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Topic Options
#2065299 - 04/16/13 01:35 AM Can you practice to much.
MylesB Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/28/12
Posts: 14
Loc: Madison Wi
My lessons are every two weeks. My material is beginner. In the middle of level three. My teacher pics songs i can't stop playing. I still make mistakes but it can be from not reading the music because of maybe over practicing? Not sure, have not experience this before. There is nothing to compare it to. Wine does not help. It was worth the try though.

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#2065300 - 04/16/13 01:37 AM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: MylesB]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
I think you will need to clarify a lot for other posters who are rather picky about getting all possible information before giving a response of any kind. grin

For starters, how long are you practicing now?
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2065303 - 04/16/13 01:40 AM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: MylesB]
Whizbang Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 815
Practice makes permanent, not perfect.

I learned this far too late.

If you are playing a lot and repeating the same mistakes, you're cementing those mistakes. Better to play slowly through short sections and play them as perfectly as possible.

As long as you are able to

1) maintain mental focus so that you practice, not play
2) play with good enough technique that your arms or hands don't get a burning sensation, tired, weak, or sore

then long practice sessions probably don't hurt. I find I get better results from having multiple, shorter duration sessions during the day.
_________________________
Whizbang
amateur ragtime pianist

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#2065336 - 04/16/13 03:12 AM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: MylesB]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
only if you're not practicing right, as Whizbang said.

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#2065343 - 04/16/13 03:43 AM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: MylesB]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1733
Loc: Australia
As a beginner myself I am shocked at the amount of errors I make despite much practice, A song can be perfect one day and all of over the place another.

I believe my problem is three fold
a) concentration slips because I can become blasé about the piece
b) my fingers have not caught up with my ambition
c) still an infant as far as piano is concerned and yet to bond with the instrument (I think long term players will understand that)


I tried to record myself today, the extra pressure eventually forced me to concentrate harder. I also think finger exercises are worthwhile in building up the weaker fingers. I will need to find a way to bond with my piano without my wife getting jealous, but that will be a whole separate post.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2065349 - 04/16/13 04:48 AM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: earlofmar]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Too much of anything is no good, but it depends on the person, if you will.

It takes the brain time and experience to develop the technique you are practicing, learning.

I suspect that if you play a phrase, a piece, 10 minutes everday or 3 times a day, as opposed to one half hour every day, it could amount to the same thing.

We all have a main piece we are working on. My experience is that it is better to practice it of only a few times for 10 minutes at a time because playing longer than that of a particular piece is routine and not beneficial.

You can practice as long as is beneficial but not the same piece. Work on lots of stuff and break it up. The spaces of time from the piece give the brain and you the player a freshness everytime you sit down to play it. For instance. If you sit at the piano and play a piece 30 or whatever times in a half hour or an hour, you are always immediately placing your hands/fingers in the same spot immediately. But when you only play it for 10 minutes, space away from the piece, and back again, you usually have to think about the hand position and the key signature - it is slightly less than automatic. That is my experience. I guess the word is reacquaint youself with the piece.

When I am able to play a piece to the end, I don't immediately play it many times then - because I am worried that I am only able to play it because I have played it many times - in other words short term memory - so, as I say, when I can play a piece to the end, I walk away, contented, but cautious. And later when I come back, I find it - yes, I can do it, but it is as I suspect, a little less under my fingers, but a good position to be in to move farward playing and giving it everything it needs to be polished - over many weeks and months.



Edited by Michael_99 (04/16/13 05:18 AM)

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#2065404 - 04/16/13 08:50 AM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: MylesB]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12141
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
How you practice makes all the difference in the world, moreso than how long. Your teacher should be showing you how to practice in your lessons. I know this may seem obvious, but I have many students who I show how to practice and specifically write in their assignments what to do, and yet they go home and just play through the piece start to finish. Several students that when they finally figure out they're supposed to practice as I'm telling them exclaim, "Wow, it really works if I do what you say!" as if it's an amazing revelation. laugh

At any rate, you should be consulting with your teacher specifically on how you should be practicing your music. Also, you can do searches on this website regarding practice methods, but really it depends on the difficulty level of the music you are playing. To a certain extent, your mistakes may simply be caused by the fact that you haven't been playing piano very long and have limited experience. It's very important at this stage to not expect perfection but simply do your best and be exposed to a lot of music.
_________________________
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Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2065416 - 04/16/13 09:19 AM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: MylesB]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1087
Loc: Southern California
Of course a person can over practice. Breaks are good. Many beginners over practice to the point of injury. Listen to the body and rest when the body complains. It also seems like most of the practice is focused is on learning the newest piece. Someone in book three has a whole slew of older pieces.

There is also theory, technique and musicianship to work on. By changing tasks, the mind can become refreshed. Some modest time spent on scales, arpeggios, sight reading, ear training, old pieces, technique, metronome work would all likely be time well spent. Those that focus entirely on learning the next new piece are missing out.
_________________________
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#2065420 - 04/16/13 09:31 AM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: MylesB]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11808
Loc: Canada
I'm going in the same tangent as Morodiene. What do you understand under practicing right now? How do you practice from day to day, and on a particular day? And has your teacher told you anything about this.

There is another thread here where someone has just had a major breakthrough simply by learning a new way of practising. The same thing happened to me some years ago. I took lessons on another instrument for a number of years, working on the pieces and scales that I was assigned, without ever having an idea that there are ways of practising. I was told to make sure certain notes were correct, or that a section was tricky, and the usual things. But not practising strategy.

Edit: See http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...0transform.html


Edited by keystring (04/16/13 09:56 AM)

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#2065421 - 04/16/13 09:31 AM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: MylesB]
Greener Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014


Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1243
Loc: Toronto
Is playing pieces you already know and play well, practicing? In a broad sense I think it is. After all, you are refreshing the piece, your mind, your fingers, your expression perhaps etc.

The tougher practice is likely be the newer pieces or challenging areas of pieces you are working on that need to be overcome.

Mix it up then with both play/practice as long as you are of clear mind and decent concentration to do so. Piano of course is a mind exercise more then a physical one with your fingers. Don't damage your fingers or hands of course, from over exertion. But, you are far more likely to run out of brain power before this happens. As soon as it is no longer fun, or you can no longer focus, go have some wine ...
_________________________

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#2065468 - 04/16/13 11:12 AM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: MylesB]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5640
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Great advice here! Whizbang started it out with a good overview, and others stepped right up.

My experience parallels theirs - if I practice wrong I end up with tennis elbow, or problems with the palm of my hand - wrong meaning with tensenesses, for one thing, and also, as others said, without being aware of what I'm doing or how, so that's it's just robotic repeats, or with mistakes each time.

But when I'm doing it right - see all the good stuff here laugh - well, I've added a couple of new pieces faster than I've ever been able to do that before, I can practice more in total than I've ever done before (no boredom, no injuries) and with greater musicality. What a win!

So, yes, I think one can practice too much if one is not practicing right, and I think that learning to practice right brings so many rewards that it's worth it to learn to do that, and the posters here have great ideas.

I think you asked the right question, in the right place laugh

Cathy
_________________________

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#2065487 - 04/16/13 11:52 AM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: MylesB]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3174
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
I know this may seem obvious, but I have many students who I show how to practice and specifically write in their assignments what to do, and yet they go home and just play through the piece start to finish. Several students that when they finally figure out they're supposed to practice as I'm telling them exclaim, "Wow, it really works if I do what you say!" as if it's an amazing revelation.


Just last week, a student came who clearly does not practice correctly, so I once again tried to show her. I have given her handouts on how to practice, copies of articles, and showed her over and over.

So I explained that I would use a simple piece not specifically to learn, but rather as a teaching example of how to practice.

It went like this:

We started with a simple piece, quite a bit below her level, and I explained how I would practice it, i.e. first examine the piece (time signature, basic structure, etc).

Next, find a logical small chunk to work on. Next, play one hand thru very slowly 3X, followed by the other hand 3X

Finally, play both hands together even slower.

Then I had her sit at the piano, and said, "do just as I did", whereupon she blasted thru the section hands together! (With several mistakes, and unrhythmical, at a tempo faster than the piece should be played when learned).

Sometimes I wonder if it is something in the water that makes people unable to learn how to practice correctly.

One basic thing:

Playing a piece over and over is not practicing. It is playing. Practicing is learning, fixing mistakes, and polishing. Then you play it, and carefully, so as not to get sloppy and introduce new mistakes. I treat music I have just learned like a new baby...carefully, gently, until it is so mature in my learning that I can trust it. And then I am careful to not abuse it.

_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#2065700 - 04/16/13 07:41 PM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: MylesB]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1507
Yes.
_________________________
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

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#2065705 - 04/16/13 07:59 PM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: MylesB]
Scott Hamlin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 572
practice to much what?
_________________________
Personal Site: http://DulceLabs.com
Casio PX-5S Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Casio.Px5s/

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#2066041 - 04/17/13 02:06 PM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: MylesB]
MylesB Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/28/12
Posts: 14
Loc: Madison Wi
Wow! I here my teacher in your posts. I never ask how often you be should practicing. I practice my lessons about 2 to 4 times per day. 10 to 30 minutes. Sounds like the norm. I only had a few lessons so it sounds like i on the right track.


Edited by MylesB (04/18/13 02:04 AM)

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#2066043 - 04/17/13 02:13 PM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: MylesB]
Scott Hamlin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 572
Originally Posted By: MylesB
Wow! I here my teacher in your posts.


He's here? Then why are you asking us????

I'm so confused!!!! help
_________________________
Personal Site: http://DulceLabs.com
Casio PX-5S Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Casio.Px5s/

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#2066054 - 04/17/13 02:45 PM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: MylesB]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11808
Loc: Canada
"I hear my teacher in your posts." means "The things you are saying remind me of what my teacher says." or "It's as if I'm hearing my teacher talking when I read your posts."

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#2066222 - 04/17/13 09:19 PM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: keystring]
Scott Hamlin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 572
Originally Posted By: keystring
"I hear my teacher in your posts." means "The things you are saying remind me of what my teacher says." or "It's as if I'm hearing my teacher talking when I read your posts."


_________________________
Personal Site: http://DulceLabs.com
Casio PX-5S Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Casio.Px5s/

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#2066229 - 04/17/13 09:45 PM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: rocket88]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: rocket88

Sometimes I wonder if it is something in the water that makes people ...


I call it: They forget to take their medication.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2066235 - 04/17/13 09:56 PM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: Scott Hamlin]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2685
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: Plinky88
practice to much what?


I don't know how to much at all. How did you start muching?

Will we become much of a muchness if we all practice muching together?
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2066267 - 04/17/13 11:02 PM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: MylesB]
JosephAC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/12
Posts: 168
Loc: Melbourne Australia
Practicing is not playing. And playing is not practicing.

Have you been playing or practicing ?

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#2066283 - 04/17/13 11:38 PM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: malkin]
Scott Hamlin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 572
Originally Posted By: malkin
Originally Posted By: Plinky88
practice to much what?


I don't know how to much at all. How did you start muching?

Will we become much of a muchness if we all practice muching together?



You're to much.
_________________________
Personal Site: http://DulceLabs.com
Casio PX-5S Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Casio.Px5s/

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#2067002 - 04/19/13 09:40 AM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: Scott Hamlin]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2685
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: Plinky88
Originally Posted By: malkin
Originally Posted By: Plinky88
practice to much what?


I don't know how to much at all. How did you start muching?

Will we become much of a muchness if we all practice muching together?



You're to much.


I always intend to, but lately, it seems I never to get around to it.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2067533 - 04/20/13 09:21 AM Re: Can you practice to much. [Re: MylesB]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1507
Too much of ANYTHING is bad for you!
_________________________
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

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