Piano Player World

Expressing Emotion Into Your Playing

expressing emotionThe goal of most musicians is simple; self-expression. The arts give us a freedom that is unparalleled by anything else. The only problem is, many musicians struggle to find their niche when trying to express their feelings through notes.

In this article, we will discuss how you can learn to express your emotions through your piano playing. In order to properly express your emotions, you will need to learn piano scales. This may seem odd, as scales are set structures with rules and bounds, but they are also made for specific purposes.

Major scales are meant to be large and upbeat. Minor scales are meant to be delicate and depressing. Knowing your scales will give you the ability to find the sound that you are looking for. Understanding scales and their uses will allow you to create your desired atmosphere in an effective manner.

Another important thing is that you understand your intervals. Intervals play a large role in atmosphere. Knowing your intervals and how the relate to one another will allow you to create the desired emotion with your piece.

As with all things, you should start off small. If you are trying to express a sadness, try making a small minor progression. If you are trying to express a happiness, try making a small major progression. Starting off small will allow you to develop the skills necessary to tackle larger patterns and pieces.

ear training for pianists

note manipulationThe goal is to learn to manipulate the notes to your liking. Feel, in the end, is all in your hands. A lighter touch can give a more delicate feel to the note, which in turn is perfect for expressing sadness. A heavier touch can give the notes more power, making them louder and larger, which in turn is perfect for expressing happiness.

Practice various levels of touch. Work on both your grace notes and your accents, and make sure that they are noticeably different from your average notes. This will allow your audience to discern one section from another.

You should practice on using different keys together. If you want a darker atmosphere, consider using the chromatic scale or the harmonic minor scale. For every emotion, there is a scale that works best. This is why it is so important to learn your scales and their properties.

If you plan on changing your piece from sad to powerful, it is best that you learn your relative scales. Every minor has a relative major, and every major has a relative minor. Knowing these scales will allow you to achieve different feels from the same set of notes.

Once you learn your scales, your relative scales, your intervals, and your note types (grace, accent, et cetera) it is important that you practice. Learning is only half of the battle. Being able to put the information to practical use is the war.

You should take a portion of each practice session and dedicate it to working on various scale and touch exercises. Try emulating different feelings with your playing. Good luck, and have fun!

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