aranya wrote:I hear everybody talking about how difficult it is to interpret a piece correctly and to get the right accents in the right places. But I often get the feeling it works the other way around. Usually I've got a very clear picture in my head of how I want the piece to sound, long before I can play it well technically (we're talking weeks here, not months or years). So I'll know exactly where I want the soft and the loud parts and the commas and the accents and the rubatos and everything else*, but the problem is that if I would record it, there would be errors everywhere and I wouldn't want to listen to it because of all the mistakes.
If I could get rid of those errors I'm sure people would be moved by my performance, the problem is it takes so incredibly long to get rid of all the errors! And I suspect that by the time I master the piece technically, defining mastery as being able to play the correct, clear notes in the right order, with no errors, I will probably be so fed up with it that nobody will be moved by my performance anymore, because I'm not moved by the piece anymore after hearing it 100.000 times.
Does this sound familiar to anyone?
* I'm now referring to pieces that really suit me, the ones I feel I could have written myself. When I know a piece doesn't suit me or I don't even like it, I won't try to pursue mastering it in the first place. I can see how that would take ages, if you don't understand the piece you will never be able to perform it well, even if it is a piece of cake technically.
When I want to play a piece without note error I use a stop and go method.This is generally once I've reached the stage
where I'm satisfied with RH and LH fingerings,and understand the basic rhythmic structure and future performance speed.
The first stage is to hear,visualise and then very quietly play with both hands the piece bar by bar.Without any beat,pulse or rhythmic foundation.
This means I only have the goal of seeing and hearing the piece in terms of movement patterns.By playing the piece with the least pressure
I release the need to 'feel' the piece.The only goal at this point is to make sure that i can clearly understand where I am,what I'm doing now,
what I'm going to do next,where I'm going to next and knowing what I'm going to do when I get there.
I begin by hearing and seeing the first bar(measure) then play it only when I'm absolutely certain what I'm doing/going to do.
Whenever I feel uncertain or confused about a bar I stop and wait until I'm know for certain what to do next.I take the piece through
from begining to end bar by bar or if I'm feeling confident, phrase by phrase.The goal is to play all of those notes accurately with mental clarity
and certainty.To hear and see the music before playing it.
Once I can do this with a piece or in the case of longer pieces a section,I can introduce another element say finger pressure.
I then play through bar by bar at full volume and finger pressure but without any beat or pulse.After I'm able to play note perfect
in this manner I introduce a beat or pulse but play without pressure.Finally the end of this game is to bring all the elements together
at a very slow tempo.Absolutely certain and clear of what I'm doing and what I'm going to do next.If at any time I feel confused or uncertain
about anything I stop and wait until I am.Any element of confusion or uncertainty will be a point that will blow up when attempting
to record or perform a piece.The idea is to eliminate the complexity of the seperate elements and then re -introduce them one by one.