I’ve been playing quite decently for the past several days. I had a good lesson on Friday and have practiced for two hours each day since with nice results. I was thinking today of what may have changed and one of the things I realized is that if I really concentrate I can actually play without missing too many notes.
There are two different types of problems that I usually encounter. One is just not being able to play the notes until I spend time working on them. Usually 16th notes are the culprit and I just have to practice them until I get my fingers to work and coordinate successfully with my brain. Sometimes this can take many weeks but it doesn’t frustrate me too much because I know eventually I’ll get it. What does frustrate me are those passages that I can play just fine but end up clamming or missing notes or forgetting fingerings. When I repeat the passage I play it okay. And I don’t miss the notes in the same places. So I think this problem is due to a lack of concentration.
I’ve also noticed this concentration issue at lessons but in the reverse. Many times when I try to demonstrate something that I’m doing wrong I play it correctly and I can’t duplicate the problem. I also play decently in band and, interestingly, I play better in the harder band than in the easier one. Sometimes I even play decently when playing duets. I think I’m much more focused when I’m not playing by myself. I have also noticed that when I play by memory I have to concentrate more and I rarely clam any notes. What I have to figure out is how to get to that level of concentration when I’m practicing. Maybe I should turn off the TV. (Just kidding.)