Wouldn’t it be nice to have a few tricks under your belt that would speed up learning how to play the piano? Imagine saving countless hours of practice by knowing some piano tips that would help you stay well ahead of the game and ahead of other pianists at your level.
Truth be told, there are some hints that can help. But there is absolutely no substitute for the hours of practice and hard work that lay ahead for beginner and intermediate pianists. Even advanced and professional pianists who are serious about their craft work hard, constantly building their technique and refining their art.
Here are some suggestions that will be of great help in the future. Keep in mind that tips on playing the piano can amount to an exhausting list of advice. I’ve chosen a few hints that will definitely help you to optimize your practice and give you a health attitude when pursuing piano playing challenges:
1. Try to avoid making errors when practicing. In the process of learning notes, your memory work consists mainly of touch and muscle memory. Every time you play a wrong note, your brain is making a mental note of the finger position of that wrong note. The more correct you are about your finger placement (fingering), the more your brain and hands register correct memory patterns.
2. Don’t practice for too long a period of time. For advanced pianists, forty-five minutes seems like a good chunk of time before taking a brief walk around the room. The time away from the keyboard helps you to refocus. Upon returning, perhaps for another forty-five minute session, your mind is refreshed and ready to go again. Of course, some people can practice for hours on end and not get tired. This, however, is most likely the exception to the rule.
3. Practice rhythms both at the piano and away from the piano. This is easier and more useful than you might think. Clapping the rhythm of a complex right or left hand passage can give you an aural representation of the correct rhythmic pattern. It’s easier to clap rather than play a complex pattern, as playing involves note reading, hand position, phrasing and dynamic aspects that are not a concern with clapping. Basically, when you clap, you get the correct rhythm faster because you have less to concentrate on.
4. Finally, enjoy the journey of piano practice. Believe it or not, the journey can be fun. There’s a wonderful thrill in actually being able to detect improvement from week to week in your playing. Often, this improvement is very subtle and difficult to detect. However, finding it and cheering yourself on is not only good for piano playing moral, but a wonderful life lesson. Optimism is priceless, especially in learning an instrument.
As a final note when learning how to play the piano, stay within yourself and try not to compare yourself to others in a destructive way. You may aspire to have more fluency in your playing when hearing someone else, but see the task of improving as a fun mission, rather than a torturous journey that you may never finish.
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