I don’t know. It doesn’t matter for me at all. I like what I’m doing. If I had to choose, I would choose violin.
You’ve been doing this for so long that your fingers and your piano fingers have started developing new habits. How many fingers did you lose when your fingers started going bad in the 1960s?
Not many. It’s true that I used to be very, very meticulous in fingering things as they were laid out on the piano (as in). Now when they’re laid out, my fingers and piano fingers have both forgotten the notes as they’re not playing them. But they’re not losing any fingers. It might be different for someone who started in a younger age. I think some of it has to do with that age. We use our finger tips, and the nerve endings become more active and active in those areas in children. At a certain point, I don’t think fingering things will be so intensive because it’s become second nature to our fingers. There’s going to be a lot more playing after this.
But you still love it, don’t you?
I don’t think I ever did! I mean, I know the pianist who used to teach me and told me that he was a really great piano teacher. He said he told his clients, “If you want to do a good job, let’s practice five times a day with a bad finger.”
“How do you keep learning things?” I asked. My wife’s husband was working for a major label and he gave me the same advice when I was in London in the late ’70s: “Don’t study. Play. Don’t study.” I don’t think I ever studied. It’s not that I was getting lazy. It’s just that I don’t always have what I want to do. I don’t always have how I should play a piece.
You’ve studied the keys to a certain degree to begin with, but you haven’t taken the piano out of your pocket to learn them.
At first when I had a piano in my room, my hands got a lot sore when I played the piano. I started to practice one-handed. Now with my hands in a comfortable position at the keyboard, the hands aren’t sore anymore.
It must be the playing that’s not smooth. It must mean a change from the smooth playing you did in your childhood.
I mean, that’s
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