Changing fingerings a day before performance?

Posted by: albynism

Changing fingerings a day before performance? - 11/16/12 06:48 PM

Yes or no? I had this passage which tear me up everytime and just then I discovered new fingerings which work better, I'm still kicking myself for not discovering it sooner. Performance is tomorrow should I stick with the old ones or get this new ones to set in...fast!
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Changing fingerings a day before performance? - 11/16/12 06:55 PM

If it is only a passage I think it is OK if you feel more comfortable.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Changing fingerings a day before performance? - 11/16/12 07:12 PM

Only you can weigh the obvious positives and negatives.

We also have absolutely no idea of your level, how big a change is involved, how much time you have to practice the new fingering. What piece and what passage?
Posted by: jazzyprof

Re: Changing fingerings a day before performance? - 11/16/12 08:05 PM

I'd say stick with the old fingering. It's already been programmed into your muscles and neural network. A change now for a performance tomorrow might end up confusing your fingers and possibly lead to a slip up in that passage.
Posted by: riley80

Re: Changing fingerings a day before performance? - 11/16/12 08:47 PM

In my experience, a last minute fingering 'discovery' proved to be dangerous. When the passage approached, I sort of panicked and flubbed between the old and new. Stick to the old, no matter how bad it seems. My 2 cents.......

If you a couple of weeks to practice it, then I'd say go ahead. If less time, no way.
Posted by: Bluoh

Re: Changing fingerings a day before performance? - 11/17/12 01:45 AM

Dangerous, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Whatever makes you more confident for the performance. If you do change it, make sure you get the practice in for new muscle memory, and not mix the two up during the performance. Although, don't overwork yourself.
(You know yourself best.) Good luck! Let us know how it goes. smile
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Changing fingerings a day before performance? - 11/17/12 08:53 AM

I think sticking with the old at this point is best, and have it be a lesson learned for the future, that sometimes the reason you're not getting a passage if because of bad fingering choices for you.

I tried changing fingering last minute and it wasn't really solid enough for the performance so I ended up messing up that passage anyways. Like riley80 did, I was stuck between the old and the new.

edited to add: If it is a matter of changing just a couple of fingers or something minor like that, then I think you can go ahead with the new. But more complex passages are best left with the old IMO.
Posted by: albynism

Re: Changing fingerings a day before performance? - 11/18/12 12:09 AM

Ok thanks everyone for the advice. The performance was a disaster, not so much of the changed fingerings but the piano was so.. I dont know to describe it, I hate to blame the instrument, But the key depth was so shallow which threw me off and the surface was so slippery. I was playing Chopin etudes by the way which doesn't help because it starts fast. At least when It starts slow I can adapt to it gradually. Anyway I never experienced a piano like that before and i won't mention the brand. I'm gonna lock myself in my room now and cry frown
Posted by: jdw

Re: Changing fingerings a day before performance? - 11/18/12 08:51 AM

Often a performer's perceived "disaster" will still bring musical enjoyment to listeners. They aren't comparing the performance to your inner standard. Don't stay in the locked room too long!
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Changing fingerings a day before performance? - 11/18/12 01:13 PM

I vote for comfort. Always go with comfort. Nerves jack up a little on stage, even for the most calm of performers, and that little extra jolt can throw something "almost" comfortable completely out of whack. So, if you're comfortable changing the fingering, then go for it.

My guess is that you are not so comfortable doing so, since you are posing the question. In light of that, my advice would be to wait until after the performance to change the fingering--particularly if it's in a long, fast, and/or unrecoverable section.
Posted by: albynism

Re: Changing fingerings a day before performance? - 11/18/12 03:09 PM

Thanks jdw. Just woke up after a night of self-reflect. It was a complete disaster, I have never performed this badly before...but I guess it helps me grow as a performer. It's just funny that before the recital I have practiced so much, did all my homework, taken all the necessary steps to calm nerves etc, and then as soon as the first note hits the key everything just went out the window. I played on auto-pilot and felt like I was playing on ice, throughout the piece I just pray my fingers doesn't slip and somehow magically I would be transported back in time so I could start over again. :(((( anyway I guess I learn some lessons from this experience.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Changing fingerings a day before performance? - 11/18/12 03:48 PM

In the future, if at all possible, try out the piano you will be performing on. It saves you from the shock of the first few notes, which can sometimes set you off balance for the whole piece.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Changing fingerings a day before performance? - 11/18/12 04:09 PM

Piece and passage, please.
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Changing fingerings a day before performance? - 11/19/12 05:04 PM

Are you sure it was that bad? Did you record it and listen to it later? Did your teacher confirm it?
Sometimes right after an exam or a performance we have the impression that we made mistakes that we didn't make. I don't know, maybe after the adrenaline surge when it goes down again it plays tricks on us. I always thought I had made mistakes I had not made after most exams, and then I had all highest grades and the mistakes were not there at all. But right after an exam I really had that impression, although after a few days I felt better.
At any rate, yes, it is always a good idea to try out the piano before a recital, not only to see if it is a good piano, but also because it just makes you feel better to play on a piano you have already tried out.
Posted by: Bluoh

Re: Changing fingerings a day before performance? - 11/24/12 07:06 PM

Originally Posted By: albynism
Thanks jdw. Just woke up after a night of self-reflect. It was a complete disaster, I have never performed this badly before...but I guess it helps me grow as a performer. It's just funny that before the recital I have practiced so much, did all my homework, taken all the necessary steps to calm nerves etc, and then as soon as the first note hits the key everything just went out the window. I played on auto-pilot and felt like I was playing on ice, throughout the piece I just pray my fingers doesn't slip and somehow magically I would be transported back in time so I could start over again. :(((( anyway I guess I learn some lessons from this experience.

You know, maybe probably wasn't that bad.

Once, I remember thinking I flunked a piano exam, when I got a really good mark in the end.

Maybe it's the pressure and nerves building up on you, what with switching fingers and such.

But if nothing else, you've learned great lessons. smile (And heard wise words from great people over the internet.)