How can we stop overworking deep learning

Chapter 1: Piano Technique

Comments on the article by Rainer in [italic and green], Sources and references in Start article.

Omitted parts of the book with pure piano reference at the points with the symbol <<skip>>marked.


<<skip>>

[Please do not get confused by the term piano,
the explanations apply in principle to every instrument.]

I. Introduction

1. Purpose of this book

The purpose of this book is to introduce the best methods for practicing piano playing known to date. For piano students, knowing these methods means a decrease in the time required to study, which is a significant part of one's lifetime, and an increase in the time that can be spent making music rather than struggling with playing technique. Many students spend 100% of their time learning new pieces, and because the process takes so long, there is no time left to practice the art of making music. This unfortunate circumstance is the greatest obstacle to the development of playing technique, because making music is necessary for rapid technical development. The aim here is to accelerate the learning process so that we spend 10% of the practice time on learning and 90% on making music, thus maximizing technical development. On a larger scale, 10% is basically a negligible amount of time - so we say we need to start making music as early as possible.

We define "learning a piece" here as memorizing the notes and being able to play the composition at basically the given speed. One might logically believe that learning a piece and acquiring the technique needed to play it mean the same thing. For educational purposes it helps to define technique more narrowly than the ability to make music; therefore, the "technique" is discussed in detail below. The reason for this definition has something to do with the question of how one should practice so that one can perform in front of an audience as the teacher does during the class. Most students have no problem practicing a piece so that they can play it to their own satisfaction, but they face massive problems when asked to perform it. They tend to attribute such difficulties to nervousness, but the reasons go much deeper - they are caused by inadequate exercise methods. If we claim here that these practice methods work, then it should follow that the nervousness should be greatly reduced and the occurrence should occur naturally. And everything depends on just one thing: acquiring the technology!

At this point you are right to ask, "How can it be that simple?" Keep the following in mind. Even students with great difficulty during concerts will have much less problems when they audition for their teacher during class. The reason for this is that you practice performing for your teacher about once a week. Obviously, if you practice it, you get good at it. The rest of this book will show you how to practice so that you basically audition every time you practice. In order to acquire the technique successfully, you have to learn to make music quickly.

2. What is piano technique?

We need to understand what technique means because not understanding it leads to wrong practice methods. More importantly, understanding properly can help us develop superior practice methods. The most common misconception is that technology is inherited manual dexterity. It isn’t. The innate dexterity of accomplished pianists and the average person is not that different. This means that practically anyone can learn to play the piano well. There are numerous examples of the mentally handicapped with impaired coordination who demonstrate an amazing musical talent. Many of us are much more skilled, but unfortunately cannot cope with the musical passages due to a lack of some simple but crucial information. The acquisition of technique is largely a process of development of the brain and nerves, not the muscles that move the fingers or strength.

Technique is the ability to perform tens of millions of different passages; therefore it is not a skill, but a collection of many skills. The task of acquiring the technique is reduced to solving the problem of how to acquire so many different skills in a short period of time. The wonderful thing about the piano technique and the main message of this book is that these skills can be learned in a short amount of time if the right learning methods are used. These skills are acquired in two phases:

  1. discover how to move fingers, hands, arms, etc., and
  2. To condition the muscles and nerves so that they can perform these movements easily and in a controlled manner.

The second phase is about control, not developing strength or athletic endurance. Many students think that practicing the piano consists of time-consuming finger exercises because they have never been taught the real meaning of the technique. The truth is, learning to play the piano will improve your brain! Technique acquisition is a process of developing faster nerve connections that creates more brain cells for proper movement and memory functions and for "speaking the language of music". You make yourself smarter and improve your memory; this is why there are so many beneficial effects in learning to play the piano properly, such as the ability to cope better with everyday problems or the ability to hold on a little longer as you age. Therefore, in this book, memorization is an integral part of becoming a technician.

The definition of technique above tells us that if you have learned to play something once (like a scale) over and over again, it does not improve technique and can waste a lot of time. We need to understand our own anatomy and learn how to discover and acquire the correct technique. This represents an almost impossible task for the average human brain unless you devote your entire life to it from childhood. Even then, most will not succeed. The reason it takes a lifetime is that, without proper guidance, the piano player has to find out the correct movements, etc. by trial and error. One relies on the small likelihood that the hand will accidentally slip into a working motion in an attempt to play this difficult passage faster. If you are unlucky, your hand will never detect this movement and you will be stuck forever - a phenomenon known as the "speed barrier". Most beginner piano students have absolutely no idea of ​​the complex movements that the fingers, hands, and arms can perform. Fortunately, the many geniuses before us have already made most of the useful discoveries (otherwise they would not have been such great artists), resulting in efficient practice methods.

Another misconception about technology is that, once your fingers are skillful enough, you can play anything. Almost every single passage that is different from the others is a new adventure; it has to be learned anew. Experienced pianists are seemingly able to play almost anything because

  1. they have practiced almost everything that is often found, and
  2. they know how to learn new things very quickly.

Therefore, acquiring the technique might seem like a daunting task at first, because there are almost an infinite number of different piano passages - how are you supposed to learn all of them? This problem has been largely resolved. There are large classes of passages, such as scales, that occur frequently. Knowing how to play these will cover significant parts of many compositions. More importantly, there are specific solutions to specific problems - these solutions are the main subject of this book.

Some of the main solutions we are going to discuss are effective Learning tricksthat allow you to acquire difficult techniques using general procedures that apply to almost any passage. These learning tricks provide you with the quickest way to find the optimal finger, hand, and arm movements for playing this passage. There are two reasons why you need to make your own discoveries. First, there are so many different passages that the methods of playing them cannot all be listed here. Second, everyone's needs are different, so the rules in this book should only be used as a starting point for adapting them to meet individual needs. Readers who truly understand the contents of this book will not only be able to instantly increase their learning rate, but also speed it up with each added skill. The degree of this acceleration will to a large extent determine how fast and how far you advance as a piano player.

Unfortunately, many private piano teachers who are not affiliated with any music institution are unfamiliar with these methods, and they teach most beginners. At the other extreme are the great masters and professional pianists who have written books about playing the piano in which they deal with how to make music on a higher level but do not deal with how to acquire the basic technique. That's why I wrote this book.

3. Technology, music and mental play

While it is not easy to define music precisely, we can discuss how to practice musically - as is done in various places in this book. The relationship between music and technology determines the way we practice for technology. The technique is necessary and used to make music; therefore we always have to practice musically. If we only concentrate on developing the "finger technique" and neglecting the music while practicing, we can adopt unmusical playing habits. This may seem like an insoluble problem, because if you practice in order to acquire the technique, then it implies a lack of technique and means that therefore you cannot make music at first. But how should the student practice musically? It is possible; good students do it all the time. Playing unmusical is always absolutely forbidden because it is a mistake. A common symptom of this error is the inability to play the practice pieces while the teacher (or anyone else!) Is listening. When there is an audience, these students make strange mistakes that they did not make during "practice". This happens because the students were practicing without paying attention to the music and suddenly they realize that they need to add the music because someone is listening. Unfortunately, they never really practiced it until the lesson! Another symptom of unmusical practice is that students feel uncomfortable when others can hear them practicing.

However, there is one more fundamental link between technology and music. Piano teachers know that students need to practice musically in order to acquire the technique. What is right for the ears and the brain turns out to be right for the human gaming machine. Both musicality and technique require accuracy and control. Practically every technical flaw can be noticed in the music. The music is the most difficult test of whether the technique is right or wrong. As we shall see throughout the book, there are more reasons why music should never be separated from technology. Nonetheless, many students tend to neglect the music while practicing and prefer to "work" when there is no one to listen. Such practice methods are diametrically opposed to the acquisition of technique and create "quiet pianists" who like to play but cannot audition. Once you've become a closet pianist, it is impossible to reverse this attitude unless you return to music. If students are taught to always practice musically, then this type of problem will not exist; Performing and practicing are one and the same. This book contains many suggestions for practicing performing, such as videotaping your exercises from the start.

Why is slower musical play more effective than fast practice in increasing the speed of the game? There are mainly three reasons for this. First, they both require the same level of accuracy and control. Second, if you play within your ability, you can avoid stress and bad habits. Third, if you play slowly, you can focus on new or efficient movements, relaxation, etc., and practice them more effectively. After playing fast too often or for a long time, all of these factors combine to create a phenomenon known as "skill degradation by playing too fast" in which one day you suddenly find that you cannot play a piece satisfactorily even though you can play it on the previous one Played very well (and quickly) during the day. Of course, methods for developing speed quickly are just as important and are dealt with in great detail here (e.g. in Section II.13). A prudent choice of the exercise speed and alternating between slow and fast practice enables you to optimize your efficiency while practicing. Therefore, it is not a good idea to practice pieces that are too far beyond your ability.

Musical play is not just about controlling your fingers; it is the inner conception of the music. This is why the technology originates in the brain, not in the fingers, and playing music begins in the head - the music does not come from the fingers or the piano. Many students wrongly think that their fingers control the music, or they are waiting for the piano to make that great sound. This will lead to a monotonous performance and unpredictable results. The music has to come from the mind, and the pianist has to make the piano produce what he wants. This process has a name: mental play. It is the ability to mentally imagine and play the piano. If you have never practiced mental gaming, you will find that it takes a level of memorization that you have never achieved - but exactly you need that for a flawless, formidable appearance. Fortunately, mental playing is only a small step away from the memorization procedures outlined in this book, but it represents a great advance in your musical skills, not only for technique and music making, but also for learning perfect pitch. composing and every aspect of piano playing.

4. General procedure, interpretation, music lessons, perfect pitch

The teachers play an important role in showing students how to play and practice musically. There are some general and useful principles of musicality. For example, most pieces of music begin and end with the same chord, a somewhat mysterious rule that actually results from the basic rules for chord progression. Understanding the chord progressions is very useful for memorizing. A musical phrase generally begins and ends with softer notes, with louder notes in between; when in doubt this is a good rationale. This is one reason why so many compositions start with an incomplete measure - the first beat is usually accented and too loud. There are many books dealing with musical interpretation (Gieseking, Sandor), and there are numerous examples in this book (e.g. "Practicing music" in Section III.14). Clearly, training in music theory, relative and absolute hearing, etc. is very useful for a piano player.

Musical training can be very rewarding from a young age. Most babies who hear a perfectly tuned piano frequently develop perfect pitch automatically - this is nothing special.Nobody is born with perfect pitch because it is 100% a learned skill (the exact frequencies of the scales are arbitrary human determinations - there is no law of nature that says that mean A must be at 440 Hz). If this perfect pitch is not maintained it will be lost in later life. Piano lessons for young children can begin as early as three or four years of age. It is advantageous for younger people to listen to classical music early (from birth) because classical music has the highest musical content (deep, complex, logical) of all different types of music. Some forms of contemporary music, by overemphasizing certain limited aspects - such as loudness or overly simple musical structures that do not stimulate the brain - could affect musical development by impairing the development of the brain.

[At this point there may be occasional screams,
that's why I would add that jazz and prog rock
also have sufficient depth and complexity
.]

You don't have to be particularly talented to play the piano well. Although one must be musically gifted to compose music, the ability to move one's fingers is not as dependent on musical intelligence. The truth is, most of us are more musical than we think ourselves to be, and it is the lack of technique that limits our musical expression on the piano. We have all had the experience of listening to famous pianists and realizing that they are different from one another - that is more musical sensitivity than we ever need to start playing the piano. You don't have to practice eight hours a day; some famous pianists have recommended practice times of less than an hour. You can make progress by practicing for an hour at a time three or four times a week. Of course, as you practice more, you will progress faster.

One of the most important lessons in this book is how to play at ease. What should you feel when you have learned to play completely relaxed? First of all, speed is no longer an issue, not only because it's not that difficult, but also because you have an automatic speed limit - called music - that limits your speed long before you run into any trouble. You will feel that your fingers are actually getting faster wantand you will have to hold them back many times. They develop "steady hands", i.e. the hands move minimally while the fingers fly. You can even play slightly more difficult material and let your hands rest on the piano as you play and feel the fatigue decrease. Note that relaxation relates only to the physical play mechanism; the brain must never be switched off - it must always be focused intensely on the music, even (or especially) when practicing. You need to develop brain endurance, not finger strength. Therefore, stupid repetitions of exercises like the Hanon series are the worst thing that can be done for developing stamina in the musical mind. If one does not develop the endurance of the mind while practicing, the brain will tire in the middle of each performance, and one will end up being a robotic "zombie" with no active control of the performance. This kind of situation inevitably leads to the development of nervousness because the brain - without proper preparation - Whitethat the chances of success are slim.

[Hanon and Czerny are two authors of piano exercises that im
Piano lessons represent something of a standard.]

Finally, extensive musical training (scales, time signatures, dictations, listening lessons - including perfect pitch - theory, etc.) should be an integral part of learning to play the piano because any parts you learn are helpful to the other parts. Ultimately, thorough musical training is the only way to learn to play the piano. Unfortunately, most aspiring piano players do not have the resources or the time to pursue this path. This book is intended to provide the student with a starting point by learning how to quickly acquire the technique so that they can consider studying all of the other useful subjects. As a rule, students who are brilliant piano players almost always end up composing their own music. Learning the theory later in life is often not a viable option; for example, with increasing age it becomes more difficult to learn perfect pitch (details see section III.12). On the other hand, studying composition is not a prerequisite for composing. Some musicians don't think much of learning too much composition theory before you start composing your own music because it can keep you from developing your own style of music.

What are some of the salient features of the methods in this book?

  1. They are not as overly strenuous as older methods of requiring students to lead a dedicated lifestyle for piano lessons. Using the methods in this book, students will be given the opportunity to choose a specific procedure by which to achieve a defined goal. If the methods really work, they shouldn't require lifelong blind trust to achieve skill!

  2. Every procedure of these methods has a physical basis (if it works it always has; in the past there have been problems finding the right explanations); it must also contain the following required elements:

    1. Aim: Techniques to be acquired i.e. when you cannot play fast enough or trills well, when you want to play by heart, etc.

    2. Then you have to do: i.e. practice with the hands separately, use the chord attack, memorize while practicing, etc.

    3. Because: the physiological, psychological, mechanical, etc. explanations for why these methods work; For example, practicing with the hands separately allows you to quickly acquire the technique by simplifying difficult passages (playing with only one hand at a time is easier than with both), and the chord attack allows immediate acceleration to the final speed, etc. , and

    4. Unless: Problems that arise when using ignorant methods, i.e. bad habits from too many repetitions, development of stress from tired hands, etc. Without this "if not", students can choose any other method - so why this one? We need to know what not to do, because bad habits and wrong methods, not insufficient practice, are the main reasons for lack of progress.

  3. This book provides a complete, articulated set of study tools that will get you into the wonderland of mental play with the minimum of fuss. Good Trip!

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II. Basic piano practice procedures

[Fundamental questions of practice are also taken into account here, and the
The term piano can easily be exchanged for other instruments since
the problem is not really different. Whether the mentioned grades
now come from Chopin, Steve Morse or Paul McCartney is not essential. ]

This section provides the minimal instructions you need before you start practicing.

1. The exercise sequence

Many students use the following routine:

  1. Start by playing scales or finger exercises until your fingers are warmed up. To improve technique, this is done for 30 minutes, especially using exercises like the Hanon series - longer if you have time.
  2. Then you take a new piece of music and slowly read a page or two while carefully playing the piece with both hands from the beginning. This slow play is repeated until the piece can be played fairly well, and then the speed is gradually increased until the final speed is reached. A metronome could be used for this incremental increase.
  3. At the end of a two hour practice session, fingers fly so students can play as fast as they want and enjoy the experience before they stop practicing. After all of this, they are tired of practicing, relax and play body and soul at full speed. This is the moment when you have fun with the music!
  4. On the day of the concert or class, practice the piece at the correct pace (or faster!) As often as possible to make sure they know it inside out and to keep it in top condition. This is the last chance, and obviously the more practice the better.

EVERY STEP IN THIS PROCESS IS WRONG! This process will almost certainly prevent students from getting past middle school, even if they practice several hours a day. You will understand this once you read about the more efficient methods outlined below. For example, this process does not give students a clue of what to do when they encounter an unplayable passage other than to repeat it over and over - sometimes for a lifetime - without a clear idea of ​​when and how it is necessary to do so Technology is acquired. This method leaves the task of learning the piano entirely to the student. In addition, the music will sound flat during audition and unexpected mistakes will be almost inevitable, as described below. The lessons in this section will show you why the methods above are incorrect. You will know why auditioning will sound flat and why using the wrong method will lead to mistakes in performance. But what is much more important: you will right Know methods!

Lack of progress is the main reason so many students stop playing the piano. Students, especially younger ones, are clever; why work like a slave and learn nothing? Reward students and they will gain more dedication than any teacher can expect. You can be a doctor, scientist, lawyer, athlete or whatever you want and still be a good pianist. This is because there are methods by which you can acquire the technique in a relatively short amount of time, as you will see in a moment.

Note that the above exercise routine is an "intuitive" method. If someone of average intelligence had been abandoned on a desert island with nothing but a piano and decided to practice, that person would likely devise a practice method like the one above. That is, a teacher who uses this approach to practice is basically teaching nothing - the method is intuitive. When I first started putting together the "right learning practices" I was most surprised at how many of them were counterintuitive. I'll explain why they are so counter-intuitive later, but this offers the best explanation of why so many teachers use the intuitive approach. These teachers never really understood the correct methods and therefore took the intuitive method for granted. The difficulty with counterintuitive methods is that they are more difficult to adopt than intuitive ones; Your brain keeps telling you they are wrong and you should go back to the intuitive ones. This message from the brain can get irresistible before the class or concert - try telling (uninformed) students not to have fun playing their finished pieces before they stop practicing, or on the day of a concert do not practice at full speed! It's not just about the students or teachers. It is also parents or friends with good intentions who influence the practice habits of young students. Uninformed parents will always force their children to use the intuitive methods. This is one reason good teachers always ask parents to accompany their children to class. If the parents are not informed, there is virtually a guarantee that they will force the student to use methods that conflict with the teacher's instructions.

Students who started with the right methods from the start are seemingly lucky ones. However, you need to be careful later because you don't know what the wrong methods are. If they leave their teacher, then they can fall into the intuitive methods and have no idea why everything is slipping away from them. It's like a bear that has never seen a bear trap - it gets caught every time. Often times, these lucky ones cannot teach either because the right methods have become second nature to them and they cannot understand why anyone should use any other method. They may fail to realize that the right methods must be taught, and that many intuitive methods can lead to disaster. Something that has become second nature is often difficult to describe because you never had to think about it much. You never notice how difficult German is until you try to teach it to a foreigner. The seemingly unfortunate On the other hand, students who learned the intuitive methods first and then moved on to the better ones have some unexpected benefits. They know both the right and the wrong methods and are often the better teachers. Therefore, while this chapter teaches the correct methods, it is just as important to know what NOT to do and why. Therefore, the most common wrong practices are discussed extensively in this book; they help us better understand the right methods.

<<skip>>

[The following section relates heavily to the piano and classical, the procedure
in itself, however, is general. Therefore I have taken over the section unchanged]

4. A new piece - listen and analyze ("Für Elise")

Check out the new piece and start reading the sheet music to get used to how it sounds. The best way to familiarize yourself with a new piece is to listen to a performance (recording) of it. The objection that listening to the piece first is some kind of "fraud" has no justifiable basis. The alleged disadvantage is that in the end, students could only imitate instead of using their creativity. However, it is impossible to imitate someone else's game because the styles of play are so individual. A mathematical "proof" of this impossibility is presented in Section IV.3. This fact can be reassuring and will save some students from blaming themselves for failing to imitate a famous pianist. If possible, listen to different recordings. These can open up all kinds of new perspectives and opportunities for you. Not listening is like saying you shouldn't go to school because school will destroy your creativity. Some students believe that listening is a waste of time because they will never play this well. If so, think again. If the methods outlined here didn't make you play "that well," I wouldn't be writing this book! Most of the time when students listen to a lot of recordings, the following happens: they discover that the delivery methods are not consistently good; that they even her own Prefer game to that in some shots.

The next step is to analyze the structure of the composition. This structure is used to determine the exercise program. Let us use Beethoven's "Für Elise" as an example. The first 4 bars are repeated fifteen times, so you only need to learn 4 bars to play 50% of the piece (it has 125 bars). Another 6 bars are repeated four times, so if you learn 10 bars you will be able to play 70% of the piece. So, using the methods in this book, you can memorize 70% of this piece in less than 30 minutes because these bars are pretty simple. Using this method will automatically translate the sections you practice into memory. Between these repeated bars there are 2 interruptions that are not easy.When you can play these interruptions satisfactorily (using the methods described below) add them together with the repetitions, and say "Voila!" - You can play the whole piece and have memorized it. Of course, mastering the two difficult interruptions is key to learning the piece, and we'll deal with that in the following sections. A 2 year old student should be able to learn the required 50 different bars of this piece in 2 to 5 days and be able to play the entire piece by heart at the correct speed. At this point the teacher can begin to discuss the musical content of the piece with the student; how long this takes depends on the student's musical knowledge. Musically speaking, you are never really finished with a piece.

That is the end of the introduction. We are ready to start with the really interesting lessons. The secret to learning the technique quickly is to know certain tricks for simplifying very difficult passages so far that they are not only playable, but downright trivial. We can now embark on the wondrous journey into the brains of the geniuses who have discovered incredibly efficient ways to practice the piano!

5. Practice the most difficult sections first

Let's go back to "Für Elise". Look for the difficult sections; Two breaks of 16 and 23 bars are inserted into the repetitive material. These are the difficult sections. Start learning the piece by practicing the most difficult sections first. The reason is obvious; it will take the longest to learn, so spend most of your practice time on them. If you practice the difficult sections last, and then try to perform the piece, you will find that the difficult section is the weakest, and it will cause you problems every time. Since the ending of most pieces is generally the most exciting, interesting, and difficult, you will likely learn the ending first of most pieces. In compositions with multiple movements, you will usually start with the end of the last movement.

6. Shorten difficult passages - practice in small portions (in bars)

A very important learning trick is to choose a short excerpt for practice. This trick may have the greatest impact in reducing practice time for many reasons.

Within each difficult section of say 10 measures, there are typically few note combinations that will get you in a tight spot. There is no need to practice anything other than these notes. For example, let's say you have 10 bars of 8 notes each, of which only 4 notes total are difficult. If you only practice these four notes, you may be able to play all 10 bars, drastically reducing the practice time. Let's go back to the two difficult interruptions in Für Elise. Examine them and find the most difficult bars. This can be the first measure or the last five measures of the first interruption or the last arpeggio in the second interruption. In all difficult excerpts, it is vitally important to note the fingerings and to make sure that you can handle them. For the last five bars of the first interruption, the difficulty is in the RH, with fingers 1 and 5 doing most of the work. Finger 2 plays a key role on certain notes, but there is an option to use finger 1 most of the time. Using finger 2 is usually the correct way to use it, and gives better control and smoother play. Using finger 1 most of the time, however, is easier to remember, which can be a lifesaver if you haven't played the piece for a long time. It is very important that you choose a fingering and stick with it. For the arpeggio in the second interruption, use fingering 1231354321 ... Both thumb under and thumb over (see section III.5) will work because this passage is not overly fast, but I prefer thumb over because the thumb under one movement of the elbow and this additional movement can lead to errors.

Practicing just short snippets allows you to practice the same snippet dozen, even hundreds, of times in a matter of minutes. Using these fast, consecutive repetitions is the fastest way to teach your hand new movements. If the difficult notes are played as part of a longer section, the longer space between consecutive practice and playing other notes in between can clutter the hand and make you learn much more slowly. This effect is quantified in Section IV.5, and this calculation is the basis for the claim in this book that these methods can be 1000 times faster than the intuitive methods.

We all know that playing a passage faster than your technique allows is detrimental. However, the shorter the clip you choose, the faster you can practice it without any harmful effects. In the beginning, the shortest segment you choose will usually be a measure or less, often just two notes. By using such short excerpts, you can bring virtually any difficult combination of notes up to speed in minutes. That's why you can most of the time at the final speed or faster play, which again is ideal as it saves so much time. With the intuitive method, on the other hand, you practice at a slow pace most of the time.

7. Practice with separated hands (HS) - learning the playing technique

Basically, the development of the technique is achieved 100% by practicing with separated hands (HS). Do not try to develop finger or hand technique with both hands together (HT) because it is much more difficult, time consuming and more dangerous as will be explained in detail later.

Always start HS when practicing difficult passages. Choose two short passages, one for the right hand (RH) and one for the left hand (LH). Practice with the RH until it starts to get tired. Then switch to the LH. Alternate every 5 to 15 seconds before either the resting hand cools and becomes sluggish or the working hand becomes tired. If you choose the right time to rest, you will find that the rested hand is waiting to do something. Do not practice when the hand is tired, as this will lead to stress and bad habits. Those who are not familiar with HS practice generally have a weaker LH. In this case, give the LH more work. This way, you can practice hard 100% of the time, but you will never practice with tired hands!

Before putting the hands together, practice the two difficult sections of Für Elise HS until you can satisfactorily play the sections much faster than final speed with each individual hand. This can take a few days to a few weeks, depending on your skill level. Once you can play HS fairly well, try HT to check that the fingering is working. It is best to try to use similar fingerings (or closely related fingerings) for both hands; this will make it easier for you to play HT. At this point, don't worry if you can't play it satisfactorily, you just need to make sure there are no contradictions or better fingerings.

It should be emphasized that HS practice is only intended for difficult passages that you cannot play. If you can play the passage HT appropriately, you can of course skip the HS part! The real purpose of this book is that once you master the piano, you will quickly be able to play HT with virtually no HS practice. The purpose is not to maintain an addiction to HS. Use HS only when necessary and try to reduce it gradually as your technique improves. However, you will only be able to play HT with little HS practice after you are very advanced - most students will be dependent on HS practice for 5 to 10 years and will never completely give up its use. The reason for this is that the quickest way to acquire all the technique is with HS. There is an exception to the rule of avoiding HS practice whenever possible. This is memorization; There are several important reasons (see "Memorization" in Section III) that you should memorize everything with HS.

Beginners should always practice HS all pieces in order to master this critically important method as quickly as possible. However, once you master the HS method, you should explore the possibility of playing HT without using HS. Beginners should be able to master the HS methods in two to three years. The HS method doesn't just separate the hands. What we will learn below are the myriad learning tricks you can use once the hands are separated.

HS practice is valuable long after you've learned a piece. You can advance your technique much further with HS than with HT. And it's a lot of fun! You can really exercise your fingers, hands, and arms. HS is superior to anything Hanon or other exercises can provide. That's when you can find out "incredible ways" to play a piece. You can use your technique really improve. The initial learning of a composition is just to get your fingers comfortable with the music. The amount of time that you spend playing pieces that you have fully learned differentiates the skilled pianist from the amateur. Therefore, experienced pianists can audition, but most amateurs can only play for themselves.

It should now be clear that the whole finger technique is acquired with HS because there is no more efficient method. If you can play HT right away, there is no need to practice HS. But if you can't really play HT, how do you know if you can quit HS practice? There is a clear test of this - you can only stop HS practice if you can play HS more than final speed in a relaxed and accurate manner. It is usually best to bring HS speed to at least 1.5 times final speed. This is usually not difficult and can be a lot of fun because you can see your skill level improve rapidly. Because of this, you may find yourself practicing much more HS than is absolutely necessary, and you will certainly use HS your entire life. Each hand has to learn its own set of skills at some point, independently of the other hand (you don't want one hand to be dependent on the other). The quickest way to acquire these skills is to learn them separately. It is difficult enough with each hand individually; Learning to do it with both of them will be far more difficult and time consuming. In HS practice you acquire finger and hand technique; When practicing HT, all you have to do is learn to coordinate the two hands.

8. The rule of continuity

Imagine you want to play the (LH) quadruple "do-so-mi-so" (Alberti accompaniment) several times in quick succession (as in the 3rd movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata). The tone sequence you practice is CGEGC. Including the last note is an application of the Rule of continuity: while practicing a section, always include the beginning of the following section. Having learned two consecutive excerpts ensures that you can play them together. The rule of continuity applies to any section that you isolate for practice, such as a measure, a whole movement, or even sections smaller than a measure.

A generalization of the rule of continuity is that each passage can be divided into short segments for practice, but that these segments must overlap. The overlapping note or group of notes is called a join. When you practice the end of the first movement, include a few bars of the second movement; don't jump back immediately. At a concert you will be glad you practiced like this; Otherwise it could happen to you that you suddenly no longer know how to start the 2nd movement!

We can now apply the rule of continuity to these difficult interruptions in Für Elise. During the first interruption, the 8th measure (the interruption) can be practiced alone. Play the last note with finger 1. The connection is the first note of bar 9 (finger 2), which is the same as the first note of bar 8. Using this C as a connection, you can make bar 8 a good one Play training cyclically without wasting time. This cycle can be described as "self-cyclic" - for more details see "Playing cyclically" in section III.2. Measure 9 and 10 as a unit are also self-cyclic. Since all of the difficult sections are for the RH, find some LH material (even from other pieces of music) to practice on, giving the RH intermittent pauses by alternating hands.

<<skip>>

[The procedures of playing / practicing when comparing bass / guitar and piano, regarding
right and left and left hands aren't all that far apart as they were at first
appears. The article says RH = right hand, LH = left hand, HT = practice with both
Hands, HS = practicing with individual hands.]

12. Study, memorization and mental play

There is no faster way to memorize than to do it the first time you learn a piece, and for a difficult piece, there is no faster way to memorize it than to memorize it. Therefore, memorize the sections that you practice for the technique as you repeat HS many times in small segments. Memorization is covered in more detail in Section III.6. The procedures for memorizing are almost identical to those for acquiring the technique. For example, the imprint should be done HS first. Therefore, you should study and memorize at the same time; otherwise you will have to perform the same procedure twice. It may seem easier to go through the same procedure a second time. But it is not. Memorization is a complex process even after you can play the piece well. Because of this, students who try to memorize a piece after learning either give up or never memorize it properly. That is understandable; the effort required to memorize can quickly reach the point of diminishing returns if you can already play the piece.

Once students have developed the learning and memorization processes that are appropriate for them, most of them will find that learning and memorizing simultaneously on difficult passages takes less time than studying alone. It does this because you eliminate the process of looking at the notes, interpreting them, and passing the commands from your eyes to your brain and then to your hands. By avoiding these slow steps, learning can go on unencumbered. One might fear that memorizing too many compositions could create an intolerable maintenance problem (see Section III.6c on maintenance). However, don't worry if you forget some rarely played pieces. Because it is very quick to recall a forgotten piece if it has been memorized well the first time. Material that has been memorized while you are young (roughly before you turn 20) is almost never forgotten. This is why it is so important to learn quick methods of mastering the technique and memorize as many pieces as you can before reaching your late teens.

At the same time, memorize the sheet music as you complete the steps in this section to acquire the technique. It's that simple. Also covers the tremendous benefits of memorizing; these benefits are so valuable that it makes no sense not to memorize Section III.6.It's much easier to memorize something when you can play it quickly; So don't worry if you have difficulty memorizing something at a slow pace in the beginning; it gets easier as you go faster.

The main difference between practicing for technique and for memorizing is that for technique one has to start with the most difficult sections first, while for memorization it is usually best to start with the sections that are easy and often repeated, like this that you can quickly memorize a large part of the composition. Then, by memorizing the remaining small sections, you can connect the long, simple sections together and memorize the whole piece quickly. In general, it is better to memorize first and then practice for the technique. This way you can practice and memorize at the same time.

In order to memorize well, you need to learn mental play. Read section III.6 on memorization and especially III.6j on mental play. This method teaches you to play the piano completely in your mind, including correct fingering and your idea of ​​how the music should sound. At this point, mental play is a relatively easy task because it is done HS. Mental play is the logical and ultimate goal of all of the practice methods described here. As we shall see, it is the key to many doors on your path as a musician. Whenever you memorize a small section, close your eyes and see if you can play it with your mind. Once you have memorized a whole piece (HS), you should be able to play it in your head. This is the time to analyze the structure of the piece, how it is structured and how the themes develop as the music progresses. With practice, you will find that it takes a small investment of time to master mental gaming. However, you will also discover that as you build solid mental play, your memory becomes as good as it can be; You will trust that you will be able to play without mistakes, memory blocks, etc., and you will be able to concentrate on the music. Mental play also helps technology. Your fingers will not be able to handle something that you cannot play with your mind; For example, if your mind cannot play faster than a certain speed, you will find that your fingers cannot play faster than that speed. A great advantage of mental gaming is that you can practice it anytime; basically, you can practice it all day. Also, if you practice mentally and play the passage faster than your fingers can play it, you will find it easier to increase the speed the next time you practice on the piano. This is not as mysterious as it sounds as all of the gaming originates in the brain.

Once you memorize it (usually the same day you started the piece [if you are used to memorizing it, otherwise it will take longer]), focus on playing the music. If you are practicing alone, imagine that there are other people in the room and you want to show how the piece should sound. Don't skip the music just because it's a memory and technique session and you haven't learned all of the rules of the music yet. Teachers are the best source for musical information - no book can give you the musical lessons of a teacher. We'll come back to the musical rules later in this book, especially after learning HT practice. Those who have never done this will have to work harder. For those who have done this from day one of piano lessons, it is the natural and only way to practice. If you practice without music, it hurts the ears and offends the brain. You are a Musician.

13. Game speed when practicing

Get up to speed as soon as possible. Recall that we are still practicing HS. Playing so fast that you begin to feel stress and make mistakes does not improve technique because playing with stress is not the way to play when you have mastered it. Forcing your fingers to play faster in the same way is not the way to increase speed. As was shown with parallel play, you need a new way of playing that will automatically increase the speed. When playing in parallel, it is often even easier to play fast than slow. Work out hand positions and movements that precisely control the phase angle and that position everything in such a way that the coming transition to the next parallel set is smooth. If you don't make significant progress in a few minutes, you are probably doing something wrong - come up with something new. Repeating the same thing for more than a few minutes with no visible improvement will often do more harm than good. Students using the intuitive method have resigned themselves to repeating the same thing for hours with little noticeable improvement. This mentality must be avoided when using the methods in this book. If you increase the speed you can get into two types of situations. One concerns the technical skills you already have; You should be able to get these parts up to speed in minutes. The other concerns new skills; these will take longer and are discussed below.

Technique improves the fastest when you play at a speed at which you can play accurately. This is especially true when you play HT (please be patient - I promise you that we will get to practice HT). Since you have more control with HS, you can play much faster with HS than with HT, without adding to the stress or developing bad habits. So it is wrong to think that you can progress faster by playing as quickly as possible (after all, you can play the same passage twice as often if you play twice as fast!). Since the main goal of HS practice is to gain speed, the need to get up to speed quickly and practice at a speed optimized for technical improvement conflict. The solution to this dilemma is to keep changing the pace of practice; don't stay at one speed for too long. While it is best to speed up the passage immediately, for very difficult passages that require skills you do not already have, there is no alternative to increasing the speed gradually. Try using too fast a speed to find out what needs to be changed in order to play at that speed. Then slow down and practice the new moves. Of course, if you lack the technique, you will need to return to shortening the passages and using the parallel set exercises.

To vary the speed, first go to a manageable "maximum speed" at which you can play accurately. Then speed up (using chord keystrokes, etc. if necessary) and notice how the playing needs to be changed (don't worry if you don't play exactly). Then use this movement and play at the previous "maximum speed". It should be noticeably easier now. Practice at this speed for a while, then try even slower speeds to make sure you are completely relaxed. Then repeat the whole procedure. In this way, you increase the speed in manageable steps and work on each skill you need separately. In most cases, you should be able to play your new piece - at least in small segments and HS - at final speed during the first session. Such achievements may seem unattainable at first, but any student can achieve this goal amazingly quickly.

14. How to relax

The most important thing to achieve the set speed is to relax. Relaxing means using only the muscles that are needed to play. This allows you to work as hard as you want and being relaxed. The relaxed state is particularly easy to achieve when practicing HS. There are two schools of thought for relaxation. One school claims that in the long run it is better not to practice than to practice with the slightest hint of tension. This school teaches by showing how to play a note in a relaxed way, then carefully moving on and only presenting the light material that can be played relaxed. The other school argues that relaxation is just another necessary aspect of technique, but that subordinating the whole exercise philosophy to relaxation is not the optimal approach. It is currently unclear which system is better. Whichever system you choose, it is obvious that playing with stress must be avoided.

If you adopt the methods outlined in this book and quickly get to your ultimate pace, some stress in the beginning is inevitable. Note that reaching speed quickly should enable you to practice at a slower pace in complete relaxation. As shown throughout the book, it is almost impossible to achieve high speed without completely relaxing and uncoupling all muscles (especially the large muscles) so that the fingers can become independent.

Students who play with a lot of stress know that the moment the stress suddenly disappears the moment it becomes easy to play at full speed. Those who have not been taught how to eliminate stress think this is where they suddenly acquired a new technique. In truth, their technique slowly improved to the point where they could begin to relax. The relaxation allowed an additional improvement in the technique, and the improvement allowed further relaxation, and it is this feedback loop that has produced such a magical transformation. Obviously, it's better to start without stress. Although it may seem like starting out without stress, it tends to help you acquire the technique faster when you start out without stress than when you get stressed and then start eliminating the stress. So how do you relax?

In many books there are numerous passages with instructions on how to "involve the whole body" when playing the piano, with no further suggestions on how to do this. Part, or sometimes most, of that involvement must be relaxation. The human brain is wasteful in many ways. In general, even for the simplest of tasks, the brain uses almost all of the muscles in the body. And when the task is difficult, the brain tends to lock the body in a mass of tense muscles. To relax you need to make a conscious effort (involve the whole body) to shut off all unnecessary muscles. This is not easy because it goes against the natural tendency of the brain. You need to practice this as much as moving your fingers to depress the buttons. Therefore, relaxing does not mean "slackening all muscles"; it means that the unneeded muscles are relaxed even when the necessary ones are working at full load. Achieving this ability to coordinate takes a lot of practice.

Don't forget to include all of the different body functions - such as breathing and periodic swallowing - in relaxation. Some students stop breathing when playing demanding passages because the playing muscles are anchored to the chest; Keeping this part of the body still makes it easier to play. When you are relaxed you should be able to perform all normal body functions and still concentrate on playing at the same time. Section 21 below explains how to use the diaphragm for proper breathing. If your throat is dry after heavy exercise, you forgot to swallow. These are all signs of stress.

The free fall method discussed above is an excellent way to practice relaxation. Practice this free fall with just one finger. Choose a different finger each time. Although it is never necessary to actively lift your 4th finger, do not get into the habit of letting go of it completely, as this can result in you inadvertently touching other keys with it. This is because evolution has connected the last 3 fingers with tendons so that they can be used as grasping tools. Make a habit of maintaining a slight upward tension in your 4th finger, especially when playing with fingers 3 and 5. The test for relaxation is again gravity: feeling the effect of gravity while playing is a necessary and sufficient condition for relaxation.

Relaxation is finding the appropriate energy and impulse balance, as well as the arm, hand, and finger positions and movements that allow you to work with an appropriate amount of energy. Therefore, relaxing requires a lot of experimentation to find these optimal conditions. However, if you have focused on relaxation from day one of your piano lessons, this should be a routine problem that you can quickly resolve because you have done it many times before. If relaxation is new to you, you can start with the easier pieces you've learned and practice adding relaxation. The parallel set exercises in Section III.7 can also help you practice relaxation. However, nothing can replace the daily experimentation that you should always be doing every time you learn a new piece of music. You will then gradually build up a pool of relaxed movements - that is part of what we mean by technique. An easy way to feel relaxation is to practice a parallel set, speed it up until you build up stress, and then try to relax. You will have to find new movements and positions of the arms, wrists, etc. that will allow this; once you have found it, you will feel the stress in your hand gradually subside.

Many people fail to realize that relaxation itself is an important diagnostic tool in experimentation. Assuming you have a certain amount of hand movements (see Section III.4), the criterion for good technique is "a movement that allows relaxation". Many students believe that prolonged repetitive practice somehow transforms the hand into play. The truth is that the hand accidentally stumbles upon the correct movement for relaxation. Therefore, some skills are acquired quickly while others take forever, and therefore some students acquire certain skills quickly while other students struggle with the same skills. Actively looking for the right moves and building a pool of them is the right (and faster) way to learn. In this search, it helps to understand what causes fatigue and which biological functions influence the energy balance (see section 21 on endurance). Relaxation is a state of unstable equilibrium: as you learn to relax, it becomes easier to relax further, and vice versa. This explains why relaxation is a bigger problem for some while it's completely normal for others. But that's one of the most wonderful pieces of information. It means that anyone can relax with proper teaching and constant effort to relax!

The most important element of relaxation is obviously saving energy. There are at least 2 ways to save:

  1. Don't use unnecessary muscles.
  2. Switch off the necessary muscles as soon as they have done their work.

Practice the art of turning off muscles quickly. Let's demonstrate this with the one-fingered free fall.(1) is the lightest; just allow gravity to control the fall while your whole body rests comfortably on the bench. For (2), you need to learn a new habit if you don't already have it (few do in the beginning). This is the habit of relaxing all muscles once they have reached the bottom of the key travel. During free fall, gravity pulls your arm down, but at the end of the keystroke you have to tense your finger for a moment to stop the hand. After that, you need to quickly relax all muscles. Don't raise your hand; let your hand rest comfortably on the piano with just enough force to support the weight of the arm. Make sure you do [the button's] don't push down. This is more difficult than you might think because the elbow is in midair and the same muscles used to tense the fingers for arm weight support are also used to [the button's] to push down. One way to test whether you are pressing down is to take your fingers off the keys, rest your forearm on your legs, completely relaxed, and transfer the same feeling to the end of the free fall [i.e. check if the feeling in hand and arm is the same].

Few people think about switching off their muscles in a targeted manner. One tends to forget them when their job is done. This is not a problem when playing slowly, but it becomes problematic as the speed increases. You need a new exercise because free fall has little to do with speed. You need to start with the button held down and play a fast, moderately loud note. Now you need to apply an additional downward force and turn off the muscle. When you turn it off, you need to go back to the feeling you had at the end of the freefall. You will find that the harder you play the note, the longer it takes to relax. Practice shortening the time to relax.

The wonderful thing about these relaxation techniques is that, after you've practiced them for a short period of time (maybe a couple of weeks), they gradually flow into your playing - even into pieces you have already learned - as long as you are on the relaxation respect, think highly of.

The worst effect of stress is that it forces you into a fight that you cannot win because you are fighting an opponent who is as strong as you are - yourself. It is your muscles that work against each other . As you practice and get stronger, so will your opponent, to exactly the same extent. And the stronger you get, the worse the problem becomes. If it gets bad enough, it can lead to injuries because the muscles become stronger than the material load capacity of your hand. That is why it is so important to get rid of the stress.

Relaxation, arm weight (free fall), full body involvement, and the avoidance of stupid, repetitive exercises were key elements in Chopin's teachings, but Liszt advocated exercises "to the point of exhaustion" (Eigeldinger). My interpretation of the final apparent disagreement is that exercise can be beneficial but is not necessary. Liszt couldn't use this book either - he probably had to practice a lot before his hands happened to fall into the right movement. Of course, the piano makes a huge difference. Chopin preferred the pleyel, a piano with very easy action and short key travel, and had to play less effort. Relaxation is useless unless it is accompanied by musical play; Chopin even insisted on playing music before acquiring technique because he knew that music and technique were inseparable. We now know that without relaxation, neither music nor technology are possible. Technology has its origin in the brain. Unmusical play appears to violate so many principles of nature that it even conflicts with the brain's natural process of controlling the mechanism of play. I'm not saying that you can't train yourself to become a machine that can do difficult acrobatics at blinding speed. The claim here is that dumb repetition is a long, cumbersome way of learning to play the piano.

15.Automatic Post Practice Improvement (PPI)

One can only expect a certain amount of improvement during a sessionbecause there are two ways to improve. The first is the obvious improvement that comes from learning the notes and movements and results in immediate improvement. This occurs with passages for which you already have the technique to play. The second is called "Automatic Post Practice Improvement (PPI)" [PPI = post practice improvement]and results from physiological changes in acquiring a new technique. This is a very slow change process that mainly happens after you stop practicing because it requires nerve and muscle cells to grow.

Therefore, as you practice, try to evaluate your progress so that you can stop and move on to something else once you have reached the point of diminishing returns, typically less than 10 minutes. As if by magic, your technique will improve on its own for at least a few days after good practice.If you did everything rightTherefore, when you sit down at the piano the next day, you should find that you can play better. If this only happens in one day, the effect is not that great. However, if this happens over weeks, months, or years, the cumulative effect can be enormous.

It is usually more profitable to practice different things during one session and have them improve simultaneously (while not practicing!) Than to work too hard on one thing. Practicing too much can even damage your technique if it leads to stress and bad habits. You need to practice a certain minimum number of repetitions, perhaps a hundred, for this automatic improvement to occur. But since we're talking about a few bars being played at high speed, practicing dozens or hundreds of times should only take 10 minutes or less.

Therefore, if you practice hard but don't see great immediate improvement, don't worry. That might be normal for that particular passage. If after extensive analysis you haven't found anything you are doing wrong, it's time to stop and leave it to the PPI.

There are different types of PPIs depending on what is stopping you. One of the ways in which these types manifest themselves is in the length of time they operate. It varies from a day to many months. The shortest times can be associated with conditioning, such as using movements or muscles you haven't used before, or memory issues. Intermediate times of several weeks can be associated with the formation of nerve connections, such as for HT play. Longer times can be associated with the actual growth of brain, nerve or muscle cells, as well as the conversion from slow to fast muscle cell types.

If you have developed certain bad habits, you may have to stop playing this piece for months until you get rid of the bad habits, which is another form of PPI. In most bad habit cases, it is impossible to identify the culprit, so it is best not to play the piece and learn new pieces instead, because learning new pieces is a way of breaking old habits.

You have to do everything right to maximize PPI. Many students do not know the rules and can even use the PPI turning back, with the result that she did the piece the next day worse play. Most of these mistakes stem from incorrect use of fast and slow practice; therefore we will cover the rules for the correct choice of exercise speeds in more detail in the following sections. Any stress or unnecessary movement during exercise will also be subjected to the PPI. The most common mistake students make when reversing the PPI is playing quickly just before they stop practicing. The last thing you do before quitting should be the most correct and best example of what you want to achieve. The last run apparently has an extraordinarily strong PPI effect. The methods in this book are ideal for PPI, mainly because they emphasize practicing only the sections that you cannot play. If you play HT slowly and slowly increase the speed for a large section of any piece of music, the PPI is not only insufficiently conditioned, but totally confused because you mix a large amount of easy material with the small amount of difficult material. In addition, the speed and probably the movements are incorrect.

PPI is nothing new; let's look at three examples: the bodybuilder, the marathon runner, and the golfer. While the bodybuilder is lifting weights, his muscles do not grow; he even loses weight. But during the following weeks the body responds to the stimulus and builds muscles. Almost all of the muscle growth occurs to practicing. After exercising, the bodybuilder does not measure how much muscle he has gained or how much more weight he can lift, but rather concentrates on whether the exercise produces the necessary conditioning. The difference here is that for the piano we develop coordination and endurance instead of strength and muscle growth. The bodybuilder wants to grow the slow muscles while the piano player wants to convert the slow muscles into fast ones. Another example is the marathon runner. If you've never run a mile in your life and are trying to do it for the first time, you may be able to run a quarter of a mile before having to slow down to take a break. If you try to keep walking after a break, you will get tired again after a quarter of a mile or less. So the first run shows no noticeable improvement. However, if you wait a day and try again, you may be able to run a third of a mile before you tire - you've just learned about PPI. If you don't run properly, it can lead to problems; For example, you might develop a bad habit of poking your toe when pushing yourself too far and walking when you are too tired. This is analogous to acquiring bad habits when practicing the piano with stress. Golf is another excellent example. Golfers are familiar with the phenomenon of hitting the ball well one day but badly the next because they have acquired a bad habit that they often cannot diagnose. Hitting the driver every day tends to ruin the swing, while practicing with the # 9 can restore it. The analogy with the piano is that playing fast with full force often breaks the PPI, while practicing short HS sections will tend to improve it. The conditioning process must, of course, be well understood in order to achieve the desired PPI.

Most of the PPI happens during sleep. Sleep must be normal night sleep, including all major components, especially Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. The reason for this is that most cell growth and repair occurs during sleep. This is why babies and toddlers need this lots of sleep - because they grow fast. You won't get a good PPI if you don't sleep well at night. It is best to practice in the evening for conditioning and check your PPI in the morning.

16. Dangers of slow play - pitfalls of the "intuitive method"

Repeated slow play can be harmful when starting a new piece. We explained in Section II.1 that playing slowly and gradually increasing the speed is not an efficient way of practicing the piano. Let's examine this procedure to see why. Suppose the student is just starting the piece and doesn't yet know how to play it. In this case, playing slowly will be very different from how the piece should be played at the correct speed. When you start out, there is no way of knowing whether the movement you are using for slow play is right or wrong; in Section IV.3 we show that the probability of playing wrong is close to 100%because there are almost infinite ways to play wrong, but only one best way. What is the probability of encountering this one correct way out of an infinite number of possibilities by chance? Practicing this wrong play will not help the student play correctly or faster. If this wrong movement is accelerated then he will hit a speed barrier, which in turn results in stress. Assuming the student successfully changed the game to avoid the speed barrier and successfully increased the speed in steps, he would have to forget the old way of playing and relearn the new way, and so on, and repeat these cycles until he has reached the final speed. Finding out all of these temporary ways of playing through trial and error can take a long time.

Let's look at a specific example of how different speeds require different movements. Think about the horse's gaits. When the speed is increased, the gait goes from walking to trotting and canter (light gallop) to gallop. Each of these four gaits usually has at least one slow and one fast type. A left turn is also different from a right turn (the leading hoof is different). That makes a minimum of 16 movements. These are the so-called natural gaits; most horses have them automatically; you can teach them 3 more gaits: step, foxtrot and rack, which also include slow, fast, left and right. All of this with only four legs of relatively simple structure and a comparatively restricted brain. We have 10 very complex fingers, much more versatile shoulders, arms and hands and an infinitely more capable brain! Our hands are therefore capable of many more "gaits" than a horse. Stepping up a slow piano playing is like trying to get a horse to run as fast as it does at a gallop by just accelerating its walk - it just doesn't work because when the speed increases, the impulse of the legs changes , the body, etc., which makes the different gaits necessary. Therefore, if the student increases the speed gradually and the music requires a "gallop", he would have to learn all the "gaits" in between. You can easily understand why causing a horse to gallop as fast as it would create speed barriers and tremendous stress. But that's exactly what many piano students try with the intuitive method. When practicing, the student then does not acquire the skill of walking as fast as a gallop, but accidentally stumbles into the rut when the walking is accelerated.