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© 2019 Charles Ormrod. Created by Laura Ormrod Morley

10 ways to instantly improve your piano playing

Try these ideas out!

1. The notes in any chord can come in any order!

THE FIRST INVERSION: Instead of playing C major as C-E-G, try E-G-C (thumb on E, index finger on G, little finger on C).

Three reasons:
a. It sounds much better

b. It allows for more subtle chord changes (e.g. C major to F major)

c. It's lower in pitch, so there's more room to move upwards to...

THE SECOND INVERSION: G-C-E in C major

Whereas the first inversion sounds very stable, the second inversion is good for giving motion to the music.

2. Use the whole piano

You have 88 keys at your disposal, so make your chords as big as possible. Play a chord low down, then play it further up.

3. Arpeggiate and break up the chords

... rather than playing them in 'blocks'. Make your music flow!

4. Use notes that aren't in the chord

Make it more interesting! 2nds and 4ths are particularly versatile, as are 6ths in jazz. You can use these extra notes to give people an idea of where the music's going

Change the dynamics and tempo. Even subtle changes in volume or speed will be noticeable and give your music depth.

Play with other people as often as you can, especially musicians better than you. Having a jam is the best way to boost your confidence and learn that there's nothing wrong with making mistakes!

Most importantly:

Listening intently to how others play is a large part of playing well: whether you're thinking, "That's amazing" or that you might have played it differently, you're still learning even when you're not practising.

Listen to proper pianists

This also goes for your own playing: record your private practise and when showing off to other people. What would you do differently? What would your favourite performer do?