Being a teacher, people usually ask me about the ways to improve performance instantly. It is an everlasting problem when someone is judged at festivals and competitions. During the process judging and before the winners are announced, I provide some practice tips and a few other ideas to the pianists to help them in improving their performance. As a result of hearing a number of performances some of the useful suggestions that came to mind are provided in this write-up.
Sometimes the effect of sustaining pedal or unplanned use of a heavy right foot shows that it is due to lack of legato playing or smoothness. One can easily forget the effective combination of notes when we already have a pedal to make things easier for us. The detached nature of playing with mere clips can upset the students when the security blanket of the pedal is stripped of. This situation can be avoided by arranging a piece from the outset by using legato fingering fluently according to the piece. Normally anon-legato touch is required for Baroque music. The notes can be fully digested only once by adding pedal in them.
You can play a piece without using a pedal if you have already learned one, to know whether enough legato fingering or joining has been used by you to create a smooth piece, normally important to make a melodious piece.
Usually, for nervous performers, Pedaling can be the main problem because they usually try to use the right or sustaining pedal. In many cases, they normally avoid working hard with their fingers to play beautifully and accurately when it can be done by using various pedals. For the purpose of practicing you should focus on playing your piece without pedal from start till end.
You can add initially sustaining pedal in small amounts once you are confident to play a cleaner piece on a piano. Listening is also important to know your performance more appropriately. It will help you in focusing on the sound of your piece and the effect of changing pedals on it. You should mainly observe the ends of the phrases, chordal passages and rapidly performed passage works. Each piano has its own character, so if you attend a music school, try out variety of piano to practice adjusting the use of pedal immediately.
3. Movement of the body
Moving your arms, head, as well as other parts of your body around the stool, too much can be distracting and harmful for you. But, not moving your body absolutely can also be unbearable for the onlookers. The sound can be harsh and inaccurate due to the mental tension caused by the rigidity of your body. You can play flexibly and easily by making your body flexible by playing at the keyboard in a relaxed mood. While starting practicing you should observe yourself carefully by watching the position of your hands and wrists as well as your entire body and your movement around the keyboard during piano lessons.
Basically, you should keep your wrists relaxed and shoulders down to move your hands freely by using your arms properly. It can be a good habit for you if this problem persists consciously and consistently during practice sessions. When you are under pressure its effect will also be seen in your performances.
4. Close to the keys
Even if the movement of your body is considerable, you should also try to keep your fingers as close to the keys as possible. Your arms and wrists should be able to move flexibly when required. Your hands and fingers should be ready to act on the keys instantly.
It can be problematic to maintain the same tempo from start to end as it involves thinking adequately on some important things from the very beginning. You should restrain yourself to start playing instantly after sitting to play. You should take at least ten seconds to prepare yourself mentally. It will allow you to gather your thoughts as well as provide you an opportunity to set a realistic and comfortable speed for your piece. Before playing an introduction piece you should always aim to count two bars and feel the pulse.
This time should be used to think about the smallest or the fastest values of time in the work you have selected. You can also negotiate of semi-quavers or demi-semi-quavers to make the selected tempo easier. The devoted feeling of the pulse can also be useful and helpful in slowing down the pressure to rush.
Thus, you can instantly improve your performance while playing piano by implementing some of the suggestions discussed in this write-up.