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#963291 - 05/24/08 05:58 AM I playing slow a problem
Magz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 88
Loc: Illinois
This is probably not the correct forum for this question but I felt that teachers may have the best answer for me. I am a 54 year old student, with 2 1/2 years of lessons. I am currently in Alfreds Book 3 and truly enjoy my time at the piano, (usually 2+ hours a day). It really bothers me that I cannot play my assigned pieces to tempo. I AM COMFORTABLE PLAYING AT A SLOW PACE. When I try to speed up it is like my fingers, or mind, won't allow it. My instructor does not seem to be to concerned but I think this is a problem. (An example would be playing a piece at quarter note 85 when it should be 125)

Am I making a big deal out of nothing? Is it just a matter of playing time? Your opinions would be greatly appreciated.


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#963292 - 05/24/08 08:42 AM Re: I playing slow a problem
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
You need to aim for a gradual increase of tempo. Set your metronome at the comfortable speed (1/4 note = 85). Then increase it one notch at a time every couple of days. Each time you increase it should feel hardly any different. Over a few weeks (or however long it takes) you should be able to reach the disired tempo. I make the assumption that you are playing pieces which are technically within your grasp.
Pianist and piano teacher.

#963293 - 05/24/08 09:13 AM Re: I playing slow a problem
SAnnM AB-2001 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 2022
Loc: Canada
Speed will come. That's what I'm told when ever I feel that it will be impossible to play at tempo. Accuracy and control at a slower speed is more important than an uncontrolled rushed attempt.

p.s. I'm a 50 year old adult in my 6th year of lessons.
It's the journey not the destination..

#963294 - 05/24/08 09:27 AM Re: I playing slow a problem
Danny Niklas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
The paradox of speed is that the more you try to consciously play fast the harder it is, the more you try to play with good coordination and sound the faster you go. When the instruction is "go faster" the end result an in attempt to go faster is to tense all muscle as if that helped while it actually slow things down. When the instruction is "play correctly" the fluency we obtain allows speed to develop naturally.

Speed comes from thinking faster than the music and from making motions smaller. This is not thought the conscious instructions we give to the body when we focus on "playing faster" which actually leads to the opposite results: tensin muscles and slowing things down.

#963295 - 05/24/08 09:28 AM Re: I playing slow a problem
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 13305
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Chris's advice is good. Also, you can practice a song in rhythms like this: Swing the 8th notes (or 16ths if there are a lot of those) in an alternating long-short fashion. It will make it sound jazzy. Keep doing this for a piece until it's easy. Then do the reverse: alternating short-long. This is a bit harder to do, so it may take more repetitions to make it easy, and it doesn't have to be perfect. Then play straight 8ths. They will be easier to play faster, because you sped up every other note in the first step, and then the opposite notes in the 2nd step.
private piano/voice teacher FT


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