Keys to Better Playing better Keys

1. Practice: 
Although it sounds simple, this is the number one key!
Keyboard legends seem to be "born", but they are actually "made" along  the way.
Any highly regarded player (regardless of instrument) has an extraordinary 
dedication to practice and the craft of making music. 
It really does help to eat, drink, sleep, and breathe the keys! 
 
This said, having structured practice sessions also help greatly.  
By having structure, one can address specific areas like technique
reading, or ear-training with goals that will insure balanced musical development. 
 
When given limitations, it is usually better to practice for shorter
sessions more often than by practicing in longer sessions less often. 
 
You will get better quickly if you train every day.
Regardless, any time spent with your keyboard under fingers will surely pay off. 
Practice hard, seriously, and practice often--there is no substitute!  
 
2. Patience: 
No one comes out of the womb a "star"...Well okay, maybe they do.
While it is probably true that we all have differing levels of innate musical aptitude 
if you want to play well "it costs to be the boss". 
 
It makes no sense fretting because someone else's accomplishments have come easier.
You must have the desire, dedication, and commitment to challenge and 
overcome your obstacles on the instrument (as well as in life).
This takes time! For some it takes more, for others...less. Get over this, and get busy. 
 
Also realize that most great players know that playing keyboard is a lifetime project 
and the better they get, the more they want to get better.
 
As a musician and human, it is important to continually strive toward progress.
Set goals to develop the skills for playing better keyboard and becoming a better person. 
 
Remember that you must interact with others (instructors, band members, fans 
and agents among others) to share your musical artistry and be successful. 
 
Make a commitment to become both the best player and person that you know.
Accept the fact that patience is required, but know that you wont regret the results 
once you are playing as you have always dreamed.
 
3. Develop your ear: 
Duh, I'm a musician...isn't this a given?
No! There are a number of ways and methods for study but it is amazing the number of 
instrumental musicians who cannot distinguish basic interval relationships, chords or notes by ear. 
 
In fact, without written notes, some become lost.
While visual music cues such as books, sheet music, tabulature, and even 
M.A.M.I. Musical Scale Atlases are greatfor learning...music is still about sound!  
Ears are to a musician as eyes are to a pilot. They are your true guide! 
 
When properly trained your ears will provide the aural "vision" needed to play 
skillfully, creatively, confidently, and tastefully."Ears" involve not just hearing, but actually listening. 
Listening means that in addition to hearing one processes,
categorizes, evaluates, and judges the sounds that are heard. 
 
Listening is a skill that is developed through ear training, and should not be neglected. 
The best way to develop "ears" is through training and practice. 
Learn to concentrate on sound. Any sound, all sounds. 
 
Close your eyes and judge its qualities. Is it loud...how loud, soft...how soft, 
soothing, sharp, annoying, rhythmic, musical, wooden, metallic, etc. 
What is producing it? What is its origin, or direction. Are there intervals? 
It is moving...rising, or falling? Can you reproduce it? Try it and see! 
 
You should take some time each day to train your ears in musical 
and even non-musical environments.
To be a successful musician, you must be able to effectively characterize 
and judge the sounds that you and others produce. 
 
Remember, music means listening! 
Do your "job", whenever you are within a musical environment.
Make it your mission and skill to listen carefully and play well... 

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