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edvasicek

Tricks To Cover Up Mistakes

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Hi all.

 

We all hit the wrong note sometimes. We forget to sharp a note, for example. What sort of tricks have you discovered or do you use to cover up mistakes?

 

A guitar player friend suggested a run. Let's suppose you hit an F when it was supposed to be an F sharp. This trick is to then play g, then f#. or g, a, g, f# and then pick up where you left off, as though this were an intentional flair. But for a concertina, unless you were doing a lot of fancy stuff, this might stand out and highlight the error.

 

So what tricks do you use, if any? Or do tricks always make the sour note worse?

 

Appreciate your advice.

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Glare accusingly at the other musicians,as if they were the ones making the mistake.

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Seriously, don't let it put you off. Chances are most of the audience havent noticed, and most of those who have won't care. Keep playing eith conviction, and try not to panic when you come to that place next time through.

 

If its too obvious to ignore, laugh it off, it will help to get the audience on your side.

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Pretend it was on purpose and keep playing. If you can hear a musical variation based on the “mistake” then play that and add the variation to your repertoire. But for the most part, trying to think your way out of it will just create more errors. Mistakes aren’t the end of the world.

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Yeah, just keep going and try not to hit it again. If you can stop sounding it asap that's good too. Sometimes it is easier to iron out the right note later at home. I mostly play the flute in sessions and will back off that note in a phrase if I think I hit it wrong and am likely to do it again. In my flute playing it is often a random g# or f natural, notes not often used in run of the mill tunes that my brain needs an extra nanosecond to process if I don't have that tune down pat. For my own practice though, if I have a note I hit incorrectly I slooooowwwww down and play that measure repeatedly. Then I play the tune up to speed again as my fingers gain more confidence. Muscle memory can play the right notes or the wrong ones. Sessions vary on their attitudes towards this from the, "If you don't know it don't play it." To the, "Hit as many notes as you can hit right, on time, and work on it when you get home.You'll be better next time." Know your musical partners.

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Two things that I have noticed: 1 : flat topped keys VS. domed tops can change the way that you transition between notes and 2 : The keyboard position on a Lachenal/Wheatstone VS. the position on a Crabb/Jeffries is tilted in a different manner per the hand rests. The Lachenal type with flat buttons is more comfortable for me and I have smaller hands

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Smile beatifically. Like it was an inside joke and whoever noticed is in on it.

Nobody's keeping score.

(I hope.)

 

cdm

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Rhythm is more important than melody when it comes to sounding like you meant to play it that way. If you flub a note, as long as you don't fall off the beat most people won't even notice. If you can convert the wrong note into a grace note or suspension that resolves to the right note, all the better.

 

Don't draw attention to the error. Smile if you need to react but definitely don't grimace or wince.

 

I think there are two types of practicing regarding mistakes. One is like what LateToTheGame said, where you stop and drill that tricky section repeatedly and slowly until you can play it correctly. And the other thing is to actively practice playing a tune straight through without losing the beat, even if you play some wrong notes. Both are useful when working towards a performance standard.

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Oh, and I also think experienced performers (John Kirkpatrick comes to mind) have a whole bag of well-rehearsed tricks to cover up and recover from mistakes. I'm not at the proficiency level to know what those tricks are, but I expect that once you play an instrument and a set of tunes enough, you learn some "holding patterns" that can get you back onto safe footing.

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Most single note errors are far more noticeable to the player than to the audience. A bum note is come and gone in a fraction of a second.

 

People will notice a stumble in the rhythm, so the important thing is to keep going.

 

On an Anglo, you can often get away with crunching two buttons side by side. More often than not,they will be a third apart (there are exceptions) and will harmonise with each other.

 

Main thing is, if you play through it as if nothing happened, only the musicians in the audience will notice, and they will smile rather than judging you.

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Rhythm is more important than melody when it comes to sounding like you meant to play it that way. If you flub a note, as long as you don't fall off the beat most people won't even notice. If you can convert the wrong note into a grace note or suspension that resolves to the right note, all the better.

 

Don't draw attention to the error. Smile if you need to react but definitely don't grimace or wince.

 

I think there are two types of practicing regarding mistakes. One is like what LateToTheGame said, where you stop and drill that tricky section repeatedly and slowly until you can play it correctly. And the other thing is to actively practice playing a tune straight through without losing the beat, even if you play some wrong notes. Both are useful when working towards a performance standard.

 

Good advice. Keep going without breaking the rhythm.

 

As regards practising there is a third way between these two: slowing down at the tricky section, but not hesitating. As you get better you eventually bring that section up to full speed. I read somewhere on this forum that this is what the best concert pianists do.

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Play jazz. There's no wrong notes in jazz.

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Posted (edited)

Keep playing - especially if you're playing for dancing when you can't stop - keep going.

 

I once made a mistake in a rather nice polska I play - I liked the mistake so much, adding a bluesy feel to the tune, that I kept it in - but I'll only play it the last time through the tune for variation / novelty.

Edited by SteveS

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Glare accusingly at the other musicians,as if they were the ones making the mistake.

A friend of mine defines the difference between an amateur and a professional musician thus:

When an amateur hits a wrong note, he blushes and cringes; when a professional hits a wrong note, he does what @hjcjones said. :D

 

Cheers,

John

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18 hours ago, Little John said:

 

As regards practising there is a third way between these two: slowing down at the tricky section, but not hesitating. As you get better you eventually bring that section up to full speed. I read somewhere on this forum that this is what the best concert pianists do.

Hmm. Personally, I am leery of that approach, if only because I have seen too many videos and recordings of people who play like that not just for practice but "live": speeding up on the easy parts and slowing down on the more involved sections.

I prefer to work on tricky bits in isolation, so that I don't inadvertently practice an unstable rhythm into the piece. But for others it might not be a problem.

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18 hours ago, Little John said:

As regards practising there is a third way between these two: slowing down at the tricky section, but not hesitating..

But, could one get away with this if playing for dancers?

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11 hours ago, lachenal74693 said:

But, could one get away with this if playing for dancers?

Of course not; any more than you could get away with stopping and repeating a phrase! I was only talking about practising. It works for me, but each to his own.

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