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#2046391 - 03/11/13 09:01 AM any tips for not looking at your hands?
dcb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 199
Can anyone give me some pointers on how to practice playing without looking at my hands? I'm a pretty good sight reader so I don't look at my hands always, but have to when there are jumps and stretches.

I am practicing a few notes at a time with my eyes closed and sometimes I hit it and sometimes I miss. I think I might be getting a bit better but not very quickly. I'm wondering if there are some things I can do to make it easier.

I'm not sure if I should visualize the keyboard in my mind or feel other keys as a reference point.

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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#2046398 - 03/11/13 09:28 AM Re: any tips for not looking at your hands? [Re: dcb]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Just try a quick glance for big leaps. Always it helps to visualize the keyboard, you're probably doing that already.
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#2046513 - 03/11/13 02:59 PM Re: any tips for not looking at your hands? [Re: dcb]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4441
Loc: San Jose, CA
There's nothing wrong with a quick, occasional glance as long as you have the complementary skill: finding your place in the music afterward.

It can help to learn to use the bottoms of your eyes. A lot of information can be gleaned from your peripheral vision without actually glancing down.

As usual (looking or not), repeating any problematic movement several or more times helps it to 'set' in your kinesthetic memory. Peeking is still better than allowing a practice mistake to become fixed in muscle memory.

Tips? Yes: breathe and stay relaxed, don't panic or seize up if something goes wrong, practice. Good playing posture (a sloppy posture is a hidden wellspring of keyboard mishaps).

You already know the tips. Don't worry, you'll get where you want to be if you keep at it.
_________________________
Clef


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#2046522 - 03/11/13 03:09 PM Re: any tips for not looking at your hands? [Re: dcb]
dcb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 199
I'm going to try the peripheral vision suggestion...that makes a lot of sense.

It is tough because every time I miss I feel like I am setting in that bad motor memory. I'm thinking I should maybe try 5 or 6 times looking so I know I hit it and then on the next try not look. This might allow me to continue to practice but not miss so much that I'm getting worse.

Thanks

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#2047937 - 03/13/13 11:24 PM Re: any tips for not looking at your hands? [Re: dcb]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1539
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Possibly out to lunch:

. . . Have you tried playing with your eyes closed?

Scales should be easy. Arpeggios should be easy -- no jumps.

Then graduated jumps -- say triads (CEG) in the key of C:

CEG DFA EGB (one-note jump)


CEG EGB GBD (two-note jump)

and so on. Or:

CEG DFA CEG EGB CEG FAC CEG GBD (returning to "root position" after each triad)

Those kinds of exercises might develop enough muscle memory to help you keep your eyes on the page.

. Charles

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#2048317 - 03/14/13 05:08 PM Re: any tips for not looking at your hands? [Re: dcb]
Bluoh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 421
Loc: Canada
One quick way that works well is to turn the lights off and play in the dark. You'll train your ears as a bonus, too.

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#2048479 - 03/15/13 12:39 AM Re: any tips for not looking at your hands? [Re: dcb]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5593
Loc: Orange County, CA
I also look at my hands for large leaps.

I think you're too worried. The trick is to look down at the hands, and then get back quickly to the spot on the page. Now THAT takes practice: not losing your spot while taking a quick peek at the hands.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2048595 - 03/15/13 07:26 AM Re: any tips for not looking at your hands? [Re: AZNpiano]
malkin Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2754
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
I also look at my hands for large leaps.

I think you're too worried. The trick is to look down at the hands, and then get back quickly to the spot on the page. Now THAT takes practice: not losing your spot while taking a quick peek at the hands.


Are you looking down to check your hand or to spot a location on the keyboard?
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2048600 - 03/15/13 07:36 AM Re: any tips for not looking at your hands? [Re: malkin]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5593
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: malkin
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
I also look at my hands for large leaps.

I think you're too worried. The trick is to look down at the hands, and then get back quickly to the spot on the page. Now THAT takes practice: not losing your spot while taking a quick peek at the hands.


Are you looking down to check your hand or to spot a location on the keyboard?

One or the other, or both, depending on the situation.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2048602 - 03/15/13 07:38 AM Re: any tips for not looking at your hands? [Re: dcb]
malkin Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2754
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
That makes sense. Thanks.
(As for me, I'm trying to look anywhere that might help!)
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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