Before heading straight to the piano, investing a bit of time in performing some warm up exercises would not only help in improving your accuracy, but also shield you against potential stress injuries. Be it going for a long run, or playing the piano – warming up is quite essential prior to any physical activity.
You must get used to sitting in an upright position while playing the piano, because a crooked posture can lead to terrible backaches. Stretching your back, neck, and shoulder areas would fully equip you for spending a couple of hours at the keyboard. Also, try stretching your fingers as much as you can, for eliminating stiffness. Here are a few major benefits offered by warm-up exercises:
- Building muscle memory
Regular warm-ups before practicing the piano enables the muscles of your wrists and fingers to get conditioned. As a result, you get to enjoy much more ease while playing different phrases and tempos. Your hands can easily adapt to sudden chord inversions and the complex patterns of melodies.
- Protecting you from injuries
Stretching different parts of your body prior to playing improves dexterity, boosts the flow of blood to your joints and muscles and helps in preventing serious injuries. Do keep in mind that if you become a victim of arthritis or tendinitis, you might have to sacrifice a number of precious months of playing!
- A wonderful way of training your ears
With repeated warm-ups using various chords and scales, you are bound to experience a remarkable improvement in your ear training. For becoming an adept player, you need to have a sharp ear along with sufficient awareness regarding music theory. Experimenting with various scale/chord progressions can be quite effective in this regard.
Consistent warming up before settling down to play the piano automatically enhances the effectiveness of your practice sessions. Have a gala time with these fun warm-ups every day, before you start playing the tunes:
Why not utilize your singing skills during piano practice?
During your warm-up sessions in between playing, you can easily sing along if you happen to be familiar with the song. There might be a number of songs known to you, in case of ascending as well as descending. For instance, you can start humming to the tunes of ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb’ (major 2nd descending), Pink Panther (minor 2nd ascending), Morning Has Broken (major 3rd ascending), Jesus Loves Me (minor 3rd descending), or Amazing Grace (perfect 4th ascending).
Practicing Chromatics Along with a Partner
Try practicing the chromatic scale with the help of a partner. Ask your partner to shut his/her eyes for a few seconds. After that while playing the scale, simply skip a note. Your partner’s challenge would be to determine the interval which you were playing. You can repeat this exercise several times while skipping notes of your choice. Trade places with your partner and let him/her play the scale. Enjoy the guessing game!
Learning to Recognize the Major or Minor Scales
With the help of a friend or instructor you can easily create your own board game where you can label the pictures of all the major and minor chords and scales. Ensure that the scale names are not mentioned anywhere. Your challenge would be to correctly recognize the name of the chord or scale. Once you manage to do so, you can proceed to play it on your piano. Reward yourself with small treats each time you identify correctly!
Begin Your Practice by Playing Something Enjoyable
Commencing your practice sessions with musical pieces which you love the most, would be an excellent idea! Try playing your favorite song with utmost efforts for making it sound absolutely stunning! Taking things at your own pace helps in developing a greater degree of awareness and exercising better control over the instrument. You might also consider creating your own rhythm pattern and trying it out on your piano.
In-Depth Analyses for Mastering Musical Pieces
Select any particular song of your choice. Stick to the ones which you seem to know well. Concentrate deeply on the song prior to your practice session and try to analyze it by visualizing the scales, chords, inversions, and rhythmic patterns. Focus on the dynamics of that number and attempt to memorize it, unit by unit. Once you start feeling confident about the parts, you can try the entire song on your piano.
Rounding it Off
The term ‘piano practice’ might not sound like an exercise, but in reality IT IS so! If you wish to see yourself as an able piano player in near future, then you surely got to learn the correct techniques of practice right from the initial stages.
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— TRLOVE (@ThisOldGuitar1) June 15, 2016
— Music Lovers ♫♪ ♫ (@mgwvlover) June 8, 2016
Warming Up For A Piano Recital
Preparing Your Hands for a Performance
There was an old Seinfeld episode, ‘The Pez Dispenser,’ where Jerry and company debated about how George’s pianist girlfriend warmed up before a concert. Jerry quipped, “What, do you think they just crack their knuckles and come out?” Via About
Do We Need To Warm Up Before A Practice Session?
For me, warming up before a practice session is now a must. I never realised the importance of it all until I developed tendonitis in my forearms a few years ago. For this reason, I have attached a couple of warm up exercises for the forearms above, especially for the extensor and flexor tendons. Via Georgina Sutton
Warming Up for Lessons and Performing
Question: What is the best way to quickly warm up or get acclimated to an unfamiliar piano? That is, if you have, say, five minutes to prepare, what do you play to get your muscles and ears situated so you can make best use of your lesson time? If you sit down at a piano you’ve never played before, or have played very little, what’s the best sort of thing to play to familiarize yourself with it quickly?
Another part of this question: What if the piano is really bad (out of tune, poorly regulated, etc.) but you have to play on it anyway? Via Key Notes