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#2220389 - 01/25/14 05:42 AM Is it because I've been neglecting my scales?
Mken Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/09/13
Posts: 96
I recently recorded myself, and had a ton of problem when the red light came on (mine is actually white).

Anyway I noticed that on the newer pieces I have learned I seem clunky and jumpy.

While older pieces my hands just flow.

I used to go through 15-20 minutes of scales much to the annoyance of others in the house.

But lately due to work and coming home tired I tend to just play some of my known pieces to relax and have a noodle around. I know I've been neglecting my scales, is the root cause of clunkiness scales neglect?
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#2220398 - 01/25/14 05:54 AM Re: Is it because I've been neglecting my scales? [Re: Mken]
wouter79 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3849
For me, clunkyness comes from thinking in small chunks. That reflects in the playing.
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#2220582 - 01/25/14 01:12 PM Re: Is it because I've been neglecting my scales? [Re: Mken]
Colin Dunn Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 538
Loc: Arvada, CO
That is why I have yet to overcome my fear of the Red Dot...
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#2220588 - 01/25/14 01:20 PM Re: Is it because I've been neglecting my scales? [Re: Mken]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5850
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Red dot syndrome is a separate issue from general clunkiness, I think laugh Almost all of us have some measure of red dot syndrome.

The clunkiness with new stuff? Being tired, not having it as ingrained as your older stuff so you're not as relaxed, lots of things.

But I don't think either has to do directly with scales - maybe the scales were the way you warmed up and got "into" the music, the way you focused? So what's missing isn't the scales per se, but the warming up and having time to shed the day's cares and focus on music?

Cathy
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#2220717 - 01/25/14 07:02 PM Re: Is it because I've been neglecting my scales? [Re: jotur]
Stubbie Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 676
Loc: Midwest USA
Originally Posted By: jotur
Red dot syndrome is a separate issue from general clunkiness, I think laugh Almost all of us have some measure of red dot syndrome.

The clunkiness with new stuff? Being tired, not having it as ingrained as your older stuff so you're not as relaxed, lots of things.

But I don't think either has to do directly with scales - maybe the scales were the way you warmed up and got "into" the music, the way you focused? So what's missing isn't the scales per se, but the warming up and having time to shed the day's cares and focus on music?

Cathy

(Underling mine.)

This. Almost by definition, you've spent a lot more time with your older stuff. Sometimes you just need to spend a lot of time with a piece to have it flow easily under the fingers.
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#2220748 - 01/25/14 08:10 PM Re: Is it because I've been neglecting my scales? [Re: Mken]
earlofmar Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 2130
Loc: Australia
trying to record is definitely a big issue, even if you are feeling quite relaxed it adds this extra dimension that is so easy to distract you or cause random errors and hesitations. Ever notice how you are thinking differently when the recording equip is running? "nearly there", "half way through" "nearly at the end with no major mistakes", "is there enough memory left on the recorder" etc etc. It is very distracting.
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#2220776 - 01/25/14 09:23 PM Re: Is it because I've been neglecting my scales? [Re: Mken]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1387
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: Mken
I recently recorded myself, and had a ton of problem when the red light came on (mine is actually white).


got a chuckle out of that smile

Quote:
Anyway I noticed that on the newer pieces I have learned I seem clunky and jumpy.

While older pieces my hands just flow.

I used to go through 15-20 minutes of scales much to the annoyance of others in the house.

But lately due to work and coming home tired I tend to just play some of my known pieces to relax and have a noodle around. I know I've been neglecting my scales, is the root cause of clunkiness scales neglect?


That's kind of like asking if because you ate a turkey sandwich for lunch instead of ham, the stain on your shirt didn't come out in the laundry; the two aren't really related. How your pieces come together is a direct result of how you practiced - or in some cases, didn't practice - said pieces. Scales are generally practiced for being able to think in a key (i.e. theoretical purposes) and/or for practicing specific articulations, dynamics, coordinative difficulties, etc., but not for magically making your playing of unrelated pieces better (unless of course said specific technical difficulties arise in your piece(s)). "Exercises" are also best assigned for the same reason.

And for your benefit, think of how you perform in front of the "red light" (or in your case, white smile ) as the only way you're able to perform that piece. That allows you to then isolate difficult areas which evidently weren't practiced sufficiently prior that can, and should, be drilled. It goes without saying said difficult spots should be practiced in small sections.

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#2220885 - 01/26/14 05:14 AM Re: Is it because I've been neglecting my scales? [Re: earlofmar]
Mken Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/09/13
Posts: 96
Quote:
"nearly there", "half way through" "nearly at the end with no major mistakes", "is there enough memory left on the recorder" etc etc. It is very distracting.



You stole my thoughts exactly as I was recording.

Thing is I record to objectively look at how I am playing and to amend the mistakes, as I can't while I'm actually playing as a teacher substitute kinda.
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#2220926 - 01/26/14 07:59 AM Re: Is it because I've been neglecting my scales? [Re: Mken]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12641
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
As for not practicing scales negatively affecting your playing, I think this can be true, but perhaps unrelated to the red dot syndrome. They can help you with keeping your fingering accurate in pieces, especially ones where there are lots of intricate scalar passages. But they also help remind your fingers just how far apart the keys are and so you are less likely to hit two keys at once, or miss one in stepwise motion.

Why not play just a few scales as a warm up before playing? Certainly you will gain the benefit without bothering the household with 15-20 minutes of it.

As for RDS (red dot syndrome), I find that before I play, I make sure that things are taken care of like I have enough space on the memory card, new batteries, or plugged in, etc. Then when I'm ready to play, I think to myself that im just going to play it through and see what happens, but not to try and get it in the first take. I allow myself mistakes instead of thinking "if I make one mistake I have to start over!" This kind of thinking is the worst because when you focus on perfection you really cant focus on being musical and you stop communicating. This throws everything off, because that is not how you play it when you practice.

Allowing myself many days to record has helped too, so that if it doesn't come together and I need a bit more practice to work out some kinks, I am not under pressure to get it 'right' the first time or even that day. I think of it more like a trial run to see where things are.
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#2221647 - 01/27/14 08:01 PM Re: Is it because I've been neglecting my scales? [Re: Mken]
JohnSprung Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1912
Loc: Reseda, California
Originally Posted By: Mken
I used to go through 15-20 minutes of scales much to the annoyance of others in the house.


Here's where it can help to get an inexpensive digital in addition to your good piano. You can play with headphones and not annoy anybody. Many of them have built-in metronomes, so even that sound isn't in the room. Digitals are plenty good enough for getting the right fingers to the right keys at the right times. Then take it to the acoustic to work on the expression.
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Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690

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#2221801 - 01/28/14 09:09 AM Re: Is it because I've been neglecting my scales? [Re: JohnSprung]
Mken Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/09/13
Posts: 96
Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
Originally Posted By: Mken
I used to go through 15-20 minutes of scales much to the annoyance of others in the house.


Here's where it can help to get an inexpensive digital in addition to your good piano. You can play with headphones and not annoy anybody. Many of them have built-in metronomes, so even that sound isn't in the room. Digitals are plenty good enough for getting the right fingers to the right keys at the right times. Then take it to the acoustic to work on the expression.



I still have my casio CDP100, I find the keys to be super light though and it just doesn't feel right. So much that I'm bashing the keys when I go back.
_________________________
I want to be so good at Piano like VK, that Roland gives me a free piano too!

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#2221957 - 01/28/14 03:47 PM Re: Is it because I've been neglecting my scales? [Re: Mken]
sandalholme Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/09
Posts: 824
Loc: Dorset, UK
Paul Tortelier said "Music is the food of love. Scales are the food of music."

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