Everyone has the potential to become a great piano player but before you become great you need to be better. There are a number of things you can do to become a better piano player. We are going to give you an in depth guide to becoming a better pianist.
1. Record Yourself
Apart from listening to yourself while playing, recording yourself is also a great way to analyze your mistakes. It is actually the best way to identify your mistakes. So why is this so? Recording yourself helps you note those tiny mistakes that would have otherwise gone unnoticed had you not done a recording. These mistakes are often realized by your audience even though you were unable to notice them.
Many people don’t like recording themselves because they feel a bit awkward having to listen to themselves after playing. You should not let this stop you because the practice can go a long way in ensuring that you become a better player. Moreover, self-criticism is a great way to improve your skills. You could be playing too loud but not realizing it. While playing the recording, listen for balance, clear pedals as well as articulation.
Read more: How to Recording Music at Home
2. Be Specific While Practicing
By being specific while practicing, we mean that you should always have a detailed practice session. There is a huge difference between someone who does random practice sessions and someone who does specific practice sessions. The former has no direction whatsoever and will practice just for the sake of doing it whereas the latter has an organized practice session that puts focus on all areas.
As person who has been playing for some time you need to get more detailed in your practice. You need to develop a routine for example; you first work on technique, then a 5 to 10 minute practice on scales followed by metronome ramp ups and then working on finger drums. You could even make your pieces practice session more detailed by spending a specific amount of time on section A and then moving on to section B. Allocate a specific amount for time for each of these and do them in detail. Learn to practice smart and not hard.
3. Do Some Classical Pieces
As boring as this may sound, it is a crucial part in your journey to becoming a better piano player. Classical pieces are often technical and require you to be sharp. As a piano player you need to have some classical pieces up your sleeve so that you can challenge yourself from time to time. Practice the advanced classical pieces and in the long run, you will notice some improvements in your technical skills, sharpness and style of play. Many piano players love doing what they already know and this makes their development curve remain stagnant.
4. Limit Your Speed
This may sound like a beginner advice but it is not. In fact, a person does not become a better piano player by playing fast. Many pianists think that they sound better when they play faster. This is not correct because you make a lot of mistakes when playing faster. It may be inaudible to you but someone listening will be able to notice the missed notes and possibly loud play.
Speed always comes with practice and repetition. You should however note that the fact that you have been playing the piano for a long time does not mean that you can go fast. If you realize that you are missing notes in any section, learn to slow down and try to get the part right. Treat the situation like a general example in life; if you cannot do something at a slower pace, then doing it faster won’t help improve your current predicament.
5. Play In Public
To become a better piano player, you need to be able to play anywhere, even where you feel tensed up and nervous. Most musicians undergo some vigorous training before doing a live performance. This should be the case for a pianist as well. The goal is to get everything right and give a ground-breaking performance. Every time you practice before a live performance, you get better and less nervous when in front of a crowd.
It is normal for fear to creep in before and during a performance in front of a crowd. The best way to repress the fear is to practice well and even do a small performance in front of your family and friends before going public. This will give you that feel of having an audience and their support prior to the performance will help boost your confidence.
In essence, these five are some of the best guides to being a better piano player. Always practice smart, record yourself, play a few classical pieces, limit your speed when required and do some live performances. Develop these habits and with time you will see yourself developing into a great piano player.