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I play the piano for a couple of months now, and so far so good. However, I am not able to play softly and quietly. Are there any good exercises or techniques that could be helpful?

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    Is your piano touch sensitive? If you gently push a key down, is the volume lower like if you punsh it down? Does your piano have weighted keys? It's not impossible to play softly on not weighted keys, but i think especially for a beginner its could be very hard
    – Olli
    Dec 10, 2019 at 15:41
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    Real piano or electric? Dec 10, 2019 at 15:47
  • Shouldn't we assume the OP is talking about an acoustic piano since there's no mention of digital pianos? Does "piano" by itself normally mean anything other than an acoustic piano? Definitions of piano are, e.g., "a musical instrument having steel wire strings that sound when struck by felt-covered hammers operated from a keyboard" (Merriam-Webster) and "an acoustic, stringed musical instrument" (Wikipedia). The word alone by itself implies acoustic.
    – jdjazz
    Dec 14, 2019 at 4:11

3 Answers 3

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Just one tip: keep your fingers touching they keys as much as possible. Before you start pressing down a key, your finger should already rest on the key, touching it. In other words, do not hit the keys at all. Push the keys down and give them a soft massage.

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Volume comes from how slow of fast you play into the key. I have a few suggestions. The first is to make sure you play from gravity or the weight of your arm. Your fingers' long flexors are not designed to play the piano but, your arm is (your fingers have no muscles). Your arm has greater control over the keys than your flexors do including playing slowly - even while playing fast.

Secondly, learn to play to the point of sound. If you slowly depress a key without making a sound, at one point you will feel a little bump. That is the point of sound. Press a little harder and you will hit the key bed. The space between the POS and KB is follow through. Like swinging a bat or racquet or kicking a ball or throwing something. Once you hit the ball or release the object you are throwing, it is just follow through. You are no longer moving forward other than dissipating the energy. The piano is the same. There is nothing between the POS and KB and if you continue pressing, you press into the key bed where you waste energy, time and can hurt yourself. Remember Newton's third law of physics, if you press into the key bed, the key bed presses back with equal force and that will only hurt you and slow your speed. Also, every action has an equal and opposite action. In order to play down you must first play up. If you are pressing down, you can't play up because you are pressing down. You can't play in both directions at the same time. The most important movement is up. Like swinging that bat or kicking that ball or punching someone. You MUST backswing first. At the piano, you must have an up, even if it is minimized and imperceptible. It must be there hidden in the arm. Play a chord, you probably raised your arm. You must do the same with the fingers through up/down, in/out and pronation/supination. Some people call it graceful playing.

Get all that into your arms and you will not only be able to play fast, accurate and effortless but you will also be able to play softly.

Ask your question in the physics section for a better answer. Your body, after all, is a machine with rubber bands, pulleys and fulcrums. Learn to use them rather than brow beating your fingers into injury and mediocrity.

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Don't hit the keys so hard.

Get a teacher or a more experienced player to show you how to play with just finger action, with hand weight, with arm weight. Check your seating position and height.

You need to play with precision, but not to HIT the keys.

It's also possible that the piano you're playing - you don't mention whether it's a real one or an electric - is not well-adjusted.

Demonstration is WAY better than words. Attach a short video of you playing to your question perhaps?

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  • The question is asking for exercises and techniques. This seems like more of a comment than an attempt to answer the question.
    – jdjazz
    Dec 14, 2019 at 4:03

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