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#983778 - 11/30/06 09:49 AM Your greatest frustration
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Learning to play the piano is just another way of saying...you're going to experience more moments of frustration than you could think possible. :p

However, we all have our favorite (not sure this is the right word, but you know what I mean).

Mine is...after spending months of learning a piece, practicing it everyday religiously, putting every ounce of focus and determination into the task, we FINALLY are able to play it fairly well. How proud we are of ourselves!

So, we go on to learn something else and leave the other piece rest for a few days, a week or so, maybe. Just because we're kind of sick of it by this time. :rolleyes:

Then, we pull out the sheet music once again...just to keep it performance ready, only to discover that we have practically forgotten most of it. It's almost like we have to start all over again. \:\( \:\(

Argh!!!

What's yours?

Kathleen
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

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#983779 - 11/30/06 09:56 AM Re: Your greatest frustration
Euan Morrison Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/05
Posts: 1588
Loc: Edinburgh
I agree with you there, Kathleen!

My greatest frustration is when I first start learning a new piece. When I get a section learned fairly well, instead of pushing ahead and learning the other bits, I keep on playing the bit I already know.

My other frustrations are:
a) knowing it is going to be ages before I can play the Chopin Ballades
b) knowing it is going to be ages before I can afford a grand piano.

But I don't tend to focus too much on the negatives!

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#983780 - 11/30/06 10:01 AM Re: Your greatest frustration
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Never ever seeming to be able make it through a piece without making some sort of mistake and almost always losing it when I know someone is listening
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#983781 - 11/30/06 10:01 AM Re: Your greatest frustration
Shortcircuit85 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 535
Loc: New Hampshire
Ditto to you Kathleen (by the time I posted 2 others had posted before me! \:\) )... and I'm experiencing that right now with my one of my old recital pieces!!!

Second, however, would be those songs that are physically challenging because of ackward reaches or very fast sections which are "clearly" impossible for anyone to play consistently until you practice it for a month straight and realize it is possible.
_________________________
Andrew - Shortcircuit85

If you were not sane, you would never misunderstand this question or the consequences of not comprehending its meaning.

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#983782 - 11/30/06 10:41 AM Re: Your greatest frustration
Ozor Mox Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 231
Loc: Hampshire, England
To echo the above...

"Memory rust" on pieces I've learnt. Very annoying because it means my repertoire never feels as big as I'd like it to.

Complete loss of skill when someone is listening to me play.

Getting stuck or making a mistake at the same place in a piece seemingly no matter how long I spend practicing it.

How slowly my sight reading seems to improve.

But then again...

How good it is when I successfully play a full piece from memory with little to no slip-ups.

How good it is once I warm up to having someone stood there and begin to relax and play almost as I normally do (playing in the piano shop was a good test of that).

How good it is when repeated hammering of the difficult section finally gets in and flows properly.

How good it is when I see that my sight reading is very slowly progressing and on the odd rare occasion I can sight read something from start to finish successfully.

There are so many positives to be found from the frustrations of piano playing if you look hard enough.

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#983783 - 11/30/06 11:12 AM Re: Your greatest frustration
SAnnM AB-2001 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 2022
Loc: Canada
Oh I soo empathize with all of the above. Forgetting those pieces that took me months to learn, not being able to play pieces I "know inside out" without making a mistake - drives me crazy!! One additional is not being able to practice as much as I'd like and having to compete with the TV.

But isn't it so very cool when a piece that seemed, only a few months ago, to be too far out of reach suddenly isn't so scary? or when a piece finally comes together after weeks of struggling.

I haven't quite figured out how to prevent the first from occuring though.... I try to keep a fresh repertoire but it's hard to focus on newer more advanced pieces and still work on older ones.... too much music and such little time!!
_________________________
It's the journey not the destination..

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#983784 - 11/30/06 11:24 AM Re: Your greatest frustration
Mike White Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 518
Loc: 90 miles West of New Orleans
Well, I've said this before. Before you select a piece to learn, it had better be one that you like, because you will have to play it over and over again. Plus, you have to continue to play it on a regular basis, or you will lose it.
Mike
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My Recordings. Please feel free to comment or to ask a question.

Yamaha G3 & P-80 Digital

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#983785 - 11/30/06 02:18 PM Re: Your greatest frustration
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Not being able to play worth a darn when that Red Dot is going...
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Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#983786 - 11/30/06 02:40 PM Re: Your greatest frustration
Copper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/05
Posts: 1048
Loc: Virginia
I agree with all the above.

If you're not making mistakes you're not human.
_________________________


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#983787 - 11/30/06 05:31 PM Re: Your greatest frustration
Van Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 1215
Loc: S. California
How about finding that the guy who wrote that pretty piece of music was writting for a LH 10th when you can only reach a 9th?
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#983788 - 11/30/06 09:08 PM Re: Your greatest frustration
Kawaigirl1 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 989
Loc: Toronto
Definitely Ditto to what Kathleen had said.

After spending so much time learning a piece and only to forget it afterwards is surely my No1 frustration.
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#983789 - 11/30/06 09:31 PM Re: Your greatest frustration
Nonna Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/06/06
Posts: 39
I agree with all of the above but most of all I get frustrated when *stuff* happens and I can't practice for an extended period of time. A little over a year ago I was doing good, making progress and then we move half way across the country. We had to go into an apartment for 2 months first after we had sold our house so for at least 2 months no practicing at all. I was so upset that I had finally just gotten my skills back up to where I left off 25 years ago and of course the time off put me back quite a few paces.

Since then I've not had as big a gap but if work is super busy or the holidays come up etc etc and my work and being a mom of course have to come first I get very frustrated!
_________________________
"If you are going through heck, keep going." Winston Churchill

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#983790 - 11/30/06 09:32 PM Re: Your greatest frustration
gabytu Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 1522
Loc: Portland, Or.
My frustrations??? All of the above and then some. Right now it is being born with small hands and wanting to play a piece that requires a span of 11 keys. Ugh. I know can roll the chord,but the one that frustrates me the most is marked FFF, and somehow rolling it instead of pounding it down with a resounding triple forte just doesn't cut it. Gaby Tu

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#983791 - 12/01/06 10:51 AM Re: Your greatest frustration
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
I think I'll give this thread a couple of days, then I am going to post a list (you know, like the one David Letterman sometimes does). Starting with #10 and working up to #1. I'll do it by counting the number of times something is mentioned.

And we have to come up with a great name for it. \:D Something like: To Be a Pianist is to Dread These. That isn't very creative. Maybe someone can come up with a more catchy phrase.

Kathleen
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

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#983792 - 12/01/06 10:52 AM Re: Your greatest frustration
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
oooppsss, double post
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

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#983793 - 12/01/06 11:01 AM Re: Your greatest frustration
gmm1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1674
Loc: Spokane WA
My number one is....... tension.

Followed by .......OK, tension.

My brain understands relax, practice, and it will come. My hands buy in for the first few minutes, then take over. The harder I try to relax, well, you get the idea.

As far as a title, Kathleen, keeping the Letterman spirit, may I suggest "The Top Ten Reasons Why I Will Say NO if Carnigie Hall Calls"
_________________________
"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro

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#983794 - 12/01/06 01:50 PM Re: Your greatest frustration
Reaper978 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 1325
I actually have no problems remembering pieces, even if I have not played them for quite awhile.

A big problem for meis getting through a blasted piece. The self-motivation to do this is just ridiculous.

Another problem is tension in the hands, as gmm1 said.

The worst problem I must overcome, though, is convincing myself that I can never become as good as I want to be. I've convinced myself of this many times, and I just flat out stop practicing. You know, when there are so many people who you know you can never become as good as, what's the point? I'm listening to Rubinstein give a flawless rendition of Chopin's E minor concerto, and I know I could never get that good. So I sit here and pout about it instead of getting on the friggen piano and practicing. *Sigh*, what am I supposed to do.

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#983795 - 12/01/06 02:04 PM Re: Your greatest frustration
Patty39 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/06
Posts: 225
Loc: Germany, near Cologne
All of the above and reading Nancy333's post about her attempt to learn the Aolian Harp Etude - unsuccessful. I have it in a folder that says Patty's repertoire in 2014 - will I ever?

Patty
_________________________
In love with life

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#983796 - 12/01/06 02:13 PM Re: Your greatest frustration
Soleil_nuage Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 284
Loc: Virginia
1. Not having the adequate technique to play a piece the way I can hear it in my head is probably my biggest frustration. This is particularly the case for slow pieces. Why do they seem so much harder to play than fast ones?!

2. I don't have a practice schedule that allows me to cover everything from technique, ear training, transposition, scales, chords, arpeggios, theory, sight reading. I can't cover all of these things in one practice session but I should able to work it out so that I practice some things a few times a week. I also would like to set up weekly or monthly goals for things that I want to accomplish.

3. Pedaling is a real challenge for me. Like it's not hard enough coordinating two hands that are moving independently, now I have to add one foot and eventually both feet. Not only do I have to learn when to press and release it, but I have to work on doing it silently. I keep making this KA-PLUNK sound when I press and release the pedal. A bit distracting, especially on slow pieces. It sounds like la la la la KAPLUNK la la la KAPLUNK la KAPLUNK la KAPLUNK :rolleyes:

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#983797 - 12/01/06 02:30 PM Re: Your greatest frustration
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
My biggest frustration never being able to bring a piece of music up to "speed".

I'll practice like crazy every day with my tempo going up every day towards that "Allegro" tempo marking. A week or two later, I feel like I'm getting close. I can practice it nicely and accurately without the metronome. Two weeks later, I'm almost there... I shed the training wheels (metronome), and then crash and burn only to have to start over because the piece falls apart under my fingers! Where did all that work go?

Another frustration I have is starting a piano project only to be interrupted so much at that critical learning time that the piece ends up ship-wrecked forever! I also noticed that I seem to be interrupted in the same place every time too like someone is trying to tell me something!

I'm with you Soleil_nuage! I can hear all the Chopin Ballades, Scherzi, and Etudes running in my head, but to get the fingers to follow - HA what a joke!

John
_________________________
Nothing.

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#983798 - 12/01/06 02:53 PM Re: Your greatest frustration
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Dear Reaper978:

To be as good as Rubinstein...well, that's just about every classical pianists' dream..so you are not alone in this desire.

But pianists like Hofmann, Rachmaninoff, Hororwitz and Rubinstein just come around every century or so, maybe just like a comet. For every one of them, there are thousands of others, all have devoted every waking hour to their passion and who have sacrificed everything -- a normal life...meaning family, friends and fun.

And out of those thousands, there are, perhaps, one or two who have what it takes to make it to the concert stage.

As for those who don't make it, do they quit playing and go to a vocational school to learn a new trade? Hardly!

Do they say: "Well, if I can't have it all, then I don't want any of it?" I doubt it. If they have this attitude, then they really didn't have what it takes...after all.

I'm just a person whose dream is to live long enough (I'm 67) to be able to play as many of Chopin compositions as possible. I just want to recreate beautiful music. And I hope I die sitting at the piano.

Regards,
Kathleen
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

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#983799 - 12/01/06 03:00 PM Re: Your greatest frustration
SAnnM AB-2001 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 2022
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
2. I don't have a practice schedule that allows me to cover everything from technique, ear training, transposition, scales, chords, arpeggios, theory, sight reading. I can't cover all of these things in one practice session but I should able to work it out so that I practice some things a few times a week. I also would like to set up weekly or monthly goals for things that I want to accomplish.
I hear Shiro approaching \:D

I was discussing some of these things with my teacher today. It's one of the problems common to adult learners. We have an ear that is developed way beyond our fingers. I hear and feel all the subtle differences and understand when the technique is explained to me but getting the fingers to cooperate is near impossible.
_________________________
It's the journey not the destination..

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#983800 - 12/01/06 05:05 PM Re: Your greatest frustration
Peyton Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 2529
Loc: Maine
Mine is pretty much the same as mentioned. I spend so much time learning a piece, drop it for a while and then come back to find out it has flown away....

Then of course the technical problems. Some things are just out of reach. And I sure wish I could read quicker....
_________________________
"One's real life is often the life that one does not lead."- Oscar Wilde
www.youtube.com/Biffer5
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#983801 - 12/01/06 05:09 PM Re: Your greatest frustration
SAnnM AB-2001 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 2022
Loc: Canada
I just have to say again how comforting it is to know that my frustrations are shared by so many! Makes them less frustrating some how. Thanks everyone for sharing!
_________________________
It's the journey not the destination..

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#983802 - 12/01/06 05:25 PM Re: Your greatest frustration
sizzzzlerz Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/04/06
Posts: 9
Loc: Bay Area, California
Not being as good as those professional jazz pianists I listen to on CD and watch in person or on TV even after literally MONTHS of practice!

;\)
_________________________
There is no reality, only perception.

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#983803 - 12/01/06 05:31 PM Re: Your greatest frustration
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
popular kids!

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#983804 - 12/01/06 05:48 PM Re: Your greatest frustration
SAnnM AB-2001 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 2022
Loc: Canada
Oh Debussy20!

I often wonder how talented kids manage. I know you are talented and I know you are about 14 and I know that at 14, life is tough! How do you manage to keep your (obvious) passion for piano when the peer pressure is so great at your age? My hat is off to you for sticking to it and for your talent, and for your wisdom at such a young age (and I can say that as I just found out I'm going to be a grandmother...ahhhhhh ) So I'm REALLY old!! \:D

Anyway, it's great having you around and I enjoy your input here! Thanks!
_________________________
It's the journey not the destination..

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#983805 - 12/01/06 06:05 PM Re: Your greatest frustration
oldcars Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/11/06
Posts: 253
Loc: Philly burbs
I have always maintained, well….not always, but most of the time, certainly, that one should play with a confident (aggressive) style, perhaps better described as "decisive" – Yes! Decisive. One should play decisively, as I do, but not always. This is why I get frustrated. Sometimes.
_________________________
Bösendorfer 225
Yamaha CVP 307
--------------
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. Henry David Thoreau

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#983806 - 12/01/06 09:04 PM Re: Your greatest frustration
Starting Over Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Toronto
My frustration is with memorizing. It is sooooo hard to do but so important. I really can't start to make music until I've memorized a piece.

I just wish it was easier.
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Buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
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#983807 - 12/03/06 03:36 PM Re: Your greatest frustration
dillyk Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4
Loc: New York
my biggest frustration is waiting to be good. Isn't frustrating learning something new about playing, that you should have known already. Piano is so simple but so complex. Sometimes I think we care too much and that is why it becomes so hard. Another frustration is learning how to put all the different parts of playing together. Listening, Fingering, Reading, Counting.
.. boy is that frustrating. Let me know how you handle it.

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