How To Increase Your Piano Learning Speed Without Indulging In Black Magic

a dusty abandoned piano

Learning a new piece on the piano can be frustrating, especially if you’re an amateur still struggling with the scales and chords of the instrument.

Starting from the basics, memorizing the piece, recognizing the notes and consistent practice sessions are some of the traditional methods of learning how to play the piano. And though these tried and tested techniques have been recommended by most piano teachers, there are still many pianists who’re looking for something faster and more efficient. Read on to know more about what the best ad quickest way to learn the piano is:

To learn fast you need to start slow

The best way to master the piano is to start slow and gradually pick up pace, grasping the playing technique. To slow down in order to learn fast – sounds ironic, right?  But it’s true the more time you devote learning the intricacies of the instrument, the better you’ll be able to handle it. Even the most professional of pianists can fumble while playing fast; it requires immense concentration and practice. As a budding pianist your primary concern must be perfecting the chords and keys of the instrument. Speed comes later with time.

little boy playing the piano
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The advantages of slow playing

Now that you know the secret to master the piano, let us check out some reasons as to why this trick would work and how exactly it contributes to your piano practice. By leveraging slow learning, a pianist:

Can identify the problem areas

Playing slowly highlights each and every aspect of your performance- from the technique to the posture you can observe everything. Rushing through a piece on the other hand gives you no such opportunity. Take it slow and analyze the problem areas in your performance and work on them. Also playing in a rush might result in an unconscious repetition of the mistakes thereby engraving them to your memory and gravely damaging your performance.

Can enhance the accuracy

Among the biggest advantages of adopting a slower playing technique is that it allows you to focus on playing correctly and not quickly. Pianists who ty to rush through a piece often find themselves fumbling and making mistakes, more often than those who take their time. And repeating the same mistakes over and over again soon becomes a habit that is very difficult to get rid of.

playing the digital piano
Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Can focus better on the finger technique

Every piece has its set of chords and scales that have specific and conventional finger movements. Playing slow can help you identify all the technicalities of hand movement; it also gives you time to anticipate the next note and be prepared for the upcoming sections of the song. Slow playing also helps you in identifying a pattern in the playing technique that further simplifies things for you.

Can work on the posture and style

Playing slowly has other advantages other than enhancing the accuracy and technique. Once you’ve started playing slow you can also work on the proper posture and style. Observe and get inspired from the professionals performing and try to develop your own technique. Taking your time with the instrument helps you notice physical aspects of playing such as straight posture that would otherwise have gone unnoticed by you if you were playing in a hurry.

reflection of hands playing piano
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

Can understand the underlying emotions better

A musical piece is not just a combination of notes it also has some sentimental value attached to it, some abstract concept or underlying emotion that would be completely lost on the pianist who rushes though the piece. Gradual and consistent playing helps you understand the music you can connect with the piece better and hence reproduce it effectively on the piano.

Can get a total picture

Taking your own sweet time on a piece can actually help you see the total picture, i.e. you can analyze the musical piece as a whole instead of bits and sections played here and there. It even maintains a sense of continuity that is otherwise lost when you rush it up. Playing slow also requires a lot of patience and discipline that only improves your grasping power.

The bottom line

Therefore it is best that you take your time and thoroughly learn the piano playing technique. After all slow and steady wins the race.

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Scientists have found a way to help you learn new skills twice as fast

The key to learning a new motor skill – such as playing the piano or mastering a new sport – isn’t necessarily how many hours you spend practising, but the way you practise, according to new research. Scientists have found that by subtly varying your training, you can keep your brain more active throughout the learning process, and halve the time it takes to get up to scratch.

The research goes somewhat against the old assumption that simply repeating a motor skill over and over again – for example, practising scales on the piano or playing the same level on your game over and over again – was the best way to master it. Instead, it turns out there might be a quicker (and more enjoyable) way to level up. Via Science Alert

 

5. Playing Fast: Scales, Arpeggios, and Chromatic Scales

a. Scales: Thumb Under (TU), Thumb Over (TO)
Scales and arpeggios are the most basic piano passages; yet the most important method for playing them is often not taught at all! Arpeggios are simply expanded scales and can therefore be treated similarly to scales; thus we shall first discuss scales and then note how similar rules apply to arpeggios. There is one fundamental difference on how you must play the arpeggio (a flexible wrist) compared to the scale; once you learn that difference, arpeggios will become much easier, even for small hands.

There are two ways to play the scale. The first is the well-known “thumb under” method (TU) and the second is the “thumb over” method (TO). In the TU method, the thumb is brought under the hand in order to pass the 3rd or 4th finger for playing the scale. This TU operation is facilitated by two unique structures of the thumb; it is shorter than the other fingers and is located below the palm. In the TO method, the thumb is treated like the other 4 fingers, thus greatly simplifying the motion. Via Read the Docs

 

How to Quickly Learn to Play a Piano Piece

Learning a new piece of music on the piano can be frustrating. Go about it the wrong way and you could be making things much harder for yourself. Take your time and follow a few logical steps, however, and you should be able to get it under control with confidence and accuracy.

The secret to successful learning – on the piano or in any other form of endeavor – is to make sure you give yourself enough time to master each element before moving on to the next one. Here is a step by step format you can use to learn any new piece of piano music, although for this article we’ll be concentrating on the piece entitled “Finale” – which is in the style of J.S. Bach.

You can see, hear and print the piece in question by following this link to its page on Score Exchange. Via Spinditty