Piano Player World

Grace Notes on Piano

finger pointingIn music, emotion comes from your fingertips. Whether you want a depressing feel, a powerful feel, or a manic feel, it all depends on your fingers.

Training your fingers is just as important as training your mind and your ears. It will help you to deliver your message more efficiently, and help you to evolve as a player.

In this article, we will discuss how to play grace notes on the piano.

Grace notes are all about touch. If you have sensitive touch, you will find grace notes easy. If you tend to be heavy handed, grace notes will be a challenge for you. Grace notes are notes that are meant to be felt more than heard.

In most cases, they are used to supplement other notes and to add contrast. They can make a note linger, or they can tie pairs or groups of notes together. Grace notes can be the same note as the previously played note, they can follow the same scale, or they can even be chromatic. All principles of use depend on your own playing and the context in which the note is played.

There are a few piano playing techniques that help to make grace notes easier. For heavy handed players, it is important that you try them all out and see what works best for you. For light handed players, it will come down to whichever is most convenient.

The first way is to play the key closest to the piano itself. This makes it so that it is harder to press the key down. This will make it harder to put too much pressure on the key, as it will impede the note enough so that it practically works itself.

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grace notesAnother way is to use the tip of the key. This is best left for light handed players, as putting too much pressure on the tip of the key will cause a more powerful note. The balance is fairly delicate.

The third way is to use the middle of the key. This assure that you cannot depress the key too much with actually sinking your fingers in, but gives you more control than playing the top of the key closest to the piano’s body. It also, for some players, makes grace notes easier as you won’t have to change positioning.

The goal of a grace note is to do just what the name implies; grace the note. In some cases, these are called ghost notes. They are meant to be soft and subtle. Once you get a hang for playing these notes, the next step is to try and incorporate them into your playing. Try using a grace note as a leading tone.

Try using chromatic grace notes to extend patterns in a light manner. The key is to get a feel for the different uses of the grace notes. This will allow you to keep your options open, as many musicians tend to learn piano techniques in a single manner and then set it in stone. Keep an open mind and experiment. Good luck!

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