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#595970 - 11/06/07 10:36 PM playing softly  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 27
oldie101 Offline
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oldie101  Offline
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florida
Any tips on how to play softly. I have a tendency to strike the keys hard. If I try to hit them softly, they don't always sound.


oldie
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#595971 - 11/06/07 10:51 PM Re: playing softly  
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Aviator1010110 Offline
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Aviator1010110  Offline
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United States
To play softly you must not gently tap the key but slowly lower the key, continuing through the keyboard as if the moment of attack didn't exist. Once this is "mastered" you'll be able to play notes that are barely audible.


Technical skills should never come before artistry. I think of technical ability as a necessary tool for extracting a truly moving performance from a sensitive interpretation. -Aviator1010110
#595972 - 11/07/07 12:18 AM Re: playing softly  
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BruceD Offline
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Victoria, BC
Quote
Originally posted by oldie101:
Any tips on how to play softly. I have a tendency to strike the keys hard. If I try to hit them softly, they don't always sound.
It shouldn't be a question of striking the keys, but depressing them, and when doing so, they must go all the way to the bottom. Trying to play softly by playing on the surface of the keys and striking them lightly results in some of them not souding at all and - more importantly - results in your having no control over the sound you are creating.

One's ability to play softly is sometimes limited by the action of a poorly regulated piano, but a pianist with poor technique and poor tonal control usually cannot play very softly on a piano with a good, well-regulated action. I have always felt that one of the tests of the action of a "good" piano is my ability to completely control the dynamics and to play very softly without having to resort to any "tricks" or without having to use the una corda pedal.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
#595973 - 11/07/07 03:02 AM Re: playing softly  
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tickler Offline
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tickler  Offline
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Chicagoland
Originally posted by BruceD:
I have always felt that one of the tests of the action of a "good" piano is my ability to completely control the dynamics and to play very softly without having to resort to any "tricks"


What sort of tricks do you mean?

Mary


Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman. -- Beethoven
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#595974 - 11/07/07 05:17 PM Re: playing softly  
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Jan-Erik Offline
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Jan-Erik  Offline
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Finland
The action plays an important role as Bruce wrote. Not only question of bad regulation. Well designed instrumnets are nice to play pianissiimo (and fortissimo) on.

Normal basic teqnique required anyhow.

#595975 - 11/08/07 10:37 AM Re: playing softly  
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Dan101 Offline
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Dan101  Offline
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Canada
Here's some advice given to me by my mentor and teacher at the Royal College of Music. "Playing softly is the controlling of ones strength". It's a paraphrase, but it generally means that you must have strength and dexterity in order to play softly. You need to practice playing deeply and slowly into the keys, with a full tone. Good luck.


Daniel E. Friedman, co-owner of www.pianolessons101.com
You CAN learn to play the piano in a fun and positive way.
#595976 - 11/08/07 10:46 AM Re: playing softly  
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kenny Offline
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kenny  Offline
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Besides good regulation, I find pianos with longer keys (the longest grands) to be easier to play softly.

#595977 - 11/08/07 05:59 PM Re: playing softly  
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Peyton Offline
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Peyton  Offline
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Maine
Any kind of exercises you would recommend for playing lightly? for me the problem really arises when I must play light and fast. For instance the quick little runs at the end of Chopin's Nocturne in C#m.


"One's real life is often the life that one does not lead."- Oscar Wilde
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#595978 - 11/09/07 08:15 PM Re: playing softly  
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Loki Offline
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Loki  Offline
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Texas
Quote
Originally posted by BruceD:
Quote
Originally posted by oldie101:
[b] Any tips on how to play softly. I have a tendency to strike the keys hard. If I try to hit them softly, they don't always sound.
It shouldn't be a question of striking the keys, but depressing them, and when doing so, they must go all the way to the bottom. Trying to play softly by playing on the surface of the keys and striking them lightly results in some of them not souding at all and - more importantly - results in your having no control over the sound you are creating.

Regards, [/b]
Great post Bruce.

Yeah, I was basically going to say the same thing but Bruce beat me to it.


Houston, Texas
#595979 - 11/09/07 10:34 PM Re: playing softly  
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Morodiene Offline
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Peyton:
I would play it loudly on purpose (working on a small section at a time if you are required ot play softly for a long time), then repeat it with the same energy, but a lighter, slower touch. Keeping fingers closer to the keys may help as well.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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