Robert Estrin - piano expert

How to SLOW DOWN Your Playing

Learn how to easily slow down your piano playing

In this video, Robert talks about slowing down your piano playing. How can you do that without too much hassle?

Released on December 28, 2022

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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

You wouldn't think this would be so hard, would you? Play slower? Of course. But you know what? Unless you establish a slower tempo, intentionally, you may think you're playing slower, but you probably aren't.

Robert Estrin here at with a question. How do you establish a slower tempo on the piano? It's the funniest thing. I have students, and sometimes they're playing through something, and they're hesitating, they're having difficulty. So I say, play it slower. And more often than not, they play exactly the same tempo. So you might wonder, how do you establish a slower tempo? Well, the simplest way is to figure out the tempo you're playing and then slow it down. But this may not be the easiest thing in the world to achieve. Let's hear playing the Mozart Sonata in C major, K545. Well, if you had insecurity, you want to play it slower, the first thing you do is kind of figure out the speed you were playing. Da-di-dum-do-da-da-dum. Then just slow that down. Da-di-dum-di-da-da-dum. Now you can play at that slower tempo. Now that's one way. Another way is simply play the first note, wait a moment, and continue at that new slower rate. So if you were playing. Play it instead with the first note, wait a little longer. And then just continue playing at that slower rate. You wouldn't think this would be so hard, would you? Play slower? Of course. But you know what? Unless you establish a slower tempo intentionally, you may think you're playing slower, but you probably aren't. And you can check this, by the way, with a metronome. Find the speed at which you're playing on the metronome. If you have a tap tempo feature the way so many metronomes have today, applications on your phone, you can establish a tempo and then just slow it down. So I've got mine right here. I'll try this out and see how it works, right? So we go, once again, we're going to. Two, three, four, one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four.

So there it is. And then to slow it down, just turn the metronome slower. There are many apps out there, metronome applications, that give this feature. Which, by the way, can be really helpful, because sometimes just being able to find the speed at which you're playing on the metronome can be a task all its own. Because you're already playing, and then once you turn the metronome on, you hear a completely different tempo. You're just going, was it faster? Was it slower? And it's hard to find the tempo, so this could be a real help. However, traditional physical metronomes have their benefits, because they have the notches, which aren't every single number, which is ridiculously too fine gradations for working progressively faster metronome speeds. But for this purpose, a metronome app like this one, which you'll see in the description below, you can check out for yourself. If you don't have one already, you could put it on your phone or your iPad. So those are the tips of how to establish a slower tempo, which, incidentally, is one of the most important aspects of practicing the piano, is slowing things down. Even pieces you can play comfortably at a fast speed will degrade over time. If you don't play them slower from time to time, intentionally looking at the music with a metronome without the pedal, that's the way to gain security, and to keep your pieces fresh and in a good performance level. I hope this is helpful for you. Again, I'm Robert Estrin. This is, your online piano resource. Thanks for subscribing. Look forward to seeing you all next time.
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