I play piano like I play golf..

Posted by: cardguy

I play piano like I play golf.. - 04/13/11 04:19 PM

I recorded myself performing some Chopin, and in listening I instantly realized I was playing with way too much caution, My old golf teacher use to say, "Hey dummy, how many times do I have to tell you that you have to give up control to gain control?"

I swear, as I was listening I could almost see my overly careful, mingy little golf swing lurking just behind the notes.
Posted by: Batuhan

Re: I play piano like I play golf.. - 04/13/11 04:33 PM

Bring yourself to the beauty of music. Forget about making mistakes like horowitz he always make mistakes at the concerts but we can ignore it cause he is playing with heart, passion he feels music. And he is the best pianist. Watch him and learn something.
Posted by: Chris G

Re: I play piano like I play golf.. - 04/13/11 04:47 PM

If I played piano as badly as I play golf I would have quit the piano years ago, just like I quit golf years ago.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: I play piano like I play golf.. - 04/13/11 05:12 PM

I play golf the way Sokolov plays piano...or maybe I play piano the way Sokolov plays golf.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: I play piano like I play golf.. - 04/13/11 05:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Batuhan
Bring yourself to the beauty of music. Forget about making mistakes like horowitz he always make mistakes at the concerts but we can ignore it cause he is playing with heart, passion he feels music. And he is the best pianist. Watch him and learn something.
I think a better solution is to work on your technique so you don't have to play so carefully but can still be accurate.
Posted by: cardguy

Re: I play piano like I play golf.. - 04/13/11 05:22 PM

Originally Posted By: Chris G
If I played piano as badly as I play golf I would have quit the piano years ago, just like I quit golf years ago.


Don't think I haven't considered it :-)
Posted by: Tim Adrianson

Re: I play piano like I play golf.. - 04/13/11 06:14 PM

Agree with Chris G -- I'd love to play golf even with SOME proficiency, but simply am terrible at it (and a short temper to boot). Stick to piano, which, for whatever reason, seems to be ever so much more of a "fit".
Posted by: liszt85

Re: I play piano like I play golf.. - 04/13/11 07:01 PM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Batuhan
Bring yourself to the beauty of music. Forget about making mistakes like horowitz he always make mistakes at the concerts but we can ignore it cause he is playing with heart, passion he feels music. And he is the best pianist. Watch him and learn something.
I think a better solution is to work on your technique so you don't have to play so carefully but can still be accurate.


thumb

+1
Posted by: daviel

Re: I play piano like I play golf.. - 04/13/11 07:53 PM

I can't putt at the piano either!
Posted by: cardguy

Re: I play piano like I play golf.. - 04/13/11 10:58 PM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Batuhan
Bring yourself to the beauty of music. Forget about making mistakes like horowitz he always make mistakes at the concerts but we can ignore it cause he is playing with heart, passion he feels music. And he is the best pianist. Watch him and learn something.
I think a better solution is to work on your technique so you don't have to play so carefully but can still be accurate.


My post was half tongue in cheek, but only half.

The golf analogy actually works pretty well because to play well they both require exquisitely fine motor control, which in turn depends on near absolute relaxation.

When I first took up golf 20 years ago, I resolved to become the best golfer I could possibly be. I went to the range every day and hit balls for hours. I took many lessons, read many books. I practiced til my hands bled. After a couple of years of this I developed, not surprisingly, quite a sound golf swing. At the driving range, other golfers would ask me if I was a pro.

And yet...and here's the kicker....On the golf course, I STILL BASICALLY SUCKED. Why? Because I couldn't find a way to relax consistently under pressure..

Piano it seems to me is no different. I don't care how good your technique is, if you can't find a way to just let it flow, you won't play nearly up to your ability..
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: I play piano like I play golf.. - 04/13/11 11:02 PM

Rubinstein said that a mastered piece is "a free walk on firm ground". I think it is an excellent quote. Try to make it your own. smile
Posted by: sarah_elizabeth

Re: I play piano like I play golf.. - 04/14/11 12:01 AM

I have a very similar tendency, too... I suspect part of the problem is personality. wink I tend to be overly cautious at times when I feel "under the gun," so to speak. Another common issue is worrying about wrong notes; my teacher has often said that she'd rather hear an expressive phrase with a few klonkers than a note-perfect rendition that's also perfectly dull. Yup, a tall order for us perfectionists! laugh
Posted by: btb

Re: I play piano like I play golf.. - 04/14/11 02:08 AM

As the long-handicap wannabe remarked to his caddie ...
in puzzlement as he stood up on his drive at the Home of Golf St Andrews ...
and his drive clattered with a lingering fade into the unplayable dense heather ...
“Golf is a funny game” ...

to which the Scottish caddie replied ...
“It wa’ nae’ meant ta’ be”.

But if you’re no good at the keyboard and at golf ... why not take up sky-diving? ... which is said to be less frazzling on the nerves.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: I play piano like I play golf.. - 04/14/11 06:14 AM

Temperament is a strange thing...I've seen softly-spoken, mild-mannered taciturn pianists transform into raging maniacs when in front of the piano keyboard, and conversely, voluble, loud-mouthed, garrulous, extroverted and flamboyant people play as if afraid of injuring the housemites on the keys. Never judge a book by its cover, as they say...

Most of my colleagues are amazed that when I go on holiday, I risk my life climbing and mountaineering at high altitudes as well as doing fun things like sky-diving, paragliding, hang-gliding, bungy-jumping, white-water kayaking etc, because I'm introverted and taciturn by nature cool. And similarly, when I'm at a piano, I transform into, well, a different being: I never play for safety except when I'm learning a new piece. Wrong notes whizz by too fast to be heard...... grin
Posted by: jnod

Re: I play piano like I play golf.. - 04/14/11 06:56 AM

I play piano like I play chess: I'm ambitious but accident-prone.
Posted by: LimeFriday

Re: I play piano like I play golf.. - 04/14/11 07:27 AM

Originally Posted By: cardguy

Piano it seems to me is no different. I don't care how good your technique is, if you can't find a way to just let it flow, you won't play nearly up to your ability..


This is exactly the conversation I had with my teacher a few days ago. Her solution - take up yoga wink Not instead of piano - but in addition to. If not yoga - then mediation, or whatever works in aid of relaxation of the mind and muscles. It remains to be seen whether this makes a difference. I've yet to try it.
Posted by: lilylady

Re: I play piano like I play golf.. - 04/14/11 08:17 AM

Try singing loudly and carefree while you play.

Your fingers will just have to keep up!
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: I play piano like I play golf.. - 04/14/11 09:22 AM

Originally Posted By: cardguy
And yet...and here's the kicker....On the golf course, I STILL BASICALLY SUCKED. Why? Because I couldn't find a way to relax consistently under pressure..

Piano it seems to me is no different. I don't care how good your technique is, if you can't find a way to just let it flow, you won't play nearly up to your ability..
Why be nervous? No one's going to repossess your Bluthner if you hit some wrong notes. Your practicing at home seems analogous to the driving range, no?
Posted by: daviel

Re: I play piano like I play golf.. - 04/14/11 10:10 AM

I do not know about anybody else, but with me if I am really prepared I can relax. Usually if I am too cautious that is an indication that I do not know the piece as well as I thought I did. I guess in my reptilian-brain way back there I really know I am not prepared so I over-compensate and seize up. If I over-practice a piece I am more confident and more relaxed.
Posted by: Entheo

Re: I play piano like I play golf.. - 04/14/11 10:41 AM

know what you mean cardguy. have you ever checked out the "inner game" books? (golf, tennis, music). really quite effective at distinguishing between Self 1, which is the overly critical internal voice, and Self 2, which is the source of your innate capabilities.
Posted by: cardguy

Re: I play piano like I play golf.. - 04/14/11 01:09 PM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: cardguy
And yet...and here's the kicker....On the golf course, I STILL BASICALLY SUCKED. Why? Because I couldn't find a way to relax consistently under pressure..

Piano it seems to me is no different. I don't care how good your technique is, if you can't find a way to just let it flow, you won't play nearly up to your ability..
Why be nervous? No one's going to repossess your Bluthner if you hit some wrong notes. Your practicing at home seems analogous to the driving range, no?


Yes, it is. Good point. However, as soon as i start recording myself it's like heading out to the first tee at Augusta :>)

Alas, the golf analogy breaks down because I don't have nearly the technical skills at the piano that I do with a golf club. I actually have a little bit of golfing talent.

Bottom line here is that recording myself is a brutally painful exercise. Every little slip, flaw, mistake is right there in all its painful playback glory...

Pieces that I thought I was playing half-way decently have to be taken apart and reconstructed measure by measure. It's a tad discouraging .

I was happier in my ignorance :-)