With its soft smooth notes and deep sound, the piano is perhaps the best instrument for aspiring musicians who want to make it big in the industry. The keys and chords of the piano have a language of their own – a code that every emerging pianist strives to master.
You must be familiar with the conventional rules of piano playing that involve the correct finger technique, posture, and chord structure but there are other universally accepted lessons as well that you can benefit from. Check out these essential piano playing tips that have contributed to the success of many pianists.
Perfect the scales and arpeggios
In music, the theoretical and practical aspects are of equal importance. You cannot play a piece unless you’re familiar with the fundamental concepts of piano playing. Therefore the scales and arpeggios, though cumbersome, form the basic building blocks of any musical piece.
Focus on developing a more systematic finger technique rather than hitting the keys haphazardly. Consult books and blogs online that talk about the technicalities of piano playing.
Focus on each hand separately
Every budding pianist goes through the “separate hand practice” phase where your tutor instructs you to concentrate on each hand separately instead of using both. Separate hand movement can drastically improve your technique; you can now identify the problem areas and work on them.
A conventional way to go about it would be to start with the right hand and don’t forget to include the thumb. Although sticking to playing with just one hand limits the playing potential, with time adjust to using both the hands throughout the piece.
Memorize your music
When you’ve memorized your music the brain can anticipate the next note way before you actually play it. Therefore you’re prepared for the complications that come next. Learning your music also gives you the much-needed confidence, you’re less likely to fumble.
Divide the piece into separate sections and then focus on the complicated bits. Also, learn the hand movement along with the chord structure to reduce the errors while performing. Committing the finger technique to memory helps you enhance your performance; your hands will instinctively hit the correct keys each time you play.
Learn to play by ear
Ear training is among the easiest and most effective techniques to master the piano. Listening to live performances by professional pianists gives you a better insight into their playing technique. You can get some really useful tips on finger movements, posture and style by observing the masters at work. Ear training also opens your mind to new genres and types of music that you’d have otherwise ignored.
Practice sight reading
Sight reading is another recommended technique that can improve your performance. It involves keeping a copy of the piece in front of you and referring to it occasionally in case you’re insecure about the piece. Although you must be familiar with the piece so as to recognize the chords immediately just by glancing at it.
The continuity rule
Often pianists forget to consider the complete piece and concentrate on perfecting segments. The continuity rule involves including the ending notes of the previous section to the one you’re playing now so as to maintain a sense of continuity in the piece. This helps you understand the rhythm and harmony of the music on the whole. The continuity rule also ensures a more balanced development of your playing technique.
As a freshman pianist accuracy must be your utmost concern. Fast playing sure looks impressive but it involves a lot of practice and patience. Learn to take things slow, focus on getting the keys right instead of on the speed at which you hit them. Going slow allows beginners to identify the problem areas and take the necessary steps on them.
Don’t worry if you cannot get it right the first few times, perfecting the piano takes time. Also avoid spending long hours by the piano practicing aggressively, putting excessive pressure on the brain would only make matters worse. Cut some slack, take regular breaks in between practice sessions. Piano playing is about enjoying music; don’t spoil the fun with the burden of unrealistically high expectations.
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