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The Role of Piano Exercises

Question: I am in my early 50’s, an amateur pianist of intermediate skill level (e.g. I can play Grieg’s Holberg suite; I doubt if I could play Beethoven’s Waldstein sonata).

...

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The Most Important Rule of Piano Technique

There is a rule of piano technique that is sure to do more to advance your piano playing than any other. All amateur pianists I have ever witnessed break this rule every time they play, and doing...

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Practicing Technique vs. Music

Question: Can give us an idea how to go about the mastery of technique? Is practicing technique more important that practicing songs?

– Tejas

Albert’s reply: Practicing actual music...

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Playing Without Looking at One's Hands

Question: How does a pianist learn to play the piano without always having to look at his hands as he plays as well as make those octave leaps on the piano without having to look at where his...

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Playing Chords Together

Question: I wonder how I can practice playing chords with both hands so the notes sound together. I’m talking about complex chords which need to be played with almost all the fingers of both...

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Piano "Wall" (Fallboard)

Question: Hello Albert,

First of all, thank you so much for this website I appreciate the work you put into all this just to help us!

Here is my question: I play piano on a keyboard at home. But...

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Piano Scales

10 Expert Tips

New: Major Scales for Piano for free download!

A thorough study of piano scales is vital to playing musically and with confidence. Nonetheless, while virtually all piano music has...

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Piano Pedal Problem

Question: How would you stop a pupil lifting their heel when using the pedal?

Albert’s reply: To resolve this pedal problem you’ll need to show your student that good piano pedal...

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Piano Hand Positions

Question: Where do your hands go when you are beginning to play a song?

– Bob (New York, New York, USA)

Albert’s reply: You’re referring primarily to hand position here, and...

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Piano Hand Position

Question: How should you place your hand while you’re playing the piano?

– Oliver

Albert’s reply: The hand should be curved in a smooth arc, roughly forming a half-circle.

If...

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Piano Exercises

There is no more necessary evil in piano playing than piano exercises. I would love to be a musical idealist and deem all such exercises superfluous, as what piano students should really be doing...

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Piano Exercises for the Left Hand

Question: I would like to know what exercises I can do to strengthen and train my left hand. I have been searching the internet and have only found a few, but there are thousands out there. Any...

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Piano Exercises for Finger Independence

Question: Hello Albert,

Firstly, many thanks for the positive feedback you have given me to my questions which is a tremendous help.

My question today relates to technique, working the fingers in...

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Piano Chord Voicings

Question: Hello Albert,

Often bringing out or emphasizing particular notes within a chord is required, as in e.g. Schubert’s Moment Musical, Op. 94 (D.780), No. 2, where the higher notes of...

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Non-legato Scales

Question: Hello,

Have you any tips on developing a non-legato touch when playing, for example, Mozart’s C major Sonata K. 545? I can only manage a very uneven and rather slow staccato.

I am...

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Is Memorizing Each Piece Necessary?

Question: Is it imperative that you study a piece until you memorize it before moving to another piece?

Example: In my books that I am working from I will study a piece until I can play it well by...

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Improving Piano Technique

Question: I have been playing piano since childhood. I am a mediocre jazz player, strong harmonically, but weak technically. I don’t play classical music. Though the years I have practiced...

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How to Play Piano

Question: Dear Albert,

The seems a pretty dumb question, but it’s one of my major problems playing the piano: How do I play piano, without losing security? When I try to play very soft...

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How to Play Fast

Question: I have problems with fast, scale-like, semi-quaver (16th notes) passages, which are typical in Mozart sonatas for example. I can’t control them at a fast speed. I have issues with...

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Horowitz's Octave Technique

Question: Mr. Frantz,

I’d like to start by mentioning how impressed I am with your website. It is extremely informative and comprehensive.

My question pertains to correct octave technique....

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Hand Span and Technique

Question: Hello. I too am a late beginner – started just before I turned 18. So far I have managed to play Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turca and some other easy pieces. But the thing I really...

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Finger Suppleness

Question: Hello Albert,

Firstly, thanks for the lessons and advice coming in regularly, it certainly is a great help and also scary to realize how much I still need to learn.

As a retired citizen,...

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Finger Staccato

Question: Hi Albert,

My question relates to staccato double notes played softly. Is finger staccato the best technique for this?

– Tony (England)

Albert’s reply: It’s not...

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Finger Speed

Question: I’ve read a few times on your site about how everyone has a limit to how fast they can play. This really bothers me. Like I know it’s about playing everything musically first...

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Developing Fingering Confidence

Question: I am a senior citizen who has dreamed of learning to play the piano since childhood. I have learned a lot on my own, and started taking lessons two years ago. I am very frustrated and...

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