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#2295611 - 06/27/14 02:05 AM Taking a month off
Pencil_skirts_and_ Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/26/14
Posts: 4
Loc: Japan
I've been practicing the piano for at least 90 mins a day for the last year but have to go abroad for a month, and the destination had no piano. I'm concerned about atrophy. Is there anything I can do to keep myself sharp, or alternatively, when I get back, how long will it take to get to where I am now again? I took four days off once due to illness and was horrified with myself when I got back on the bench. I'm really concerned.

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#2295613 - 06/27/14 02:20 AM Re: Taking a month off [Re: Pencil_skirts_and_]
Ganddalf Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 688
Loc: Norway
I'm also going on vacation for a month now, and will have little, if any, opportunity to play the piano during this period. I usually do this every summer and I don't think it's a big problem. The first couple of days my fingers feel a little stiff, but I very soon get back to normal. And I usually practice just 30 - 40 minutes a day.

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#2295620 - 06/27/14 02:41 AM Re: Taking a month off [Re: Pencil_skirts_and_]
wouter79 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3605
If you practice seriously when back, you probably will be in better shape than before in a week . You sound horrible also because your ears sharpen up during the break. Don't worry about it but use it to get to a higher level than before
_________________________

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#2295628 - 06/27/14 02:51 AM Re: Taking a month off [Re: Pencil_skirts_and_]
wimpiano Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 1551
Loc: The Netherlands
Rythm tapping? Solfeggio?
_________________________
Schimmel 116 S ...

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#2295642 - 06/27/14 03:34 AM Re: Taking a month off [Re: Pencil_skirts_and_]
noobpianist90 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 410
Loc: India
Carry the score around with you and do mental practice.

Listen to recordings of the pieces (that you're working on) and follow along by reading the score. Then once its firmly in your memory, read the score and imagine how it sounds like without the recording. It also helps to visualize fingering.

I do this when I have to spend time away from the piano. I always find I play better when I'm back at it.


Edited by noobpianist90 (06/27/14 03:35 AM)

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#2295711 - 06/27/14 09:50 AM Re: Taking a month off [Re: Pencil_skirts_and_]
ShiroKuro Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3515
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Also, for your last few practices before you go away, practice your pieces (both ones that are polished and ones that are more in-progress) slowly. You might also do a little hand separate practice as well. You don't want your last run-through of these pieces to fast and sloopy, but instead slow and deliberate. This should help when you come back from your vacation.

Then, when you get back to the piano, start out slow and deliberate. For example, if you have a piece that you were able to play from beginning to end at the desired tempo, the first time back to practice play it in sections, going over tricky spots carefully. Just give yourself a lot of time to ease back into the music especially in the first practice.

I think if you do both of these things and focus on slow playing, you'll find that it's easy to get back into the music, and the break will also end up having done you some good.
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#2295998 - 06/27/14 11:42 PM Re: Taking a month off [Re: Pencil_skirts_and_]
Pencil_skirts_and_ Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/26/14
Posts: 4
Loc: Japan
Thanks a lot for the advice. Playing slow before I go sounds especially useful.

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#2320590 - 08/27/14 10:19 AM Re: Taking a month off [Re: Pencil_skirts_and_]
Pencil_skirts_and_ Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/26/14
Posts: 4
Loc: Japan
I just got back from holiday. I sat at the keyboard and was horrified that I got a scale wrong. But about 10 minutes later I was playing stuff without really understanding what my hands were doing! It's a weird feeling. It was entirely muscle memory, which isn't good, but at least I'm not at 0 again.

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#2320622 - 08/27/14 11:37 AM Re: Taking a month off [Re: Pencil_skirts_and_]
fizikisto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 659
Loc: Hernando, MS
Pencil skirts and...
Welcome back! I hope that you had a fantastic vacation. I would say don't let it stress you out too much. I once had a several month hiatus due to an injury. I was miserable when I finally got back to the piano, there was so much rust. But within a month or so it was like I had never had a break at all. So my advice is just this, don't worry or stress out about it, focus on enjoying having access to your piano again, and with time and work everything will be back to normal (or better) before you know it. smile
_________________________
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

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#2320703 - 08/27/14 02:24 PM Re: Taking a month off [Re: Pencil_skirts_and_]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1244
Loc: Stockholms lšn, Sverige
Originally Posted By: Pencil_skirts_and_
I just got back from holiday. I sat at the keyboard and was horrified that I got a scale wrong. But about 10 minutes later I was playing stuff without really understanding what my hands were doing! It's a weird feeling. It was entirely muscle memory, which isn't good, but at least I'm not at 0 again.

I wish I had seen this thread earlier. I would have suggested as an experiment that some time each day be spent learning a few compositions away from the piano and also practicing at least already learned music in one's mind however realistically you can do it.

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#2320788 - 08/27/14 06:47 PM Re: Taking a month off [Re: Pencil_skirts_and_]
JohnSprung Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1570
Loc: Reseda, California
Depending on transportation, I sometimes travel with a 61 key digital board and headphones, for hotel room practice.
_________________________
-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690

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