Are there really secrets to becoming a really good pianist? Or is it just a matter of practice, practice, practice?
Practice is necessary, of course, but you could practice until the cows come home without understanding what you are doing at the piano, and all that you would end up with fingers behaving obediently to whatever the score or sheet music tells them. to do. .
Understanding how music works in terms of form and content is the key to productive practice. So not only are you playing mechanically from memory like a machine, but you can “get into” the music and eventually let it flow from your brain and heart, as well as your hands.
“There are at least 33 elements that go into becoming a good pianist,” says Duane Shinn, pianist and owner of Keyboard Workshop in Medford, Oregon. “There are probably more, but without these 33 principles, a pianist cannot hope to reach his skill level.”
So yes, there really are secrets to becoming the pianist of your dreams. It’s not that someone is intentionally trying to keep a secret from you, but he’s a rare teacher who has the ability not only to play well, but to explain music theory – chords, melody, rhythm, dynamics, and all the other elements. that they contribute to playing the piano well and with feeling.
In our study of piano teaching at Piano University, we have identified 33 distinct skills that must be developed if a person wants to play to the limit of their potential. Are here:
1 – Hand and body position – Should you look down at your hands? How to use “eye flips”
2 – The Key to Productive Practice – Spaced Repetition
3 – Attitude: how it affects your learning
4 – How and when to pedal. Using explosive dynamics
5 – Exhibition: why it is of vital importance
6 – Auditory training – Intervals from 2 to 13
7 – Fingering – Which finger do you use when?
8 – Chord substitutions that create great sounds
9 – Chord recognition: how to recognize which chord is being used
10 – Music vocabulary: tempo words, shape words
11- Fix: how’s your “bag of tricks” going? “Head arrangements”
12 – Melodic sense: how is melody related to chords?
13 – Sight Reading: 7 Fundamentals You Just Can’t Ignore
14 – Clef Orientation: Can you think of the clef you are playing in?
15 – Scanning the score before starting to play
16 – Mental practice – how to learn music in bed
17 – Repertoire: Why you need one to be prepared for any opportunity
18 – Goal Setting: How Good Can You Get? Is there a limit?
19 – Rhythm awareness – samba, bossa nova, bolero, etc.
20 – Why is it important for you to know the history of music
21 – Theft of ideas: how, where and from whom
22 – 12 bar blues; creating a pattern; “blue notes”
23 – Extended chords: 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, suspensions
24 – Acquisition technique: rubber balls, fingering exercises
25 – Harmonization: Use of I, IV and V to harmonize
26 – Key identification: recognition of key signatures
27 – Voicing: Open, closed, records, color tones
28 – Improvisation: get music out of your head
29 – Harmony and theory: How much should you know?
30 – Stylistic devices: Western, boogie, jazz, etc.
31 – Analysis: how to understand what you are hearing
32 – Riffs & Run & Fills: How to develop them
33 – Cross Pollination: The Best of All Worlds!
While reading music is important, the person who develops these 33 basic skills will be light years away from the person who simply plays the sheet music as it is written. There is no longer a reason to be “tied to written music” when you can master these techniques that allow you to play from the heart.