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#2305930 - 07/23/14 12:38 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: MikeN]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
Originally Posted By: MikeN
Are we talking objectively wrong or subjectively wrong though?

You can approach an objective evaluation by the sum of subjective perceptions as the mean subjective perception. This is how a "general opinion" is formed, even though it is still subjective.
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2305931 - 07/23/14 12:38 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: MikeN]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19644
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: MikeN
Are we talking objectively wrong or subjectively wrong though?
Objectively wrong.

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#2305933 - 07/23/14 12:41 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: Atrys]
MikeN Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 579
Loc: Ohio
In other words, all things are subjective, yes? Well, that might be true, but I wanted an opinion with such distinctions even if they aren't necessarily solid.

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#2305934 - 07/23/14 12:42 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: pianoloverus]
MikeN Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 579
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: MikeN
Are we talking objectively wrong or subjectively wrong though?
Objectively wrong.


Yes, do you see that as impossible?

Oh, excuse me. I did realize that wasn't in the form of a question?


Edited by MikeN (07/23/14 01:03 PM)
Edit Reason: I misread.

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#2305935 - 07/23/14 12:43 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: MikeN]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
Originally Posted By: MikeN
In other words, all things are subjective, yes?

Not at all. But you can evaluate something that is subjective such that the mean perception can be considered objective given a scope, though this does not mean that all things are subjective, which is false.
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2305939 - 07/23/14 12:48 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: Atrys]
MikeN Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 579
Loc: Ohio
I was generalizing. Though you could probably consider such a perception objective, it's still subjective. Is it not?

I did fleetingly make such considerations before I asked.

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#2305941 - 07/23/14 12:52 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: gooddog]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5429
Loc: Europe
I think that the missing 5% (or 10%) is the answer to the simple question: WHY?

I'll provide an example.

I've always been good at notating scores. Lovely little things came out of my computer, and previous to that from my trusty pen and manuscript. Up until finishing my PhD in composition, I've thought I was excellent with notating. And it IS a PhD people! Not some random degree... :P

Then came a work that included illustrations and is a "best seller" according to what I sell... And then a PM from amazing Kreisler (which is awesome).

Hitting the earth from that far high is really really hard, especially if you're as big as me! grin

What was wrong? In a word EVERYTHING! For those who might own an old copy of Sketch Music (in white cover) will notice how many errors are there: Errors in the metronome markings, errors in some notes, actual missing time signatures in at least 4 works!

Swallowed my pride and sent every client a new copy with everything corrected! Now that I look the corrected score I would've done the whole layout different!

_______________________________

First thing is that we learn as we go on. Ok, that's obvious enough.

BUT. The answer to the question WHY? was missing when I first published Sketch Music.

You see, up until that point I had only done non commercial scores. Scores for a university (at whatever high level). The answer to the question was "because the university requires me to". And my proof reader was my coordinators and supervisors. Yeah right... :P

Now I realize that they never bothered to correct anything!

Now the answer has changed to "for the general public". And this means that I have to be 100% prepared for any critic, for any bad mouthing, for anyone holding a grudge to me, or anyone else in EMF for that matter.

But, the scores we (<-notice the change?) now are very very good!

________________________________________________________

Same thing happening with a pro pianist, and ends up as a second nature! You may be the awesome amateur pianist, but the missing 5% (10%) is experience as a pro, and falling flat on your face at least once!

In Greece the access to decent concert hall is almost down to zero! There's only two, all in the same building, and they don't come cheap! So even if you DO own the best darn piano in the country, you won't be able to get the sound you want, or the experience you want, unless you're ready to play in the Megaron Athens Hall. And if you don't have audience in there you won't be able to get the same feeling and the same experience either.

There's no way around that, I think.
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2305942 - 07/23/14 12:56 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: MikeN]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
Originally Posted By: MikeN

Though you could probably consider such a perception objective, it's still subjective. Is it not?

With certain things, yes. For instance, one can fall under the delusion that some genre of music is objectively "bad" and "distasteful", which is actually a subjective perception (not an objective reality).

We can describe this "polishing" topic like so:
Objective reality: "I play this piece in some way such that these notes are struck with this velocity at this time for this duration, etc."
Subjective perception: "The resulting music sounds 'unpolished'."
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2305944 - 07/23/14 12:57 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: gooddog]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4841
Loc: Seattle area, WA
These are all great posts. Please keep them coming.

@bennevis, I finally had time to listen to the clips you suggested. Did you notice how Horowitz plays on the tail end of the beat? This gives it a lush quality.

@neuralfirings, the Ted talk was very interesting, (and amusing).
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#2305946 - 07/23/14 01:00 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: Atrys]
MikeN Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 579
Loc: Ohio
Sure, but this depends on taste, does it not? Hence it's subjective?

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#2305947 - 07/23/14 01:03 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: MikeN]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
Originally Posted By: MikeN
Sure, but this depends on taste, does it not? Hence it's subjective?

Yes, that is what I meant in the second part of this text (the first part is the objective fact):
Objective reality: "I play this piece in some way such that these notes are struck with this velocity at this time for this duration, etc."
Subjective perception: "The resulting music sounds 'unpolished'." Since this is the subjective perception of the objective fact, this subjective perception may also be something like "The resulting music sounds polished and great" to a different listener.
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2305950 - 07/23/14 01:05 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: Atrys]
MikeN Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 579
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: Atrys
Originally Posted By: MikeN
Sure, but this depends on taste, does it not? Hence it's subjective?

Yes, that is what I meant in the second part of this text (the first part is the objective fact):
Objective reality: "I play this piece in some way such that these notes are struck with this velocity at this time for this duration, etc."
Subjective perception: "The resulting music sounds 'unpolished'." Since this is the subjective perception of the objective fact, this subjective perception may also be something like "The resulting music sounds polished and great" to a different listener.


So it seems we are in agreement.

Now I must ask why this discussion was necessary.


Edited by MikeN (07/23/14 01:07 PM)

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#2305953 - 07/23/14 01:08 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: MikeN]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
Originally Posted By: MikeN

So it seems we are in agreement.

Now I must ask why this discussion was necessary.

I don't know; you asked some questions so I figured I'd answer them grin


Edited by Atrys (07/23/14 01:08 PM)
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

Top
#2305958 - 07/23/14 01:13 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: Atrys]
MikeN Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 579
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: Atrys
Originally Posted By: MikeN

So it seems we are in agreement.

Now I must ask why this discussion was necessary.

I don't know; you asked some questions so I figured I'd answer them grin


laugh So be it. One you chimed it, I guess I couldn't help but wonder why?

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#2305960 - 07/23/14 01:14 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: outo]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4841
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: outo
This website has some interesting insights on what it is that actually makes a great interpretation:

The Craft of Musical Communication
Fascinating article. I've added it to my favorites to re-read.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#2305977 - 07/23/14 01:57 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: gooddog]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5549
Originally Posted By: gooddog
These are all great posts. Please keep them coming.

@bennevis, I finally had time to listen to the clips you suggested. Did you notice how Horowitz plays on the tail end of the beat? This gives it a lush quality.


Another expressive device which is related to agogic hesitation is desynchronization of hands. It seems to be coming back into fashion - I've heard quite a number of young pianists using it to highlight certain notes within phrases, or to start new phrases, to make the listener prick up his ears. This is especially effective if the LH bass note(s) is/are much lower than the RH melody, which is played just fractionally off the beat. Singers - both operatic and Lieder - do this quite often. Of course, it's a lot easier for a singer to soar freely with his/her melodic line, tugging and pushing at/against the beat supplied by the accompaniment, than a solo pianist who has to be careful not to sound contrived, or even amateurish grin.

Personally, I believe that many of these methods of elevating one's interpretation to new expressive heights can be picked up by listening to lots of great pianists, past & present - and to other great instrumentalists and singers. (When I got interested in opera and Lieder, my piano playing became much more freely expressive: I was already unconsciously making use of the kind of expressive devices used by singers, as well as their phrasing and 'breathing' - the bel canto quality so often implicit in Chopin, for example). Of course, technique and expression go together - without the former, one would struggle with the latter.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2305985 - 07/23/14 02:18 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: gooddog]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4841
Loc: Seattle area, WA
@bennevis- It's funny you mentioned the desynchronization of the hands. Within the last year, I asked my teacher how to give the illusion of a sound increasing in dynamic after it has been struck - much like a singer or violin creating a crescendo while holding a single note. Desynchronization was his answer.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#2305986 - 07/23/14 02:19 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: gooddog]
neuralfirings Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 206
Oo, I have one. So sometimes, you play a really pretty piece and there's this climatic note--something minor and sad. The instinct is to play it louder, since it's the climax of a phrase. My piano teacher once asked me to build up to that note (this was Rachmaninoff's Elegie), but then play the note softly.

It was mind blowing how different that phrase sounded, it was that much more interesting and that much more dramatic.

In general, I think what he was teaching me is how to surprise listeners. I think the element of surprise is very important in music, art, theater.. life in general.

Anyway, that was one of my favorite musical moments.
_________________________
Working on Chopin E Minor Concerto (2nd Mvt), Bach C Minor Fugue (WTC I), and others.

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#2305987 - 07/23/14 02:20 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: neuralfirings]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4841
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: neuralfirings
Oo, I have one. So sometimes, you play a really pretty piece and there's this climatic note--something minor and sad. The instinct is to play it louder, since it's the climax of a phrase. My piano teacher once asked me to build up to that note (this was Rachmaninoff's Elegie), but then play the note softly.

It was mind blowing how different that phrase sounded, it was that much more interesting and that much more dramatic.

In general, I think what he was teaching me is how to surprise listeners. I think the element of surprise is very important in music, art, theater.. life in general.

Anyway, that was one of my favorite musical moments.
A very good point but it's important that this device not be overused.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#2305989 - 07/23/14 02:21 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: pianoloverus]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7777
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I saw one of the best masterclasses I have ever seen yesterday where the student played the Schumann Fantasy. The student was about to enter a doctoral program in piano performance. But the master class giver, the phenomenal Alexandre Moutouzkine, showed(in a very nice way) that there were an almost endless list of things the student was doing wrong. Of course, the student was not aware of these problems even though her playing was far beyond 99+% of amateurs.

A competent musician can always find an endless list of things to criticize, even in famous pianists. I can listen to a Lisitsa recording and comment nonstop through the entire thing on what she could be doing better.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2305991 - 07/23/14 02:22 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: gooddog]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7777
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: gooddog
Oh, this brings to mind something I just learned at the VCM Summer Piano Academy. I was listening to Evgeny Kissen on YouTube playing Liszt's "Funeraille". His bass notes are positively frightening. He produces a sense of dread and inevitability that sounds like death approaching. I asked how Kissen was producing that feeling; was he playing the notes late? She told me...

Who told you? I thought your teacher was a man.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2305992 - 07/23/14 02:25 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: Polyphonist]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4841
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: gooddog
Oh, this brings to mind something I just learned at the VCM Summer Piano Academy. I was listening to Evgeny Kissen on YouTube playing Liszt's "Funeraille". His bass notes are positively frightening. He produces a sense of dread and inevitability that sounds like death approaching. I asked how Kissen was producing that feeling; was he playing the notes late? She told me...

Who told you? I thought your teacher was a man.
This was at the VCM Summer Piano Academy in Victoria B.C. I had two private lessons with Michelle Mares who studied with Leon Fleisher, Alfred Brendel and others.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#2305993 - 07/23/14 02:25 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: Polyphonist]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

I can listen to many recordings and comment nonstop through the entire thing on what the pianist could be doing differently to fit my liking.

FTFY.
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

Top
#2305995 - 07/23/14 02:29 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: gooddog]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7777
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: gooddog
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: gooddog
Oh, this brings to mind something I just learned at the VCM Summer Piano Academy. I was listening to Evgeny Kissen on YouTube playing Liszt's "Funeraille". His bass notes are positively frightening. He produces a sense of dread and inevitability that sounds like death approaching. I asked how Kissen was producing that feeling; was he playing the notes late? She told me...

Who told you? I thought your teacher was a man.
This was at the VCM Summer Piano Academy in Victoria B.C. I had two private lessons with Michelle Mares who studied with Leon Fleisher, Alfred Brendel and others.

Sounds like a quality teacher.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2305996 - 07/23/14 02:29 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: Atrys]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7777
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Atrys
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

I can listen to many recordings and comment nonstop through the entire thing on what the pianist could be doing differently to fit my liking.

FTFY.

If you like.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2305997 - 07/23/14 02:32 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: Polyphonist]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4841
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: gooddog
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: gooddog
Oh, this brings to mind something I just learned at the VCM Summer Piano Academy. I was listening to Evgeny Kissen on YouTube playing Liszt's "Funeraille". His bass notes are positively frightening. He produces a sense of dread and inevitability that sounds like death approaching. I asked how Kissen was producing that feeling; was he playing the notes late? She told me...

Who told you? I thought your teacher was a man.
This was at the VCM Summer Piano Academy in Victoria B.C. I had two private lessons with Michelle Mares who studied with Leon Fleisher, Alfred Brendel and others.

Sounds like a quality teacher.
That's an understatement. All of the teachers at the Summer Academy are top notch. I always come away with new insights.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#2306000 - 07/23/14 02:37 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: gooddog]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7777
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: gooddog
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: gooddog
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: gooddog
Oh, this brings to mind something I just learned at the VCM Summer Piano Academy. I was listening to Evgeny Kissen on YouTube playing Liszt's "Funeraille". His bass notes are positively frightening. He produces a sense of dread and inevitability that sounds like death approaching. I asked how Kissen was producing that feeling; was he playing the notes late? She told me...

Who told you? I thought your teacher was a man.
This was at the VCM Summer Piano Academy in Victoria B.C. I had two private lessons with Michelle Mares who studied with Leon Fleisher, Alfred Brendel and others.

Sounds like a quality teacher.
That's an understatement. All of the teachers at the Summer Academy are top notch. I always come away with new insights.

I'm sure.

Be careful not to take anything they say too seriously, though. There may be even more qualified musicians who disagree. Everything a teacher tells you that you don't agree with yourself should be taken with a whole container of salt.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2306021 - 07/23/14 03:22 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: Polyphonist]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18292
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: gooddog
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: gooddog
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: gooddog
Oh, this brings to mind something I just learned at the VCM Summer Piano Academy. I was listening to Evgeny Kissen on YouTube playing Liszt's "Funeraille". His bass notes are positively frightening. He produces a sense of dread and inevitability that sounds like death approaching. I asked how Kissen was producing that feeling; was he playing the notes late? She told me...

Who told you? I thought your teacher was a man.
This was at the VCM Summer Piano Academy in Victoria B.C. I had two private lessons with Michelle Mares who studied with Leon Fleisher, Alfred Brendel and others.

Sounds like a quality teacher.
That's an understatement. All of the teachers at the Summer Academy are top notch. I always come away with new insights.

I'm sure.

Be careful not to take anything they say too seriously, though. There may be even more qualified musicians who disagree. Everything a teacher tells you that you don't agree with yourself should be taken with a whole container of salt.


"Be careful not to take anything everything they say too seriously...."

When a problem is "solved" by a practical suggestion or "Eureka!" advice from a teacher, why should that not be taken seriously? If it works, I do take the advice seriously.

I've heard performances and have had lessons with the same teacher and can attest that not only is she an outstanding performer but that she is also a wonderfully gifted teacher.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2306079 - 07/23/14 05:23 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: gooddog]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2778
Deborah, thank you for bringing this up again.

As an amateur I too am following the very informative comments so far with interest.

I might only add that one of my drawbacks has always been about the time I could spend to perfect a piece. There really was never enough time. Because I had other things that I had to do.
But, if perfecting a piece were my first priority in life, I am sure I could come up with a performance that would not leave that last 10% out.
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

http://www.youtube.com/user/hakkithepianist

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#2306096 - 07/23/14 06:05 PM Re: That last 10% [Re: Hakki]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4841
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Unfortunately, you are right. Besides all the technical things we need to do to make a performance special, we always have to consider available time, something many of us do not have. I find myself thinking, "Gee, if I could play this 500 times more, it would be perfect." That's tough to do with a full time job and only 1 to 2 hours of practice time a day.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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