You Want Short? You Got Short!


Straight and to the point videos

I have come to accept that short videos are the norm these days, for various reasons, so, combined with the results of a poll showing 'technical exercises' as indisputably the most requested theme, I am creating at least 4-6 videos/week which are: short, with technical exercises!


For this, I have created a special playlist called Straight & To the Point.  It won't be the only types of videos I do since people do still enjoy longer, non-technical exercise content but this will be at least 7/10 of the uploads so do please be sure to check back to the channel's main video page to see what you've missed (since you have probably not been notified of any new uploads).  Furthermore, do not forget my video management website which you can join and use for free to create your own playlists and get 20% off my Water Pianism Syllabus.


In creating this playlist, I went back over all my videos from 2014 to about 2 years ago and noted all the themes and ideas I've forgotten or think would be useful to remake. Many people haven't seen those older videos so I don't feel guilty making some updated versions, especially with a better camera, lighting and sound... not to mention a more refined teaching style since back then thanks to all the feedback I've received over the years.

No matter your path, you cannot avoid technical exercises, chord shapes, finger and hand independence or the infamous major scale mastery but you can make these more fun with personalised ideas instead of staring at a book of exercises demanding strict fingering.  Following the philosophies I impart, you are always encouraged and reminded to avoid energy puddles at your joints (bending up instead of a gentle downward flow of energy from the shoulder to fingertips), close your eyes (for greater precision and trust in your touch) and to do hand/tendon stretches every day.  Also, find your natural limit in terms of speed and aim to push it.  Visualise shapes of chords and keys in your mind when away from the piano and never to compare your current abilities or progress with others.

Here are two examples from the playlist which I invite you to try out:

The title in the thumbnail says it all. For this one, you really need to close your eyes and find your natural limit. Once found, you'll feel delight that you can even do the exercise, albeit slowly. Then, increase the tempo by 10-15bpm and repeat until that becomes comfortable.  You'll be surprised how quickly you can do it much faster than you expected.  It's also good for scale and chord shape reinforcement which is something you most always drill mentally and physically until you know them like the back of your hand.

Often, the major scales are pushed. Herein, I propose to have fun with the chromatic scale! A lot can be done with it, as I demonstrate.  Play it in octaves, with intervals, play chord types in various ways as you climb chromatically though the keys... as well as simply being able to play the chromatic scale itself as fast as possible with both hands, which is a very nice finger warm-up exercise as well.  I end with a little freestyle improv idea where you play little melodies, chromatically, anywhere!  Good fun.


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