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How do you play through mistakes?

Dave the Gnome 17 Nov 16 - 06:30 AM
GUEST 17 Nov 16 - 06:53 AM
G-Force 17 Nov 16 - 07:25 AM
Will Fly 17 Nov 16 - 09:19 AM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Nov 16 - 09:45 AM
Will Fly 17 Nov 16 - 10:03 AM
meself 17 Nov 16 - 10:19 AM
Mrrzy 17 Nov 16 - 10:40 AM
Will Fly 17 Nov 16 - 11:24 AM
Tattie Bogle 17 Nov 16 - 11:30 AM
JHW 17 Nov 16 - 11:55 AM
Stanron 17 Nov 16 - 01:27 PM
Dave the Gnome 17 Nov 16 - 01:28 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 17 Nov 16 - 03:48 PM
Vic Smith 17 Nov 16 - 04:03 PM
gillymor 17 Nov 16 - 04:14 PM
GUEST,ripov (where's me cookie gone?) 17 Nov 16 - 08:12 PM
meself 17 Nov 16 - 08:26 PM
leeneia 17 Nov 16 - 10:08 PM
Richie 18 Nov 16 - 12:08 AM
Ebbie 18 Nov 16 - 04:38 AM
Richard Mellish 18 Nov 16 - 05:19 AM
FreddyHeadey 18 Nov 16 - 05:50 AM
Howard Jones 18 Nov 16 - 09:26 AM
leeneia 18 Nov 16 - 09:43 AM
meself 18 Nov 16 - 10:22 AM
Johnny J 18 Nov 16 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 18 Nov 16 - 01:51 PM
Acorn4 19 Nov 16 - 04:18 AM
meself 19 Nov 16 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,RonK 19 Nov 16 - 11:53 AM
jojofolkagogo 19 Nov 16 - 12:36 PM
Tattie Bogle 21 Nov 16 - 03:27 PM
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Subject: How do you play through mistakes?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 06:30 AM

Hi Mudcat collective.

I know I am capable of playing accordion to a reasonable standard but I have some sort of mental block about mistakes - I cannot seem to 'play through' them. My reasoning head says that a bum note here and there, while being annoying, should not stop the flow of the music but unfortunately with my piano accordion it does :-(

I can play a good few tunes on Anglo Concetina and tin whistle without the same issue and can strum along on my guitar, playing the wrong chords occasionally, without interruption but on accordion, no chance.

Has anyone any advice on how to overcome this? More practice? I have been trying for about 3 years! Give up the accordion and try something else? I am reluctant to waste all the time invested so far. Hypnosis? Any help gratefully accepted.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 06:53 AM

Maybe try studying some improvising theory, like learning scales and arpeggios and putting them in patterns and using them to create variations and that might help you recover from what you may perceive as a mistake, but actually is just a doorway to another variation/ornament/version


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: G-Force
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 07:25 AM

Play jazz. There are no wrong notes in jazz.


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 09:19 AM

Part of the problem is muscle memory. When you're fingering an instrument, you're mentally conditioning your muscles and co-ordination to a series of patterns. A chord sequence on a guitar, or a fingerpicking pattern is typical of a pattern series. I certainly visualise my guitar fingering as a series of geometrical progressions or shapes up, down and across the fingerboard.

A wrong note can be a factor in breaking the flow of a pattern if that pattern is not sufficiently embedded. The fact that you can play through a broken guitar pattern - which, to be honest, is probably less complex than an accordion one - demonstrates that the guitar pattern is firmly embedded.

The answer, in my humble opinion, is to play slowly through your accordion pieces, keeping to a speed at which mistakes will either not occur of, if they do, can be played through. When you've played a piece a hundred times perfectly :-) - increase the speed until you reach your desired tempo. It's not just the old "practice, practice" mantra - it's a question of playing at a comfortable speed at which mistakes don't occur, and then gradually upping the game. The slow speeds will also help your muscle memory.

many years ago, I had a short series of "refresher" guitar lessons with a very talented guitarist in Worthing called Roger Kelly (he was the guitarist for Paul Young). His constant advice was: play at such a speed that every note is perfect.

Hope this helps.


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 09:45 AM

Any number of things we do as musicians can be seen as mistakes which were used. Hammering on or pulling off, sliding from one note to another, tricks of rhythm. Most of the stuff jazz musicians seem to do.

It's rather the same way that much of dancing is really a kind of controlled falling.

Never waste a good mistake..


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 10:03 AM

Jazz musicians don't mind a "happy accident" from time to time - as anyone might - but playing the music well is just as rigorous as playing any other kind of music and demands just as much practice and technique. Perhaps even more so, because the essence of the music is to take a melodic line or a harmonic progression and make something different out of them on the spot while keeping within the bounds of the tune... A shitty, wrong dischord is a shitty, wrong dischord whatever you're playing!

Dave - forgot to ask: do you stumble at the same places, or is it random stumbling? If the former, then it's important to isolate those sections and go over them very carefully for phrasing, fingering, etc.


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: meself
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 10:19 AM

And if the latter? That's the real challenge - for some of us, anyway ....


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 10:40 AM

If I do something really wrong and it startles me so that I stop what I was doing I grin, say oops, and start again from right before where I stopped.

If I get something a little wrong and am able to keep going I keep going with a grimace, and an oops at the first opportunity.


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 11:24 AM

And if the latter? That's the real challenge - for some of us, anyway ....

Ah - well that's what I was trying to address in my original response at 09.19 AM (Mudcat time).


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 11:30 AM

If you are playing with other people, they will keep going, so you need to learn to pick up again at a suitable place, rather than feel you have to go back over the bit where you made a mistake or stop until the end of the tune.
And if you are playing on your own, practising at home, then you can sop and go back to the bit that caused the problem: play it several times through slowly before you build it back up to speed.
If you are out there playing solo in public, well, some mistakes you can get away with so long as you don't look flustered and smile your way through or make a joke about it. We've all done it at some time or other!
Being able to take up or resume in the middle of a tune is a skill in itself, and comes with knowing the tune really well: I was once in a workshop where the tutor seemed incapable of doing this, so each time she taught us a new phrase of the tune, she had to go right back to the beginning


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: JHW
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 11:55 AM

"Being able to take up or resume in the middle of a tune is a skill in itself"
I watched a recent Leonard Cohen broadcast* and was impressed by his stopping to talk in a song then continuing. It isn't easy. If I think of a 'witticism' then continue I reckon restarting that verse is a help to me and the audience as you can't afford to lose them in the story of the song. Less important I suggest to the hearer of a tune or watcher of a dance.

(* on someone else's TV if the Licence people see this. I don't have one.)


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: Stanron
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 01:27 PM

The method I use to play through mistakes goes like this,

First, stop playing and Second, locate a point ahead in the tune and start playing again there.

A couple of points. This is no problem when playing with other people but playing solo you can end up with a gap. If you know your chords you can fill in a gap with the right chords, or odd notes from them, until you start playing the tune again. The better you get at this, the shorter the gaps get and the less anyone else will know there was a mistake.

For playing without mistakes the advice about playing slow enough to not get it wrong is good. Your hands will learn whatever you repeat. If you repeat mistakes your hands will learn those mistakes. If you play it slow enough to always get it right your hands will learn it right.


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 01:28 PM

Yes - Slow and steady. I think part of my trouble may be impatience with myself. How do I stop speeding up? Metro(g)nome :-) maybe? I have tried playing along to the BBC session on occasion but get frustrated that I can't keep up :-(

I do tend to stumble over the same bits and I can go over without doing the whole tune so that will help. One odd thing I have noticed - I am better at waltzes than anything else. Just speed do you reckon or is something in my brain geared to 3/4?

Thanks all and please feel free to keep 'em coming!

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 03:48 PM

Keep trying the piece at different speeds, too slow as well as too fast. It may be a particular pace that causes the problem. Once you find out a speed that you can play it at gradually move to the correct speed, slowing down or speeding up as appropriate.

If you have a metro(g)nome use that as a regulator to change the pace, altering it bit by bit.

If it is only happening on the one instrument then adjust your way of holding it slightly and see if the muscle memory is fooled.

That's all I can think to suggest at the moment.

Robin


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 04:03 PM

If I am the only person playing for dancing - does not happen often but is does sometimes - stopping is much more destructive than playing wrong notes. Playing for dancing forces you to just keep playing because it is the rhythm rather than the occasional wrong note. The discipline of the dance forces you to plod on.

I was in a session in a large very crowded, pretty noisy pub in Brighton last night; about a dozen of us around a large table. At times it was difficult to hear yourself never mind what others were playing. Yet, I could often tell when people were playing a wrong note even though I could not hear them. How come? Because musicians screw up their faces/ twitch their mouths. look upwards in disgust etc. when they play a wrong note. I do it myself and i find that much more difficult to control than carrying on playing after a wrong note.


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: gillymor
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 04:14 PM

Lots of good advice here, the only thing I'll add is to really, really know the tune which makes it that much easier to jump back in.


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: GUEST,ripov (where's me cookie gone?)
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 08:12 PM

At least there is usually some forgiveness for folkies who lose their place. In an orchestra the instruction is - 'I don't care if you are dead; your bow will still go up and down in time with everyone else's! '
But I can have a tune in my head all day, going over and over it; then when it's time to play, the tune goes and hides, usually half way through.
I can only reiterate the advice given - practice. Speed, and accuracy, are different things, don't try for both at once. And most important IMPROVISE. Get your fingers used to following your thoughts. If you get stuck in a performance, make something up that fits. The brain will drop back into the right gear eventually.
I appreciate that singers have more difficulty here - impromptu lyrics can lead the lay astray!


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: meself
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 08:26 PM

There's been a discussion on this subject going on over on https://thesession.org/discussions/39820#comment803402.


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: leeneia
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 10:08 PM

No matter how many times I've played a piece, I may make a mistake. On the piano, I've found it's best to take the left hand off the keys, and watch the right hand. When the right hand gets back to a place where I know what the chord is, I resume the bass.

As for dancing, I guess there's a reason why dancers usually dance to bands rather than soloists. If one member of the band loses the place, s/he can just be silent for a while.


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: Richie
Date: 18 Nov 16 - 12:08 AM

Hi,

When you make a mistake you go to the next note without pausing. You have to be able to visualize where you are going and pick up in rhythm the next series of notes. This requires practice and there is an exact way to practice this which requires detailed instruction on how to properly develop these skills (which I'm not going to do now).

There are several ways to practice this:
1) play every other measure aloud in time
2) have a friend or teacher say stop- then you stop (play along mentally hearing the music) and they say start and you start in exactly where you would if the music was continuously playing.
3) use a timer/beeper on your cell phone or metronome

When performing solo- you don't stop you:
A. Go to the next note in rhythm
B. You immediately skip ahead to a starting point
C. If all else fails-- you immediately (without pausing) start over.

I've written a series of articles on performance development if anyone is interested- I worked on these principles for the articles with my friend and former teacher Aaron Shearer.

Richie


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: Ebbie
Date: 18 Nov 16 - 04:38 AM

Someone (Chet Atkins?) said, If you play a wrong note, that is a mistake. When you repeat that note, that is your version.

I did hear Chet Atkins tell us oncne: Now, I know that some of you out there are musicians, and you will be watching me for a mistake. So, just for you, from time to time I'll throw one in.


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 18 Nov 16 - 05:19 AM

Two suggestions are perhaps worth quoting here, though they don't address the OP's problem.

If you play a wrong note, play it again, LOUDER, so people will think you meant it.

If you play a wrong note, glare at the musician next to you.


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 18 Nov 16 - 05:50 AM

"meself - PM
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 08:26 PM

There's been a discussion on this subject going on over on https://thesession.org/discussions/39820#comment803402." dead link

=
https://thesession.org/discussions/39820#comment803402


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 18 Nov 16 - 09:26 AM

Stop worrying about it and just carry on. It probably doesn't matter nearly as much as you think. If it's a minor mistake, the chances are most of the audience didn't notice, or if they did they will immediately have forgotten. In those situations, the worst thing you can do is draw their attention to it, whether by pulling a face or by stopping altogether.

If it's so bad or so obvious that you can't ignore it, then laugh about it. It gets the audience on your side.

It partly depends on what's caused the mistake. If you forget the tune, there's not much to be done about that, although practice will improve your memory retention and maybe help you find tricks to recover a llost tune. You can bluff, if you're sufficiently familiar with the genre to improvise a tune or make up missing words. If the mistake is simply due to incorrect fingering, untangle them and get back on track - again, the ability to improvise will help you over this.

If you can keep the rhythm going and make it appear that music is happening (so avoid vamping bar after bar of the same chord while gazing at the ceiling for inspiration) you can usually get away with it. That's what I tell myself, anyway.


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: leeneia
Date: 18 Nov 16 - 09:43 AM

Most of this advice ignores the fact that when we make a mistake, we don't usually know what we did. Therefore, we don't know what to do to correct it. Keyboard players usually watch their left hand.

I once saw the great Julian Bream in concert. He got stuck in a well-known piece, so he tried to correct. Failed again, shrugged while spreading his hands as if to say "What can you do?", and started the piece over. The audience smiled indulgently.


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: meself
Date: 18 Nov 16 - 10:22 AM

FredHeadey: Thanks for the fix-up on that link - don't know what happened there ....


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: Johnny J
Date: 18 Nov 16 - 10:40 AM

Angus Grant Jnr used to tell us that there was no such thing as playing a "bum note". It was the one which came afterwards which causes the problem

So, there is always the option to rescue yourself but you need to think fast. it may mean adding or missing the next note or changing it so as the music still flows. Do it well and listeners might even think you meant to do it that way.


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 18 Nov 16 - 01:51 PM

I suppose it's a trick of resisting the urge to stop and go back (whilst a good way of learning a tune, it's a bugger when performing it.)

It's more widespread amongst solo performers as you are in total control whereas a group carries on. I find keeping the time, whether tapping my foot or even mentally helps as the instinct to keep in time can become dominant.

Failing that, a smile, panache and claiming you meant to do that all along is a skill we all pick up along the way. Muttering "bollocks" is entertainment as well, you know....


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: Acorn4
Date: 19 Nov 16 - 04:18 AM

Do you like the way I put in that chord by Karlheinz Stockhausen?


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: meself
Date: 19 Nov 16 - 10:36 AM

If you are cool-headed enough to be able to come up with, and then pronounce, a name like 'Karlheinz Stockhausen', then you won't make the mistake in the first place ... !


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: GUEST,RonK
Date: 19 Nov 16 - 11:53 AM

How many times have you heard an old favorite played by it's original artist and he seems to have changed a line from one verse to another or changed the order of the verses. Or added a chord or note different from the recorded version. Or played a verse twice.
We always chalk it up to him intentionally making changes. I think it's mostly unintentional.
If you listen to Bob Dylan live, you might find him using the lyrics from one song with the chord progression and melody from another. I always wondered if that was intentional.


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: jojofolkagogo
Date: 19 Nov 16 - 12:36 PM

Mustokes ? Who makes mustakes !!!!!


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Subject: RE: How do you play through mistakes?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 21 Nov 16 - 03:27 PM

Slight thread drift, but if I am recording myself, and I go wrong, I find I just get screwed up if I stop and start again,and then become even MORE liable to mistakes on a re-take. So I just carry on playing until I get it right, then chop out the bad bits and link up the good bits to make a complete recording of a tune or song. My editing skills have improved a lot! ("Find the join if you can"!)


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