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Topic Options
#2240533 - 03/03/14 04:38 AM Re: What do you think about while you're playing? [Re: ChopinLives81]
noobpianist90 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 466
Loc: India
I try and listen ahead, and try and listen in my mind's ear (so to speak) what I'm about to play after what I'm playing now. I feel this helps me bring out the sound the way I want to.

This is what I try to do, however, I lose steam midway and random thoughts drift in like what I had for breakfast or something interesting that happened to me lately. I try as hard as possible to not let these random thoughts intrude, and I have a varying level of success. I have better success concentrating on the music when I play late nights or early mornings when there is silence around me.

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#2240601 - 03/03/14 09:04 AM Re: What do you think about while you're playing? [Re: ChopinLives81]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6444
Loc: St. Louis area
I listen for the story in the music.
_________________________
Horowitz was awesome!

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#2240603 - 03/03/14 09:08 AM Re: What do you think about while you're playing? [Re: ChopinLives81]
chopinoholic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/13
Posts: 315
Loc: Eindhoven, The Netherlands
It depends with me on the state of mind I'm in. If I had a busy day I tend to wonder of during playing and immediately screw up. Even if it is the most easy piece.
And when I'm able to keep my mind focussed, then I can play for hours. When playing focussed, I'm really into the piece. Then the feeling part comes by itself. Sometimes, more or less unannounced, the chills go down my spine when I'm in the "zone". This happens especially in the f minor ballade after the second introduction theme up to the preparation of the coda. It really messes with my head. I guess this piece, especially these 4 pages of music, does that to people. smile cry mad
_________________________
Paul


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#2240749 - 03/03/14 03:27 PM Re: What do you think about while you're playing? [Re: ChopinLives81]
hreichgott Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 2265
Loc: western MA, USA
Well, my experience is a lot less profound than many of these.

I take a more "tinkering" approach while practicing. I'm always trying to fix a note over here, or tweak a crescendo over there, or try the voicing a few different ways over in that spot, or figure out what in the heck is going on with finger 4 in those two measures. Even when I'm playing through a piece, I'm thinking about whatever issues I was just working on in practice.

When performing, things are larger-scale, and I'm more focused on how to communicate the overall qualities of the music, and usually mentally singing along (it's an old Suzuki habit plus it keeps distracting thoughts away). The tinkering part of the brain is still accessible just in case something goes wrong and has to be fixed with a quick improv.

While I've never been carried away with emotion or had any of those magical experiences while playing, I always feel a great love for and deep connection to the music, and a desire to share my heart and the composer's heart with whoever happens to be listening.

I suppose practicing is like putting together a complicated piece of furniture with someone I deeply love. And performing is like serving that person a delicious meal on the piece of furniture we built.
_________________________
Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com
Working on:
Beethoven, Op. 90
Harizanos, Spirits of the Lake
Bach, Partita no. 3
reviewing some Fauré, Shostakovich, Coleridge-Taylor, Debussy, Chopin
I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music

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#2240760 - 03/03/14 03:42 PM Re: What do you think about while you're playing? [Re: hreichgott]
beet31425 Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 4102
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: hreichgott
I suppose practicing is like putting together a complicated piece of furniture with someone I deeply love. And performing is like serving that person a delicious meal on the piece of furniture we built.


That's... that's one of the nicest things I've ever read here. blush
_________________________
Bach: Goldberg Variations
Chopin: Nocturne op.48/1

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#2240790 - 03/03/14 04:25 PM Re: What do you think about while you're playing? [Re: ChopinLives81]
chopinoholic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/13
Posts: 315
Loc: Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Thank you Heather for that wonderful explaination of how you experience the music you play and practice. I agree with beet31425, that last sentence will help me enjoy and love practicing a lot more! It will stick with me. Thanks.
Omg I'm getting sentimental blush
_________________________
Paul


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#2240960 - 03/03/14 09:21 PM Re: What do you think about while you're playing? [Re: ChopinLives81]
hreichgott Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 2265
Loc: western MA, USA
Aww. And here I thought I was the dull one smile
_________________________
Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com
Working on:
Beethoven, Op. 90
Harizanos, Spirits of the Lake
Bach, Partita no. 3
reviewing some Fauré, Shostakovich, Coleridge-Taylor, Debussy, Chopin
I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music

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#2240965 - 03/03/14 09:33 PM Re: What do you think about while you're playing? [Re: hreichgott]
Cinnamonbear Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 4198
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: hreichgott
Aww. And here I thought I was the dull one smile

No. Not dull. Change one letter. "Full." As in, "of meaning."

In answer to the OP--I do not think... I am listening too hard to think. Like Damon, I am listening for the story. If not the story, then, to the spirit. As a music notation reader, I am looking *through* the notes to the other side of the page, into the spirit of the sound of the strings that are hit by hammers. Into frequency. Into resonance. With meaning.
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#2242287 - 03/06/14 04:31 PM Re: What do you think about while you're playing? [Re: ChopinLives81]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2768
During practice: 'this has to be better, that has to be better, I am a lousy pianist, let's go for a walk, why am I not a lawyer, etc'.
During concert: 'I have to go to the loo, what drinks will thee be afterwards, if I play this correctly I earn myself a double whisky, what's the shopping for tomorrow, where shall we go on holiday, ...indecent stuff..., etc.'
_________________________
Longtemps, je me suis couch� de bonne heure, but not anymore!

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