Mastering difficult piano passages

Having decided which are the most awkward passages to master in his piece, the student should not then just play them over and over again, as so many do, hoping that by much repetition the difficulties will finally be surmounted. He must rather play his passages once or twice, then stop and think about them for a minute, and try to get a clear definition of them in his mind. Then start afresh, and having worked a little more, pause again. By thus stopping to think and keep his mind lucid he will both master and retain passages with much greater ease and rapidity than by confusing his mind through continuous reiteration without ever pausing to listen properly or to consider what the passage should sound like. It is also a very good thing when first learning a piece to divide it, taking, say, each eight bars or so at a time to work at,and thus getting to know the component parts well before reviewing the work as a whole. Another branch of practising which is too aiten neglected by the young pianist is itlje study of the bass or frame work of the music he learn. Many times one hears something played in such a way that the bass part is completely swallowed up, and nothing can be heard but the right hand.

Tips for mastering difficult passages on piano

This defect is the more difficult to conquer, because the left hand, to which the bass in entrusted, is naturally with most people the feebler member. Yet weakness in the bass parts is a very serious fault, for it often undermines the whole construction of a piece and upsets all the harmonies. After all, music, like everything else, must have a good, stable foundation. Therefore the student must give much care and attention to the bass parts of his piece. I cannot end this chapter about practising better than by earnestly recommending all students, from the very outset, to apply themselves to the diligent study of the works of Bach.

The works of Bach : independence : technique

There is no composer whose music is so well calculated to give the best and most detailed knowledge of polyphonic playing in addition to perfect freedom of technique in both hands and independence of action and thought. It also goes without saying that constant work among Bach’s masterpieces of intellect and feeling are of immeasurable value in developing the whole artistic taste and understanding of the mind.