though. I need to discipline myself to read the music while I'm playing.

#1077699 - 01/08/08 04:33 PM Re: Flying blind
little-big-man Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/07
Posts: 114
Loc: Berkshire, England
I do practice memorised pieces with my eyes closed sometimes.

It is fun to see how well you really know a piece. \:D

I can not sight read. \:\(
I have to memorise everything I learn. \:\(
Life without Piano is Death

#1077700 - 01/08/08 04:34 PM Re: Flying blind
Euphonatrix Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/14/06
Posts: 518
Loc: Hessen, Germany
My teacher makes me play with eyes closed now and then to give me more confidence and to show that fingers find their way. I agree with Akira - it's a good idea to make it part of practice routine.
"The creative process is nothing but a series of crises."
(Isaac B. Singer)

#1077701 - 01/08/08 06:11 PM Re: Flying blind
mullyman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 168
Loc: Japan
Cool. I did a good thing then.

#1077702 - 01/08/08 06:33 PM Re: Flying blind
Granny6 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/09/07
Posts: 85
Loc: England
This is intruiging because before I started learning Music I played for 60 odd yrs by ear and hardly ever looked at the notes. Now I watch the music AND the notes and cannot seem to play the music any other way.
Also - a bit worrying - I don't seem able to play by ear half as well as I did. Do you think I shall ever be able to combine the two skills?

#1077703 - 01/09/08 02:09 AM Re: Flying blind
lizzy's dad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 256
Loc: Suburb of Seattle
Closing my eyes while practicing helps me focus on the sound I'm producing. This helps me find flaws I may not notice while trying to follow those distracting notes. :p

Of course this only works with something I've memorized.

#1077704 - 01/09/08 07:34 AM Re: Flying blind
gmm1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1674
Loc: Spokane WA
I close my eyes as well, but the downside is I sometimes doze off...
"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro

#1077705 - 01/09/08 07:49 AM Re: Flying blind
SPTRS Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/07
Posts: 49
Loc: Belgium
Because i memorize all pieces, i am able to play everything blind from beginning to end.

You definately should try it. I find that with your eyes closed you can pay more attention to your interpretation and play more accurate.

#1077706 - 01/09/08 08:21 AM Re: Flying blind
Oxfords Gal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 1553
Loc: Jacksonville, Florida
I tend to close my eyes on difficult (for me) passages and I can see the music in my head and concentrate better. It's kind of like getting into the music to feel it better and express it better at least for me.
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.>>> Herman Munster

#1077707 - 01/09/08 09:07 AM Re: Flying blind
showbiz Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/02/08
Posts: 11
Loc: UK
When i play guitar, i tend to shut my eyes when playing a complicated piece. It sorta helps me relax more, and focus on the piece of music being played...

I also feel that closing my eyes helps me feel the music im playing.

#1077708 - 01/09/08 03:35 PM Re: Flying blind
Stephen Hazel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 749
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
as a beginner, I need to look at my hands to FIND where the fingers go.

But, I've found that looking at my hands to verify they're in the right spot SLOWS me down.

Once your fingers know where to go, don't look at em anymore (most of the time, etc) or you won't go as fast as you could...
http://PianoCheetah.com - my weird piano practice program

#1077709 - 01/09/08 03:43 PM Re: Flying blind
ckcornflake Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 74
Loc: Albuquerque
I have a weird issue now that I don't look at my hands enough[/b]. I'm so focused on the sound most of the time that I rarely look down at my hands to see what they are doing. Even when I'm doing things like scales, I'm more focused on feeling the keys on my fingers then actually looking at my fingers. I think it would help me to look at my hands more because I still have problems with tension in my wrist and hand placement for various chords and phrases. I guess that's what I get for having a one-tracked mind.


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