Pianoforall Reviews 2021
Ok, here’s how the Pianoforall Course works. You’re going to pick one scale a week. Don’t try to learn a bunch at a time, it’s better to focus on one and really drill it in well. There are three phases of learning, so if you complete one phase before the week is over, move on to the next phase. If you complete the 3rd phase, then you can move on to another scale for the rest of the week. To get the maximum results, use this routine every single day you practice. Every day! Not twice a week. Not “if you feel like it.” Every day, like brushing your teeth. Make it a habit. Do it so consistently that it would feel strange not to do it. That’s how you get results.
Step 1: Technique Comes First
Scales should be the first thing you practice each day. Don’t even think about what pieces you’re going to work on until your scales are done. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, scales are the ultimate warm-up. 5 minutes of scales and your fingers will be limber and ready to play your pieces. Second, it gets you in a routine. Every day is the same. You sit down at the piano and you do your daily scales. After a month of this you won’t even think about it, it’ll be automatic. This is what keeps you consistent week after week. Third, technique is the most important aspect of your piano ability, so it should come first. This is just my opinion, some people would disagree and say playing expressively is more important. But I really think if you have good technique, everything else will follow. It’s hard to play expressively without good technique, you’ll know what you want it to sound like in your mind, but you won’t have the tools to translate that emotion to sound. So make technique a priority and practice it right at the beginning of your practice sessions.
Step 2: Time Yourself
This is an important step, don’t skip it. Get a stopwatch or a kitchen timer (don’t use your phone, it’ll be too distracting) and time your scales practice sessions. Practice at least 5 minutes. Make the commitment to work on your scale at least this long. Use a count-up timer. Sometimes you’ll be working on a scale and you’ll get “in the zone.” You’ll be in this flow state where you’re crazy focused and motivated and absorbing a ton. When you’re in one of these flow states, you can learn a ridiculous amount in a short time. You don’t want to break these states. You can read more about this in our Pianoforall Reviews posts: You can’t really control when you get in these flow states, some days they happen, some days they don’t, so when they happen you want to ride them out as long as you can to get the maximum benefit. I’ve had days where I was zoned in on practicing scales, and suddenly I would look at my stopwatch and realize I’d been practicing scales for 45 minutes! But those are the days I’d get the craziest results! If you use a count-down timer, you’re going to be interrupted when the five minutes are up. So instead, use a count up timer. It gives you flexibility to stop at the time limit or to go over it when you’re really feeling it.
Step 3: Follow the Plan
In the next 3 chapters, I’m going to give you a “workout plan” for each phase. Step by step instructions on exactly how to practice. When you’re starting this training, follow the plan exactly. Do the precise steps outlined in the chapter, don’t “improvise” your practicing. Eventually you’ll get to the point where you can start mixing it up. You’ll learn which strategies work really well for you and when to use them. I talk a lot more about that in Chapter 6. But starting out, you want to stay disciplined and trust the plan.
Step 4: Cool down (Optional)
The cool down is an optional extra 5 minutes of scales at the very end of your practice session. It’s not for everyone. Some people get to the end of the practice session and are so mentally tired they just want to go do something else. Other people find it relaxing though. After a long practice session of focusing hard on a complicated piece, it can be nice to go back to a simple scale and practice without all the mental stress. There’s a couple benefits to the cool down. First, your scales can make a significant improvement from the beginning of the practice session. Whenever you practice something hard, it takes a while to “soak into your brain.” So you do the 5 minutes of scales at the beginning, and the whole time you’re working on your piece your scales are “soaking in.” When you practice them at the end of the session, they’ll feel significantly easier. Try it out for yourself. Here’s another benefit: studies show we remember the first and the last thing we do in a given period of time the best. Think to when you’d have to memorize flashcards for a class. The cards at the beginning and the end of the stack were easier to memorize, where the ones in the middle were more difficult. By bookending your practice session with scales, you can make tremendous improvement on them in a shorter amount of time. Remember, this step is optional. If you’re super tired after a long practice session, give yourself a break! But if you feel like getting a little extra improvement in, throw in the cool down. Alright, onto the fun stuff. In the next chapter we’ll talk all about Phase 1 and the fastest way to learn and memorize the notes of a scale.