Technique may be one of the most important parts of your practice routine, but that certainly doesn’t mean that it is the most engaging or fun! There are very few people who like scales and arpeggios more than repertoire, but that doesn’t mean that the time spent playing technique needs to be boring! Try these five tips to make your technique practice more interesting and entertaining.
1. Set Goals
You will never want to practice your technique if you are just doing it because your piano teacher told you. Make some personal technique goals to give you some motivation to practice each day. Maybe you want to know all of your minor scales by the end of the year, or be able to play your major arpeggios at certain speed. Setting these goals will help you to stay inspired and to practice regularly.
2. Make up Lyrics
The repetitive sounds of scales and chords can be boring, but they also offer the perfect opportunity to test out your lyric writing skills! Make up some fun rhymes or silly stories to repeat to yourself while you go through these drills.
3. Vary your rhythms
One of the easiest ways to make technique more fun is to change up the rhythms! After all, there is no rule that says you have to play the same rhythm every time you practice. Ask your teacher for some rhythms that he suggests for your piano level. Switching to cool new rhythms can make the same old scale feel like a whole new sound!
4. Use some emotion
There is no reason why scales, arpeggios and chords can’t have the same emotion behind them as a sonata! If you find yourself getting bored while working on your technique, try varying your mood with each repetition. For example, maybe the first time you play your scale you play it as happily as you can, but the next time you play it like you are incredibly sad. Not only will this trick help to make the time you spend practicing technique fly by, it will also help you to work on your ability to express yourself while playing repertoire!
5. Challenge Yourself
The last way to make technique more interesting is to try some fun challenges with yourself. How many times in a row can you play this scale correctly? Can you play it with your eyes closed? Can you describe all the notes that you need to play in each chord of a progression without looking at the piano? Giving yourself fun ‘brain-teaser’ challenges keeps you focused on what you are learning and also adds an element of difficulty that you might not find when you are just repeating scales mindlessly.
Technique is an incredibly important part of your piano practice, and regularly incorporating it into daily practices will improve your skills by leaps and bounds. Making technique an enjoyable part of your day will save you from boredom, inspire you to do better, and help you to improve your skills!