how do I release a piano key quicker and still stay in rhythm? When I play a quarter note followed by a half note, I do not release the quarter note quickly and that causes a delay in playing the next note. I hold the half note for 2 beats but holding the quarter too long creates a wrong rhythm. I know how to count rhythms but my fingers do not release the note to go along with my counting.

  • I would like to clarify what I mean. I know how many beats each note gets. In 4/4 time a quarter note gets one beat, a half note is held for 2 beats and so on. When I am playing a measure and a quarter note is followed by a half note and another quarter note, I do not release the quarter note as soon as I should . Therefore it messes up the rhythm. So the rhythm is not smooth. What exercise can I practice or what can I do in order to release each note so the beat is accurate I can count the notes and rhythm but it seems my fingers do not react by letting up on the note as soon as they should
    – Annetta
    Aug 15 at 22:52
  • user 107; it doesn't matter if they are the same notes but how many beats a note gets before playing the next note.
    – Annetta
    Aug 15 at 23:08
  • 1
    Notes need to start on time. That's way more important than the precise duration of the note. You simply need to work on your musical timing, such as with a metronome or rhythm guide of some kind, so that your playing is in time. The note durations will take care of themselves. Aug 16 at 0:06
  • 1
    Related: How to practice simple syncopation
    – John Wu
    Aug 16 at 0:31
  • You already asked this question a month ago, and accepted an answer. music.stackexchange.com/questions/130761/…
    – Laurence
    Aug 16 at 14:05

1 Answer 1


If the note(s) you have to play afterwards aren't that far away from the note(s) you just played, one possible way would be to switch fingers whilst still holding on to the key, also called finger substitution. In one piece I'm currently practicing, I have to do that to play comfortably, as I arrive with my thumb on a note but have to play legato (no pedal) to the next note that I only can get with my thumb again.

If you have to jump or if it is a faster piece, I sometimes just let go a bit earlier. Otherwise I'd try to hide it with the sustain-pedal.

Those are just the ways I handle this, however I don't know if there's a textbook solution for this problem.

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