Dexterity is the black beast of many apprentice pianists.
Dexterity is the ability to be mobile on the fingerboard, sometimes quickly and sometimes with widely spaced note ranges. Running your fingers on the keyboard remaining precise and “square” over time is not obvious.
At first, the hands are clenched and the tendons loose. To start the piano and gain dexterity, there is only one solution: work.
- Doing exercises of rising and falling of octaves.
- Learn to chain chords, quickly and smoothly.
- Do exercises to with fingers.
- On the piano, slowly play the “octave” scales with each hand, then slowly increase the tempo.
- Practice putting together series of plated chords (C, F, G, A) major, then minor.
- Get used to not looking at your fingers while you play, but at the score.
This work one hand at a time and then faster and faster will improve your accuracy and the quality of your technique. It is an essential exercise if you intend to play and compose your own music: that is, to become a pianist of excellent level.
Once you are comfortable with relatively fast-tempo scales, work on coordination by playing the passages with your left hand, then with your right hand before using both hands. Slowly first, then quickly.
Prepare stairs before classes at home or at school. A range, then F range, Sol range …
It is not only a way to train your fingers, but also to get a musical ear.
Furthermore, the scales allow you to improvise from the chords played by other guitarists, flutists, clarinetists, accordionists, etc.
The budding pianist who knows his own scales has a not negligible gain on his speed of progression on the piano, especially if he emulates Chopin!
Use a method: It will help you with technical exercises to loosen your fingers and others to speed up the chord progression.
To gain dexterity, it is important to repeat the technical exercises regularly. This will allow you to hone your accuracy and train your fingers to play the piano better.
A pianist who manages to make his chords and arpeggios more fluid with precision is a source of satisfaction for him.
As a result, he enjoys it when he gets to the point. As he gradually becomes a better musician, he derives gratification from past efforts.
The next step adds a difficulty to becoming a pianist: learning the piano also means knowing how to sing and play at the same time.
Singing while playing means superimposing the singing like a second musical instrument. In other words, it’s not easy. It means using the piano as an accompaniment very often and reserving the melody for the voice.
If the piano requires eye-manual coordination crossed with the auditory one, singing while playing means invoking a “third hand”. In fact, if the right and left already play different notes, keep in mind that singing an additional part over it (with its score) is not a trivial matter.
It is clear that the exercise represents a challenge and, if achieved, significant progress. It implies maturation and maturity of multiple sense organs. It involves a high degree of concentration, skill, mastery of the situation.
To sing and play the piano at the same time, it is essential to first master the piano score, then that of the singing, in order to be able to superimpose them without any problem.
A second work of synchronization must be achieved, not only between the two hands, but between the voice and the hands.
So, in the same way as the hand coordination exercise for beginners, you will need to train first to play the parts of your song, then to sing the words separately.
This presupposes selecting a relatively simple and musically “poor” song: no more than four chords, no complex concatenation, no pitch jump, no accident.
Choose a binary piece (in two or four strokes) without difficulty
Another trick to singing and playing the piano at the same time: whistle or hum the melody while playing the sheet music.
Always singing in the shower, whistling and repeating a tune in your head is a great way to train. It is also a well-rooted habit, of course, in each of us. Young children, as long as the rules of society and its imposed activities do not prevent them, use to hum, even in a low voice, while carrying out play actions, complex jobs, walking, swinging or relaxing.
Training to hum is therefore a completely continuous thing, compared to innate habit. Doing it with knowledge of the facts, following the instructions of the teachers who make you learn to play the piano, could give great results, unless you say it. Humming the melodies – and even the accompaniments, for the more daring – involves a constant training of the muscles for vocal function. Learning to play the piano can be accompanied by learning to sing in tune. What better guide than a tuned keyboard to take the correct notes while singing?
In short, the piano can be your “control tool”!
Learn to play the piano and – at the same time, but most importantly at the same cost! – you will be able to learn to sing in tune, develop your musical ear and, with it, train your vocal cords.
All musicians, not just those who learn to play the piano, have the habit, when they see a score for the first time, of singing it to themselves: a little in mind, a little in a whisper, to anticipate the path of the fingers, foresee obstacles, prefigure the path of the hands and view the alterations
This promotes memorization of the piano pieces. Listening and working on your musical ear allows you to immerse yourself in the original piece.
In order to be able to sing and play the piano at the same time, you will need to try to acquire a good interpretation of your lips and fingers. To do this, it is best to memorize the original words and intonation.
In summary, here are the key tips for singing and playing at the same time:
- Be patient, determined, persevering.
- Adopt good posture for playing and singing: back straight, diaphragm released, belly breathing.
- Play the piano part and the vocal part separately.
- Pick a simple song.
- Play the song while talking (to see if it has been internalized well).
- Listen to the original song several times.
- Break up the syllables of words.
- Use a rhythmic mark (metronome or foot).
- On a complex piece, the interpretation phase can be difficult. This is because it is necessary to simplify the music.