Learn piano online, grasp the rhythm in a piano song before going into the process of expressing it.
Beautiful rhythm can be loosely likened to beautiful landscapes. The Alps, the Grand Canyon and the waterfalls of Niagara are some of earth’s best looking assets. Nature is their composer.
Rhythm is a musical composition’s asset. Its beauty determined by the brilliance of its composer.
A regular repeated pattern of sound; an arrangement of musical sounds, principally according to duration and periodical stress, [reference: Oxford Dictionary of English@Oxford University Press, 2010, 2017].
In a musical composition the ingredients that cook up a rhythm are plenty. There are time signatures, pitch of the notes and their beats and rests. By arranging these ingredients in a certain sequence and combinations rhythm come into existence.
Sun Tzu summed it nicely two thousand years ago when he said “ There are not more than 5 musical notes yet the combination of these 5 give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard. “
Modern music has evolved since then to include more than 5 musical notes. However what the great general said still holds true when it comes to rhythm.
By varying the combinations, arrangements and rearrangements of a set of musical notes infinite patterns of rhythm are born into existence for us to enjoy.
We only come into contact with it for the very first time when a musician with her chosen instrument brings it to life through her performance.
Kenneth did exactly that. Bringing to life rhythm composed by Scarlatti in 5 sonatas and 3 etudes by Rachmainoff much to the delight of the piano enthusiasts who were in attendance.
How was he able to grasp the rhythm in a composition created centuries ago from another continent?
Thanks to written music anyone can. Provided you are willing to spend the time and energy to learn music theory. The ability to grasp, and then utter the rhythm in a composition lies in the ability to read and understand music theory.
The note values of a quaver, crotchet or minim have to be studied. There can be no sound without silence, therefore how long should you stay silent when rests are indicated in the composition have to be understood. The count involved in a musical phrase with 4/4 time signature has to be calculated.
A pianist well educated in music theory shall possess the sense to decode the rhythm residing within a composition.
In-depth understanding of music theory affords the pianist clear idea of the rhythm imbedded within a composition as well as the overall shape of the music – this is the intellectual part of piano playing.
Through practice – the mechanical part; he is able to execute the dynamics, subtle pedalling and tonal effects a composition demands. The effect being breathtaking beauty created in the form of harmonious sounds and rhythm.
Kenneth’s execution of Scarlatti’s Sonata was exquisite. Considering the fact that Scarlatti was not known to have a tendency to leave too much playing instructions in his compositions, the pianist would have had to rely on his own ability to interpret the rhythmic contents of the composition. Here deep understanding of music theory is indispensable.
A sonata by Scarlatti and evidently after hearing him play, etudes by Rachmaninov too have several accelerated flowing tempo. These phrases undoubtedly comprise of strings of semiquavers. He and any aspiring pianist for that matter, shall need to keep the rhythm in these phrases flowing smoothly.
Group of notes, particularly strings of semiquavers inherently carry with them traits that determine the rhythm produced in a musical phrase. Study carefully each string of semiquavers to understand each note’s pitch, the intervals between them, the key signatures and their direction to get a sense of the music’s character.
One of the most awesome things about living in the 21st century is technology. CDs, MP3s and video recordings of compositions are ubiquitous.
Since the only way to get a sense of the rhythm in a composition is to listen to it, before starting to practice anything new capture it by listening to a recording – it is the fastest way. A slower way, but one that inspires shock and awe is to go see and listen to a live performance by a philharmonic orchestra.
Nourish the intellectual part of playing piano by studying music theory to grasp the rhythm in a composition. In return it lubricates the mechanical part; thus smoothening the process of expressing it.
‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore, is not an act but a habit’ – Aristotle
Improve your technique by using your whole body, memorizing the piano piece and practice playing chords
Technical brilliance on the piano is seldom not associated with playing at a breathtakingly frenetic pace without a trace of the subtlest mistake.
To reach that level of accomplishment in technique and musicality takes years of practise. How do you practise?
Is hammering away a piece by Mozart 20 times a day going to improve your piano technique or perhaps practising the scales is a good idea? After all, practising scales is the most fundamental exercise we have been taught to repeat...learn more about playing the piano online, read the full article>>>
...You can never practice enough. It is a constant work in progress. Let me give you an example – scales.
Scales are so elementary we tend to think nothing of it after a while. In the beginning we learned which fingers to use for each key, practising with the right hand. Then the process is repeated with the left hand. Next, came the coordination nightmare of playing with both hands.
After mastering the mechanics of going up and down a scale on the piano with both hands, we learned to add in the dynamics - louder as you go up and softer as you go down scale...learn more about playing the piano online, read the full article>>>
...It is practicing on specific and clearly defined areas in order to improve performance, striving to accomplish a performance that is beyond the current level of proficiency, seeking feedback on the results of your efforts and doing so repeatedly on a regular basis.
Simply hitting the keys of C,D,E,F,G on the piano is not deliberate practice. Instead, practising 2 octaves of the scale of F# major in legato, with the goal of controlling the intensity of the tone as you go up and down the scale, listening carefully to the quality of the sound produced, the positions of your arms and fingers and making the necessary adjustments every day for 4 hours - that is deliberate practise.
Technical skills on the piano includes having a soft legato touch, finger strength, nimble fingers when executing an ornament, an acute sense of pronouncing contrasts and discernment of the quality of a sound that creates a clear and distinct tone...learn more about playing the piano online, read the full article>>>
How to acquire piano technique in the shortest of time? Find out the three ways to acquire technique quickly.
...Playing with both hands is harder because of the simple fact that it takes extra effort in coordinating two hands at the same time. Thus, the process of mastering a song, unknotting a troublesome passage or getting the tonal dynamics right usually takes longer if practised with both hands.
We need to isolate the problem with coordination for now and put it aside for while. We do so by practising hands separately. Piano technique is acquired one hand at a time.
Use the right hand to practise scales and arpeggios. Add accents in the downstroke of your fingers and lift each finger up after it has landed on the keys. This is to secure evenness of touch and gain finger strength...learn more about playing the piano online, read the full article>>>
Avoid playing through and neglecting sight-reading. Harmful habits that hamper progress explained
...Due to this habit my sight reading remained weak. Poor sight reading is a huge disadvantage when you are trying to learn a new song. I used to play a bar with my right hand and memorize it, then play it with my left hand and memorize it and then play them together from memory.
Imagine how long it took to complete a song. If my sight reading was top notch I should have been able to look at the music sheet and play without glancing down to look at the keyboard.
Another frustrating outcome of having weak sight reading is it becomes almost impossible to maintain a repertoire...learn more about playing the piano online, read the full article>>>