Many people consider piano to be one of the toughest musical instruments to learn playing effectively. It requires a lot of multi-tasking and a completely focused mind in order to gain expertise and work well within the lines of an expert pianist. Body and mind co-ordination, fingering, proper posture and a lot of technicalities are involved when you wish to learn to play this instrument. Despite of the difficulties, many dedicated self-motivated learners may want to learn this instrument with self-learning in their home environment rather than seeking help of a professional private tutor or a learning center. For all those dedicated learners, there are a number of useful tools that makes practicing piano productive and interesting even when you have your own setting.
Tools for Practicing Piano:
Here we are listing some of the useful tools that a piano student needs in order to practice various piano playing skills and in order to gain meaningful progress in this regard. These tools prepare one to face challenges that are a part of learning to play piano. These tools would help you in avoiding frustration and would make you stronger musician who would ultimately reach his musical goal.
Physical or Electronic Method Book:
This is especially important when you are not seeking help of any tutor or professional training institute for learning and practicing piano. These method books whether physical or in electronic form offer various practice exercises that help you in practicing various technical skills with piano. Grab in one of the best piano learning books series of your level so that you can learn theory and playing skills by practicing songs and different exercises. Similar to books, you will find a number of online resources and websites teaching piano online. These resources can be used for practicing piano well but make sure you get hold of genuine and reliable sources.
Flashcards are another important tool that enables you to learn about different new concepts of piano such as notes, scales, tempos etc. you get better understanding and are able to memorize these concepts of piano really well with flashcards.
Software and Apps:
A number of different software and apps are now available that a piano learner can use for practicing piano. These apps and software include exercises and practice sessions for chords, scales, metronomes etc. Many of these tools offer visualization aids that makes practicing even easier and fun. These visualization tools are especially useful for beginners.
Listen to a lot of songs and recordings and have an idea on different playing styles of various individuals. Try to listen to all different types of recordings from different pianists and this would broaden your spectrum of thinking, learning, playing and practicing. Listening to recordings gives you more ideas and you can learn about all different possibilities. At the same time when you listen to recordings, you will soon be able to discover differences in performances and would be able to choose between good, moderate and bad performances with piano.
Your Own Recordings:
One of the best ways to look at your own mistakes and practice well to make your performance even better is to record your practice/performance. Listen to these recordings a number of times and you will be able to learn from your own recordings by realizing mistakes, errors and areas where you need improvement. So it is best to have an instrument with which you get a microphone and a recording system built-in.
Another tool that proves helpful is to make video of your own performances or watch videos of other pianists. Technical breakthroughs can be made as watch yourself and others play piano. Make watching videos a part of your daily routine and it would enable you to practice in the direction of improvement to make progress.
Chord and Scales Charts:
Chords and scales are important parts of playing piano. Although flashcards are an interesting and easy way of memorizing but playing notes correctly each time would only come with practice and play. You will make mistakes in the beginning but as you play some sets of chords and scales charts, you will soon be able to play well. Not only these tools offer correct learning and better practicing but also serves as a warm-up technique for your fingers on piano. These are a kind of visualization tools that enables you to know where each note of a give chord or scale will be on real piano. You gain knowledge of technicalities and thus improvise your piano playing skills.
Repetition is one of the best practicing tools. Playing piano needs your skills to be refined and repetition is one of the preferred methods that not only refines your skill but would also enable you to make corrections with your old piece, helps in polishing it up and refines your skills to learn and play a new piece in a much quicker and progressive manner.
Memorization is another important technique for piano learners to practice well and become a proficient piano player. When you have done your basic job with trying to memorize a piece, you can gain help of some memorization tools that would enable you to actually strengthen your memory for that piece. You not only strengthen but would be able to test your memory for that piece with these memorization tools. These tools would make you more confident with any piece and these tools are commonly termed as tracking tools.
Thus there are a number of physical and electronic learning aids that can prove helpful and support piano practice for improved playing skills and theoretical knowledge. These tools act as opportunities for individuals to gain efficiency with playing piano and reinforces basic theory and concepts that makes you a strong and knowledgeable piano player. Although not all practice tools may be used but one can choose a set of tools that he/she finds easier and more interesting to use for piano practice.