Bring your speed up! - I need help on that

Discuss the piano literature and how to teach and learn it

Postby pianogal » Sun Aug 05, 2007 1:17 pm

What are some exercises I can do to bring up my speed.
Currently, my speed is 140, there are so many beautiful songs that recquire the speed of 160 or more. It's so close and yet so far away. I need help and I'm stuck... :(

I know I have to be patient, it's not going to happen in like a few days, but I've been at 140 for half a year now. I don't know what I did wrong...
Don't ever give up piano, because you will like it someday
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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Sun Aug 05, 2007 8:41 pm

Dear Gal,

I know this may sound crazy, but you don't get speed by pushing for speed. You get it by learning proper, comfortable, economical technique, learning to hear the sound in your head and preparing what you want to do, working for mental, not just physical, control over your movements, staying loose and not tense. Then you play fast by thinking fast, not by tensing up and struggling for it.

I give you a 200% guarantee that if you develop smooth, relaxed, mentally controlled playing at moderate tempos you will be able to play as fast as you want. You don't master a difficult piece by beating it to death, but by becoming mentally and physically intimate with it. I know at your age that's not a happy thought--you want to play fast RIGHT NOW! But it just doesn't work that way, any more than it does in dance, tennis, soccer, or any similar skill.

There are some good articles in the section "Technique Matters"--have you checked them out?

Dr. Bill.
Technique is 90 per cent from the neck up.
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Postby pianogal » Mon Aug 06, 2007 1:10 pm

Oh my Gosh! That's definatelly something new!
Thanks so much for giving me the support and advice!
I'll try the MENTLE exercise!

I just wish I can pass this speed level as soon as possible, my dynamic is pretty good, just mistakes all over...

Anyway, again, THANKS!
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Postby Tranquillo » Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:24 am

I would have to agree with what Dr. Bill Leland has said ... you dont need to push yourself. If you find yourself still making mistakes when you practice slowly then going faster is only going to make it worse.
I know for a few exams I have needed to bring my speed up from playing at 190 to 228. That was crazy my teacher clapped it to me ... got me to clap it with him ... then without him ... then count it faster and then play it the same tempo it was clapped and counted. Mind you it did not happen over night. It was gradual ...

Once you know the piece well enough and work on it for like months straight and cant make a single mistake then I think the speed can really increase. Mind you with that piece I was working on it took me many many counting excercises to get it right itself ... so counting and timing is a major factor with speed. Dont go faster when the time is wrong!

Anyways I am not completly experienced ont his issue .. I am no teacher I am just stating what I have experienced as a learner. Normally I would say dont worry about speed ... (unless you have an exam with metronome requirements on speed ... you dont do exams right? or do you?).

Hope I helped :)
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Postby LK123 » Sat Mar 22, 2008 1:38 pm

Just back to the site after a long hiatus, so catching up on all the posts....One thing that has worked for me (especially for scales & arpeggios but in pieces as well) is to practice them slowly and staccato. It really helps to develop control over what my fingers are doing. It takes time and patience but it has worked for me.

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Postby Tranquillo » Sat Mar 22, 2008 6:04 pm

LK123 wrote:Just back to the site after a long hiatus, so catching up on all the posts....One thing that has worked for me (especially for scales & arpeggios but in pieces as well) is to practice them slowly and staccato. It really helps to develop control over what my fingers are doing. It takes time and patience but it has worked for me.

Lisa

Great to see you back.

I dont think anyone has mentioned this but there is the old traditional way of gradually upping the metranome speed.
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