Hand coordination is the skill to play the piano with fluency especially when playing with both hands. It is also the ability to execute passages proficiently even when your hands play passages that are entirely different from each other. Having excellent hand coordination in playing the piano will not only enable you to play the piano keys proficiently but it will also contribute in learning more advanced pieces efficiently.
Sometimes, we will encounter pieces that are challenging to execute because our hand coordination is not enough or well trained. It can sometimes feel frustrating and demotivating, but do not fret because obstacles like this on the piano are common and everyone can overcome it.
If you are looking for tips and tricks to improve your hand coordination, keep reading because we will be sharing on how you can improve your hand coordination as a piano player and overcome this obstacle.
Practising Scales and Arpeggios
Scales and arpeggios are two of the most important exercises that every piano player should learn in order to play efficiently. Practising scales does not only improve your finger strength but also improves your hand coordination. Playing scales for the right hand is not the same as playing it with the left hand. Although our hands and fingers are symmetrical, they are the inverse of one another, and playing scales in one direction will give a different finger pattern for each hand. The same goes for playing arpeggios. Learning the scales for beginners are usually played in 1 octave only, but if you want to step up your skill, you can practise the scales in 2 up to 4 octaves, for more challenging exercises to improve hand coordination. Aside from improving coordination, practising arpeggios also helps in executing passages with certain intervals, especially thirds.
Developing Strong, Firm and Independent Fingers
Another factor that contributes to improving your hand coordination skill is by having strong and firm fingers. By having these factors, it will enable you to play the piano keys according to your will without any problem. Without strong fingers, it can be challenging to improve your hand coordination because it limits your movements and flexibility. You have to strengthen your fingers with finger exercises along with your hand coordination exercises, because finger dexterity will contribute to improving your hand coordination.
There are plenty of exercises to help strengthen and improve your finger dexterity for piano playing, for example, 60 exercises for the piano by Hanon or Etudes by Czerny Op. 299 or Op. 636. These exercises are extremely useful as a pianist especially in improving your technique. Having excellent technique will surely contribute abundantly to your becoming a proficient piano player.
Explore Other Music Styles
As a musician, not just as a pianist, it is advised to be knowledgeable with several music styles when it comes to playing any instrument. By learning different music styles, it exposes you to different varieties of melodies and rhythmic patterns that will help in improving hand coordination. Many music styles are
distinct when it comes to rhythmic patterns that are not normally found or seen in other styles. For example, there are music pieces from the Baroque period that are used for certain dance styles that makes them different from other pieces because of their rhythmic pattern. For example: allemande, sarabande, courante, gigue, and more.
Each music style has their own style of melodic and harmonic patterns as well which can provide a different experience when playing the piano. There are pieces that have chordal or arpeggiated notes for the left hand that serve as the accompaniment to the melody played by the right hand.
Exercise Varieties: Dynamics and Articulations
Playing the piano with different dynamics and articulations provides excellent awareness when it comes to the touch of the piano keys. You will become more sensitive with the weight of the keys which will enhance your senses to become more familiar with the instrument. Becoming excellent in playing the piano with excellent control of the dynamics and articulation, not only improves your skill, but also your musicality as dynamics and articulations gives colors and texture to the sound that an instrument produces.
To improve your hand coordination, you can incorporate dynamics and articulation during your practise, by doing scales for both hands but each hand plays the scale with a different dynamic or articulation. For example, the right hand plays loud while the left hand plays soft, then you can try to switch, right hand plays soft, left hand plays loud. You can also do this with different articulations, one hand plays staccato while the other hand plays legato. These kinds of exercises will surely increase your hand coordination because your brain will develop the ability to make your hands play independently. It is also a good exercise that helps in boosting your concentration.
One of the secrets to improve not just your hand coordination, but your overall piano playing skills is by practising the instrument as regularly as possible. Learning the piano is like learning how to play a new sport, it needs daily training or practice in order to get better at it. It is advised for piano learners who want to improve his or her skill to practise every day at least 30 minutes as part of their daily schedule. As a piano beginner, practising the piano everyday is a good way to become familiar with the piano keys faster. Practising everyday also contributes in developing finger muscles which aids in playing more advanced pieces.
Developing excellent hand coordination will surely give you the advantage to play the piano proficiently and will give you the benefit to progress faster. It will definitely contribute to your journey in becoming an excellent musician. Improving your hand coordination is not as hard as you might think. Just keep learning the instrument and eventually you will become the piano player that you are aiming to be. So, what are you waiting for? Try out these exercises and do not forget to always enjoy making wonderful music!