Is your posture in check?
Posture is super important. You need to be level and make sure your arms are slightly higher than the piano. Make sure your hands are only slightly higher than the piano. We need to keep our back straight, as this will improve your speed and help you to relax and play more freely.
Use all your fingers
We have five fingers. Yes, five fingers in the piano world. Our thumb becomes one, index two, middle three, ring four and little finger five. You have to get those fingers wiggling and working, as this will improve your stretch and speed. Scales are great exercises to help you stretch! Take your time with this and you will eventually feel more confident and your fingers will start to ease up.
Experiment with different sounds
More so, if you are playing digital piano or something more keyboard or synth based.
The great thing about piano, apart from being a beautiful instrument, is that with the assistance of digital equipment we can play around with a multitude of different programmed sounds. Let your mind run free and allow your creative flow to appear. Piano is recognised in many styles from classical, right the way through to modern pop.
Always warm up!
Warming up is one of those important things that everyone should do, but sometimes don’t. Don’t be this person! Get those fingers warm before jumping into anything too complicated. It will help to improve muscle memory and accuracy, so don’t take this tip lightly. Taking your time and being patient will pay off for your goals in the end. As mentioned previously, scales and exercises are a great way to achieve this.
Try different chord positions
All those fancy chords are tasty to put into your playing, but don’t forgot you can move those shapes and positions around to create beautiful inversions that great pianists use. Imagine flipping those chords on their head, and how cool you’ll look in your next gig or band practice by flowing some new ideas and bringing some exploration to the table. Do it now! Take that C major chord, but play it E, G, C or G, C, E. HI5 yourself, as that’s an inversion. Tasty right? This can be implemented in many different ways!
Left hand basslines can be melodic too!
The left hand is your sworn enemy, but it can be your best friend if you treat it right. Don’t ignore left hand melodies or bass lines that have some movement to them. Not every song you play needs to be root notes. Take your left hand for a spin, otherwise it gets boring, right?
Listen to different styles of music
Music is a language. It has a conversation with a voice, you need to be able to speak and LISTEN. Listening to other musicians or genres of music is a great way to improve your musical vocabulary. Take some time to treat your ears to some classical music, pop, rock, soul, funk and even metal. This depends on your musical taste. Piano is often associated with classical music, but it very much a viable option for more contemporary styles.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and although becoming a keyboard warrior or piano goddess sounds amazing, you will need to be patient to acquire that heightened ability. Repetition and taking your time go hand in hand and make a beautiful marriage. Consistency is key here.
Dynamics count for a lot
YOU DON’T NEED TO SHOUT. Playing with dynamics, which means quietly or loudly, can take your playing to another level. Imagine a beautiful sad piano solo, being played as loud as possible, it just won’t work. Piano keys respond very well to dynamics. You need that solo to be quiet and meaningful to bring your audience to tears for softer music, or louder and more aggressive if it’s a rock solo, like ‘Van Halen’s – Jump’ keyboard solo. You need to match your volume to the style you’re playing. Awareness of this is key.
Using a sustain pedal is a more useful tool than you think
That pedal under your foot isn’t just a toy or cool feature. It is an important tool to give you that sweet and smooth sound. The sustain pedal is your secret weapon. Get used to bouncing that foot in time with the music and also get used to the movement of suddenly releasing and pushing the pedal between your chords. That tool will make them sound great. Experimentation here, is really the key.
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