All pianists were beginners at some point and it took them some time to grow into more professional performers. While playing the Flea Waltz does not require too much concentration, Bach’s pieces will need a good deal of work to be performed brightly – and if those are to be performed on the piano – even more. Why? Because among numerous instruments piano is the one playing which one has to coordinate their body most of all – simultaneous performing with both hands and feet.
To help make piano practicing more efficient and enjoyable there are a couple of techniques that can be used both by beginners and pianists with experience. Here are some of them:
“Pre-practicing self-tuning”. One does not simply sit down at the instrument and start emitting beautiful sounds. If you have embarked on a complicated music piece, make sure you conquer it step by step, setting priorities and scheduling your work. Try to set a realistic objective for each of your training sessions. Also, study well the material beforehand, the score itself, the harmonies, the difficult parts – it will affect your coordination in a good way.
“Morning exercises”. Have you ever seen a volleyball or football player run straight into the game field without preliminary exercising? You need your muscles work good for you, so give your arms and fingers good stretching and warming up. Likewise, after you are done playing, cooling them down is also a must. FYI, these muscles are no less vulnerable as those in professional football players’ legs!
"Independent hand". To achieve best body coordination you must first be fully-coordinated in its parts. That’s why switching hands is an amazing technique to help you focus on what each involved part should do. Spend some time playing with each hand separately, make sure you switch the motions and experiment with different fingering. You will be pretty surprised how much easier two-hand playing will seem after that.
“Tick-tock”. As for rhythm controlling, preferences have divided. Some prefer to stick to the traditional metronome while others choose to set their own internal rhythm and count aloud themselves, which allows being a bit more flexible on pieces that are no regular rhythm. Whichever method you prefer, it will help to preserve the tempo.
“Pizza slice”. There is no universal ‘piece slice’ that has to be mastered at a time, so do the splitting yourself depending on what your skills, desire and mood are. No need to rush. You can break the composition into pages, sections, lines and even bars – if you stumble upon a really difficult part. The major hint here would be: Mind the Prime Time, i.e. the first 10 minutes of your practicing – that’s the time where you’d better do the most difficult work.
When your piece already ‘looks good’, don’t go limp on it – keep in shape playing it as often as you can. And remember, practicing should bring joy, don’t force yourself to train through aversion.
Your personal piano practicing suggestions are a huge welcome!