Staccato, in the Italian word, means detached. In music, it is a form of musical
articulation that signifies an unconnected note. If you look closely at a music sheet, you will see staccato
as a dot, placed above the notes.
However, do not be confused of a dotted note from a dot that indicates articulation, as they are completely
different. Staccato doesn’t alter the rhythm of the music.
In fact, it even makes the sound smoother. Staccato also helps indicate whether a note should be played short or
Staccato piano playing
technique is easy but requires constant practice. To do this, place your right hand over the piano. Your
hand should be curved as if you are holding a tennis ball.
The thumb should touch a key on the outside edge while the finger tip must touch the other keys. When you do
this, it is important to know the proper hand position. Knowing the right positions of the hands and fingers will
help you feel at ease with staccato piano playing.
An ordinary staccato can be played very quickly with hands on standard position and the fingers moving
vertically as it lifts. At first, lift your fingers higher to feel the circular motion because the movements are in
The reason for this is that the bottom of a staccato is circular, causing your fingers to take a curved path and
bounce upwards. In addition, your hands and fingers should be loose in staccato piano playing to create a soft
There are four ways to play it. The first one is the finger action, which can be played by lifting your fingers
vertically. Another one is with hand action. You can do this by tapping the hand when you get frustrated in playing
Similar to hand action, another way to play is to use a forearm motion. The difference of forearm to hand action
is that it utilizes the forearm and hands together. And lastly, full shoulder arm hand movement is to be played for
A great example of learning this technique is via the pieces of J S Bach. You can use some of these
pieces because they have a detached style. The pieces of J S Bach can neither be long or short. To know how to play
them, you can ask your teacher to show them to you. Listen to recordings as well so that you can get acquainted
with how the song sounds when you learn how to play piano.
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