7 things I wish I'd known when learning pianoMay 29, 2021
Hello everyone! My name is Jazer and I have been playing the
pianofor 18 years. And in these 18 years I have made many mistakes. If I could go back in time, I would do
thingsquite differently. In this video, I will share with you 7
thingsI would do differently. I want to save you the painful months and years of discovering these mistakes so that you have a much more pleasant and smooth experience
piano. I'm going to start from number 7 and continue until I get to the most important thing: number 1 at the end. So make sure you watch this video until the end.
Number 7 is LEARN MORE MUSIC THEORY. And I think it's very important to learn more music theory because
learningmore music theory means that you will get a lot better at sight reading. Because
whenyou learn music theory, what you're learning is a bunch of scales and key signatures, arpeggios, time signatures, etc. And all of these things really help you see music through a quite different lens. I'm going to use Mozart's Sonata in C Major as an example. If you had a lot of knowledge of music theory, you could first see that the right hand... ...the first 3 notes there.
It's just a right C major triad chord and the left hand is... ...a bunch of Alberti bases. So that's C major and that's the 5, 7 inverted right and Chord 4. So Chord 3...1. So,
whenyou have a lot of knowledge of music theory, you start to be able to fragment the information. And you stop to see music as individual notes, but as groups of information that you can then process and play much faster. So when you see someone sight read a really complicated piece, it's amazing and they do it really, really well. They are not. It's not so much that they are really good at computing and playing many, many individual notes.
But what's happening in the brain is more that they've played that particular set of notes so many times that in their minds they're just performing one thing. So I had never officially learned this piece before. But before this video I took about half an hour just to study and analyze this piece. So for me this is half sight reading and half practice. So if you look at this... I want to share with you what's going through my head when playing this... I'm actually not thinking of these notes as individual, like D - B - D - G. - B.
I'm not thinking a lot about that. I'm actually breaking it all down into one thing, but they're just broken up. That's a G chord, right... a C chord... the different chords... a G chord again... even that. So to see this happen, all I see is the A minor chord, but it only has this Grace Note before it. Okay, that's the main part, but there's a grace note, so... So, number 6 on the list of things I would tell my younger self to do would be to not just practice it until you get it right, but more "PRACTICE SOMETHING UNTIL YOU CAN'T DO IT WRONG." So this is a rookie mistake that many people make.
That you know they play something many, many times wrong and somehow they finally get it right once after an hour. They finally got it right and thought, 'Oh, amazing! I have finished my work.' But it's not that simple. It's just that, you know, if you're wrong 99 times and you're right once on your hundredth time, well, statistically when you're on stage you're more likely to still be wrong because you play 99 times. incorrect and only 1 time correct. That's why it's very important to play it many, many, many, many times correctly. This is something I tell many of my students: practice until you can't make a mistake.
Well, going to number 5 is "STOP USING THE PEDAL SO MUCH DURING MY PRACTICE." I think the pedal is really good for certain pieces of music. When you use it in performances, it is very effective. But when you are practicing, it is better to just not use it and focus a little more on clarity. Okay, that's very, very important. When you remove the pedal, the music becomes very bare. And that's better, because then you can see what areas you need to improve. Because the thing is, if you use a lot of pedal in your practice, you will cover up a lot of your mistakes.
And, uh, you don't really realize they're mistakes until you know how to record yourself and you realize "Oh my God! I'm not even playing half the notes!" So take off the pedal. It will do many, many wonders for you. So number 4 on the list is "RECORD YOURSELF PLAYING MUCH, MUCH MORE." Here's a thought that occurred to me recently. When you practice or perform, about 80% of your brain's energy is spent trying to get the notes right, the dynamics right, the articulation right, etc., etc. And only about 20% of your brain's energy is allocated to listening to yourself. Right, since only 20% is allocated to listening to yourself, sometimes you don't realize that there are certain parts that are not so clean or maybe you are not playing some notes correctly.
Okay, it's very important that you record yourself. Because when you record yourself, you can hear yourself from the audience's perspective. And if you think about an audience member, an audience member spends 100% of her energy just listening. They are not worried about playing wrong notes. That is why it is very important that you record yourself and listen to yourself as an audience. So you can spend 100% of your brain energy analyzing what things you are doing well; What are the things that need better writing? What are the things that need to improve? So, for example, something that comes to mind when I'm practicing is this trill here.
So this one here. Currently I think I'm not playing as cleanly as I can, as I am now. I'm using about 80% of my energy to get the notes right, get the phrasing right, get the articulation right, etc., etc. And this trill still doesn't work out so well for me. So what I should do in a second is watch this video that you're watching right now. I want to watch it again, analyze my playing and then try to perfect it later. Well, number 3 on the list is FOLLOW THE DIGITALATIONS I see on the page. So one of the beginner mistakes I see a lot of people make is playing with very random fingerings.
Well, sometimes when I see students play certain pieces, they may play 5 times and 5 of those times they use different fingerings. And this seems strange to me. Right, because what you want to do is establish the same fingering during your performance to develop the correct muscle memory. And that helps you memorize the piece faster, meaning you play it more easily as time goes by. Okay, so it's important to use fingering and the other note is that editors have often analyzed... So if you use good editions like Henley or Peters or Pedorevsky, these editions have been edited by very professional pianists. so they are usually done in a way that makes the entire gaming experience more effective.
That's something I would tell my younger self. I would follow the fingerings a little more strictly. Number 2 on the list is PRACTICE MORE CONSISTENTLY. Now, I know it sounds pretty cliché, but this really is one of the factors that will take you from good to great. Well, if you look at this graph here. Well, I'll let you take a look for a second. And you can see that if you simply do 1% better each day, after a whole year you will reach a mathematical value of 37.78. And if you are simply 1% worse each day mathematically if you keep multiplying by itself... 0.99 times... 0.99 times... 0.99.
And if you do that 365 times, you'll get a mathematical value of 0.03. Now which one do you want to be? Of course, we all want to be better, right? So you can see how if you just practice and improve 1% every day, you will get huge results. Now let's get to the last thing. And the last thing is to PRACTICE SLOWER AND MORE CONSCIOUSLY. Okay, I think a lot of people play too fast in their practice. It would be much better if you could slow things down. Focus on the small details while you practice. That's what practice is for.
Practice is not for acting. Practice is for practice, which means perfecting the small details. So that when the time comes to act, you can do a great job. Just a thought I had recently. Playing slow and playing fast are actually very similar things because the only difference with practicing - playing slow and playing fast is that the amount of time between each note becomes shorter when you play fast. Well, let's say we go into this one, so um... Well, that's essentially the same thing as... The only real difference is that the time between each note gets shorter when you play faster.
So I recommend that if you are practicing, let's say this piece, you practice it much slower and try to make each note sound very clear. The worst thing you want to hear is something like this... Ah, that must be one of the worst things you can hear at a concert. So, okay, make sure you practice slowly and with quality. And there you have it, this sums up the 7 things I would do differently if I learned piano again. Which of these 7 do you identify with? Let me know below in the comments. Remember to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE to this channel for more piano tutorials.
I'll see you next time!
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