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Piano Practice!! (Read 5491 times)

Offline PhaseSphere

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Piano Practice!!
« on: April 24, 2004, 10:32:40 AM »
How do you all practise ??
is there any method to improve faster??

Offline monk

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Re: Piano Practice!!
«Reply #1 on: April 24, 2004, 11:40:53 AM »
1) Play from your hearing and not from seeing.
If you can't hear whether a passage was wrong or not, play it slower, omit things or play an easier-to-hear piece.
Always play from your sound imagination - don't just press F# because it's there on the paper.

2) Observe all your body motions and stiffnesses and work on them. Often passages don't succeed because there is a unuseful movement or you are holding your breath or...

3) Improvise every day for warm-up. This way you can "make friends" with the piano first and set your body in motion without the stress of "hitting the right notes fast".
Improvise just slow things and enjoy the full vibration of the strings and the sound of the chance melodies and chords you play.

4) First practice accuracy! Most people play too fast! The right tempo is: the fastest tempo you can play a passage without mistakes and with good body feeling.
I can bet without knowing you that you are one of those people who always play too fast. Who, when sitting down at the piano to practice, first try a fast run to test themselves whether they are able to play it today or whether the damned fingers are again so rusty today. Right? ? ? Stop that! From now on, NEVER play one note to test yourself or your fingers! Because that way, you are PRACTICING FAILURE!

5) And, very important: Stop wanting to improve faster so hard!!!
Piano playing abilities are just like little plants. You can water them regularly, manure them, remove pest plants etc., but they have their own growing tempo that can't be accelerated.

Best Wishes,

Offline PhaseSphere

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Re: Piano Practice!!
«Reply #2 on: April 24, 2004, 05:52:14 PM »
thx for the advice.
but if i don't try to play fast, how do i know whether i can play the pieces?
Do you mean that, i can increase speed when i can play the current tempo comfortably?

I have read the website of Chang, the practice methods.
are they useful?


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Re: Piano Practice!!
«Reply #3 on: April 25, 2004, 10:12:27 AM »
I practice repetitions alot. Many times the whole way thru, then just certain parts by themselves, as well as just 2 or 3 measures over and over. I also record myelf frequently to make sure I' not missing something I can't hear while playing myself. Also, almost always I use a metronome. Once I have a piece where I can play it very comfortably at a slower speed (not necessarily the correct speed for the piece) I increase the metronome speed by just 3 or so counts and play it several times...then increase it again, and so on and so on.  Using a metronome allows one to actually "measure" their progress. Keep in mind though, I do not increase the speed until I play it correctly several times thru.

I always warm up with whatever I want, and just have fun for 15-20 minutes doing whatever I feel like.

Offline bernhard

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Re: Piano Practice!!
«Reply #4 on: April 25, 2004, 02:21:37 PM »
There are several threads dealing with practice methods/tricks in the forum. Have a look in a few of them:







Your problem will be to sort out the true gems from the rubbish. I cannot do that for you because:

1.      Who am I to say that my suggestions are true gems and the suggestions of people who disagree with me are rubbish?

2.      What works in terms of efficient practice cannot be decided by verbal argument (I was going to say intellectual argument but…)

3.      What works for a certain person may not work for you and vice versa.

So here is what you do:

Make a list of practice techniques that may seem to contradict each other. Choose two pieces of music of similar difficulty and similar technical demands. Practise one using method 1 and the other piece using method 2. After a couple of days/weeks practice it should be totally obvious which practice technique is the good one.

This is a very good way to go about it because:

1.      It is scientific, and therefore bypasses mere opinions.

2.      It increases your repertory (it forces you to learn two pieces instead of one).

3.      It teaches you about the pieces (you will have to analyse them to figure out if they are the same degree of difficulty).

4.      It teaches you about several practice techniques.

5.      It makes your practice focused and mindful instead of mechanical and thoughtless.

6. It personalises your practice: soon you will know what works for you and what does not work for you

but if i don't try to play fast, how do i know whether i can play the pieces?
Do you mean that, i can increase speed when i can play the current tempo comfortably?

Look here for more discussion on the topic of slow practice, and then use the method above to decide what is rubbish and what is not:




I have read the website of Chang, the practice methods.
are they useful?

If you go through the forum, here are two opinions you will find:

Yes, they are very useful.
No, they are rubbish.

It does not matter what people say (and even if it did, who are you going to believe?). Chang has argued his own case. It is up to you to try out his ideas and decide for yourself.

Finally. Irrespective of how you practice, the way to improve faster is:

1.      To equate practice with improvement. If you have not improved, you have not practised. If you spend five hours at the piano and after five hours you have not improved, then you have not practised, you have just done piano related activity.

2.      To know exactly what you want to improve, that is you must practise with an aim. (If you don’t know what you want to improve, how will you know that you improved?).

3.      To organise your long term goals (e.g. learn a Beethoven sonatas) into tiny short term goals that add up to your long term goal. Then apply [1] and [2] to each short term goal.

4.      To be totally systematic, so that you accomplish [3]. Most people are totally chaotic in their practice. Think of building a house or baking a cake. You must do it in steps (small steps), The steps must be done in a certain order, and you must do them systematically until you get a completed house or a nice cake out of the oven.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes,
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)