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#595970 - 11/06/07 09:36 PM playing softly
oldie101 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/08/07
Posts: 27
Loc: florida
Any tips on how to play softly. I have a tendency to strike the keys hard. If I try to hit them softly, they don't always sound.
_________________________
oldie

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#595971 - 11/06/07 09:51 PM Re: playing softly
Aviator1010110 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 134
Loc: United States
To play softly you must not gently tap the key but slowly[/b] lower the key, continuing through the keyboard as if the moment of attack didn't exist. Once this is "mastered" you'll be able to play notes that are barely audible.
_________________________
Technical skills should never come before artistry. I think of technical ability as a necessary tool for extracting a truly moving performance from a sensitive interpretation. -Aviator1010110

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#595972 - 11/06/07 11:18 PM Re: playing softly
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17913
Loc: Victoria, BC
 Quote:
Originally posted by oldie101:
Any tips on how to play softly. I have a tendency to strike the keys hard. If I try to hit them softly, they don't always sound. [/b]
It shouldn't be a question of striking the keys, but depressing them, and when doing so, they must go all the way to the bottom. Trying to play softly by playing on the surface of the keys and striking them lightly results in some of them not souding at all and - more importantly - results in your having no control over the sound you are creating.

One's ability to play softly is sometimes limited by the action of a poorly regulated piano, but a pianist with poor technique and poor tonal control usually cannot play very softly on a piano with a good, well-regulated action. I have always felt that one of the tests of the action of a "good" piano is my ability to completely control the dynamics and to play very softly without having to resort to any "tricks" or without having to use the una corda pedal.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#595973 - 11/07/07 02:02 AM Re: playing softly
tickler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 373
Loc: Chicagoland
Originally posted by BruceD:
I have always felt that one of the tests of the action of a "good" piano is my ability to completely control the dynamics and to play very softly without having to resort to any "tricks" [/b]


What sort of tricks do you mean?

Mary
_________________________
Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman. -- Beethoven
1911 Steinway A-II (2007 Rebuild)

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#595974 - 11/07/07 04:17 PM Re: playing softly
Jan-Erik Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/18/05
Posts: 1302
Loc: Finland
The action plays an important role as Bruce wrote. Not only question of bad regulation. Well designed instrumnets are nice to play pianissiimo (and fortissimo) on.

Normal basic teqnique required anyhow.

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#595975 - 11/08/07 09:37 AM Re: playing softly
Dan101 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 45
Loc: Canada
Here's some advice given to me by my mentor and teacher at the Royal College of Music. "Playing softly is the controlling of ones strength". It's a paraphrase, but it generally means that you must have strength and dexterity in order to play softly. You need to practice playing deeply and slowly into the keys, with a full tone. Good luck.
_________________________
Daniel E. Friedman, co-owner of www.pianolessons101.com
You CAN learn to play the piano in a fun and positive way.

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#595976 - 11/08/07 09:46 AM Re: playing softly
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
Besides good regulation, I find pianos with longer keys (the longest grands) to be easier to play softly.

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#595977 - 11/08/07 04:59 PM Re: playing softly
Peyton Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 2548
Loc: Maine
Any kind of exercises you would recommend for playing lightly? for me the problem really arises when I must play light and fast. For instance the quick little runs at the end of Chopin's Nocturne in C#m.
_________________________
"One's real life is often the life that one does not lead."- Oscar Wilde
www.youtube.com/Biffer5
www.peytonart.com


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#595978 - 11/09/07 07:15 PM Re: playing softly
Loki Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/09/05
Posts: 1035
Loc: Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by BruceD:
 Quote:
Originally posted by oldie101:
Any tips on how to play softly. I have a tendency to strike the keys hard. If I try to hit them softly, they don't always sound. [/b]
It shouldn't be a question of striking the keys, but depressing them, and when doing so, they must go all the way to the bottom. Trying to play softly by playing on the surface of the keys and striking them lightly results in some of them not souding at all and - more importantly - results in your having no control over the sound you are creating.

Regards, [/b]
Great post Bruce.

Yeah, I was basically going to say the same thing but Bruce beat me to it.
_________________________
Houston, Texas

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#595979 - 11/09/07 09:34 PM Re: playing softly
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11676
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Peyton:
I would play it loudly on purpose (working on a small section at a time if you are required ot play softly for a long time), then repeat it with the same energy, but a lighter, slower touch. Keeping fingers closer to the keys may help as well.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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