2022 our 25th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
70 members (accordeur, 5stringbanjo, 0day, AJB, BMKE, antune, 13 invisible), 660 guests, and 286 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 58
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 58
I start a new piece by sight reading very slowly. As I gradually get to know it by practising it every day I start to stop reading and start relying on muscle memory. I then end up by not sight reading at all but relying on memory. If I then lose track I'm lost because I don't know where I am on the page. But the problem is that, no matter how much I practise a piece, my memory never gets quite good enough. So that must mean that I need to sight read the piece as I'm playing it even if I think I have it memorised but my sight reading is not fast enough at the moment. I have got some sight reading exercise books and I'm practising sight reading every day so I hope this will help.
Has anybody else had this problem? Any Tips/
Thanks - Ted


(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,803
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,803
Muscle memory will let you lose your place. If you have a piece memorized in your head, you should be able to start anywhere.

I was never good at memorizing note by note myself. I rely more in a combination if playing by ear and remembering the notes that make the melody and harmonies.

muscle memory helps to play the piece smoothly and with confidence, but it needs some help from your brain to get through the whole piece without getting lost.


Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 262
D
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
D
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 262
Oh, I struggle with this a lot. I tend to believe I'm reading the notes, until I find myself lost on the page. I then realize I've obviously got some of it in memory so I must be drifting along enjoying the song - until that lost moment occures. Tips?? I wish I had some since I tend to believe I'm reading in the first place. I'm just working on greater concentration which can clash with my playing to verify all the dynamics in the piece if I think I'm to that stage of playing it.


"Do you listen when you play, or do you just put your hands on the keyboard and hope for the best?" Author: Unknown
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,337
B
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,337
Memorizing and reading are both critical skills. My advice would be don't sacrifice one in favor of the other just because you happen to be better at one.

As Joe said, memory has to come from your brain, not just your fingers. Work on memorizing away from the piano, where you won't be tempted to rely on muscle memory. Play pieces in your head, HS if necessary, small chunks at a time to make sure they are memorized.

Work on reading even with pieces that are well memorized. You may have to play them slower, but it's helpful to periodically go thru and read/play every note. Also do daily sight reading of pieces you don't know. They may sound god-awful, but it will improve your ability to play practiced pieces from the score instead of relying totally on memory.

Search the forums for memory and sight-reading and you'll find a ton of info.

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,368
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,368
I'm having a HUGE problem with this very situation right now as I am trying to learn a new piece from a written score.

Although I can (poorly) read music, I have spent so much time in the past couple of years developing my improvising and play by ear techniques that my sightreading has terribly suffered.

As a result, even though I am learning a score now as written, the moment I start to "get it" is when I stop reading and start memorizing. The problem is if I lose my place, I have no idea where the heck I am in the piece other than the general area.

What Bluekeys says is very true. Both sightreading AND memorization techniques are important and you should'nt let one or the other suffer too badly. I did and now I'm paying for it.

I have found that making various colored marks on the page at certain melody changes helps me find my way quicker when I get lost but probably is some form of cheating; who knows?.

Last edited by mr_super-hunky; 03/09/09 12:32 AM.
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,483
8000 Post Club Member
Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,483
it's normal at the beginner or even intermediate stage, when most people would focus on learning and memorizing the music and playing without music.

i was like that when i met my teacher. i thought i memorized the piece and played it for my teacher and then stopped in the middle and got lost and didn't know how to continue. so my teacher said, 'just look at the music', and i tried to find the spot and didn't even know where that was... that's pretty much how i experienced it for a while at lessons. since my teacher kept telling me to look at the music while playing, i learned to read while playing. it's not automatic after you have already memorized music, but by focusing on following music while playing, you will learn to do that. it just takes time and patience to get used to.

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,420
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,420
Originally Posted by mr_super-hunky
I have found that making various colored marks on the page at certain melody changes helps me find my way quicker when I get lost but probably is some form of cheating; who knows?.

Actually, it's not cheating at all; but you need to then memorize these marks too. Things like changes of melody and key are just some of the structural landmarks you can memorize to provide an "intellectual" supplement to pure muscle memory.

When I have a piece really well memorized, I find that I have a kind of mental map of the piece that I can follow along in my head: the sections, the repeats, the key changes, which section is a repeat or variation of an earlier section, etc. I certainly don't have an eidetic image of the score in my head, but I do have a very hard-to-describe mental picture of the piece.

And then there's aural memory: playing the piece in your head and having an exact idea of what sound you want at each point.


Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,124
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,124
I memorize everything I play. Although I can play by ear I prefer to read the score . To help my memory I analyse the chords, inversions, any unusual note combinations....the more you learn the easier the memorizing becomes. I also study many different styles of music to help develop an understanding of the music and the piano from every possible angle. Lots of challenges...lots of fun.
rada

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 8
C
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
C
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 8
This topic caught my interest. Some months ago my teacher stressed the importance of memorizing. Last week we reviewed why I should be sight reading while playing. Another day it's use the metronome. Later I must count in my head or count out loud. Where do I start? Sometimes there is a cacophony of "must-do's" and I end up paralyzed. During a lesson when things are going badly, it feels like driving a car in a place you have never been to and three people are in the car yelling to take a different route.

There are so many skills involved in playing. My teacher says they are all important. If I try to concentrate on every skill at the same time my brain shuts down. As a result I will spend a month or so focusing on one thing more than another and then move on to the next. The selection of the skill to focus on is driven my what the teacher (in a very nice way) lets me know that I have done rather badly and need to take better care with.

Luckily, my new piano arrived a few weeks ago and so working on any skill is a bit like being in heaven.

New here, not quite ready for Chopin Etudes, playing at the level of an average 6 year old,

Carole B.



Carole Bergen

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
Piano Buyer - Read the Articles, Explore the website
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Is a CPT necessary?
by Petoskeyguy - 08/13/22 11:07 AM
Yamaha clp 785 horrible chorus effect
by Chrisgilx - 08/13/22 10:51 AM
How are you learning?
by bennevis - 08/13/22 09:41 AM
Here am and a little help
by Mayopapayo - 08/13/22 07:14 AM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
What's Hot!!
FREE June Newsletter is Here!
--------------------
Forums RULES, Terms of Service & HELP
(updated 06/06/2022)
-------------------
Music Store Going Out of Business Sale!
---------------------
Mr. PianoWorld's Original Composition
---------------------
Sell Your Piano on our world famous Piano Forums!
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums43
Topics214,375
Posts3,215,974
Members106,078
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2022 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5