When it comes to creativity, precision, style, creativity, and blending all of them together, the sky is the limit of achievement. Of course, there’s no space rocket you can ride on into space, the journey is long and tedious, and you must drive yourself to improve a little every day. No one is going to do it for you.

Want to create something truly special with the piano? You might want to incorporate some scientifically vetted playing techniques to enable the musical magic to come to you sooner.

Stretch Your Fingers to Perfection

Finger coordination and muscle memory is crucial to fluidly play the piano and hit the notes just right. So, it is important to perform stretches to exercise the muscles in your arms and fingers. Here are some suggestions:

finger stretching
Image Courtesy of YouTube
  • Stretch out your arms horizontally and flex your fingers downwards gradually. It really helps to stretch the muscles in your fingers and forearms and provides you with that much-needed dexterity while performing.
  • You can also stretch your arms upwards and try the same movement.
  • Curve your fingers and join them at the tips. Apply a little pressure on them, making sure your knuckles do not collapse. Gradually lift a fingertip at a time, maintaining the pressure on the rest, and go back to reconnect them. Repeat this motion for all fingers and once you’ve gained control, do it with non-consecutive fingers.

Practice Hand Shapes

How you position your hands while playing makes a world of difference to the quality of music you produce. You can work on your hand postures even when you are seated at your workstation – all you need is a squishy ball! Pick up the ball and observe the shape of your hand. You should be able to see all three knuckles.

Now, put the ball down, but hold your hand in position. Try touching and using your keyboard with four fingertips and the side of your thumb, keeping your wrist lifted. Hold this position and tap away on the keyboard without allowing your knuckles to wiggle or collapse. If you get this right, you will nail one of the most important aspects of piano playing.

Swim through the Chords

While this may come as a most offbeat piece of advice, it is wonderfully effective for pianists. Go to a pool and splash in with a pull buoy. Use the buoy to keep your legs afloat and concentrate solely on hand movements. Propel yourself forward using your arms.

full body stretches
Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Swimming involves utilizing all the muscles in the upper body – a feat very few other forms of exercise can achieve. And since your weight is reduced in water, the exercise offers you a marvelous workout without stressing you out too much. A swim session before a particularly challenging performance has been known to work for a lot of pianists.

Listen before You Play

This might seem like a total no-brainer but makes for one of the most effective methods of learning to play any musical instrument, including the piano, well.

Start with slow and easy songs, and try to identify the notes and chords in it. Also find professional recordings of the songs you are learning and compile a playlist you can plug listen to, wherever you are.

Sweat it Out

This one’s certainly going to seem like a whacky suggestion for a performer. Research has shown that outdoor activities and proper exercise stimulates the brain and helps it absorb and retain more information, thus helping a person get better at everything from studies to playing at concerts.

two ladies jogging at the beach
Image Courtesy of Flickr

Anything from a run to a session of rock climbing improves oxygen flow to the brain and augments neurotransmitters’ functioning. This helps people learn and remember more and get better at what they do. As for rock climbing, beyond its benefits as an outdoor activity, it also helps build fantastically strong hands and fingers – a pianist’s greatest assets.

While these activities are sure to make for tremendous practice when you are away from the bench, nothing can make up for actually hitting the notes. Key away and here’s to wishing you to keep the spark alive and achieve something special in the world of music!

Featured Image: Image Credit

The "Secret" to Improving Your Rhythm and Time by Chick Corea

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