You know, learning to play an instrument is all about making breakthroughs. There are so many things to consider and train yourself to do. It’s a complicated process! You are never done learning. There’s always room for improvement.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been realizing that when I play forte on the piano — whether I’m playing my solo pieces or when I am accompanying a vocalist/instrumentalist — it sounds rather “poundy.” Forte should not necessarily mean accented, however. Forte can be a big, full sound without the accented front edge of the note. But how on earth do I achieve this elusive sound?
This week I made a little breakthrough. Rather than lifting and reattacking quite so much between chords, I need to keep my arm weight the same as I make the chord changes, more with my fingers than my hands (making sure the wrists remain loose and tension-free!). It’s difficult to explain, but after a few weeks of pondering this issue in my daily practicing, I think I’m beginning to understand how to create this elusive sound.
You know, piano really is all about creating different sounds, colors, tone qualities – whatever you want to call them. As my teacher used to say, “Music is not a democracy; not all notes are created equal.” Now I know that this statement does not just apply to balance between melody and accompaniment, but also to various sections of a piece. Not all forte notes are equal. 🙂