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#1232774 - 07/17/09 02:11 AM Playing with your eyes closed
Jazzed23 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/09
Posts: 48
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
I've been recently practicing with my eyes closed and find it really helps my hearing and listening skills.
Just being able to concentrate only on the sound and what I'm doing musically.

I play jazz and improvise on the tunes heavily. Taking away your sight makes you so much more aware.

It may take a while to get used to the fingering and finding keys on the piano solely by feel, but it forces you to hear the song.

I'd like to hear if other people have tried it and their experiences.

Piano & Music Accessories
#1232808 - 07/17/09 05:58 AM Re: Playing with your eyes closed [Re: Jazzed23]
Studio Joe Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/07
Posts: 1803
Loc: Decatur, Texas
I find myself closing my eyes without thinking about it when I'm really feeling the music. It happens more frequently when I sing and accompany myself on piano.

It does help me focus more totally on the sound, both piano and voice.
Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax

#1232811 - 07/17/09 06:21 AM Re: Playing with your eyes closed [Re: Jazzed23]
Arabesque Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 558
Loc: Japan
I don't actually need to close my eyes. But I often semi-close my eyes or look up from the keyboard when playing particular passages. When I have reached that state in my playing I know I am well on the way to knowing the music. Although I am very interested in jazz I play Liszt and Chopin pieces I know in the dark. As Chopin put it in advice to his pupils:

As soon as you know a piece from memory, then practise it at night in the dark. When the eyes can see neither notes nor keys, only then does the hearing function with all its sensitivity. Nothing is more detestable than music without hidden meaning.
It don't mean a ting if it don't have dat swing

#1233355 - 07/18/09 12:40 PM Re: Playing with your eyes closed [Re: Arabesque]
rada Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 1124
Loc: pagosa springs,co
I do close my eyes to test my pieces but I'm not necessarily trying to listen harder. I'm just adding a different element to my practice.


#1234742 - 07/21/09 11:33 AM Re: Playing with your eyes closed [Re: rada]
JazzPianoEducator Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/09
Posts: 203
Loc: Denver, CO
I think closing my eyes definitely allows me to get deeper into the music. I'd say i do it more often when playing by myself. I'd also say that players who always close their eyes in a group setting can be frustrating if you also rely on visual cues within a tune. When playing in a group i think it is important to make visual contact with the other players as well as keeping your ears as wide open as possible.

#1234844 - 07/21/09 02:19 PM Re: Playing with your eyes closed [Re: JazzPianoEducator]
hv Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/18/04
Posts: 1242
Loc: Cape Cod
2-piano performances usually also require extensive eye-contact. But at the big ragtime festival in Sedalia, MO a month and a half ago a couple of performers, as a stunt, did a 2-piano Maple Leaf blind folded. I haven't dumped that tape yet but I think I caught it on video.


#1238011 - 07/27/09 07:34 AM Re: Playing with your eyes closed [Re: hv]
DL33 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 27
I play with my eyes closed when I'm composing in order to get more "into" the music and shut out all disturbances. I also close them during practice to enhance my ability to quickly find the right keys by muscle memory (how far to move my hand/arm, etc.). I like the quote from Chopin. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Time passes too quickly. Follow your dreams.


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