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how to concentrate on one piece?

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how to concentrate on one piece? Empty how to concentrate on one piece?

Post by jis on Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:03 am

Hi,

I wonder how you concentrate on one piece of music. I want to play so many different pieces at the same time, that I have a problem finishing them all. Some pieces I loose interest in after a while, and my hands are not yet where my head is concerning the 'interesting pieces' (yet too difficult).
I am afraid that not finishing might stand in my way of progressing somehow.
I also like to improvise and find it hard to concentrate on the score.

Anyone with tips or same experience?

Jis

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Post by cheesesandwitchs on Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:05 am

ah i find i just as hard i found it easier after i learn't a good hard song and stuck to it the more songs you learn the faster you will learn them and it will be better Razz
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Post by aendym on Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:41 pm

Hey jis!
I have the opposite problem. Im not able to play another piece until Ive absolutely finished the last one off. Idont know why, I guess Im just not able to do multitasking! =) That makes my progress quite slow... or, at least the progress of learning many new pieces in a short time. =)
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Post by Circle_of_Fists on Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:53 pm

jis wrote:Hi,

I wonder how you concentrate on one piece of music. I want to play so many different pieces at the same time, that I have a problem finishing them all. Some pieces I loose interest in after a while, and my hands are not yet where my head is concerning the 'interesting pieces' (yet too difficult).
I am afraid that not finishing might stand in my way of progressing somehow.
I also like to improvise and find it hard to concentrate on the score.

Anyone with tips or same experience?

Jis

This is an interesting post, as I'm sort of in the same spot at the moment. I've bitten off more than I can chew and am in the middle of 3 difficult (to me) pieces that have given me problems.

Some nights I feel like I'm not making any progress at all, but, like just recently, I get a renewed energy to make forward progress.

So, part of it is just mental. I've found that setting a goal and striving for it has helped narrow my focus and let me progress while enjoying it since I can see myself getting closer to my goal.

For instance, I picked the one I wanted to finish the most, and focused most of my time on learning (mostly memorizing) this one. The other two I do very little work on, but still play through slowly of what I know to keep it fresh and improve my playing of what I do know, plus I enjoy playing them anyway. They also help break up the monotony of only focusing on the first piece.

I've just recently finished memorizing the first, so now the goal is to focus on the parts that give me trouble. This part is much less time consuming than the first goal that was set, so now I'll have time to continue working on one of the other two pieces.

I hope that made sense! Shocked


aendym wrote:Hey jis!
I have the opposite problem. Im not able to play another piece until Ive absolutely finished the last one off. Idont know why, I guess Im just not able to do multitasking! =) That makes my progress quite slow... or, at least the progress of learning many new pieces in a short time. =)

You should really give it a try. Just be careful! There is a fine line between to much, and too little, in my opinion. Too much, and you run into the problems described above.

But, I've found that when I'm only working on one single piece I can at times get into the "twilight zone" where my head really isn't into the playing as the fingers do their thing. Like when you say a word over and over and over and after a while you forget what the word means and it sounds funny, almost like a new word you've never heard before.

Bouncing between pieces has helped me to keep my mind fresh and "connected" somehow. Except, of course, my story above about taking on too much and getting discouraged. Like I said, it's a fine line, but well worth considering! Very Happy
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Post by jis on Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:34 pm

Hi,

circle of fists wrote
For instance, I picked the one I wanted to finish the most, and focused most of my time on learning (mostly memorizing) this one. The other two I do very little work on, but still play through slowly of what I know to keep it fresh and improve my playing of what I do know, plus I enjoy playing them anyway. They also help break up the monotony of only focusing on the first piece.
I hope that made sense

you do absolutely make sense.Smile I think it will work for me to focus on one piece and 'just play' the others.

aendym wrote
Im not able to play another piece until Ive absolutely finished the last one off.


Is that not boring? Do you use etudes or other exercises? Or do you focus on songs?

I think it also might have to do with personality, I tend to do everything at the same time in life also, and that is not always smart... No

(I am missing something working with quotes) Question

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Post by aendym on Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:30 pm

jis wrote:
Is that not boring? Do you use etudes or other exercises? Or do you focus on songs?

I think it also might have to do with personality, I tend to do everything at the same time in life also, and that is not always smart... No

Question

Im pretty sure it has something to do with personality. Im never really able to begin a project when the last one isnt completely finished. Im not really good at cooking a whole lot of different things at one time either... hehehe...
It doesnt really get boring cause I get the pieces memorized relativley quickly... and as soon as I have them memorized Im able to memorize the next piece and practice the old one to make it perfect... so I CAN play a lot of different pieces but I cant memorize more than one piece at a time...
Does that make sense??? =)
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Post by jis on Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:58 pm

[/quote](aendym)It doesnt really get boring cause I get the pieces memorized relativley quickly... and as soon as I have them memorized Im able to memorize the next piece and practice the old one to make it perfect... so I CAN play a lot of different pieces but I cant memorize more than one piece at a time...
Does that make sense??? =)

Yeah, that makes sense....and I am happy for you! Very Happy I could not imagine myself playing the same piece all day!
When I write a piece and I do not play it for two days, my fingers are confused......because they are 'into another piece'......

Jis


Last edited by jis on Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:00 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I am having a fight with quoting???)

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Post by Circle_of_Fists on Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:32 pm

aendym wrote:
Im pretty sure it has something to do with personality. Im never really able to begin a project when the last one isnt completely finished. Im not really good at cooking a whole lot of different things at one time either... hehehe...
It doesnt really get boring cause I get the pieces memorized relativley quickly... and as soon as I have them memorized Im able to memorize the next piece and practice the old one to make it perfect... so I CAN play a lot of different pieces but I cant memorize more than one piece at a time...
Does that make sense??? =)

Yes, this makes sense. I was under the impression that you stayed on one piece only until you finished it completely, that is, memorizing and working all the bugs out, bring up to tempo, etc...

Your approach is very similar to mine. Which is also why I was feeling so unmotivated when I got caught in the middle of 3 pieces. It just sort of happened by accident. Neutral
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Post by Thomandy on Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:25 pm

I had this problem before as well! Its still an issue from time to time, but I forced a rule on myself to avoid this problem!

First of, I had to only pick pieces I REALLY wanted to play! Just to get into a pattern of completing pieces! Then I had to memorize the piece 100% before I started anything new! .. But speed, interpretation etc etc can easily be practiced while learning new pieces! Smile I think its important to have some pieces or one piece you know well, some pieces or one piece you got memorized and have to practice and finally new pieces you are in the process of learning.. to have all these categories represented! Smile Then one can shift a little without it being to much Smile
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Post by Bean Delphiki on Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:46 pm

I'm not sure it's necessarily a good idea to work only on one piece at a time, unless you're just the sort of person that works that way.

I just picked up some books to start learning piano this weekend, so I can't speak to it from the experience of being a pianist...but in my experience with practically anything else (so I'm thinking this is applicable), forcing yourself only to work on one thing at a time until it's "perfect" is a good path to stagnation and frustration.

I tend to find it works better to work on something only to the point where you start to get truly frustrated with it. Then take a break and tackle something else which seems fun but which is more challenging. When you do go back to the first thing, the skills you picked up doing the more challenging thing will be transferable back to the thing you were originally having trouble with. And it should go more smoothly; the little things you had issues ironing out should come together.

Come to think of it, that's what I did when I played clarinet years ago. So yeah, that's what I would do.

If you're trying to learn a bunch of things at the same skill level, maybe you just need to set a few small goals. Like, pick just one piece you haven't finished learning and commit to working on it 15 minutes a day. Then allow yourself the rest of the time you use practicing to playing whatever you want. Eventually you should nail that one without feeling like it's a huge chore you want to avoid in favour of learning new stuff. Then pick the next piece. Etc.

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Post by MissCams on Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:26 am

Well, what I usually do when that happens is that I somehow i stop at the last part a learned and create an ending. meanwhile, i work on an other song and when i finish (or create an other ending) and i feel like going to back to the first song and continue learning it... and so on.


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Post by nescentes on Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:19 pm

The same problem here, as Jis -Im trying all-in-one and -usually- I end up nowhere. Usually, too, Im in hurry to learn and when a difficulty arises, I feel a little bit disappointed, and I take the piece(s) from scrats to be sure that I have learn something at least. And, at last, it takes me month(s) to finish a piece -and usually with some mistakes geek
I need to concetrate only in once piece/time, and hard practice study
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Post by VictorCS on Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:52 pm

I usually try to have a couple of pieces going on at the same time, havent practicing alot of new pieces on the piano tho, because I have a few I havent finished, and I want to finish these before I start with another. I guess I need some disipline with playing songs on the piano, because I havent learned any new pieces since earlier this year.

2 weeks ago I started playing quite non-stop on the guitar, to refresh my skills, since I hadnt been playing much on it. And I learned a very important thing. A clean note and good rythm is what makes a song sound good. At a piano you always have a good tone, but tone on the guitar is different, you need to make the note sound clean. So I've been polishing some older pieces I learned in the start. Better to play slow and clean with good rythm, than fast with bad notes and a little "off" rythm.

Anyway, back to the more than one piece topic. I picked 3, actually 4 songs for the guitar, FFXI - Ronfaure, MGS Theme, FFX - Someday the dream will end and FF2 - Town. I played all of them everyday, since two weeks ago. What I do is I play the first piece 3 times, then move onto the next song, and play that one 3 times etc. This is because I feel my brain gets clouded if I practice a song over and over again. That way my brain also got time to sort out my last song while memorizing the next. I find this a good way to progress fast. Ronfaure only need replaying to get the speed right, while the Town theme is almost done aswell ( this was the easiest, started with that one just a few days ago ). The MGS theme and FFX - STDWE have a few long stretches and are more complicated, I bet i'll need another week or two on those.

The bad thing is that I need to take a break. I got this bump in my wrist after doing push-ups last month, when on vacation it shrinked and was almost gone. But playing the guitar made it come back. So today I decided to take a break until the violin arrives, I guess two weeks. If it comes back again I will consider surgery, because it's kinda in the way when I bend to do push-ups Sad

For my quick answer, pick a few songs, practice each of them a few times, then jump to the next, and make it circulate. This will probably make your brain active in both memorizing and figuring out what's learned. And ofourse, pick a piece you like. No reason to play someting you dont like.
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Post by jytte on Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:09 pm

Ah, this is a "problem" that I gave up on Smile
When it comes to sheet music, I'm like a kid in a candy store. No sooner did I find another "must play" melody and started on it, then another one pops up. They usually come in 3 categories: Great songs/melodies I know and love, and look around for as they pop into my head; Sheets that I just happen upon on the internet; Popular songs that I am working on (or planning to) creating a score for (as they are rarely available at all).
So much great music, and so little time (and patience). I just hope that I live long enough (and get good enough) to play most of my favorite tunes. In the meantime the sheets keep stacking up on my desk and in my computer, waiting their turn. I DO try to limit the tunes I work on actively (not counting relaxing re-play of tunes already learned) to 3-4 at a time, otherwise my brain gets overloaded or my hands, whichever comes first. Usually what happens is that the ones I really really love sticks and gets the most work, the rest gets lost in the shuffle.

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