57 votes

How to avoid stopping when I play a wrong note on the piano

The source of the problem The most common cause I've encountered for this kind or problem is practicing primarily from the beginning a piece. The "mechanical" solution Beginners tend to ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 88k
44 votes

Is there a way to rehearse being in a stressful performance situation?

You've hit on a very important point. I give this speech often to my students, that we "practice practicing," but rarely "practice performing." Especially for a non-professional, a ...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
  • 17.2k
43 votes

Can a flute soloist sit?

Absolutely. Nobody ever expects (extreme case) Itzhak Perlman to stand. Personally, I'd be a happy audience if a flautist sat on a barstool, as many guitarists tend to do. Now, performing while on a ...
Carl Witthoft's user avatar
40 votes

Forgetting the musical notes while performing in concert

For some reason, practice isn't always enough for prepare us for a performance. That's not unusual. Some things that have helped me and others I've talked to include: "Practice" performing in ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
  • 56.7k
37 votes

Fermata over a rest at the end of the piece?

Do you sit there and prevent the audience from clapping until you want that rest to finish its extended duration? I've always thought this is pretty much what a fermata like this is about. When ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
  • 56.7k
35 votes
Accepted

Can piano studies be played as a performance piece?

Well pretty much anything can be played as a performance piece but many of them would be very dull to listen to. Personally I find Hanon extremely boring and I believe many other people do too. ...
JimM's user avatar
  • 5,051
33 votes
Accepted

I feel like I don't evolve, and sometimes shamed when playing with someone better than me

I find any learning process goes in cycles: At first, you're pretty bad. And you know it. Then, you start getting better. You're playing pretty well. Everything is great. And then you realise that ...
endorph's user avatar
  • 9,619
30 votes

Can a flute soloist sit?

I've never seen a flutist sit, but I've also not seen very many flute soloists. What I have seen is plenty of soloists that do sit, so you'd be in good company! And keep in mind that cellists, ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.5k
29 votes
Accepted

How do you play this measure on piano? Are unwritten polyrhythms a thing?

Here's how I'd interpret it. Excuse my lack of drawing skill. There are four beats in the right hand, each a crotchet in length. I've drawn lines between each beat to make them clear. The left hand ...
endorph's user avatar
  • 9,619
23 votes

How would you live perform a piece whose recording has a faded ending?

I'd recommend just finding a number of fade-out songs and looking for live videos on YouTube (etc.) to see how they're handled. There are a number of ways, but here are some common ones: If the ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.5k
23 votes

Why don't bands try to fade out songs live like they do in the studio?

There might be many different reasons for different bands. So I will be able to point just some possibilities. Studio recording and live performance are different ways to present the songs. Recordings ...
user1079505's user avatar
  • 16.7k
21 votes

Vocal range of a crowd

One other place where we find large crowds of people singing songs together is worship music- so perhaps we can find relevant advice there. The general consensus* is that the most friendly keys for ...
Edward's user avatar
  • 8,228
21 votes

How to dare to whistle or to hum in public?

I think it’s important that you should not in any way feel like you have to be able to do this. Singing, whistling and humming should be a means of expressing yourself because you are in the mood for ...
Lazy's user avatar
  • 20.4k
20 votes

Forgetting the musical notes while performing in concert

Dealing with pressure Get a sound recorder or use your phone and record your performances. The extra pressure of recording yourself will cause similar pressure to an actual performance. Also practise ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
20 votes

Is it a good idea to drink alcohol before a performance?

Doing this as a method to give better performances is a good way to slide into alcoholism. Though commonly played down alcohol is a serious poison that will damage your body even in non excessive ...
Lazy's user avatar
  • 20.4k
17 votes

How do you not get lost between measures?

A few ways: By counting the measures! It really is that simple. You start on measure 28, so measure 29 is your first measure of rest, then measure 30, then measure 31, etc. By the time measures 38 ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.5k
17 votes

How would you live perform a piece whose recording has a faded ending?

Another option is to actually overplay the fade out! The singer slowly stepping away from the microphone, the drummer dramatically only slightly touching the drums, etc. This kind of "comic overdoing" ...
Jörg W Mittag's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

What can I do to stop getting nervous before and during a performance?

How often do you practice in front of others? You could try asking people to join you while you practice, or find a public piano and jump on to practice. The idea is to have more experience playing ...
Basstickler's user avatar
  • 7,429
17 votes

Can piano studies be played as a performance piece?

I have taken a few works from Czerny, slowed them down and played them as prelude pieces in church. One day a woman commented how gorgeous a piece was that I played and I told her it was by Czerny. ...
Malcolm Kogut's user avatar
17 votes

Can a flute soloist sit?

Orchestral flautists sit the whole time so it's clearly possible to play the flute to a high standard while sitting. It's the 21st century and people are used to legislation that requires employers ...
David Richerby's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

Why was no first prize awarded at a competition?

This actually happens more than you might think. If you Google it you might be surprised by how many results you can find. The reason is usually to do with the overall standard of the competitors. ...
JimM's user avatar
  • 5,051
16 votes

Is there any way for my to become a better judge of my playing? Especially while I'm playing

This is a terrific, and very important, question! Have you ever heard a recording of yourself speaking? Did it come across as odd to you? Did you ever think "that's not how I sound!"? The same is ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.5k
16 votes

Forgetting the musical notes while performing in concert

A good practice exercise I've found to help with this is to play along to a metronome and not play every other bar. For example, play bar 1, then sit in silence for bar 2 whilst imagining the sound in ...
F Chopin's user avatar
  • 569
16 votes

Why don't bands try to fade out songs live like they do in the studio?

There are two different ways this can be done: a) The band plays at a quieter and quieter dynamic level, until none of the players can be heard anymore (over the crowd etc. noise). There are a couple ...
leftaroundabout's user avatar
15 votes

How would you live perform a piece whose recording has a faded ending?

If a live all-acoustic band is trying to perform such pieces, it's not really feasible to do a fade. It's a little-known fact but most acoustic instruments and even vocals are capable of producing a ...
user32502's user avatar
  • 151
15 votes
Accepted

Why was Le Concert Spirituel playing out of tune at Proms 2012?

You are right, it is because they are using very old horns known as natural horns which had no valves or holes. They had known limitations and were quite difficult to play. You can see and hear a ...
BenoitLussier's user avatar
15 votes

Is it reasonable to expect a non-percussionist to play a simple triangle part?

How much does it take to learn how to play the triangle? 10 seconds. How much does it take to know how to play the triangle? Hundreds of hours of practice, years of experience. Just like many "...
musicamante's user avatar
  • 6,664
14 votes

What can I do to stop getting nervous before and during a performance?

What I used to do before giving a lecture to a large crowd was the following ritual. (I never had time to do this in a music context.) First, hit the restroom; next, eat one small slice of cantaloupe. ...
ttw's user avatar
  • 25.4k
14 votes
Accepted

Vocal range of a crowd

Just about everyone can manage an octave from B♭ to the one above. Women and men will find their own octave. Take it up to C if you like. By D some will begin to fall out, but this should be ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 92.9k

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