Can you play the piano… without a piano?
OK, this seems like a total joke. But it’s not.
You can actually practice efficiently the piano without the piano.
In this article, I will share with you two methods to do this.
Watch the video:
Why playing without a piano?
The problem with a piano is that it does really fit in a backpack. Or even a big suitcase.
Of course, there are portable pianos or keyboard as I explain here.
But even then, it is not always to take your instrument in many situations.
On holidays, while you commute to work or if you stay away from home for a few days.
And you still want to practice your instrument because as I always say: consistency is the key (to the piano, pun super intended!).
Soo, how to do this?
Here are two methods you can use. You can do both of course, but at least using one of these will be helpful.
Method 1: mental practice
This is a technique used by professional musicians, but also athletes or surgeons.
The idea is simple but requires a bit of practice.
You have first to free your mind to enter a high concentration mode. Very much like a meditation.
Then, you have to imagine yourself in front of your piano or keyboard, ready to play.
Take the time and make the effort of putting yourself mentally in your familiar environment. You have to feel you are actually playing your instrument, in your room, as realistically as you can.
Now, you can start to play warm-up exercises, scales or even a song.
Move your fingers, hear the sound that you should make by pressing the keys.
It will seem difficult and a bit awkward at first, but after a few sessions, it will come more naturally.
Since you will engage the same brain connections, the same muscles, you will do an actual practice session. Almost like on the instrument.
I suggest that you have a watch at this video to help you further:
Method 2: finger practice
The second approach is to actually move your fingers but on a tabletop instead of a piano keyboard.
Sit at a table and adjust your posture to be comfortable and adequate for playing the piano.
Relax your shoulders and arms. Place your hands with the fingers curved and touching gently the tabletop.
Now you can start practicing moving your fingers one by one.
Use different patterns: a linear 1 to 5 to move all your fingers in sequence. Or a random sequence of 4 numbers: 1,4,2,5 for example.
Play them in loop at different speed, with a variable strength.
You can also accentuate certain “note” by tapping stronger with certain fingers and softer with others.
Do the same with the left hand.
Then with both hands to train your hands independence.
Next, you can practice in rhythm. Use a metronome via an app on your phone or even in google (yes, there is an integrated metronome!).
You can now play the same exercises in rhythm, with different note values.
Lastly, if you have the song music sheet with you or on the Internet, you can practice the fingering of the whole song.
To help you, you can watch the video I made on the top of this page.
Or check out this one:
I think that you are now convinced that you can play the piano without a piano.
You will agree that there is a lot of work you can do. Hours of practice.
Since it is a different way of working your instrument, you will need to get used to it. So be kind to yourself and patient. You will soon see the benefit.
If you have 30 min of bus or train getting to work, you can have 1 hour of practice every day. Amazing I would say!
My question for you: have you already tried these techniques? Which one seems to work the best? Do you know other ways to practice without a piano? Let me know in the comment below and let’s start the discussion!