What to practice?

Getting into a practice routine is not an easy thing, especially if you are a beginner when most of the time you do not know where to go or what to practice among all the available and existing content in books, on CDs, DVDs and the Internet.

Have you ever felt that you have been stuck in the same place for a long time? Like when you feel that your playing sucks, no creativity is flowing, you play the same piano licks all the time and sometimes you don’t even feel like playing the piano anymore? I have, and it sucks badly; however I discovered myself that getting into a new practice routine can be all it takes to get out of that “black hole”. Getting into a routine will kill all those concerns and bad feelings about your playing and it will make you improve a lot, you will be hippier, sorry, Happier!

I am not gonna talk about how to get a routine, if you need some help with that, you should check out this Rocket Piano Blog post.

What I’m wanting to talk to you about is what to practice. In other words, asking yourself where your playing is at? What does your playing need? What do you want to learn? Do you think you need to focus on your playing technique, speed, or maybe introduce a new groove.

There is no one better than yourself to know where your playing is at and then find out what you need to work on.

Finding out what your playing and soul needs.
Play your piano for a while, as you normally would or listen to some music you are currently into, get a feel for it and see if there is something you would like to learn from it, something new that you want to be able to play, something that inspires you or something that gives you shivers.

Something that I found really good to include in your “what to practice” is basically one or two warm up exercises. I have found this to be an important part of any practice session. Scales and arpeggios are good for building speed, but remember to start at a slow tempo and gradually increase the speed… this of course involves the use of a metronome.

And of course, there is one last resource on what to practice which is probably the most common – learning to play songs. Songs that you like, songs that everytime you listen to you say, Man, I wish I could play that! Those types of songs are what you need to get into.

I would love to hear what your practice routine looks like, what you start with, how long you spend warming up and how often you practice. Share your training regime with us and with other Rocket Piano users who might need some extra help getting started.

Piano Bench

How many hours do you spend playing the piano everyday?

Have you ever thought that having a comfortable seat could make a big difference not only to your playing but also in avoiding back and spine problems later in the track?

I am telling you this because I did have some issues a couple of years ago, not big issues but I did start feeling some back pain and was also getting tired after playing for less than 30 minutes, which wasn’t at all good, especially when I was gigging 3 nights per week or more. I told a really good friend of mine, who also is a very active drummer, about the pain I was experiencing, and he simply asked me what drum stool I was using? Bingo!!! I bought a brand new, professional drum seat a few days later and since then, no more pain, no more problems and way more playing! Even my playing improved, believe it or not.

Now, most pianos and keyboards come with a bench these days, some of them are really good some of them are not. So the question here is; is your piano bench comfortable for you? it doesn’t has to be comfortable enough, IT HAS TO BE COMFORTABLE.

While searching on the web for a piano bench I found plenty of options, to suit everyone’s needs and budgets, starting from as little as $25.00 right up to almost $1000.

This was probably my favorite. A classic, sturdy look with adjustable height found on MusiciansFriend.com

But there is also this one which looks more portable.

If you are into more classic looking check out the Jansen benches, they are quite well known for their quality.

Note: Cheap seats can be good for a few months depending how often you spend sitting on it. However, if you’re serious about your playing and you’re going to be spending a lot of time sitting at your playing it really is worth getting a comfortable, more expensive bench to start with. You will thank me later! Just see it as a health investment.