I have my Orchestra audition tomorrow, and I have been praticing for a long time today. I am just wondering, when should I stop praticing. How am I suppose to know that I am good enough?
So far, I have been keep on praticing and taking rest. I still have to study for a English test...
well, seeing as how your audition was yesterday, lol how did it go?
But for future reference..(what do you play anyways?)
...record yourself when you practice. If it's slow and lyrical, are you charming? And I don't mean only your sound...you must visually display a personality as well.
And for the technical passages, make sure you know them slowly as well as fast. You don't want to develop too much muscle memory (where your fingers just automatically know where to go), because you'll get nervous and then totally fall apart if you only rely on muscle memory.
Well, I'm sure you'll be auditioning for groups in the future as well
|You don't want to develop too much muscle memory (where your fingers just automatically know where to go) |
Sorry, but this is exactly why you practice. Muscle memory is what allows you to play the passages correctly EVERY time. Your fingers should know exactly where to go without even so much as a thought.
Obviously, technical passages are practiced slowly at first. If you can't play the passage slowly, then you won't be able to at tempo.
BTW, depending on what type of orchestra you are auditioning for, being unique in your style is not necessarily a good thing. Most professional orchestras (I know, I've auditioned for at least 20 of them) want a good technical player who will 'fit in' rather than stand out. If you are to flamboyant with your style, you may not get the nod regardless of how good you are.
When a piece is difficult, you need both concentration, active thought in what you're playing, so your performance is both pristine and convincing. Practicing allows your fingers to feel comfortable, but if you rely on automatic muscle memory, should you become nervous and make a slip, your 'sequence' will break. You will be unable to pick up where you stopped, since you relied on muscle memory and not actually the full understanding of a piece.
Now, you may be playing along in a private setting, at blazing speeds using muscle memory, but once you are actually performing, can you guarantee that you won't make a single mistake? Not likely, even for professionals. And if you can't guarantee that, then you should develop understanding of the piece's structure, and exactly where every note goes, instead of just trusting your fingers to know where to land automatically.
You audition for orchestras, I perform piano at small concert events and competitively. Not the same, but the principles are similar enough. I suppose you can rely on the fact that at least you have your music in front of you when you play, so muscle memory is more helpful in that case...
We are comparing apples with hand grenades here. I never said one shouldn't know a piece inside and out. I firmly believe that if one practices correctly, he will know every note, chord, phrase, and meaning of a particular piece.
If your fingers don't know what to do, then you are just lost. Without their memory, you will not be able to perform on stage. If you can't play a passage 100 times in a row correctly in a practice room, then you can't play it on stage in front of people. Being nervous or distracted in a performance is normal, and the exact reason for needing a certain amount of 'auto-pilot' in order to play technically well. Without muscle memory, a player relies too much on thinking about the passage, and not enough on enjoying and playing the music. Thus, a piece sounds like an etude instead of a sonata.
I love it when a teacher tells a student to play a passage over and over until he gets it right. The proper thing to do (and what I tell my students) is to play a passage over and over until you get it right, then play it 100 more times.
It's not wrong to say practice 100 times over and play everything right...but I was emphasizing the fact that relying simply on 'auto-pilot' too much isn't nessecarily a good thing.
The entire premise of muscle memory isn't that you know exactly what you're playing, but rather 'okay, fingers move this much relative to the last passage...etc'.
Of course, you should practice a lot to engrain the technical passages in your fingers. But with relying on muscle memory, it's either you play really well, or once you make a slip (because it breaks your finger's muscle memory sequence), you'll have a lot harder time finding your way back into a piece.
Perhaps we have different ideas of the concept of muscle memory? Because I've always been taught (and experienced) that muscle memory is good when first learning a piece, but not when refining it.