How to play the piano fast…
Sadly, this is one of the most popular ‘piano searches’ on YouTube. Speed is ‘measurable’, it is easy to understand, it sounds impressive… so a lot of players equate it with ‘mastery’.
Naturally, there are also plenty of speed-related videos out there – a wide range of ‘finger drills’ promising you instant velocity and virtuosity.
Don’t get me wrong: velocity and technical freedom do matter. The ability to conquer any piece (regardless of its final tempo) is important for every musician.
However, speed is not a separate skill that you can ‘drill’ – and it is also not our main goal. It is simply a useful tool (one among many!) that we can use to achieve a higher purpose: a well-rounded, meaningful and expressive performance.
As a teacher, I see this ‘need for speed’ as a wonderful educational opportunity. If piano players wish to learn ‘how to play fast’ – why not record a video on this topic?… and ‘hide’ useful, in-depth, transformational advice under the ‘catchy’ title?
… and this is how the tutorial below was born. I hope you enjoy it!
How to Play the Piano Fast: The Real Reason You Struggle with Speed Walls.
00:02. Introduction. Coming up in this video…
00:48. Why are your fingers slow and disobedient? It’s time for a change of perspective!
01:29. Secret No. 1: whole-arm action. The engine and the ‘wheels’.
04:05. Playing a simple C Major scale without arm involvement.
05:13. What happens when we play a passage by using whole-arm action? ‘Leading’ with the arm.
06:20. Whole-arm action is the foundation – not a replacement for finger work. How to learn this technique.
07:07. Secret No. 2: Correct body-arm-wrist-hand alignment. The most common mistakes in this area.
07:55. Posture and alignment principles that facilitate velocity. The ergonomic oblique ‘three-dimensional’ hand-forearm alignment.
10:38. Secret No. 3: arm & wrist navigation. The easy way to conquer wide passages.
12:40. The ‘launchpad’ trick.
13:31. Secret No. 4: relaxation. Tension and speed cannot coexist!
14:53. Relaxation does not mean ‘lack of control’. The healthy cycle of effort/relaxation.
15:44. Secret No. 5: visualization and mental training. The fingers cannot move faster than your brain!
17:34. What happens when you learn a piece on your own, without watching a professional demonstration. Why your fingers should never be in charge.
18:40. Speed comes from the brain, from our inner hearing.
19:41. Bonus tips. The importance of technical training.
20:50. For optimal results, the foundation AND the roof, the engine and the wheels, need to be in good shape.
21:09. Your level matters as well!
21:51. Ultimately, music is not about speed! Why speed is like happiness.
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Recommended free tutorial:
Developing a Brilliant Piano Technique – The Holistic Professional Approach.
Recommended tutorials (available on PianoCareerAcademy.com):
How to Practice Piano Scales and Arpeggios – The Art Behind The Exercise. Step-by-Step Course.
Always Start with the Expressive Purpose, Not with the Separate Technique.
How to Practice Trills. Step-by-Step Guide.
What is Jeu Perle in Piano Playing? Practice Tips.
How to Achieve Lightness and Speed in Playing Scales: a Step-By-Step Holistic Guide.
P.S. Many new online piano lessons and video tutorials are coming soon on PianoCareer.com! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest to get instant updates, support and motivation!