Mermory lapse! - What to do?

Discuss the joys and pratfalls of performance

Postby Tranquillo » Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:28 pm

I've only experienced a memory lapse once ... no actually a few times ... well at least so far ... I had a sympathetic audience and they understood ... I litrerally dealt with it by saying : I've forgotten ...

I dont have a major problem with memory ... but I wonder what is the best way to deal with when you have a memory lapse? Do you stop playing? Or do you make it up on the spot? ...
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Postby 112-1182392787 » Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:58 am

I had one last year when a kid shuffled his feet as if saying "hurry up". I kept my left hand going on its merry dance and the right jumped in a couple of bars later. I think the rule of thumb is to keep going if you can.
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Postby Tranquillo » Sat Jun 14, 2008 7:56 pm

pianissimo wrote:I had one last year when a kid shuffled his feet as if saying "hurry up". I kept my left hand going on its merry dance and the right jumped in a couple of bars later. I think the rule of thumb is to keep going if you can.

Its strange sometimes when others record my performances I notice that if I spend enough time preparing and really working on memory I can go autopilot quite easily. Its when I get really into the mood but don't on memory where I tend to get a memory lapse ... I've never really practiced "worse case scenarios" ... but I wonder if its a good idea to practice improvising at a random spot or to practice with distractions in the background.
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Postby 112-1182392787 » Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:36 am

Well, I had only been playing three months after an absence of several decades, with formal lessons for the first time. I played in two performances in two consecutive student concerts one after the other, and this first piece was a set of variations.

The point where the boy shuffled his feet was during the second, fast variation. It was not a matter of memory - I lost the timing in my right hand so I just kept it suspended in the air while the left danced merrily along until the right could "come in" again. It was either that, or stop.
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Postby Tranquillo » Sun Nov 30, 2008 2:39 am

Sometimes I just look for the next cadance and finish it there. Poor accompanist has to follow :p
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