I do this every now and then: I'll be practicing a piece and encounter a passage where I know every single note, could probably write it out from memory, but keep making a silly mistake (like playing E instead of D) every single time. I'll even tell myself going in to the passage "don't forget, it's a D", but will still miss it. I was just wondering if accomplished musicians do the same thing (or, honestly, if any one else does it too...)
YES, they do!
These mistakes are very slight and probably only audible by other trained musicians. The general public is unlikely to hear them.
How to avoid making such mistakes:
Everyone has their own way to practise as close to perfection as possible.
I have tried many methods over the years as a pianist and I have found that memorising pieces is by far the best way for me.
Theory of scales, chords and music rules is also very important. A good Solfege knowledge will allow you to "replace" notes if you have blackouts or flubs, without people noticing.
Sight reading helps but I almost never rely on it when "performing" a piece, it's distracting and breaks my concentration. I use sight reading for more "easy pieces" as well as a skill for memorising.
Learning to memorise is very daunting at first, especially if you've never done it before. But it's sooo worth it!!!
The level of music understanding I have now has shot up. I can now play with my brain controlling and expressing everything, my fingers are merely an extension of my thoughts.
Plus, as per method described in the article below, it quickly enabled me to start improvising in a specific author's style.
All explained here:
Well, you pencil it in thickly. Before you know the stuff well enough to play it by heart anyway.
After that, it gets harder...
At any rate, any question of the "do concert musicians ..." evaluates to either "does there exist a concert musician such that" which almost by necessity is true, or to some basic statistic statement about percentages which cannot be resolved because of a lack of complete data.
So it's probably better to write as "how can I avoid ..." in order to get useful answers and put "Do others have similar problems?" into the body of the question as an aside. In that manner, you'll get anecdotal evidence that you are fishing for as a side effect and without turning the question as such into something that does not really fit on Stack Exchange.