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Practicing Away from the Instrument piano practice

Question: Is it possible to practice piano playing without a piano? Just like athletes need to go to gym to strengthen their muscles.

Any comment?

– Tingting (Hong Kong)

Albert’s reply: Practicing away from your instrument is not only productive, done properly it can be even more...

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Playing in All Keys piano practice

Question: Hello Albert,

Your site and its contents along with your explanations are exceptional, and I am enjoying reading it all. It seems to speak to me.

Q: Which key do you tend to “mess around in” when not actually performing, and why? As an adult male of 63 years, I have tended...

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Piano Transcription piano practice

Question: Why didn’t you include transcription? I’ve always thought that it was an important part of learning an instrument.

– Mike B. (Chicago)

Albert’s reply: You’re absolutely right that transcriptions are a wonderful exercise. They’re particularly...

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Piano Practice piano practice

What do you imagine when practicing piano? Is it about losing yourself in the music in a state of perpetual inspiration… or waiting for inspiration to strike? Flashbacks of nasty piano-teaching sadists bringing grown men to tears? Hours of hair-splitting, nail-biting drills? Or worst of...

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Piano Practice Discipline piano practice

Question: I have a 7-year-old son who is talented and who has got a good teacher, but is not methodical or disciplined. How do I instill discipline in him?

– Tejas

Albert’s reply: In the arts, there’s a dichotomy between giving free reign to one’s whims and careful,...

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Piano Piece Memorization piano practice

Question: Is there such a thing as effective memorization technique on any given piano piece? I only know memorization through repetitions.

– Leo (California, USA)

Albert’s reply: There’s an enormous amount that could be written on the subject of memorizing piano music, but...

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Piano Bench Height piano practice

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 the right hand octave chords have to be phrased.

Especially in octave chords or 4-note chords this...

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Motivation and Concentration piano practice

Question: I find myself taking constant breaks, procrastinating, if you will. It takes a certain amount of motivation to start my practicing. I am a lover of classical and operatic music, and I love to compose pieces off the top of my head, but I can’t promise myself a 1-hour practice...

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Mental Practice piano practice

Question: I have a question regarding mentally practicing the piano. The last expert tip on the Efficient Piano Practice page suggests to study away from the piano. I have heard that a number of great pianists such as Glenn Gould and Walter Gieseking spent most of their practice time away from...

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Mental Practice and Visualization piano practice

Question: There is a blind Japanese pianist I found on YouTube, his name is Nobuyuki Tsujii. Truly remarkable, he was born blind. No doubt you probably know of him. How he learned to play, to me, is mind-boggling. He can’t see, so how did he learn to “read” music? He...

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Memorizing Music Without Playing It piano practice

Question: How do you memorize a piece of music without using muscle memory?

Albert’s reply: There are two poles to learning music without playing it. The first is a process of abstraction in which everything about the music is absorbed except for muscle memory. The second is imagining the...

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Mastering Scales piano practice

The Thrill of the Challenge

Question: Hi Albert,

For the past year, I’ve been concentrating on trying to develop and memorize the “feel” of the major and minor scales in both hands together, in unison, contrary motion, 3rds, 6ths, and chord scales in all keys.

Although I try to...

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