Practicing with proper piano technique can be a difficult habit to develop. But, once you get in the groove of paying attention to your hands, posture, breathing, and tension level your progress on the piano will skyrocket! Once you learn to relax, your hands will fly over the keys like the wind and you will feel comfortable and at ease with your practice.
Learn what proper piano technique means
It is incredibly important to your development as a pianist that you learn from the beginning what proper piano technique is. You need to understand the best way to hold your hands, how to sit in front of the piano with good posture, and how to relax your body and mind.
It may seem strenuous at first to pay attention to these small details, but over time these small details add up to huge improvements in your playing. If you pay attention to these fundamentals every time your practice, your playing will develop much faster than if you practice with poor technique.
Practicing with strong and consistent technique will make you a better pianist, faster
The more strong and consistent you are with your technique while practicing, the better pianist you will become. Keep an awareness in your mind each time you practice of how you hold your hands, how you position your wrists, arms, and shoulders, and how much tension you keep in your body at all times.
The more awareness you build, the more relaxed you can become. The more relaxed you become, the faster and stronger your playing will become. This relaxation is a key aspect to improve piano technique. If you watch videos of master pianists perform, you will see how their hands almost appear to float over the keys. This is because they have spent years paying attention to their technique each time they practice.
You can achieve a degree of this mastery as well if you pay attention to your technique as your practice! Check out this video of master pianist Brad Mehldau performing his compositions “After Bach” and pay special attention to how easy and fluid his technique is:
Practicing with proper technique reduces your risk of injury
Paying attention to your technique while you practice will help reduce your risk of injury. If you hold too much tension in your wrists and arms while you play, you increase the risk of repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. Incurring one of these sorts of injuries will slow down your progress and potentially block you from achieving your goals with the piano.
You can use the stretching piano hand exercises in this article as well to help reduce your risk of causing pain to your wrists and arms.
These exercises will help strengthen your hands and wrists and provide a gentle warm up before practice. I use these exercises as a warm-up every time that I practice. Practicing music is similar in many ways to athletic training. If you play a sport, you likely do not just show up to the game and begin playing as hard as you can. You try to show up early so that you can stretch, run around, and warm-up before the game so that you are physically and mentally prepared to work hard. This warm-up also reduces your risk of injury.
Practicing with great technique will allow you to play more difficult music
Maintaining great technique while you practice will allow you to learn and master more difficult music. If you are interested in developing fluency, accuracy, and a level of virtuosity and want to play some more advanced and difficult repertoire, developing solid piano technique will allow you to access these realms.
For example, if you wish to learn the repertoire in Skoove’s Advanced Piano Course, then you will need to develop a strong and consistent piano technique.
The most effective way to do this is to practice the same routine of exercises daily and to slowly increase speed and difficulty as your technique progresses. The journey is not a short one, but you can make daily progress with it if you are diligent and dedicated!
The exercises will help to strengthen your hands and build great technique. The exercises are all written in the key of C major, but you can move each of them to different keys as you learn about them!
You will look like you know what you are doing and look good doing it
In my opinion, watching a pianist perform with excellent technique is one of the most intriguing and beautiful events. The well-trained hands of a pianist are wonderful to look at. Take some time and observe the position of the hands during your Skoove lessons or the hands of your favorite pianists. Something about the constant contact with the piano keys molds the hands into a pleasing shape.
If you take the time to practice piano with proper technique, people will take notice when you perform for them. If you look like you know what you are doing, people will think that you do know what you are doing, even if you yourself are not completely sure or confident in your performance. Fake it until you make it as the saying goes.
However, there is no faking good piano technique. Developing great piano technique takes determined effort and considerable dedication. You must be aware of your body at numerous points including your hands, wrists, arms, and shoulders while you practice. You must be aware of your breath and how tense or relaxed your body is.
Having good technique on the piano means that you will progress faster through your study, you will be less prone to injury because you will be more relaxed and your hands will be stronger, you will be able to learn more difficult and complex music, and you will look like you know what you are doing!
Author of this blog post:
Eddie Bond is a multi-instrumentalist performer, composer, and music instructor currently based in Seattle, Washington USA. He has performed extensively in the US, Canada, Argentina, and China, released over 40 albums, and has over a decade experience working with music students of all ages and ability levels.