I'm currently trying to learn the song Sparkles by Radwimps. The piece seems simple enough that I can learn it because it's mostly repeating patterns. My problem, however, is that I am having trouble maintaining the timing consistently with my right hand. At any given time, a finger on the right hand would "lose track" of the timing and be ahead or late, breaking the legato.

What would be good exercises to develop better timing consistency?

3 Answers 3


You don't need to practice "more" or practice more scales, you need to practice properly. Most technical issues are not about practicing more but rather unlearning the bad habits which keep us from playing well. Too bad you didn't upload a video.

Some issues may be that you are twisting your wrist (ulnar or radial deviation) or you may be stretching or isolating a finger.

If you are, for instance, playing a pattern down and you twist your wrist to the radial, that pushes your elbow to the ulnar and will pull your arm in two directions simultaneously. So, as you are trying to play down your arm is pulling up and this will cause unevenness in playing.

The same is true with isolating a finger, curling the thumb under the palm or stretching the fingers. Think of it this way, if you were to grasp for something just out of reach on your left and I pulled your right arm, you would be pulling in two directions. That is what happens when you flex a finger and extend another.

All the muscles in your forearm (the muscles that move the fingers (there are no muscles in your fingers)) are interconnected and as long as they all flex at the same time, your hand can go anywhere your arm places it (the arm places the hand, the fingers don't drag it behind).

Another issue you may have is that you need to group your patterns and adjust your pronator and supinator rotations accordingly.

Another issue is that you are not readjusting your elbow when you play the four and five fingers.

Another issue might be that you are trying to play from the fingers but it is the weight of the arm and gravity which actually play the keys.

Fix what is wrong before you look for a magic fix then you won't need a magic fix. Most of the time the biggest detriment to a pianists technique is an unknowledgeable teacher.


Back the boring old basics - more scales, and a lot more arpeggios!

I didn't listen to all the piece, but after the first section, this doesn't seem "easy to play" at all, unless you have good hand independence.

One way to improve hand independence is practicing scales with your hands playing at a different speeds, like 3 notes against 2, 5 against 4, etc.


How about playing each hand by itself until it is "on automatic"? Then hopefully you'll "think you made a mistake" only to find that it was actually correct :-) I love realizing that my mistake was "thinking I made a mistake" (your fingers know better than your brain and outsmarted you?) - Then when you play both hands together, you'll be "thinking less, and listening/appreciating more..."

And of course "water-shedding" on the spot/sequence that you are having trouble with will give you lots of detail practice - even make a "song" out of the measure or two?

HTH (hope this helps)

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