Monday, March 31, 2008

Listen for Your Tone

You know what’s amazing? I’m always getting better at playing the piano by listening for my tone.

Here’s what I mean. I play a piano key. A note sounds. Now sometimes I’ll play sloppily and not really hear the sound that is being produced.

Tone is very important because it determines how sensitive a player you are and sensitivity is the hallmark of artistry. Anyone can sit down at the piano, hit a key and produce a sound. It takes the artist’s touch to get a beautiful tone.

I learned about tone by listening to my favorite piano player John Herberman. Each note is beautifully played and sensitively interpreted. If you think playing slow pieces of music is easy, try playing a very slow piece and really listen for the tone you’re producing. That’s a good litmus test.

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