Increase Piano Speed – With Playground Sessions

 

Increase Piano Speed

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Learning to increase piano speed is often what stops a person from pursuing to learn to the piano.

What I mean is that moving forwards from playing in a basic plink-plonk fashion to playing at a slightly more advanced level means that you will need to play different notes from differing positions on the piano at a greater speed. This unfortunately means that the learning process becomes harder and progress can become slower and more time consuming. Learning to play the piano may then become less fun and this lack of enjoyment may eventually result in one giving up learning to play.

I started to learn the piano again after experiencing this problem years ago. Being older now and maybe a little more resiliant I decided to learn at home using the piano software Playground Sessions. All that I needed was a keyboard, a computer, the internet and the correct cable to connect one to the other. I can now learn with the piano teaching software available from Playground Sessions and play whenever I have free time. Each time I sit down to play and follow the tutorials on Playground I hope to make a little progress.

The training available at Playground Sessions icludes Bootcamp which is divided into Rookie Tour, Intermediate Tour and the Advanced Tour.

The is also a section of Playground Sessions which involves Courses and Songs. These I will go into more detail in future articles.

My intention is to take it one step at a time and concentrate on the Bootcamp before moving onto the Courses and finally learning Songs. Having been learning with Playground Sessions for about eighteen months I am now about halfway through the Intermediate Tour of Bootcamp and the courses available to me now correspond to my ability at present. I am working my way through the Bootcamp feature of Playground Sessions before I start working at the courses. When I have completed the Bootcamp,  I will be able to take all the courses. This process is my personal choice. It is what I want to do and though the courses may be valuable to learn in conjuction with the Bootcamp I would rather do one thing at a time. It is working for me.

Broken Chords

Now halfway through the Intermediate Tour of Bootcamp I have progressed to Broken chords. These are a little tricky. With one hand not so difficult but when working both hands together I certainly find them to be be very challenging.

The benefits that Playground Sessions has really did make a difference to my piano playing speed when learning to play this broken chord excercise. I explain why below the following video.  Appologies if I appear to be a little serious and I am aware I am not Mozart!

I had learned the piece by heart and concentrate on the keys as opposed to the music notation that is shown on the laptop as I am playing. I know that this may not be as a piano teacher would wish but I played the notes correctly!

In time I hope to be able to follow a music score as I play. I know that this is necessary when learning longer pieces of but this will take a little time to achieve.

Visit Playground Sessions

Zoom

It is possible to zoom in out out of the music score. This is an excellent feature if, like me, your eyesight is a little weak and an enlargement of the music score may also be very useful. It is also very useful if you wish to concentrate on only one line at a time or many line.

 

 

zoom

 

Instant Feedback

Being able to see if your timing is correct and whether or not you are playing the correct notes as the writer of the music intended them to be played is invaluable. Yes, a lot of the time one should be able to make sense of a tune simply by listening to it and know that it is being played correctly or not. If however it is a tune that you are not familiar with then this feature is certainly of use. This is especially true when learning a new piece of music and being able to recognise where you are making mistakes.

instant feedback

instant feedback

The green note are played correctly, the red incorrectly and the pink is a little out of time. Timing is the main fault above.

Written Help

The help that is written on the score with regards to the fingers to use for each note played can very useful for not only the piece of music being played but for music that is to be played at a later date. Getting used to which finger should be on which key certainly speeds ups ones ability to be able to play.

Alternatively the note played can be shown with the letter of the note above the music.

This help can simply be removed when more advanced and not necessary for you.

When no help is required then no help can be chosen

 

Autoplay Left and Right Hands

 

Playground Sessions calls this the Piano Demo. One or both hands together can be heard playing  the notes of music that you are wishing to play.

This feature is incredibly useful and probably saved me hours of practice. It helped a great deal with boosting confidence and being able to figure out the timing to play the piece correctly.

Speed of Play

The timing of the piece can be slowed down considerably. Or even increased if you wish!

I found that to play the excercise well I had to play it far slower when I first started to learn. I gradually  increased my speed until I was able to play it perfectly at the speed chosen. Only then did I increase the speed of the entire piece. As I got better and the was able to play the excercise better was I able to increase the speed by greater increments until finally playing at full speed.

Full speed

 

Half speed

 

Speed of choice

Only at half and whole speed will the background tune be able to play but at all speeds The Piano Demo will be there to play along with however.

Toggle Looping

Playground Sessions calls the feature of breaking the piece down into smaller sections Toggle Looping. The piece chosen can then be played repeatedly. This I found was the best way to learn and once I could play a small section correcly so I increased the section that I was attempting to play.

Scored

The scoring system is great and being given a score at the end of play results in the desire to do better than the previous score until the 100% goal is reached.

Conclusion

Whilst it is definately not simple to play a piece of music that initially sounds increditbly fast. In time, if the piece is slowed down quite considerably and then taken a little faster over time it is surprising how eventually, as I found that it is infact possible to play at the correct speed. This is extremely satisfying, fun and very fulfilling.

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26 thoughts on “Increase Piano Speed – With Playground Sessions”

  1. Interesting article! I’ve played piano off and on since I was in preschool. How long have you been playing the piano? Some days I would get really into it and play for hours and other days I would give up and not play for awhile. It like the feature of being able to slow it down and then speed it up. That’s very useful for harder songs. Thanks for sharing your experience using this app. I wish I had a keyboard so I could download it.

    Reply
    • I played for a while when very young but now been using Playground Sessions for about 18 months. Trickier now but really want to stick at it as improve. 

      Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
  2. Hi and thanks for sharing this. I have not heard of Playground Session before. I have a Casio LK-280 which has an onboard tutor but clearly there are limitations which by the sound of things your set up overcomes. I also have a Yamaha Clavinova which has the full 88 weighted keys. Firstly some context – I am not new to the piano. I had two years of lessons when I was 10 to 12 years old and I picked up sheet music from my mother and learned a number of more ambitious pieces over the intervening years until I left home for college. I’ve returned to the piano again recently on and off trying to perfection some of my favorite pieces. I should check out Playground Session as my sightreading is very slow and I definitely need something else to help push the envelope. Thanks for sharing and best regards, Andy

    Reply
  3. What a great system to learn the piano, I didn’t know that Playground Sessions existed. I am excited to know that there is a comprehensive piano course that you can connect to your keyboard to do lessons and even get help if you are struggling. I have played guitar for over 40 years and have tried to learn piano 4 times and never really stuck at it. You have inspired me to check this out and have a go. Thanks so much.

    Reply
  4. I am very sure that if i had you as my tutor from the beginning of my classes on the piano, i would have been a lot better earlier. i love the clarity with which you explained the tips. i can play a little faster now and i am hoping to improve further. thank you very much for this post

    Reply
  5. I’m very interested in learning to play the piano. I took lessons when I was 7-10 years old but it was very hard for me to learn to play with my left hand. I can read music and I can play the melody but adding chords was always hard and like you said I eventually gave up due to lack of success. Lately though… 40 years later, I have been thinking about trying again. 

    I really like the idea of being able to slow down the tempo at first and speed up later and also piano demo mode sounds interesting. Thanks for introducing this and telling your experience with it.

    I have a keyboard so do you hook the keyboard up to the iPad with a cable??

    Reply
    • You will need to get a lightning to USB camera adapter from Apple which will connect to your Ipad and printer cable. The other end of the printer cable then hooks into the keyboard.

      Reply
  6. Hello there!

    The piano lessons you briefed there was very nice. Somettimes the learning can be so hectic and get complicated at a point. This is more reasons people give up like you mentioned in the article. I just learnt the best process of learning that will make me not want to give up on the learning. That was very helpful.

    Thanks

    Reply
  7. Hello there, Thanks for sharing this awesome article I know it would be of great help to the public as it has been of help to me. I have a little about playground sessions and as a guitarist that also plays the keyboard if felt its a good way to improve and since i started a few weeks back I have been enjoying it and also I have been gaining a lot of knowledge too.

    Reply
  8. Hi Mike,

    This is very interesting.

    I learned piano when I was a kid, and did not continue because I was interested to other activities.

    I was thinking the other day to start to learn piano again, thank you for this article.  I will definitely look more Playground Sessions.  Thank you for taking your time to review this software.

    All the best

    Kalle 

    Reply
  9. Thank you Mike, this is a very encouraging post. I have a grand piano sitting in my living room. I pick at the music scales on it once in a while. I would really love to play a motzart music piece and play it at the right speed. I will go with your advice. Follow the playground  sessions and take it slow and steady till I get good and fast. 

    Reply
  10. Hello there! this is an amazing review you have got here. I am sure the information in this post will be of great help to anyone who come across it. Before now, I always find in hard to run my major pentatonic scale with good speed on all the keys, maybe because I am a lady though but I will download this video from youtube and use it as a guide.

    Thanks for sharing this with me.

    Reply
  11. Hi there! 

    I have played the piano for about 6 years now and I have to say this was one of the best techniques I could use for improvement! I have to say I alway felt like I wasn’t getting better and then I tried this method. At first I thought those super fast pieces were impossible to play, but by slowing them down I could play them!

    Thanks a lot!

    Reply
    • I’m yet to play the super fast but will keep going. Think when appears difficult the secret is to take it slowly at first.Thanks for comment.

      Reply
  12. Very informative page!! One thing is that Conclusion is a dull heading. There are more words out there you should try to exert more effort on your words. That’s all and I think this site has potential I have no issues what so ever about the content it’s looking flawless.

    Reply
  13. Thank you for this wonderful article on Increasing Piano Skills I have a neighbor and I hope you don’t mind if I shared this URL with her. This Playground Sessions is something that I could get Polly, my neighbor for Christmas. She plays okay but she always plays the same two songs. So I am wondering if she just learned two songs. I love the fact that it has courses and songs available through Playground Sessions. Thank you for this post, I have saved it in my favorites and I will be back to purchase this in a month or so. Thanks again, Bobbi

    Reply
  14. Learning to play a new instrument is really great and not everyone can do it as some of is can’t even play anything and that is not really nice. My son is really involved with playing the piano and I have to give him all the support I can and this article will do a lot in helping with his speed which he needs 

    Reply

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