A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry forthcoming—B.P. (10/17)
“How do you stop a dog from barking in the back yard?"/"Put it in the front yard.” (10/17)
“What do you call a nightmare about paper?"/"A bad ream.” (10/17)
“I’ve been cutting carbs lately—with a pizza cutter” (10/17)
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Entry from June 23, 2012
“Miss one day of practice, I notice; miss two, the critics notice; miss three, the audience notices”

A famous quote is popular with anyone who practices, from pianists to ballet dancers to golfers. “If I miss one day’s practice, I notice it. If I miss two days’ practice, the critics notice it. If I miss three days’ practice, the public notices it.” The first to notice the drop in performance is the performer, then trained persons (such as professional critics or a teacher or friends), and then the general public.

The Hungarian composer and pianist Franz Liszt (1811-1886) was credited with the saying in 1894. The Russian composer and pianist Anton Rubinstein (1829-1894) was credited with the saying in 1905. The German composer and pianist Hans von Bülow (1830-1894) was credited with the saying in 1910. The Polish composer and pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941) was credited with the saying in 1911. Paderewski receives almost universal credit today, but the early citations of others (especially in a music publication such as The Etude) probably indicate that he did not coin the saying.


Google Books
July 1894, The Western Stenographer, pg. 13, col. 2:
LISZT, the great pianist, once said: “If I miss practicing one day, I know it; if I miss two days, my friends know it; and if I miss three days, the public knows it.” What about stenographers?

Google Books
December 1905, The Etude, “Musicians at Practice,” pg. 488, col. 2:
Rubinstein—that thunderer of the keyboard—is credited with the following dictum: “If I do not practice for a day I know it; if I miss two days my friends know it; and if I miss three days the public knows it.”

Google Books
February 1910, The Etude, “How the Masters Practiced,” pg. 80, col. 2:
Another bit of testimony in favor of constant practice is found in the well-known remark of Rubinstein (sometimes attributed to Von Bülow)—“Should I not practice for a day, I know it; should I miss two days, my friends know it; if I miss three, the public knows it.”

8 March 1911, Hutchinson (KS) News, “To Go Out of Doors” by Ruth Cameron, pg. 4, col. 3:
I know a very bright and wise woman who tries never to miss a day without going out for a brisk walk and a chat with some congenial friend, and who paraphrases Paderewski’s famous statement about his finger exercise this way:

“If I miss my outing one day I know it.

“If I miss it two days my family knows it.

“And if I miss it three days even the butcher boy knows it.”

Google Books
The Enrichment of Prayer
Compiled by David R. Porter
New York, NY: Association Press
1918
Pg. 15:
RUBINSTEIN, the great musical composer, once said: “If I do not practice for a day I know it; if I miss two days my friends know it; and if I miss three days the public knows it.”

Google Books
September 1922, The Etude, pg. 652, col. 1:
WHY I SHOULD PRACTICE IN SUMMER TIME
(Prize Winner)
(...)
The words of a famous musician were once printed in THE ETUDE and they show the stress laid by him on the necessity of constant practice. “If I miss one day’s practice I know it. If I miss two days my friends know it; and if I miss three days the public knows it.”
BIRDIE L. HESS (Age 14).
Indiana.

Google Books
Vocational Civics
By Howard Copeland Hill
Boston, MA: Ginn
1928
Pg. 313:
In addition, constant application and practice are necessary. The famous pianist Paderewski is said to have remarked on one occasion, “If I miss a day of practice, I notice it; if I miss two days, my wife notices it; if I miss three, the public notices it.”

Google Books
The Autobiography of Geraldine Farrar:
Such Sweet Compulsion

By Geraldine Farrar
New York, NY: Greystone Press
1938
Pg. 269:
When questioned about his fidelity to practice hours, this great pianist is said to have remarked: “If I miss one day’s practice, I notice it. If I miss two days’ practice, the critics notice it. If I miss three days’ practice, the public notices it.”

9 April 1938, Augusta (GA) Chronicle, pg. 3, col. 5:
Rubinoff Eats Greens For First
Time and Gets Financial Shock

By JOHN L. BARNES
Since the coffee shop didn’t have spinach, Dave Rubinoff ate turnip greens for the first time in his life yeasterday—and liked it.
(...)
Dave’ll trot out his $100,000 Stradivarius tonight to show a capacity audience.
(...)
FOUR DAYS
“You know,” he said, “if I miss one day’s practice, I know it. If I miss two, Fray and Braggiotti know it. If I miss three, my brother can tell the difference over the radio. And if I don’t practice for four days, the public knows it.”

29 April 1956, Omaha (NE) World-Herald, “Here’s Howe” by Peter Howe, Magazine, pg. 23, col. 4:
DID the great Paderewski practice the piano every day?
Yes. He explained this by saying: “If I miss one day’s practice, I notice it; if I miss two days, the critics notice; if I miss three days, the audience notices it.”

Google Books
Cosmopolitan
Volume 189
1980
Pg. 231:
As the old ballet saying goes. if you miss one day’s class. you know it: if you miss two. your teacher knows: and if you miss three. the audience knows.

Google Books
Wisdom Well Said
Edited by Charles Francis
Taos, NM: Levine Mesa Press
2009
Pg. 331:
Practice Makes Perfect
Ignace Jan Paderewski (1860-1941), the renowned Polish concert pianist, told some reporters in 1936, “If I miss one day’s practice, I notice it. If I miss two days, the critics notice it. If I miss three days, the audience notices it.”

Google Books
Golf, It’s Just a Game:
The Best Quotes & Cartoons About Golf

By Bruce Lansky
New York, NY: Simon & Schuster
2011
Pg. ?:
If I miss one day’s practice I know it;
if I miss two days the spectators know it;
and if I miss three days the world knows it.
-- Ben Hogan

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film • (0) Comments • Saturday, June 23, 2012 • Permalink