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Play with a Virtual Accompanist piano practice

How do you prepare for rehearsals with fellow musicians? When playing chamber music or concertos, it’s essential to know everyone else’s part well enough to come in on cue and play together. Pianists play from a full score (or at least a piano reduction in the case of concertos),...

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How to Conduct Basic Rhythms piano practice

What do Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt and Bernstein have in common? All were not only composers, they were also pianists and conductors. In our time many famous conductors started their careers as pianists, including André Previn, Daniel Barenboim and Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Why should pianists...

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Piano Practicing and Phrasing piano practice

Question: Hello Albert,

I read something you wrote under the heading Piano Practice and subheading Accuracy and quote, “we systematically learn our pieces phrase by phrase….”

This is something I have been pondering on for a long time and now question, how long is a phrase,...

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My Practice Routine piano practice

Question: Hello Albert,

I often read about practicing on your website, and you write a lot about how to practice efficiently, and how you get the best results. But if someone (like me) tries to focus on all the things you tell us on your website, it can be kind of hard to keep everything in...

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Making Mistakes in Practice piano practice

Learning a piece of music successfully requires avoiding mistakes in practice. How we practice is how we learn, and how we learn is how we perform. If we make mistakes in practice, we teach ourselves to make mistakes in performance. It’s a simple equation.

What exactly is a mistake?...

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How to Practice Polyrhythms piano practice

Question: What is your advice for playing polyrhythms? For example, simple polyrhythms like triplets against duplets or quadruplets and odd ones (Chopin’s favorite) like 4 notes against 35 or 13 notes.

My approach is lots of practice hands separately with the metronome but the odd ones...

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How to Learn a Fugue piano practice

With their multiplicity of interweaving, interdependent voices perpetually reacting to one another, deceptively appearing in backwards guise, upside-down, rhythmically lengthened or shortened, migrating amongst unstable keys yet all the while forming a coherent harmonic unity, fugues are far and...

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Are Editorial Fingerings Compulsory? piano practice

Question: Is it essential to play or to require my students to play all indicated fingerings in early advanced pieces, i.e., Chopin’s Fantasie-Impromptu Op. 66, or Mozart’s Fantasia in D Minor? Although I can play and also teach pupils all of the indicated fingerings, I don’t...

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Which Hand to Watch? piano practice

Question: I’ve been a guitarist for 30+ years and have always watched my left hand, and rarely my right. And now that I am learning/practicing the major and relative minor scales on piano, I find it easier to watch my left hand when playing the scales with both hands in unison. When I try...

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Warming Up the Hands piano practice

Question: Hello dear teacher,

I had some problems and sickness and I couldn’t practice at all! I want to start again but my hands are too cold to play after about 3 months, so I try to warm them with Hanon. What’s your idea?

Best regards,

– Sarah

Albert’s reply:...

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Warming Up for Lessons and Performing piano practice

Question: What is the best way to quickly warm up or get acclimated to an unfamiliar piano? That is, if you have, say, five minutes to prepare, what do you play to get your muscles and ears situated so you can make best use of your lesson time? If you sit down at a piano you’ve never...

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Warming Up Before Practicing piano practice

Question: Do you do or suggest any kind of physical warm-ups (non-musical) such as hand or arm stretches before practicing or playing (or after as well)? I believe I read that you used to do yoga.

Thanks!

– Kevin

Albert’s reply: In general, I suggest keeping your body in shape....

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