15/03/2017 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

MIND & BODY MONTH Today: Five top tips on Playing with Ease

9a0cb4c5-3f9d-4bb1-9624-773e6db6ed44

My 5 Top Tips! 

 

By concert pianist and teacher Murray McLachlan

 

 

1 Sit comfortably! It is vital to get the stool at the correct height. Too high and your back will arch, too low and your shoulders will rise.

2 Grip strongly with your fingertips and feet but keep everything else loose and relaxed. Most technical issues can be solved when you have mastered this apparent contradiction.  Spend time each day working on it-both at the piano and away from it.

3 Keep your wrists and forearms in alignment when strength is required. Perhaps nothing encourages tendonitis more than trying to play with either dropping or raised wrists when in ‘full throttle’ mode! Use a mirror to check how your wrists look as you play.

4 Expand and relax your body! Give yourself room and space to feel comfortable. If you constrict your body and push the piano stool close to the instrument, you are immediately making things much harder for yourself.

5 Economise your finger and hand movements. Do all you can via excellent piano lessons and exercises to separate each finger from the rest. It is extremely difficult to play with even basic co-ordination if you cannot move fingers independently.

 

Murray has written some great Masterclasses for Pianist, some of which are still available as back issues. He also runs Chetham's International Summer School for Pianists, which takes place during August. Tune in to the next issue of Pianist, where we feature our 11-page 2017 Summer Courses & Festivals Guide - including a focus article on Chetham's Summer School! 

 

In the meantime, watch these three 30-second warm-up exercises from Russian concert pianist GéNIA, the creator of Piano-Yoga. 

1. How to 'ground' yourself before you play: 

2. Align yourself to the piano before you play: 

3. Understanding your hand muscles: 

Pianist issue No 85 features an interview with Genia where she talks all about Piano-Yoga. You can still get a copy of the magazine! 

Tune in later in the week to read more from Murray about playing with ease. 

 

Back to News

15/03/2017 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

ABRSM announces FREE event on 7 July to celebrate music education!

The day's event takes place at London's Barbican, with a great line up of speakers, performers and awards ...


Tickets still available to hear Australian pianist David Helfgott next month

His story was immortalized in the film 'Shine', and this May he returns to the UK for the first time in over ...


Read part of our exclusive cover interview inside the new issue: RICK WAKEMAN UP CLOSE!

When editor Erica Worth met with Rick in January, she asked him our usual 'Up Close' questions. See his ...


SUMMER COURSES & FESTIVALS MONTH: A festival in North Germany where only rare piano music is performed

The Husum Rarities of Piano Music festival tickles the palates of even the most jaded pianophile ...


Other News

Editor's Score of the Month: Grieg 'Melodie', Lyric Piece op 47 No 3

Editor Erica Worth chooses a favourite score from the current issue ...


2016 Cleveland International Piano Competition winner makes New York debut in June

Nikita Mndoyants will appear at Carnegie Hall on 7 June, performing works by Beethoven, Schumann, Prokofiev ...


Markson Pianos unveil Bösendorfer's new 'Vienna Concert' Grand 280VC

Top-end piano manufacture takes a leap forward with the launch of the 280VC (‘Vienna Concert’) Grand ...


The man behind the keys, Okiem's latest Vlog now available to watch

See what Pianist contributor Okiem has been up to recently