Hi! I was talking to a local little league baseball coach who said something I found very interesting. He told me that every one of the teenagers on his team can hit the ball very well in practice, but in the actual games, some players hit the ball much more frequently than others. When I asked him why this was so, he answered “It’s all in their heads.”
I could immediately see the parallel with playing piano. In this spirit, here are some questions to ask yourself, as “food for thought.”
Do you try to play the right notes, or are you just trying to avoid mistakes?
When you play a sport, do you try to score a goal or are you just trying to avoid missing the goal.
If you play American baseball, do you try to hit the ball or are you just trying to avoid striking out?
When you take a test in school, do you try to get the correct answer or are you just trying to avoid failing?
When you go for a job interview, do you try to get hired or are you just trying to avoid “looking bad?”
When you sit down and play piano, do you try to sound good or are you just trying to avoid messing up?
The difference is bigger than you might realize.
PS – I’ve just published the 2nd page of my book, The Improvising Pianist’s Ultimate Guide To The Beatles. It gives you practice tips for playing Let It Be, and you can find it HERE. Enjoy!