Thanks everybody for chiming in, hope contributions keep coming.
[deleted] Let me start by saying that you are describing a feeling I call "falling off the ladder" - at least that's what it feels like to me when I'm playing something new - or even something difficult that I can usually play well, and then a finger slips or hits the wrong key and it all goes downhill after that!
To me that sounds "just" as playing on "autopilot" or "muscle memory" (obviously the muscles don't have memory, it's all in the brain but it's a much different part of the brain as probably @vagfilm could explain better than I) and then having to "switch" to "manual pilot" and viceversa. I know that and I am actually working on that transition following the watered-down version explained in this seminar (which is at much higher level than mine). But I was talking about something different.
[deleted] But overall, yes, I feel like I have a good command most of the time.
Very nice to hear. To you feel you are on autopilot when you do or not?
Deleted It's a common theme with adult learners to just pick way too hard repertoire.
I've been told that by my teachers and I followed their advice. For that reason, I went from Maple Leaf Rag, down to Bach Inventions, down to Anna Magdalena Notebook, down to even easier things. I did improve on some aspects, but not on this "tightrope" feeling.
Deleted So I kinda have both perspectives.
Can you please elaborate more about it? I mean, I could play MLR and it was a tightrope experience. Now I'm playing early Mozart/Bach/Beethoven and it's clearly easier, but it's still a tightrope experience. I think it is a combination of factors: technique (which with the easier pieces is not a problem anymore), memorization/reading (which we are discussing in other two threads), ability to keep "perfect" or rather "fluent" tempo (but how to learn that?) then probably not having a "full understanding" of the musical "phrases", so need to concentrate on "minutia" such as how to shape each phrase with proper dynamics, and probably more which I don't even realize.
So is it just to learn a gazillion of easy pieces to the best of your ability, and just little by little having all of these ingrained into you?
Killomiter The thing is for me it does not matter that stuff is exactly repeatable, but what does matter is you through your playing truly evokes and transmits the emotion.
MHirsch As my teacher used to say, "musicians play music, students play notes. it's up to you to remain a student or be a musician". He insisted that the time will be spent on the musical aspects rather than on polishing of the "right" notes. To me it still makes sense. It's ok to make one mistake or another, if the whole sounds like music.
I totally agree with both of you on these. In fact in my initial post I did not mention perfection, but I explicitly mentioned mistakes that
Del Vento ound wrong only if you want to look at the score (or know the music well) and want to nitpick, but otherwise the music might have been that way and it would have been okay
My question is how to get there? How to learn that? (of course I'm constantly asking this question to my teacher too, but want to see forum posters' opinions)
Drew-r I want to add a snippet from my long-ago experience of learning new experiences starting as a child.
Yeah, I see that and I think I mentioned "The gift of failure" book already in another thread. I'm fine with failure, if I can see progress. I don't see that on myself (yet?) and hence I ask if I am on the right path or not.