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Piano Technique

Piano technique is the ability to get the right sound at the right time out of the piano. It is the ability to realize music, how we interact with our instrument. It is the ability to say what we...

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Accuracy on Black Keys

Question: As an adult (aged 54) student of the piano, I have encountered lots of difficulty achieving stability (and/or a firm grip) on black keys and have often wondered whether this is connected...

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Changing Fingerings

Question: When sight reading new music by professional piano players, are the fingering positions subject to interpretation or are the fingerings “set in stone”?

– Don...

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Chopin Etude Op. 10, No. 4

Question: Hi, I would like to have some explanation about the third measure of the Chopin Etude, Op. 10, No. 4. I already play it up to tempo, but only on this passage am I having some problems....

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Chromatic Minor Thirds

Question: I am in urgent need of the finger settings for the following scale: A-sharp chromatic major – double note thirds for both hands. Can you please help me?

– Heleen

...

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Chromatic Sixths Fingering

Question: Hello Albert,

It’s good of you to help me, thanks. Like you, I am an extremely “late starter” but I feel this is my time now to achieve my dreams. I only did 3 years of...

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Dynamic Balance and Voicing

Question: What’s the best way of practicing to make the left hand give a lower sound than your right hand? And to make a lower sound in one finger of another in the same hand?

– Ali...

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Fast Octaves

Question: I have problems with playing the fast octaves at the end of the third movement of Schubert’s Sonata in A minor D. 784 (Op. 143).

Do you have any advice on how to practice the...

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Fingering Myths or Facts?

Question: My question is, how important is “correct” fingering when playing?

I recently downloaded (THANK YOU) your scales reference, which showed all twelve scales. I’m already...

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Legato Octaves

Question: In bars 5–7 of the Capriccio in D minor by Brahms, the right hand is supposed to play legato octaves (the melody) while holding down a middle voice as well. How can you create this...

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Piano Fingering

Piano fingering is one of the most crucial aspects of learning the instrument, yet it is among the most overlooked. Here are seven of the most important rules for fingering, prefaced by an...

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Scales in Thirds and Sixths

Question: Hello Albert,

Thank you for your reply mail regarding “the fingering” for playing descending chromatic minor 6ths. It is most helpful and is going to take me some time to...

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Small Hands

Question: Hi Albert,

I am a retired female who has returned to the piano about three months ago. Haven’t found a teacher yet so don’t have access to answers to some of my difficulties...

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Strengthening the Left Hand

Question: Hello Albert,

Since I started playing the piano, I’ve mostly played Romantic-era music, where the left hand is just accompanying. In January I started with playing scales, 20...

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Thumb Accuracy

Question: Hello Albert, Thank you so much for the lessons.

I am practising the scales as you suggested, e.g., started with B major and want to ask you for a tip as the thumb will...

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Changing Hand Positions Without Looking

Question: I am trying to learn how to move from octave to octave without looking at my hands. For example, I begin with both hands on the keyboard with the thumb #1 finger of both hands on middle...

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Wrist and Forearm Tension

Question: I’ve been having some tightness and tension in my wrists and forearms lately. I’m aware that you struggled through similar problems with discomfort. Do you have any...

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"Thinking Fingers" Piano Exercises

Question: Do you know of Guy Maier? If so do you know the piano exercises he and Bradshaw co-authored, “Thinking Fingers?” The authors advocate practicing these patterns in...

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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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