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Deep Basic #2: Let gravity do the work.

by Bruce Siegel on July 13th, 2010

This is the second in a series of posts on the core essentials of piano playing.

In a nutshell, technique refers to how you use your body to get the sounds you want from the piano. And the starting place for good technique is relaxation.

Now if you’re wondering how you can relax while doing something as complicated as playing the piano, the answer is simple: let the weight of your arm do the work. Don’t use your muscles to push keys down—let gravity do it for you.

Releasing arm weight into the keys:

• Keeps you pain- and injury-free.
• Helps you control dynamics (loudness and softness).
• Brings more of your body into play, thus improving rhythm and flow.

Countless skills and insights work together to produce good piano technique. But none of them will help much if you’re tense and working harder than you need to.

Let gravity do the work.


(I briefly show you how to use arm weight in the following videos. Look for a more detailed lesson in the future:

The Chord Inversion Exercise at the 00:26 point.
A 3-Chord Accompaniment, Step by Step. at the 01:38 point.)

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