Did you know that as a pianist you are also an athlete? Yes, musicians are athletes of small muscles. Essentially, there are physical therapists specifically trained to work with musicians, and the physical issues they bump into throughout their years of playing that are unique to being in this category of a player.
Warming up is something we typically think of doing before a physical workout, for instance running. Stretching our muscles and all of those connective muscles and tendons help us to prevent injury during our workout and aid our bodies to wake up a bit before setting so many demands on it.
Similarly, with performing the piano or any other instrument. Taking the time to warm up before you start practicing the ivories will support you to play better, not hurt from injuring your hands or wrists, and offer you a sensation of connectedness to the piano before you truly start on the hard work of committing.
Over the years we’ve developed a favorable process of what we use to warm up with before practicing or playing. Following this routine will take you through a step-by-step plan and after you try doing this yourself for several weeks, you’ll know it for memory and can adapt it to what you are working on at any time. If you know little or nothing about the piano but want to learn how to play the piano, then you have come to the right place.
Learn your way around the keyboard
First things first, we need to get you acquainted with the piano. If you are fortunate enough to own a piano, go ahead and sit down by it. To someone who has not yet started learning - like yourself - all of these black and white notes will be very puzzling! For your benefit, add all of the note’s names to the piano to get the hang of it in the beginning.
Next, we have finger numbering. In your mind, number your fingers from one to five with both thumbs being ‘one’ and pinkies being ‘5’. When you see small numbers over notes, they are telling you which finger to put on that note. Doing this makes moving from one note to the next effortlessly without running out of fingers or having to jump or twist from one position to another. Deciding which notes to play with which fingers will become very vital once you can start playing pieces.
This tip is fundamental! If you have no experience playing the piano, learn how to sit at the piano as well as the correct position of your arms and hands. This only takes a minute but it’s very important, especially if you plan to devote numerous hours to the piano. Your hand should be in line with your forearm with fingers softly curving downwards. You can seriously hurt your hand, wrist, and forearm if you implement the incorrect position.
Learn to read music
Start learning to read notes right away! This is the greatest way to learn so that you relate the notes on the page with the keys on the piano. Get into the routine of looking up at the notation rather than down at your hands. In early piano classes, this is easy because your hand doesn’t move once you’re in your initial position.
Learn five notes in the right hand and then five notes in the left hand in the same session. A lot of people focus for too long reading right-hand notes and discover themselves struggling with the left hand. Learning both at the same stretch makes this a lot less likely to come about.
Learning to read music also comprises learning note values – how many beats a note is worth. You’ll also learn about dynamics (whether the music should be played loud or soft) and articulations (whether you should play smoothly or with short, detached notes). Additionally, instructions within music involve getting from one segment to the next and which bits to repeat. All these things comprise “music theory” and you’ll find yourself spontaneously learning these things as you learn the piano
Learn what each hand does separately
If you’re learning a song that uses both hands, learn each hand individually and practice it over and over before trying the hands together. The better each of your hands know the movements it’s making, the more rapidly you’ll learn the song. A good habit to get into is to play through each hand’s part separately until you get it correct three times. Putting the hands together is the hardest part of learning a song, so take it portion by portion. You may well find that you have to decrease speed and increase repetition. Patience is supreme here.
Pick up how to build chords
This may possibly be the best thing you can concentrate on in order to learn to play the piano fast, so spend a good quantity of time learning and practicing chords. A chord is a group of three notes, and most music is ultimately built with these chords. There are twenty-four basic chords to learn – twelve major chords and twelve minor chords.
If you learn to play all the chords and practice finding them quickly, you’ll be able to play a lot of songs on the piano in a very short time. Being able to find chords quickly allows you to play any song with a chord chart (usually written as guitar tabs) and even if you want to play classical music, you’ll begin to see those chords merging in and out of the most stunning well-known tunes.
Look for patterns
Music is typically built with several patterns. Chords are found all over music and you’ll sometimes see them as solid three-note groups, or else broken chords – meaning the three notes of the chord are played one after the other instead of all together. It’s the recurrence of these patterns that makes us adore a song and give us the aptitude to sing along. Every song you know well, you recognize because of the patterns in it. You know how the chorus is going to go because – whether you realize it or not – you’ve remembered the pattern of notes.
Beginning on the piano you might feel clumsy and awkward at first. Maybe your fingers won’t always do what you want them to. Shockingly, many people hold their breath when they’re doing something challenging on the piano. Take some deep breaths and ease up a bit! Practicing scales is one of the finest ways to build dexterity. Scales are a ladder of notes going up and down eight notes. They are beneficial to build finger strength and also, to learn the pattern of black and white notes in each key.
Invest time to practice
Playing the piano does call for commitment and the more time you dedicate, the faster you’ll learn to play the piano. It’s best to have a set period of the day when you spend a certain length of time engrossed in practicing the piano. You can keep a practice log or set an alarm on your phone to remind you to practice each day. Keeping a list of goals – songs you want to be able to play by a certain date – is a great way to stay on track and accomplish your goals. It might get difficult at times, there’s no avoiding that. The idea that playing the piano is extremely fun isn’t wrong. However, there is a great deal of hard work that goes into it. A lot of that work can be pleasurable if it’s approached in the right way, but do keep in mind that sometimes it might seem challenging.
There are hurdles to overcome when you learn to play the piano and you are likely to have moments when it feels too tough. You might feel you aren’t getting any better and it’s unrewarding. This is normal – you’re not alone! On the other hand, if you stick with it and push past these moments, the rewards are amazing. If playing the piano was this easy, one and all would be able to do it!
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