Robert Estrin - piano expert

Faster is Not Louder

Learn how to play faster without being louder

In this video, which applies to all instruments, Robert gives you tips to increase your playing speed without touching your dynamics.

Released on March 8, 2023

Share this page!
Post a Comment   |   Video problems? Contact Us!
DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

As I've talked about so many times before, fingerings of vital importance, and one of the best ways to discover good fingering, is by playing in chords or groups of notes.

Hi, I'm Robert Estrin, this is with a message, a very important message, faster isn't louder. Now you may think that's ridiculous, of course you know faster isn't louder, but you would be surprised at how much of the time when you see a crescendo, you naturally speed up. And this can be detrimental to your playing for so many reasons. For example, in Clementi's Sonatina in C major, Opus 36, number one, I love to use this example because so many of you are familiar with it. When you have the crescendo in the second line, it's so easy for this to happen. I'm gonna start from the beginning so you can hear it.

Now, that might seem like an exaggeration to you, but let me tell you as a teacher, I can't tell you how many times people struggle with that difficult passage there simply because they're getting faster in a part that is harder than anything before or after it, those little runs of the broken thirds in the right hand. Incidentally, I have a tip on how to practice that, which I'll get to before the end of the video, so stay tuned for that. So how can you mitigate this? Well, there are a number of ways. Primarily, of course, working with the metronome is invaluable because none of us has a perfect clock inside our heads. So a metronome measures your speed, and working with the metronome, you might find that as soon as you get to that part, the metronome seems to be dragging. Drag along with it. The metronome is king. The metronome knows time better than we do. So follow the metronome, and you will be able to play with security. Now, beyond that, of course, when you're performing the piece, you may get a little bit excited and have an actual adrenaline of playing for people. So you must intentionally feel like you're slightly slowing down when you're getting faster. Now, eventually, you have to check your work with the metronome so you don't overcompensate and then find that you're slowing down whenever you're getting louder. But generally speaking, feeling that sense that taking a little bit more time when making crescendos can be extremely helpful to avoid this pitfall. Now, sometimes getting faster when things get louder is called for. The natural ebb and flow of roboto in 19th century music, sometimes it can actually work so long as then the pendulum swings the other way as it gets softer. And sometimes roboto can be effective in that respect in passages that do get louder and softer. But this must be tempered with never getting, losing or gaining time of the beat. So even then, practicing with the metronome is essential for making sure that you stay on track. Now I mentioned there was a little tip for this particular passage.

As I've talked about so many times before, fingerings of vital importance and one of the best ways to discover good fingering is by playing in chords or groups of notes like this. And here's a great fingering for you.

And then... And you can practice in innumerable ways, rhythms or accent or groups of notes. So there are many different ways to practice but fundamentally know what fingering is going to be most effective by working out in groups of notes played together in chords whenever possible in your music. It also gives you an opportunity to understand the harmonic underpinnings of your music. F sharp half diminished.

Missing the A but it's still an F sharp half diminished. So that's a seven of five because you're in C major. And yes, it goes to the five chord, a G major chord.

Then you've got an A minor chord in the six three inversion. It doesn't have the E but it's still clearly an A minor chord which is a six chord. Then you have a five six four, the G major chord in the second inversion. And finally your dominant of G major, the D major chord, the five of five because it resolves to the five of C major, D major.

That's a whole bunch of music theory consolidated into a very small amount of time. Many of you who doesn't understand this and wants more videos covering music theory topics like this, I'm happy to provide this for you. In fact, we are here for you. Leave in the comments here at We have a running dialogue going with thousands of comments on all our videos with in-depth articles for every single video you find on YouTube. There are articles on for you. So check it out for yourself again. Robert Estrin here at, your online piano resource.
Find the original source of this video at this link:
Post a comment, question or special request:
You may: Login  or  
Otherwise, fill the form below to post your comment:
Add your name below:

Add your email below: (to receive replies, will not be displayed or shared)

For verification purposes, please enter the word MUSIC in the field below

Comments, Questions, Requests:

Patricia Doyle * VSM MEMBER * on March 9, 2023 @6:56 pm PST
Fantastic. I so like your teaching.
Robert - host, on March 10, 2023 @7:07 am PST
That's great to hear! You can search for more topics with keywords here:
Questions? Problems? Contact Us.
Norton Shopping Guarantee Seal