It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually beneficial to practice piano away from your instrument. Exercise your fingers by tapping them on a tabletop as if you were striking keys. When you tap away, do rhythm finger drills or play through an entire song. If you need to memorize a piece, study the score 1 bar at a time and tap each hand’s part on the tabletop. Gradually build up parts and bars until you’ve worked through the entire song. Whether you play at an advanced level or are just starting out, you could also try using a number of helpful practice apps.
EditExercising Your Fingers
- Practice proper hand shape. When you play the piano, your hands need to be rounded and relaxed. Try holding a ball or placing your hands on your kneecaps. Notice how your fingers gently curve, and practice keeping your fingers in that shape.
- When your fingers curve in a proper hand shape for piano, they shouldn’t be bent or tense. You should be able to see all 3 knuckles on each finger.
- Practice scales on a tabletop. Work on your finger coordination by playing scales on a table as if it were an actual piano. As you ascend a scale with your right hand, practice crossing your thumb to play a scale’s fourth note. Then descend the scale and practice crossing your middle finger to play the sixth note.
- As you ascend a scale with your left hand, cross your middle finger to play the sixth note. When descending with your left hand, play the third note with your thumb.
- Do finger rhythm drills. Starting with your thumb and ending with your pinky, tap all 5 fingers as if you were tapping the keys from middle C to G. Tap extra hard every third tap to create an accent rhythm.
- Ascend and descend, or tap from your thumb to your pinky, then from your pink to your thumb. Tap as fast as you can while keeping the accent rhythm. Switch up the intervals you accent and add combinations, such as accenting every second and fourth taps.
- Try combination taps. Number your fingers 1 through 5 from your thumb to your pinky. Pick a combination of numbers, such as 1, 2, and 5. Practice tapping with your thumb, index finger, and pinky in that order.
- Switch up your combinations and make them more complex. Try tapping as fast as you without making any mistakes.
- Spend extra time practicing with your non-dominant hand. Practicing scales and drills with your non-dominant hand can help you improve your coordination and dexterity. In addition to practicing, you could try brushing your teeth, combing your hair, and performing other tasks with your non-dominant hand.
- Play a full piece on a tabletop as if the table were a piano. You can practice playing a piece on a tabletop either from a score or by memory. Try to imagine playing it as vividly as possible. Do your best to hear every note and feel your fingers strike the piano keys.
- Playing on a tabletop is great for your muscle memory. Even though you’re not at the piano, you’ll still help train your fingers to follow a piece’s rhythm.
- Practice using online video guides. When you're away from the piano, watch and practice along with video lessons. You can work on your fingers' dexterity, brush up on notes, scales, and other basics, or get expert instruction on more advanced techniques.
- Berklee College of Music has helpful free video lessons for beginners: http://www.berkleeshares.com.
EditMemorizing a Score
- Study sheet music 1 hand and 1 bar at a time. Start by reading the right hand melody for the piece’s first bar. Study it closely, then proceed to playing it on a tabletop when you believe you have it memorized.
- If you need sheet music, a quick online search will yield websites and apps that provide scores for tens of thousands of songs. You can also purchase print or digital books online or at a music store.
- Play the bar’s right hand melody. After studying the first bar’s right hand part, start playing it on a tabletop as if it were a piano. Try to play the part 4 or 5 times without looking at the score. As you practice, do your best to vividly imagine the sound of the melody and the feeling of your fingers striking the keys.
- Practice the bar’s left hand part. Move on to the left hand chords or melody when you’re confident that you have the first bar’s right hand part memorized. Study the score carefully, then practice playing with your left hand from memory.
- Combine both hands and add more bars gradually. When you’re comfortable with the left hand, practice playing both hands together. Repeat the process to memorize the next bar, then gradually build parts and bars until you’ve worked through the entire piece.
- Check the score to make sure you’re playing the right notes. Every now and then, read the score as you play the piece to ensure you’re memorizing the tune correctly. You wouldn’t want to accidentally get the wrong notes stuck in your mind.
EditUsing Piano Practice Apps
- Try using an app that teaches basic piano skills. If you’re just starting out, try using a free beginner’s app, such as JoyTunes Piano Maestro. It includes interactive exercises and games, and it tracks your progress and gives you feedback based on your playing.
- Download a sight reading app. Sight reading, or reading and playing a score at first sight, is an essential skill, but it can be tough to master. Try apps like Read Ahead and SightRead4Piano to drill your sight reading abilities. Both apps have free demo practices, but you’ll need to pay to access more levels.
- Watch a virtual piano play a score note by note. For unfamiliar or complex pieces, it can be helpful to see what the keys should look like as they're struck during tricky rhythms. The Plern Piano app allows you to upload music and creates a representation of keys being struck as the music scrolls across the page.
- Plern Piano also allows you to compose and virtually play pieces from scratch.
EditSources and Citations
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source How to of the Day https://ift.tt/2KvPmBg