Learn piano online, tips on how to balance accompaniment and melody.
Her sharp piercing gaze at the piano as she coaxed the melody out of the grand instrument was only a subtle hint of how enjoyable Chopin’s ‘Barcarolle’ was going to be.
Sylvia was invited by a little known piano maker, Yamaha to give a performance on its new model, C3XPE grand piano to showcase its piano making excellence.
She did not disappoint. Melodies of ‘Carnival Scenes From Vienna’ by Schumann and ‘Variations in B Minor’ by Szymanowski’ were perfectly balanced with the accompaniments - leaving no doubt that at the hands of a well trained pianist the Yamaha instrument is capable of producing music at its best.
What does it take be become a pianist capable of balancing melody and accompaniment well?
On numerous occasions I have been reminded by my teacher that technique is gained when practicing one hand at a time separately. It is even truer so when attempting to balance melody and accompaniment.
The melody is played with a normal touch, in contrast the accompaniment has to be played with a lighter touch. You shall realize how difficult it is to play with both hands when one hand demands a lighter touch than the other - hence the need to master balance.
Having said that however, what I would do usually is to test the waters first. I would practice the whole song hands separately at first, with the RH on melody and LH on accompaniment with normal touch. The purpose is to get acquainted with the song and digest all its difficulties.
Only then, would I begin to differentiate between the two touches and practice the melody using RH with normal touch and LH on the accompaniment with light touch.
Touch is merely a matter of how strong and how fast you strike the keys. It is the result of momentum from the movement of your hands and fingers. Control the speed of your hands and the strength of your fingers as they land on the keys to govern touch.
Distinguishing the touches in the melody and accompaniment is a demonstration of a pianist who serves the music - one who remains a loyal student of music who has strengthened her connection with the instrument over many years of practice. Watching Sylvia perform reminded me of that fact.
The harmony and rhythm brought forth by the well balanced yet contrasting touches of the melodies and accompaniments was breathtaking to listen to. At this point as she continued with her technical witchcraft spellbinding the audience in amazement, Julia was hardly even looking at the keyboard. She had her eyes closed, her heart fully immersed in the music.
It is a clue on how a pianist should practice to be able to acquire the technique in balancing the light touch of the accompaniment with the normal touch of the melody – practice with your eyes closed.
Taking away the sense of sight by practicing with the eyes closed, sharpens your sense of distance from one note to another on the piano. Do not be anxious about landing on the wrong keys for that is expected in the beginning.
With tenacity and persistence, your feeling of the space between the notes will heighten and soon your fingers shall reach the keys with precision.
Train yourself to be able to balance melody and accompaniment well by differentiating the touches. Normal touch for melody and light touch for accompaniment. Practice each hands separately at first until you are confident to enough to practice with both hands. It is good training to practice with your eyes closed to heighten your sense of distance between the notes on the piano.
Exercises for beginners
...You are sitting in front of a piano. You see the white keys and the black keys. The keyboard stares back at you.
You stretch out your arms out to play a note. But which finger should you use to hit the key?
That sudden demand for a decision has halted me in my tracks before.
Knowing which finger to use to play a note on a piano is called the fingering. Correct choice of fingerings results in a smooth flowing music and soul soothing rhythm...learn more about playing the piano online, read the full article>>>
Technique improves faster by practicing in short sections, slowly and with one hand at a time. Fix mistakes made immediately so that they do not become unwanted additions in your performance.
...The trouble with a sonata is the pace. Even at a subdued speed there is still a need to keep the song moving forward without missing a beat. There is little time and luxury to relax before the next note demands your attention. It made me feel pressured to rush every phrase of the song, though there really is no requirement for such hurriedness. It is still an arrangement of melody meant to be enjoyed.
Resist the urge to rush by playing slowly, so much slower that a snail would seem to move faster. Go through the whole piece at this speed for a couple of days until you are comfortable with it and have lost the tendency to rush.
Do so with hands separately. Play the whole song with the right hand first slowly, then with the left hand. Accuracy in landing on the correct keys, timing, endurance and overall piano technique is acquired one hand at a time, not when practising hands together...learn more about playing the piano online, read the full article>>>
Get to know your flats
...A flat lowers a note one semitone downward. Example – the black key next to the B is a B-flat.
By now you may have wondered and guessed that a flat could also be a sharp. And you are correct. The B-flat is also an A-sharp. The same rule applies to the rest of the notes on the keyboard.
When you encounter a black key, it is a sharp for the higher note next to it and a flat for the lower note next to it. Listed below is a short list of examples to make things a bit clearer for us all...learn more about playing the piano online, read the full article>>>
Daily drills of piano exercises accelerate improvement, but it is not enough. Find out what it takes to take your piano playing to the next level.
Coordination of the hands and arms in addition to the pedalling with the feet plus the brainpower needed to decipher the music sheet make learning how to play the piano seem like an insurmountable endeavour.
For newbies playing the piano without strain and totally relaxed is not as easy as it sounds. Your shoulders, arms and wrists have to be very loose.
What I practised to be able to play the piano without any strain in my muscles was to play scales. Why scales? So that I do not have to keep looking at the music sheet...learn more about playing the piano online, read the full article>>>
Practice this song to get familiarized with the complexities of a classical piece. Numerous scale phrases provide good training on adding dynamics and color to a musical line.
...Let us have a look at the accompaniment in the piano song now.
Except for the C in the beginning they are all 2 note chords. To play in time with the C in the RH, when you commence, play C using the LH 5th finger and leap quickly one octave higher to land in harmony on C and E. Be sure to hold them down together a while longer as they are minims.
As you continue to embellish the piano song with the accompaniment of the bass clef, slur the chords without fail as indicated in the score. The slurs and many apperances of rests signs, when observed correctly results in a stirringly cheerful rhythm the sonatina was intended to convey...learn more about playing the piano online>>>