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#3174463 12/01/21 03:19 PM
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I’m just curious if anyone has difficulty talking while playing. I play mostly classical and I have a hard time talking to someone nearby if I’m playing the piano.

And I’m referring to the motor aspect of it - not that I’m “wrapped up” in the music.

Last edited by wg73; 12/01/21 03:20 PM.
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Of course it's hard. It probably is for anyone tbh.

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If it's a piece I can play easily from memory, I can chat while playing. I've taken requests, posed for photos, discussed quantum mechanics (OK, maybe not) while playing on public pianos this way.

It's an important aspect of multi-tasking that all classical pianists must master wink .


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Totally!!!

I mean, I can do it, but not well. grin

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I'm with Bennevis - if it is something I know well, i can talk. Usually, though, I'm very wrapped up in interpreting the music and if someone talks to me I really can lose my moment and then it's no good.

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One of my teachers used this as an aid to memorization. Assign a label to a spot where you are having difficulty, something easy that you can say out loud. As easy as "Db". Then, just before you get there and have to play the Db, say out loud "Db!". Of course, I couldn't do it at first, but after some practice I could manage it. That's not the same as carrying on a conversation though.

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I cheat and I write those things by the notes - usually only when they are so far above or below the staves that it's hard to see the difference sometimes between a high "A" or "C" or even "E" sometimes depending on the quality of the printed score. Especially if there's a big jump (like in Liszt's transcription of Schubert's Ave Maria)

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I can talk while playing as well, but my accuracy suffers a bit and it usually only works when I'm playing pieces below my skill level. Also, the conversation needs to be fairly simple. I could talk about a piece or ask for requests, or maybe some kind of small talk but that's about it.

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I drive my wife crazy, as I play the piano, listen to the news on TV and talk to her, she turns off the TV and I respond “Hey, I am listening to it.”

This not a skill worth developing. Maybe if you want to sing along with your music.

Read the “Piano Girl” book. I am pretty sure she can do this.

I have seen a youtube video of Lady Gaga playing while talking to the audience.

Since this is a classical forum, to avoid being shamed, I only listen to classical news and I bet Lady Gaga can play classical music.


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Originally Posted by Panama
This not a skill worth developing. Maybe if you want to sing along with your music.
I do want to sing along with music. Schubert's music, principally.

Here, have a go at this one - the piano part is easy enough to sight-read, and the tessitura of the vocal part is quite reasonable (and again, easy to sight-sing):


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I bet Lady Gaga can play classical music.
Of course she can wink :


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Singing along with vocal music while playing is a good skill that I'd like to get better at. But IMO people should not expect to carry on a conversation with a pianist playing classical music. They're supposed to be listening! smile


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Off on a tangent, but still related to the OP, I think - here is an amusing and clever piece in which a bass player is required to read text while playing -


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Great video! This captures exactly what I am referring to. Thanks!

So I know I'm not alone lol.

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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Panama
This not a skill worth developing. Maybe if you want to sing along with your music.
I do want to sing along with music. Schubert's music, principally.

Here, have a go at this one - the piano part is easy enough to sight-read, and the tessitura of the vocal part is quite reasonable (and again, easy to sight-sing):


Quote
I bet Lady Gaga can play classical music.
Of course she can wink :

Speaking of pop artists, I've dabbled in Tori Amos' music, and some of her vocal lines are above a pretty difficult and non-similar piano accompaniment (more than just Alberti bass or something), yet she pulls it off effortlessly. To me this is similar to trying to speak while playing.

Maybe you just have a knack for it?

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Originally Posted by wg73
Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Panama
This not a skill worth developing. Maybe if you want to sing along with your music.
I do want to sing along with music. Schubert's music, principally.

Here, have a go at this one - the piano part is easy enough to sight-read, and the tessitura of the vocal part is quite reasonable (and again, easy to sight-sing):


Quote
I bet Lady Gaga can play classical music.
Of course she can wink :

Speaking of pop artists, I've dabbled in Tori Amos' music, and some of her vocal lines are above a pretty difficult and non-similar piano accompaniment (more than just Alberti bass or something), yet she pulls it off effortlessly. To me this is similar to trying to speak while playing.

Maybe you just have a knack for it?
This is one of the reasons I was impressed by Tom Lehrer.

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Talking, as in having a random conversation,while playing the piano is very different from playing a song and singling along. My guess is far more people can do the second which I think is extremely easy unless one is playing a very difficult song accompaniment. The singing and music go together naturally.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Talking, as in having a random conversation,while playing the piano is very different from playing a song and singing along. My guess is far more people can do the second which I think is extremely easy unless one is playing a very difficult song accompaniment. The singing and music go together naturally.

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Originally Posted by wg73
I’m just curious if anyone has difficulty talking while playing. I play mostly classical and I have a hard time talking to someone nearby if I’m playing the piano.

And I’m referring to the motor aspect of it - not that I’m “wrapped up” in the music.

When I am playing the piano I need to apply 100% concentration. If somebody converses with me, some of that 100% is used up in talking. The result is - depending on my ability with the piece - that I play less well, or possibly break down altogether.


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