As someone sitting in the audience, it is truly amazing to watch a pianist’s fingers play fast compositions effortlessly. However, if you are a piano player or if you have been learning to play the piano, you must already be aware of how tired your fingers get after playing long and fast compositions. It can get exhausting. So how do these great pianists achieve their finger speed? The answer is you just need to get your technique right and perfect it. Like any other skill, you need to start slow and then gradually master your craft. Here are some exercises that you can incorporate into your routine to increase your finger speed while playing the piano-
You don’t want stiff fingers when playing the piano. It’s very important to start with finger warm-up exercises. Stretching your fingers will warm up the finger muscles and will help your fingers gain speed while playing the piano. Make a tight fist and hold it for 3 seconds before releasing it. Repeat this exercise a few times. Bend each finger separately so that your fingers act independently when playing. After these two exercises rub your hands together before starting to play.
This is a simple exercise that has proved to be very effective. If you are playing the Alberti bass pattern with even eight notes, change the rhythmic values to variations of dotted eighth and sixteenth notes.
Every pianist should practice scales and arpeggios. Practicing scales generally helps aspiring pianists build finger strength and master their craft. Try to practice by playing all the notes smoothly without pausing in between the notes. Start by practicing with one hand at a time. This will help build your finger muscles and eventually help you play faster. Make sure the notes feel connected. Practicing scales can also build finger independence which is essential when trying to increase your playing speed on the piano. Start by placing your right thumb on middle C and use your right hand to play the scale while pressing on any three keys with your left hand. After practicing it this way, switch hands and play with your left hand while pressing any three keys with your right hand.
Practicing arpeggios build finger strength and improve speed too. Start by practicing each hand separately. Learn to loosen your wrists. When you practice you should use your hand strength to press the keys.
Though practicing scales and arpeggios may not be an interesting exercise, it can help you master your technique and speed.
While learning to play the piano, the thumb is generally ignored. You need to start using your thumb consciously. Putting your thumb to good use can help you gain playing speed. While practicing scales, your thumb can cross under the hand to get ready for the next note.
This is an effective exercise to improve your piano playing speed. Try playing the notes of a scale in staccato from your fingers using minimal muscles and without using your arm. Try to play using your fingertip.
Use a metronome and start by choosing a slow speed at which you can play the entire composition. If you can play the entire piece at that speed, try increasing the speed a little. Gradually you can keep increasing the speed. If you are not able to play the entire piece at a particular speed, then keep practicing the piece at that speed until you achieve it with precision. Do not try to play a piece faster than you can. Always start slow and gradually increase your speed. Practicing with a metronome is a great way to gain playing speed on the piano.
Ultimately practice is everything. Regularly practicing to play the piano will help you remember where each note is placed on the piano. So when playing a composition, you don’t have to think about where to place your finger next. This will help you play faster.
Before starting to play, always begin by going through the notes that you intend to play. Make sure to know your notes before playing.
Always keep yourself relaxed when playing the piano. Get a good night’s sleep. A good amount of sleep can help you be productive and can also help you grasp your technique better.
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