In order to play fluently, we must connect our minds and our fingers to our inner musician. Rhythm and particularly the underlying groove of music are the main skills to practise in order to make this connection.
In this video I play my E-flat minor Nocturne ‘Follow Me Into The Night’ from my album ‘Nocturnes’. Composed whilst practising Chopin Nocturnes, this takes some of Chopin’s ideas of ornate, Italianate melody and harmonic underlying accompaniment. Full of pathos, melancholy and longing, with a religioso middle section, it is a song of unrequited love.
I perform a dark piece of improvisation on a piano that is perfect for the mood, the Pianoteq Steingraeber Dreamy…
Is it even the melody that makes the hit? Is there a set of steps that composers and songwriters follow in order to write a tune that will bring in the royalties, every December, like clockwork?
I improvise on a tune that might be familiar in December!
In this video I talk about how improvising on the piano can be a cathartic and meditative experience and I improvise some stormy, turbulent music on Pianoteq’s Bluethner.
This is my performance of Rachmaninov’s Prelude op. 23 no. 4 in D on the New York Steinway Model D new to version 7 of Pianoteq.
What exactly is a state of flow or peak performance zone and how do you get into it? In this video I explain what flow means to me as a teacher and student of fluent musicianship and give some key pointers on how to achieve this elusive state.
As a fluent musician, to learn to play fast notes on the piano, you first need mental dexterity and then you need to be able to let go and play with physical and rhythmic freedom. It is the passive, muscle-memory approach that becomes obsessed with the physical difficulty of fast playing. In reality, strong fingers are a bit of a myth: once you can find and maintain the right mental focus whilst letting go and playing with genuine freedom, fast notes are easy to play.