Practicing our pianos is something that we literally have to do in order to play better and be able to learn more difficult music along the way.
We often think in terms of how much and how long we should practice; which is a great start. Steady and regular practice has been proven to produce better results than just practicing a couple of times a week.
But there's another aspect to practicing that we need to look at to achieve our best results, and that is *what* we need to be practicing on so we actually do improve, instead of staying where we are and not learning anything new.
This tutorial shows you the best 5 things that you need to be practicing on to achieve your best results and to help you enjoy playing your piano for years to come.
Let's take a look at the first one to put on your list.
Step 1: Something That Inspires You
Play something that inspires you!
Inspiration creates passion in us and that passion can really help boost our enthusiasm to focus better, learn more, and achieve success faster.
Now, this doesn't have to be you playing something inspiring; it could be that you listen to someone play a piece that inspires you, or a particular artist inspires you to want to learn a new technique.
Think about what inspired you to play the piano in the first place and go from there. Try keeping a little notepad close at hand so you can write down anything that brings inspiration and enthusiasm to your life, and bring those things into your practicing.
The key is to ignite your own passion as that will connect you to your piano playing much more.
Let's look now at the next thing to add to your practice list.
Step 2: Scales, Arpeggios, and Other Things You Don't Want to Practice
It's rather appropriate to make Inspiration the #1 thing to add to your practice list because you will need to draw on that to accomplish the next one.
All those technical exercises that we all tend to avoid, need to be added in as a regular part of practicing, in order to grow and improve.
Scales, finger exercises, arpeggios, chord progressions...anything that improves our technique comes under this category.
The challenge with these types of exercises is that they can be boring, they aren't usually "fun", and it takes a bit of self-discipline to do them regularly. Usually, most of us want to just work on our pieces or something fun.
BUT...we have to do the technical work in order to train our fingers to play more notes in all of the different Key Signatures, on the piano keyboard.
So take that inspiration from step 1 and use it for motivation to get your technical practicing in each time, and you'll see steady and faster improvement in your playing.
OK...on to the next step.
Step 3: Sight Reading
This is a fun step!
Sight Reading is just what it says - reading music through for the first time.
There are some great things that come from regular sight reading. You will learn to scan over your music quickly to determine the time and key signatures, note and rhythm patterns, changes in the key during the piece, and any number of other things to help you navigate through the music for the first time.
The more we sight-read, the better we will get at being able to pick up a new piece quicker, play harder music faster. It is one of the best ways to train our focus and mental abilities through music.
The next step is really fun too! Let's see what you need to add into this great list.
Step 4: Songs That You Like
What are your favorite pieces to play on the piano?
Include at least one or two of them each time you practice your piano.
This will definitely keep your enthusiasm up and your enjoyment level high as you grow in your playing.
Don't forget to add in new pieces that you discover, and they don't all have to be classical either. You can include any kind of music that you like to play. It's important to learn how to play different genres, such as Jazz or Blues or any type of music that you like.
Part of why we learn music and learn the language is so that we can play exactly what we want to on our pianos.
There's one more thing that you need to add into this top 5 list, that will ensure you keep growing and that you won't become stagnated in your growth. Let's look at the last thing to add to your list in the next step.
Step 5: Songs That Challenge You
We must continuously challenge ourselves in order to grow in our piano playing.
If you have a piano teacher, then she or he will help you with this.
If you are learning on your own or just moving at your own pace, make sure that you are including new pieces and exercises that teach you something new and make you play something that you never have before.
Think about adding in a new finger exercise, learning a new scale and arpeggio, or even learning a new rhythm each week to keep your mind alert and engaged with your playing.
You might want to even try playing something that you listen to such as your favorite band or musician, and copying what they are playing on your piano. This will help you learn to improvise as well.
Remember that everytime you learn something new, you create new brain cells!
Are you ready to practice these 5 tips with me? Let's do that in the final step!
Step 6: Come Practice With Me!
Let's take a quick review of the 5 Top Things to add to your practicing to achieve your best results!
- Something that Inspires you
- Scales, exercises, arpeggios and other things that you don't usually want to practice
- Sight Reading
- Pieces and other music that you like and enjoy playing
- Pieces and exercises that challenge you
If your practicing includes these 5 different categories you are going to improve your piano playing without a doubt. This is exactly how successful musicians all over the world excel in their craft and achieve their success and dreams.
This video takes you through each one of these topics and I'll discuss how to do them, the importance of doing them and we'll practice them together. It will help to reinforce everything in this lesson so make sure to watch it as much as you need to until you feel like you're able to do this on your own.
Let's go practice!