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5 Core Principles For Success

Every great piano player has spent time developing their skills and putting in the hard work. Yet, many people seem to put in the same amount of work but don't see the same results.

The people who go on to become great players have a set of core principles they follow. It's these principles that allow them to grow and develop into truly amazing players.

Learn these 5 core principles for success, incorporate them into your practice and you will see amazing results.

1. Practice Every Day

Practicing every single day is one of the most important things you can do to grow as a piano player. It's not about how much you practice, it's about how consistently you practice.

If you sit down at the bench every single day you will build an unstoppable force of momentum and will see noticeable improvment in your playing.

The good news is, you don't have to sit down for hours every day - even 10 minutes will do the job! Ideally, you want to be practicing longer than 10 minutes but it's about the consistency and momentum you build by practicing every day.

2. Listen To Yourself

This is something that many people fail to do but it can have such a huge impact on your progress.

We all make mistakes, this is just part of the process. But it's what we do with those mistakes that makes the real difference.

Repeating the same mistakes over and over again will not help you, it will actually hinder your progress and encorce bad habits.

You should be recording yourself regulary and analyzing your mistakes. Figure out why you went wrong and how you can solve the issue.

Have you ever listened to a recording of your own voice and thought "that doesn't sound like me"?

The same thing happens when we listen to ourselves playing the piano. We often sound completely different to how we think we sound whilst we're playing.

By listening to recordings of ourselves we can hear what's really going on, give ourselves constructive criticism and figure out how to sound more like the player we know we have the potential to be.

3. Understand What You're Playing

You should make sure you always understand the theory behind what you are playing.

If you simply remember some chord shapes or a lick without truly understanding what's going on, you won't truly internalize it and you won't be able to apply the same ideas to anything else.

Try to develop a curious mindset and strive to always understand the reasons and theory behind everything you play.

This doesn't mean you need to spend hours learning about theory. I actually don't reccomend learning theory on it's own. It's only useful if you have something to apply that knowledge to and it makes sense to only learn the theory behind what you're playing.

So next time you play something but you don't understand what you're doing or why it sounds good - take the time to learn what's actually going on.

4. Focus On One Thing At a Time

One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is trying to learn too many things at once.

Focusing on one thing at a time is a suprisingly efficient way of being productive.

Trying to learn muliple things at the same time is a great way to be very busy and to make us feel as though we are being productive, but in reality we only scratch the surface when we try to tackle several things at once.

The way to do this is by simplifying every single paremeter of your practice session apart from the one thing you want to focus on. This then frees up your brain to be totally absorbed in that one thing and you're not trying to figure several things out at once, which only ever results in surface level learning.

When we play the piano from the heart, we tend to play what we've internalized and not what we've learnt at a surface level. If you only ever sratch the surface of everything you practice, you'll have nothing to play from heart.

5. Slow Down

A common misconception is that the true test of a musican is how fast they can play.

People who play too quickly tend to build bad habits. They miss notes, have a poor sense of rhythm and just generally become a very sloppy player.

Don't get me wrong, playing fast in certain situations makes sense. But playing the piano is about so much more than playing as fast as possible.

As counter-intuitive as it may seem, by slowing down our practice sessions we give our brains much more time to process what we are doing and we actually learn much quicker. It gives us the chance to pay attention to all the subtle nuances and make any necceasy little tweaks to things we would have otherwised missed if we rushed through it.