Slow practice with metronome

Sochi Winter Olympics has been held for almost a week. I especially like figure skating. Figure skatters need to do series of moves such as spins, jumps and throw jumps with music. They give smooth, well-organized yet stable performances.


It is similar in piano playing. Led by hands and arms, our fingers have to run and jump on the keyboard on time. However, we tend to slow down in difficult sections and speed up in easier parts. This will break the continuity of music.

Here I suggest the use of slow practice to overcome the problem. Firstly find out the optimum tempo of the piece and mark it on the score. The optimum tempo is the tempo that allows the reflection of character and salient features of the piece. You can also find the hints of optimum tempo from performances by other pianists.

Then play the whole piece comfortably. Tap while playing. Then tap your pulse on metronome with pulse tap function such as mobile metronome app and steinway metronome app. Your current tempo marking is right there.  Compare this marking with the optimum tempo and you will see how far you are left behind. Achieve the optimum tempo progressively and patiently.

Once you have reached the optimum tempo, please don’t forget to replay the piece in slower tempo regularly. This can help you solidify what you have learnt.


Copyright © 2014 Alice Ho — All Rights Reserved


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