Robert Estrin - piano expert

Getting Back To Piano After an Absence

Easy tips to get back into musical shape after time away from the piano

In this video, Robert offers some suggestions for returning to piano after an absence from playing.

Released on August 20, 2014

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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

Welcome to and I'm Robert Estrin and today's subject is how to get back into playing the piano when you've been away from it for a while. I have a lot of people ask me this question. For piano it is a bit different than it is for other instruments. I also play the French horn, and believe me getting back into a wind instrument when you've been away from it is a very, very delicate process. Because the lips are so fragile and it's easy to blow them out and then you can't play at all for a while. You have to be extraordinarily slow and methodical about how you build up. A piano is a much more forgiving instrument. Now I will say that you still have to be careful particularly if you've had any issues with your hands, if you've ever had tendonitis or arthritis or even if you haven't.

You don't want to go crazy if you haven't played the piano in let's say weeks, months or even years, sailing into some of the hardest music you've ever played. Interestingly, the piano is a very forgiving instrument. If you haven't played for a long time, pick some slow movements to start with and just play and keep playing and then work up to harder music. You'll find that by simply playing a great deal, starting with things that are slow to get acclimated, you will develop strength. You can actually get back into shape pretty quickly as long as you start with something that is tender, and that when you're reaching with your fingers, not something that is very percussive and hard. By just simply playing a lot... Do you need to do exercises? You certainly can. You may want to warm up with scales or arpeggios.

The important thing is to start out with something slow and work your way to more difficult, challenging music. If you do that, you should be able to get into shape pretty quickly even if you've been away from it for a while. Then just play as much as you can to build up strength and endurance. That's the simple thing. We're very lucky being pianists, not so easy for other instruments. Thanks so much for joining me. Robert Estrin with and
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Kendah on August 28, 2014 @2:48 am PST
Thanks a lot mr.robert,I've been faced this problem recently and I was so frustrated but things are better now.
maria josÃÉ�Ãā© on August 24, 2014 @10:43 am PST
I like yours commnentaries;very interesting;I play the piano for 75 years .I am 85 and I never interrupt it.I only play the classics.please forgt my english i am brasilian
Christine * VSM MEMBER * on August 20, 2014 @3:23 pm PST
Perfect timing for this article. I have been away from lessons and practice since March. I want to start back in about a month. Practice time is limited (executive level job, Board duties, choir, and golf!)but I'm motivated.
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