Piano Technique – 3 Ways to Improve Your Technical Prowess
Piano Technique Improvement #1- Play a segment repeatedly
It minimizes the needed practise time to become profficient while maximizing effectiveness.
In one line of a music phrase there is usually one bar or two that is blocking you. Focus on those bars to bring the wall down. Once you have broken through, you shall be able play a whole line smoothly. It is hard to make progress if you try to plow through several lines of notes at once.
I am currently learning the ‘The Beautiful Blue Danube’ by Strauss. The piece is 6 pages long. In my attempt to play the song from beginning to the end, while correcting the mistakes along the way it took almost 20 minutes. It would take forever to master the song if I keep this up.
Instead I focus on the bars with those little annoying acciaccaturas to practise on. I can practise the bar alone for a hundred times in 10 minutes. It improves my piano tecnique and reduces the mistakes on the parts of the song that are a problem for me.
All I have to do next is connect that bar smoothly with the following phrase that I can already play well enough. Feels a lot like putting together a jigsaw puzzle doesn’t it.
Piano Technique Improvement #2 - Connect the phrases
The bars with the acciaccaturas were very difficult for me. To be able to play in time and accurately using my weakest pinkie no less was a hurdle that seemed impossible to overcome. Finally being able to solve that problem, the next challenge is to connect the bar with the next phrase.
To be able to connect them, play the last 2 notes of the bar then continue with the next phrase. The practise is also useful when you have completed the 1st movement of a song and want go on to the 2nd movement.
Always practise the ending notes of a bar continuously with the beginning notes of the next phrase to give you the finesse to sustain playing without interruptions.
Piano Technique Improvement #3 - Practise at a speed you are comfortable with
Initially, students learning the piano all have a speed limit. If I try to play above the speed limit my fingers become stressed, I hit the wrong keys, the delicate control of my fingers’ touch is loss and there is the risk of injuring myself too.
Speed of playing can only be gained incrementally. It has to happen in stages and slowly. I am unable to play fast at first because my fingers have not acquired the piano technique for it.
In the beginning, please play at a speed at which you can play accurately without mistakes. Increase the speed a little bit once you are able to do this.
To find out at which point your fingers stress, try playing as fast as possible, then play slower and fix the mistakes. I admit that it is a time consuming process, but forcing ourselves to play fast brings no benefit because all we are doing is practising mistakes.
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