Re-Learning the Piano pt.II

One month ago I wrote about starting to play the piano again and I’d just like to sum up my progress.

It’s been very fruitful and fun for me. I practiced the exercises I’d attached to the other blog entry and started to be more precise and strict with myself. Now I’m using the metronome with basically every exercise to refine my timing and to make my scales more smooth. It’s important to me, that the finger change is not hearable while I play. Furthermore I discovered that I would always look at my left hand while I play scales. So I tried to look at my right hand instead and it appeared that I was making far more mistakes with my left hand. My eyes had become a security web. So I started to practice with looking at my right hand. But after a while my right hand would make mistakes if I had looked at my left hand again. So I decided to practice the scales with my eyes closed. So far I’m pretty “fluent” with C-Major and a-minor, G-Major and e-minor, F-Major and d-minor, and currently I’m trying to master D-Major and b-minor.

I also discovered that my ring finger and my middle finger are not bending back anymore. They stay in a nice round shape. Only my pinkies have problems with the round shape. It looks like they fall into some kind of cramp and need to be stiff with the tip bent in to press the key down. But I’m confident, that this will eventually vanish as well 🙂

There is an interval exercise that has been an extra good help for my muscles. I tried to keep my hands as still as possible so that the fingers are doing most of the work. In addition to practicing with the metronome, for this particular exercise I use a timer as well to make sure that each finger gets the same “work-out time”. I started with 30 seconds and now do 60 or even 90 seconds per finger. It seems like the “posture” of my fingers evolves on its own through that.

I remembered that I had some exercises from my piano teacher at the Conservatory and I was able to find them. This is like a next level. I’m attaching them for everyone who likes those kind of finger exercises. For me practicing is almost like meditating. I love it!

–  L

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Re-Learning the Piano

Recently I started practicing piano again in preparation for our gig on December 16th.

I started taking lessons when I was 5 or 6 years old and stopped when I was 13 or 14. My mom says that I was really good and if I had continued I might now be just as good on the piano as Joe is. Parents tell you that you will regret stopping the lessons at that age of puberty when you’re just too lazy to practice. No kid will listen of course because they are the ones who have to do the work. But in the end the parents are right. Every adult who learned an instrument and stopped playing it at a certain age regrets it afterwards since they know what they could be capable of now.

I guess I’m proud to say that I am taking a turn there now. Instead of thinking about how good I could’ve become and feeling sorry for myself I’ve started to practice and re-learn the piano. I have some exercises that I created for my piano students last year and now I am the one benefitting from them. I figured it’s not enough to just learn the parts for the concert. I want to train the muscles in my fingers and slowly build up the skills to really play the piano. Now I am practicing every day and often an hour goes by without me even realizing because it is just so much fun! That was so different when I was a kid. 🤔

For anybody who feels inspired to do the same, below is a link to a PDF-file with some useful exercises to build up the muscles and independence of your fingers. 😉

Finger Exercises

– L

 

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