"Gotta get to my study room!"

AC #24 – Three Piano Technique Practice Tips (Part-1 of 3)

It doesn’t matter how much you may already know or how much you may learn about the inner workings of music theory. If you are going to be a “player”, you need to have a minimum of at least an adequate technique to go along with your theoretical knowledge and know-how. With an inadequate technique, you will surely experience lots of difficulty in executing musical ideas and expressing yourself on the piano. If your fingers have not been trained, your brain telling your fingers exactly what to do will have no effect because your fingers just won’t cooperate! They will not be able to follow the orders issued by “headquarters”!

So, to help you build or maintain your piano technique, here is the 1st tip in this 3-part series.

1: SCALES: Start with the major scales. Practice them in the one-octave range and play them using the traditionally recommended fingering for each of the 12 scales. Try to make this practice, as well as your practice on all rudimentary items and drills, as fun and as musical as possible by practicing with some sort of accompaniment track or rhythm track. Find a tempo marking that allows you to play evenly and accurately, then incrementally increase the tempo. The video just below shows me playing three metaphorically named major scale variations in the key of C.

1 – The “Stagger Lee”: Mostly 16ths but the 8th notes on beats 1 and 3 yield a staggered  effect.

2 – The “Cloud Nine”: This extends into octave #2 to get the 9th scale degree from the “cloud”.

3 – The “Michael Phelps”: After descending each time, go “under water” to change direction.


After you’re comfortable with playing all 12 major scales, move on into the one-octave dominant 7th, dorian minor, half-diminished and diminished scales. I encourage you to play these one-octave scales using your own rhythmic and style variations! After that, you should expand this activity into some multi-octave ranges and include chords, inversions, and arpeggios. Whether you “swing it” or play it “straight”, be sure to keep everything in a groove and have fun!

Part-2 coming soon in AC #25…

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