Train the brain first!

Jerry La Rosa
Submitted: Wed, October 28, 2015 - 1:32pm EDT
The brain controls the muscles in a natural way. Unfortunately, the piano requires that your hands do some "unnatural" movements. The brain also intellectualizes rhythm, but the body must be able to coincide, learn and merge with the divisions of time.

1. FIRST LESSON-BEFORE YOU EVEN PUT YOUR HANDS ON THE KEYBOARD…Look at your hands. The thumbs are number 1. Proceed in order of 1, 2, 3 ,4 and 5. Notice how this order naturally provides motion in the OPPOSITE direction of notes (as in steps or scale). Go from 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. See, again how the motion is verging together. These motions are way the brain works due to the fact that humans have opposing thumbs. The trick here is to practice and train the muscles/brain to act and move from left to right and right to left. For example: Left hand- start with pinky (or number 5 finger) along with the Right hand Thumb (Number 1 finger) and travel simultaneously from left to right and right to left. It will not feel natural for most people.
2. Timing.. Look at a clock. Picture a pendulum. Left to right and right to left. Try to pronounce the "Tick-Tock" rhythm. Now add the word "and" in between the tick and tock so that you are staying within the beat. You should now be saying, "TICK and TOCK and TICK and TOCK" etc. This is a good way to practice down beats and upbeats and also to keep in steady time. This also is a good way to understand the difference between Quarter and Eight notes.

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