People often get discouraged when they make mistakes. They feel that there is something wrong with their practice. While it may be truth sometimes, very often it is a natural part of how we learn.
For example, it can often happen that you play correctly the 1st time, the 2nd time and you make a mistake on the 3rd time. Is that what happened to you in your organ practice?
That's OK. Failing and making mistakes is an integral part of our learning process. So please don't get frustrated when you make mistakes. In fact, if you don't make a mistake at the beginning stages of your organist training, then something is likely wrong with your organ practice.
If you don't fail enough times, you will not know what success is. If you feel you are not making any mistake at all, it probably means you are not looking hard enough and not concentrating on details (such as notes, rhythms, fingering, pedaling, articulation, ornaments, hand and feet position etc.). It probably means your mistakes get unnoticed.
If this is the case, record yourself and listen to your recording. Ask yourself, "would I pay money to get to this concert if someone played like that?".
Practice until the answer is yes. As they say, Practice Makes Perfect. Let's add to it Wise Practice Makes Perfect. Make sure you take a really slow controlled tempo in which you can think of the next note before you play it.
Practice in fragments of 4 measures as I always recommend (do 10 times each fragment) in separate voices and all combinations of 2 and 3 voices before putting everything together.
If you struggled with making mistakes up until now, apply these tips and in just 7 days, you will feel the breakthrough. If not, then it may mean that the piece is too difficult for you at the moment and that you need to work on your organ technique.
Force yourself not to look at your fingers and feet while you are playing. Look at the music. If you play from memory, just close your eyes. This is tough, I know. But trust me on this, it will get easier with time and the benefits of doing so are enormous.
By the way, do you want to learn my special powerful techniques which help me to master any piece of organ music up to 10 times faster? If so, download my video Organ Practice Guide.
Is your organ playing overdramatic? It is important keep it natural because often overdramatic performance sounds simply too distracting and comical to the listener. In addition, such playing style is not good for the player. Because of this, the instrument may also suffer some serious damage. In this article, you will discover 5 most common signs of organ playing offenses.
1) Tension in the body. When your body is all rigid, shoulders raised, fingers and upper thighs tensed, you cannot play in a natural way. You music becomes also tense and rigid. If you feel some tension in your body, it even gets difficult to breath. We can't relax without breathing and we can't breath without relaxing. So naturally deep breathing is the key for relaxing the entire body.
2) Hitting the keyboard with excess force. I often see organists make this mistake which comes from their pianistic background. They imagine that the louder they want the organ to sound, the harder they have to hit those keys which is absolutely incorrect and may even result in some serious damage to the organ key action. The ideal way would be to play with a gentle mezzo piano touch. The technique which helps to achieve that is keeping the fingers in contact with the keys at all times.
3) Playing the pedals too loud. Organists who hit the keys too hard, often make this mistake as well. They bounce and kick the pedals with excess force which also makes it difficult to control the releases and articulation and may damage the pedal action.
4) Doing unnecessary movements with your body. From time to time many musicians make this mistake - they lean forward or backwards too much. I am not suggesting that the body should be stiff. A little of body movements is fine but too much swinging back and forth may throw your playing off balance.
5) Making agogical accents in the piece too often. This mistake is especially obvious if one plays a short composition imagining that it is a grand symphony. If the piece is short, it is illogical to make those ritardandos and accelerandos very often. Besides, certain type of musical style (early music) does not allow unnatural alterations of tempo.
Remember these signs of overdramatic playing when you practice or perform your organ pieces today. Be careful to use your body in a natural way without tension and without unnecessary movements. Do not use excess force when hitting the keys or the pedals. Instead keep your fingers and feet in contact with the keys at all times. This technique will allow to minimize your efforts and your performance will become natural.
By the way, do you want to learn my special powerful techniques which help me to master any piece of organ music up to 10 times faster? If so, download my FREE Organ Practice Guide.
Or if you really want to learn to play any organ composition at sight fluently and without mistakes while working only 15 minutes a day, check out my systematic master course in Organ Sight-Reading.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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