To start a new piece of music is the characteristic of each musician. This happens to all of us and I suggest you read some common sense advice that is important to follow.
After spending a little time, say a few minutes, to “observe” the score (the range, the keys …), you’re ready to start 🙂 Here are several tips that will help you learn quickly and well.
It’s almost self-evident but unless you’re a professional who does not need to read these lines, the first thing to do is not to rush. Play slowly, very slowly if necessary while keeping the pulsation in mind. It may be that if you play slowly, the white or the rounds seem endless! But we must keep in mind the value of the figures of notes and silences, so the duration of notes and silences.
The help of the metronome will not be too much: it’s useless to have it always close to you, all the time, but to be sure of being in the right reading of the rhythm, use the metronome at the beginning to take into account the pulsation.
If you play a known tune or you know, it may be that a slow pace is slightly disturbing and the desire to go faster to stick to the original tempo seduce you. So stay focused on your game and keep in mind the writing of the work. Do not be influenced by other orchestrations or interpretations either: it will come after but for now, be faithful to the score.
As you learn and if you feel comfortable in the starting tempo (slow), you can increase it gradually. The increase must be progressive: it will allow you to consolidate your fingerings, to confirm the game of certain difficulties…
Play correctly: again, it’s obvious but leave to work slowly, as well do it :-). This is of course a matter of rhythm but the other parameters are just as important:
Read the notes
The reading of notes is the basis of any interpretation: if it can help you, you can write the name of the notes below each but it is better to avoid because instead of making the effort to read and acquire automatisms you will read the note to play without making the necessary effort. You can cut the pear in half and have two versions: the first with the name of the notes and once you know a little the notes, take a copy “blank” – without the name of the notes.
The lecture notes can be also orally. No need to place your voice according to the notes read (unless the song is part of your assets). So read the notes aloud, possibly forgetting the rhythm at first. The best is of course to read the notes and read them according to the rhythm, thus respecting the value of the figures of notes and silences.
This exercise of reading notes can be done anywhere: in the train, the subway, in a waiting room … It is an exercise which does not cost you anything but you bring back a lot :-)!!!
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At the piano, fingering is extremely important because if at a slow speed, all fingerings are possible, it will be less true when you play at a higher speed. Things get complicated when the tempo is faster.
The right choice of fingerings is also very important for binding notes. The use of the pedal can hide the lack of connection but above all it must be ensured by a good fingering.
Fingers are, on many scores, mentioned: generally, they were written and validated as and editions. However, nothing prevents you from getting around here and there. There may sometimes be some “weird” fingerings at first reading, but usually they are made to facilitate the binding of notes.
If you change a fingering, do not forget to mention it on the score by blocking for example the fingering proposed intially. There must be no doubt in your mind when you play.
Once you’re fingering in place, avoid changing because simply, you will have a habit of play with a precise fingering and change will force you to adapt. There may be some confusion.
On the other hand, if you have similar passages in a score, be sure to take as much as possible an equivalent fingering. Nothing is worse than having a different fingering for two similar passages.
Respect the score
From the beginning, respect all that is mentioned on a score: the signs of accentuation (notes stitched for example), the indications of play, the nuances (strong, piano …) or rhythm (slow down, the points d ‘organ…). It is very important to take into account all these elements. However, if you are in the early stages of learning and reading notes, consider this first step. You must first know the notes and have the best fingering (the one that suits you best).