When you sit down at the piano tuner in Sydney, do you know where to begin? These practice tips will help you stay focused on making meaningful progress.
The most important aspect of learning and becoming a pianist is practicing. Keep these pointers in mind to make the most of your practice time.
- Set a Specific Goal
You won’t learn anything if you sit down at the piano and assume, “I’m going to play for a bit.” Set a goal instead: “I’m going to figure out how to play the opening song from Frozen.” You’ve set a target for yourself, and you’re going to work hard and try to accomplish it. You must also ensure that your goal is attainable within your practise period. If you only have 1 hour, you shouldn’t try to learn Holst’s entire “Planets Suite,” perhaps just the pretty part in “Jupiter.”
- Remember to warm up.
Have you ever tried to text someone while your fingers were frozen? Because your fingers are rigid, it is nearly impossible to type quickly and accurately. The same can be said for playing the piano. Warming up your fingers and hands will allow you to play the keys more fluidly. You can also adjust the piano tuner so that the intervals between the strings are coordinated. This is particularly important when you’re learning because you’ll make enough errors even if you don’t have clunky stiff fingers!
- Slowly practise.
Rushing through the piece increases the chances of making mistakes, which increases the likelihood of learning from those errors. Instead, play each note slowly and deliberately until you are confident in your fingering. Most digital keyboards allow you to record at a practise tempo and play it back at a faster tempo to hear how the song will sound once you’ve mastered it.
- Slow down again using a metronome.
You can’t play a song if you can’t play it in time. Depending on how you count it, “Flight of the Bumblebee” is played at around 500bpm. But don’t try to learn the song at 500bpm. You begin at 50bpm. When you can play it at 50 mph, increase the speed to 60 mph, and so on until you can play at the proper speed.
Name your top ten favourite pianists. You haven’t listened to enough pianists if you don’t have the list. To sound great, you must first understand what great sounds like. Since it’s 2022, it’s much easier to find great pianists and great music – just do a simple YouTube search!
- First, imitate, and then innovate
After you’ve listened, try to imitate great solos you admire, and then improve on them. This is where you discover who you are and what makes your piano playing unique. This is your chance to go from being great to being one-of-a-kind.
- Make time for fundamentals
Ensure to set aside at least 15 minutes of your practise time for things like runs, scales, timing, and accuracy. Technical skills can only be acquired through repetition – boring, annoying, uncomfortable, focused repetition. Simply include 15 minutes of fundamentals in each of your practises, and you’ll be able to play insanely technical pieces.