How do they learn to play a piano? How many times do they have to repeat any one of the 40 or so steps to become good?
The answer is a mix of technique and time. This was one of the most popular questions that I was asked, and here is the first part of my answer:
How to make an instrument sound like what you hear on live albums is not exactly the same as how you see a piano in a recording studio.
The first step is to be able to use the right combination of techniques – speed, articulation, dynamics, timbre, and sustain – depending on the style of music and the key of the instrument.
That is usually what I find myself doing when I see a new piece that requires any of these techniques and, depending on the piece, how many times, and if I’m doing it alone, how much time I’ve practiced each of these techniques – at how loud a volume, how loud a volume, the level of each technique – to decide on which technique does best.
If, for example, I’m playing a baritone or treble style piano that is a bit quieter, then, yes, my technique is different. I might need to play faster to get the same effect, and I might need to play softer at any given time, but for the same effect I may want both techniques.
The question of the quality of sound is closely tied with another: learning rhythm. Some people would say that all you need to do is develop all four notes of that key, and your skills with the rhythm should automatically translate to other keys with only minor adjustments.
That isn’t what I think.
Playing music at a low pitch requires a very precise rhythmic technique.
And playing music more slowly is not as easy as you might think it is. Playing music more slowly requires a very precise rhythmic technique. It requires you to be able to stay in sync for so long that the slightest change of pitch is almost as surprising as the slight changes in pitch of a song that is a lot faster.
This isn’t something that all pianists share, but I’m pretty sure that I have a few of my friends that have it down pretty well. The best thing to do is to put in practice to make it happen.
After a lot of time has been spent practicing, it’s time to focus on the things that really matter to you. There are three main
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