Creating a beautiful piano sound is not complicated.
Playing with a relaxed, deep and flowing sound is not the privilege of professional pianists and advanced piano students. This skill is available to everyone – even complete piano beginners.
You simply need to learn the basic secrets of a correct key attack – they will change forever your perspective on piano playing!
A correct touché can be mastered from the very first piano lesson, being that stable foundation on which we can build everything – a beautiful sound, a brilliant technique and a convincing power of expression.
In the following video tutorial I explain and demonstrate, step by step, the basics of a correct key attack.
Enjoy and don’t forget to change the settings from 360p to 720p to watch the video in HD!
The way we press a piano key determines the quality of our sound.
The force, speed and character of our key attack are always reflected by the piano.
The modern piano is a complex and sensitive instrument that responds very well to the slightest changes in our gestures. If your movements are tensed, brutal, harsh – the sound will mimic them! If, on the other hand, your movements are fluid, relaxed, flowing, then the resulting sound will have the same qualities.
A correct key attack begins with the way you perceive the piano.
If you treat the piano as a percussion instrument – it will sound like one! If you think that the keyboard is a rigid surface – it will mirror your attitude, producing a rigid, short and ugly sound!
Don’t hit the piano key – press it instead as if diving gradually into an elastic surface.
Have you ever seen how cats knead? 🙂 The soft, relaxed, flexible and deep ‘touché’ of their paws can be easily compared to the gestures we need to use when playing the piano!
Imagine that you’re playing on a flexible surface, on a delicate instrument that can ‘capture and reflect’ the tiniest fluctuations in the quality of your touché.
Instead of producing a series of brutal, static, isolated ‘hits’, we can easily learn how to create an expressive, multifunctional sound. By mastering this type of sound and having it in our ‘pianistic arsenal’, we can become ‘almighty’ pianists! 😉
A relaxed, profound, vibrant, gradual and at the same time soft key attack has countless benefits!
It allows us to:
- produce a quality piano sound;
- create the illusion that the sound does not fade away immediately after being ‘born’;
- make an unbelievably smooth legato;
- shape uninterrupted melodic lines and flowing phrases;
- achieve an amazing cantability and expressiveness;
- express a wide range of dynamics, starting from the gentlest ppp and reaching the most dramatic fff.
- ‘play’ with countless characters and shades of the sound;
- ‘imitate’ the color and timbre of any instrument;
- achieve the power of expression of an entire symphony orchestra;
- have maximum benefits with minimum effort.
These are only a few of the many benefits of a relaxed, flowing piano touché. From the start, I allowed myself to write only 10 examples – otherwise I would’ve reached 100 or even more! 🙂
Now you understand why it’s so important to show every student, from the very first lesson, the basics of a correct and relaxed key attack. This technique is extremely simple and amazingly powerful!
This type of piano touché allows every pianist – beginner, intermediate and professional – to create a beautiful, deep and expressive sound that goes beyond the ‘hammer and string’ mechanism of the instrument.
Metaphorically speaking, it allows us to fly without wings – only by using the power of our mind and the functionality of our body in a smart way!
By mastering the simple technique I’m demonstrating in the video, you’ll be able to SING at the piano and make it sound like the violin, the human voice, the organ or even the orchestra.
The only limits are in your imagination!
I’ll reveal more expressive possibilities of the relaxed, gradual piano touché in my future articles and videos. In the meantime – share your thoughts! Comments are welcome and much appreciated! 😉
If you enjoyed this tutorial, here are some other piano learning and practices topics you’ll like: