Sometimes we need to analyse our approach to piano practice. Everyone has busy lives and occasionally we don’t have enough time at the piano to achieve the results we’re looking for.
When I’m working with students I like to teach them how to get the most from their practice sessions. I always feel that this is a vital component that’s missing from schooling. Lots of information thrown at students but no guidance on how to effectively absorb the detail and mentally store it efficiently.
Recording your piano practice sessions can be a valuable tool for improving your skills.
Don’t think that you should record your session from start to finish. You can be picky. Just choose the parts where you think there is something wrong but you can’t quite put your finger on it (pun not intended).
Lets look at four piano practice tips that explain why recording yourself can help you become a better pianist.
Share for feedback
#1: Identifying Mistakes and Weaknesses
When you listen back to your recorded practice sessions, you can clearly hear mistakes and weaknesses that you may not have noticed while playing.
It’s difficult to objectively listen when you’re playing. You’ll be focussed on playing the music.
Once you listen back to your recording take note of the problem areas. Use this information to guide what you work on next.
#2: Articulation and Dynamic Analysis
Recording your piano playing lets you evaluate your dynamics and articulation, which are key elements in creating a beautiful sound.
By listening back to your recordings, you can hear where you may be lacking in these areas and work on improving them.
Many times I’ve thought my playing was beautiful but on listening back the music sounded very different. Either that, my phone hates me.
Just be glad we don’t use these tape things for recording any more!
#3: Set Goals and Track Progress
By recording your practice sessions, you can set specific goals for yourself and track your progress over time.
Goal setting is something that helps you measure your progress. It gives you something to work toward and can give clear vision. All too often I can find myself drifting off course. Having a goal helps me get back on track.
Listening back to your recordings over time can let you hear if you’re moving toward those goals. It’s great to hear how you’ve improved over time. It doesn’t have to be months either. Often you’ll hear differences over a few days.
#4: Share for feedback
Recording your practice sessions can also be helpful when you’re stuck. Sending your work to your piano teacher lets them have a listen and provide feedback.
Sharing your recordings can provide them with a clear understanding of your playing and help them provide targeted feedback and advice to help you improve.
This is something I provide to students. It’s where piano apps fall apart. Apps can help with a path but they’ll never provide the tailored feedback that a teacher does. Recordings can let you get help inbetween lessons and accelerate your progress.
You might also want to send something to your friends. Maybe it’s their birthday or it’s Christmas. It’s always nice to hear someone playing something just for you.
Recording your piano practice sessions can be a helpful tool to improve your playing.
By identifying mistakes and weaknesses, evaluating dynamics and articulation, setting goals and tracking progress, and sharing with teachers and friends, you can take your piano playing to the next level.
Try it out for yourself and see how it can benefit your piano practice!
If you’re learning piano and would like some help I can provide the following.
The Lighter Touch is for people learning piano in their own time. I am available for support with video responses to your questions. Along with that, you would get access to a growing library of live support sessions and loads of free sheet music.