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What are you thinking while you are playing?

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What are you thinking while you are playing?

Post by CaRo on Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:40 am

Hi! First of all, sorry about my english, I read but I haven't written for some time. I am really confused with this, I don't know for sure what is the correct thing to do, you can say music, is an art, you have to do what you feel, etc. But I'm sure you have to be thinking something when you play. For example, during playing a song:

Sometimes I am thinking what movement is next, what finger where, etc, thinking a bit ahead, anticipating. May be there comes THAT part of the song when I always make the same mistake if I get distracted, so I anticipate it and correct before it happens. But the songs are mecanic, I don't listen to the sound, I know I have to press here, press there and it would be OK.
Sometimes I just enjoy a part I really like and I just think of that, and the next thing to do comes natural. but if I make a mistake there i get lost
Now latelly, I am trying to concentrate more in the music, like singing along in mi head and concentrating on doing that sound I want to make, instead of thinking finger here, finger there, G , A.
But doing that I no longer think where I have to put the fingers before putting them, I don't know if I am clear. It's like, I can't do both, I can't think in the sound I want to make, and think about what I have to do with my hands, it comes natural and it's right, but sometimes it comes wrong the hand does it alone, I don't think, left hand C chord.

I am reading "Fundamentals of Piano Playing". It says play musically, it describes playing concentrating in finger here, finger there that results in not being able to play for others. That happened to me, still happens, I'm getting better. I practiced always alone, closed windows, closed door, didn't want anyone to listen. But when I felt somebody passing near my door I made weird mistakes I never made before because I started thinking how it sounds, for the person who listens, and I never practiced thinking that. So I'm trying to play more musically wich leads me to the question, what does other people think while they play? If I continue reading the book I'm sure it will be clearer but I want to know your experience to compare.

Thanks in advance!!!
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Re: What are you thinking while you are playing?

Post by jazzylady on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:07 am

I concentrate on the piece i'm learning . and the fingering too ..
I go over and over it till it,s right -- i'm slow , the chords i repeat repeat and repeat till it's ok . Smile

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Re: What are you thinking while you are playing?

Post by CaRo on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:15 am

And when you play a song you've already learned? When you practice, but you know that song well.
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Re: What are you thinking while you are playing?

Post by jazzylady on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:28 am

NOOOOOOOOOOO I'm talking about learning a new piece of music , learn it, play it slowly.. then slowly build up speed .. speed will come when you go over and over it , then you know what bar , chords , comes after that etc Laughing

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Re: What are you thinking while you are playing?

Post by Rickard on Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:00 am

Starting slowly and building up speed is the wrong way to do things. It wastes ALOT of time. Better find the right motions for playing fast and use slow play to practice those motions actually needed to play fast. Anyways, kinda offtopic but I wish I would have more time to practice nowadays, but I can't since I have a cold and it has lasted over a week now.

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Re: What are you thinking while you are playing?

Post by VictorCS on Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:14 pm

What I think when I play? That's alot of weird stuff, because i'm a freak ^_^

The times when i play really good I usually consentrate on the piece, becoming one with it? Then there are times I think about all sh*t in life, playing isnt as good, but it's ok, atleast i'm playing right.

Mostly when I do mistakes it's because i'm thinking to hard about not making mistakes. Brain thinks pattern, that's why there is no reason to think about where you place your fingers when you've learned the piece.

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Re: What are you thinking while you are playing?

Post by CaRo on Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:00 am

When you are performing for other people, what is in your head?

- anticipate the movements not to make mistakes
- play musically, get the best sound
- enjoying (I doubt it if you are nervous)
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Re: What are you thinking while you are playing?

Post by Azure77 on Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:35 am

When I start playing I may have many things going through my mind like "Hm, maybe this would be a nice lick" or "I should try to achieve this effect" or "This next phrase is going to be a challenge!". But pretty soon, my mind will go blank and I'll just "be" and become one with the music, so to speak. Kind of reminds me of what some people say about meditation, the whole thing of your mind entering a calm, pretty much thoughtless state. It's cool.
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