Read Fundamentals of Piano Practice by Chuan C. Chang Online


This is the first book ever written on how to practice at the piano! Learn the most efficient practice methods, musical playing, relaxation, and Mental Play (playing the piano or the music in your mind) which has been neglected by most teachers; all great musicians used it, yet often failed to teach it. Mental play impacts every aspect of piano playing: memorizing, controlThis is the first book ever written on how to practice at the piano! Learn the most efficient practice methods, musical playing, relaxation, and Mental Play (playing the piano or the music in your mind) which has been neglected by most teachers; all great musicians used it, yet often failed to teach it. Mental play impacts every aspect of piano playing: memorizing, controlling nervousness, developing performance skills, playing musically, acquiring absolute pitch, composing, improvisation, etc. Genius is more created than born; most of what had been attributed to talent are simple knowledge-based solutions that we can all learn. Improved memory can raise the effective IQ; memory is an associative process based on algorithms -- music is such an algorithm, enabling us to memorize hours of repertoire. Learning piano makes you smarter and teaches project management. Includes chapter on tuning your own piano; the chromatic scale, temperaments, circle of fifths, etc., are explained....

Title : Fundamentals of Piano Practice
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781419678592
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 265 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Fundamentals of Piano Practice Reviews

  • Tom Rose
    2018-12-14 23:09

    I find it hard to credit that anyone can think this is a good book. I have given it one star, but only because I was not sure that you can give zero stars. Perhaps those that have written positive reviews are unfamiliar with the huge existing literature on piano playing. It is dreadfully written, in a verbose, rambling style, and hopelessly laid out. Full of weird and unhelpful analogies (memory buckets anyone?) and pseudo-scientific rubbish (). It is true that it contains many true observations and correct advice, but they are so mixed up with huge doses of nonsense and irrelevance that they might as well not be there. The person at whom, this book is aimed cannot be expected to reliably separate the sensible stuff from the errant nonsense, and the more advanced student, that can already see which is which does not need this book.On top of that is the amazing arrogance of the author. He claims that his is the first and only book that explains the correct way to practice. What rubbish. There are dozens of older books that describe effective practice methods. Then there is the idiocy of presenting his method as the ONLY correct way. There are MANY effective ways to become a proficient pianist. Different methods work for different people. What is more, what is effective changes as the pianist becomes more skilful. The kind of work that a beginner needs to do is very different from that of someone in the mid-grades, which is very different again from the way that a competent concert pianist learns a new piece.And most ridiculous of all is the claim that you will learn up to 1000x faster with his method than that terrible "intuitive" method that he rails against (but was nevertheless good enough for that excellent pianist Ruth Slenczynska). But what am I saying? Even more ridiculous are the calculations of the economic value of the time that could be saved by using his methods!What I can say for sure is that anyone that could learn 1000x faster than I learned would go from beginner to a professional standard in less than a week! I guess the get-out clause is that little weasel phrase "up to". I am left with the impression of an author with a monstrous ego, and a lack of critical faculties. He claims to be a physicist. I only hope that his research papers are better written than this book.My advice to any wannabee pianist is to stay away from this book and buy yourself a good classic book instead, from someone that knows what they are talking about, and has some of the humility that is so sadly lacking in this book. If they are also recognised as an outstanding pianist than that would be a bonus. Something like Kendall Taylor's superb "Principles of Piano Technique and Interpretation" would serve most learners far better than this pretentious, jumbled mess.

  • Scott Hayden
    2018-12-04 00:35

    If only I knew these things before I went off to college to be a music education major, maybe I would have stuck with the program. I'd had several years of piano lessons, and 6 years experience accompanying choirs. Despite my poor audition with, a university piano professor saw past my very limited technique to my strong sense of musicality and admitted me to the program. Two hours of practice a day and more challenging music wasn't enough to overcome my subconscious realization that my piano practice was ineffective. Progress painstakingly slow. I left the music program.Fast forward about 17 years. My dad mentions this book by C. C. Chang. It's amazing! Not a light read, but thorough and practical. He draws from notes he took while his children took lessons from a piano instructor in the lineage of Debussy, from his technical background as an engineer, and from voluminous reading.To put the major methods of this book to the test, I selected about 32 measures from Rachmaninoff's 2nd piano concerto, a soaring melody with complex inner fingerings and left hand arpeggios that I had always wanted to learn. By following Chang's methods, I had the excerpt comfortably under my hands within weeks. -breaking down problem spots (and almost the whole excerpt was problem spots for me)into very small bites,-solving technical difficulties hands separately. That's a HUGE key -letting my separate hands take turns to avoid fatigue (I might have avoided wrist problems in college had I known) -memorizing the problem spots as soon possible -memorizing the excerpt hands separately (weird, but it creates a stronger memory trace) -cycling -making the last practice of a problem spot slow and soft -practicing mentally when not at the pianoMy test with Rachmaninoff convinced me that the methods worked. Next, to tackle a whole piece. I had always, always wanted to learn Gershwin's 3rd piano prelude, but it had always been beyond reach. Not anymore. By first analyzing the piece for structure and repetition (Chang's project management approach), I discovered the parts that would need the most problem solving and repetition right away and began working on these first thing. This piece had a lot more technical difficulties and took longer, BUT my progress was obvious from the start.Now even though my daughters have a stellar piano teacher, I'm letting them in on the Chang's secrets. They make huge differences.Download the entire book free from the author himself at

  • Eileen Sauer
    2018-12-10 23:27

    Full disclosure, I am the author's daughter. Our piano teacher Mlle. Yvonne Combe was a child prodigy who studied at the Paris Conservatory when Debussy, Fauré, Saint-Saëns and Ravel were alive and Fauré was Director of the Conservatory. I'm now 52 and she was in her 80s when I was a child. I played in Carnegie Recital Hall nine times as a child, sis played there ten times, countless other classmates played there and we have 15 years of Carnegie programs to prove it. I am one of at least 8 alumni from my time who attended Juilliard, and I'm in the Evening Division for music composition and orchestration.Mlle. Combe's teaching methodology clearly worked, but all of us alumni were steeped in that methodology and unaware of how bad music lessons can be outside of the French School of Music (Plainfield, NJ) methodology. My dad, on the other hand, had a mediocre piano teacher as a child and struggled to get to intermediate level. So when he saw what Mlle. Combe was doing he understood immediately how valuable her techniques were. This book basically comprises decades of family conversations at the dinner table, where dad would innocuously ask questions like: so what is it like having perfect pitch?1/17/2018 update: there is now an early access edition of a Solfege Teaching Guide at, because solfege was the other vital component to this comprehensive French School methodology and that's why we were wickedly efficient when it came to learning new music. When we lost Mlle. Combe in 1990, her student Stephen Waters took over the school. When we lost him in 2014, I was eventually drafted (somewhat unwillingly) into resuming solfege lessons at The French School. Two of my students now have perfect pitch, and if you saw one student's music dictation book you would croak.If you've been discouraged because you think you aren't a "gifted" or "talented" musician, complete poppycock. You weren't exposed to the right teaching methodology.For better or worse, this is our family's best attempt to make available to future generations of music students what was once available to us.

  • Anushka Aritri
    2018-11-21 02:21

    There are, at most, 50 sentences in total that give you the actual tips and rules to follow. It's a book where you are sorely tempted to just read the words in bold. The main problem, I felt, was that they were too focused on just validating WHY this book is something that you need. It builts you up to the tips, like a tease that takes it too far, and you are no longer interested in what said tease has to offer. Far from being attracted, it has the opposite effect: they irritate you and you just want to snap at them to stop or move on already. Something you expect from a bad marketing campaign, or the constantly delayed launch date of a much anticipated product.Another book that taught me something about writing by setting a bad example:If a reader is reading your book, they're already interested, and you should aspire to view them as enthusiasts, not skeptics. Give your reader what they are looking for: stop beating about the bush. Or we'll want to beat you about. Especially if it's a non-fiction book, and people are looking for facts, and not a constant drivel of reassurance that your content isn't just a pile of bollocks. It actually makes your book look like a brick of shit. For the love of all things wonderfully written, don't worry about backlash from readers so much, that you pad yourself up enough to be a sumo wrestler ready for battle. Make that two sumo wrestlers.

  • Gianluca Micchi
    2018-12-18 22:24

    Il libro è interessante ma è molto pericoloso.Contiene infatti alcune idee completamente sbagliate, come il ciclare, l'idea che sia necessario ripetere per miliardi di volte un passaggio che non riesce subito, l'enfasi sulla velocità da portare a livelli altissimi. Sono ampiamente scettico anche riguardo al pollice sopra: è una tecnica che non ho mai visto utilizzare, né di cui ho mai sentito parlare, e ad una prima impressione mi pare che porti risultati negativi, quindi ho deciso di non usarla.Sono però presenti molti concetti fondamentali ben noti a tutti i musicisti: l'importanza dello studio a mani separate, dello studio segmentato, del rilassamento, dello sviluppo della musicalità in ogni momento e anche alcuni trucchi per approcciarsi alle esecuzioni.La cosa più interessante però sono alcuni concetti decisamente meno conosciuti, sia tra quelli completamente nuovi che tra quelli raramente teorizzati in modo sistematico: il suonare mentalmente, l'utilizzo di una mano per insegnare all'altra, la memorizzazione a mani separate (di cui non ho ancora testato l'efficacia), ed il delineare.In definitiva un testo che può essere paradossalmente più utile per un pubblico di pianisti già formati, e che trovare alcune idee che non hanno ancora incontrato nella loro vita musicale, piuttosto che a persone che vogliono cominciare a studiare pianoforte.Purtroppo ha il difetto di essere scritto veramente da cani, con uno stile orrendo. La prefazione è il culmine del trash, per cui vi consiglio di evitarla: se siete curiosi di sapere quanto in basso si possa andare, leggetevi semplicemente il post scriptum alla fine di essa. In tutto il resto del libro, Chang si presenta come il classico tuttologo onnisciente ed onnipotente che viene a rivelare a noi comuni ignoranti il suo sapere, ed è decisamente fastidioso. Ah, lasciate perdere il capitolo sul rapporto tra matematica e musica: sono anche io un fisico come Chang, e vi assicuro che è pieno di baggianate e paroloni che servono solo a tirare fumo negli occhi...

  • Jonathan
    2018-12-09 01:15

    First things first: this book's writing style is almost impenetrable. Paradoxically, a book written with the goal of making it simpler to learn complicated, difficult piano pieces utterly fails to communicate simply. There are dozens of rambling pages promising unrealistic results and declaring the total superiority of the author's methods. I eventually took to skimming them to try to find what those methods actually were. When I finally found them, it was no surprise to discover that the author's claims of superiority were based on his own theories, which, while credible and plausible-sounding, are not based on real-world studies or observable results.That said, there are indeed studies which have borne out some of the author's points. While much of this book is rambling and overwrought, many of the author's points have been borne out by recent research into deliberate practice, a term now used so heavily it is occasionally granted capitalization or abbreviation as DP. Here are a few of my own takeaways from the book, which may save you the trouble of wading into its logorrheic waters if you just want the high points:- When you practice, work hard on improving something specific you're having trouble with. - Start learning a piece by practicing the hard parts. They are, of course, the parts you will need to practice the most.- Pick very short sections to work on. You can attempt them over and over very quickly, saving time compared to starting all over again.- Play through your mistakes. - Play each hand separately until it can play the section faster that it needs to.- Finish your practice by playing the piece slower than performance speed.

  • Jose
    2018-12-03 01:22

    I'm amazed at this book. The author has a (VERY) strong academic background in Phyiscs, and having studied some physics myself, I must say that this book resonated very much with me: the scientific approach to finding the best methods, using his experience in research paper publishing to write and publish the book, his explanations of some math concepts and how they apply to music, and even a differential equation to calculate the rate of learning speed using the methods in the book!But, if you're not even remotly into any of that stuff, fear not, for Mr. Chuan C. Chang leaves out these technicalities from the main body (he makes it easy to skip or skim it) and he has a very clear, very straight forward and specific explanations of the methods he describes. He even provides a "cheat sheet" at the end of the exercise sections giving a summary of the complete method! I've yet to try any of these techniques, but reading about it, I found that I already did 1 or 2 things from his method, and I know it's the things that propelled my piano abilities.It might get a little tedious to read it at 1/3 of the book, but it's not pleasure reading, it's pure useful information, so tackle one section at a time, and stop any piano practice until you've finished this book.I will stretch out to say that every pianist should read this book! Specially those fond of Hannon.. jaja. It's outstanding.Now I'm off to put the learnings to practice.

  • leebeloola
    2018-11-21 23:09

    This book is a physicist's very limited understanding of piano practice based on his struggles playing piano when he was younger, and observing his child's piano teacher because his child got very good at playing piano. Having never read a book on piano practice before, there were a few techniques he described which I wasn't aware of. Some work, some don't.This book is very badly organised, full of the author's opinions and theories, who is not an expert in this field. What really annoyed me were his attempts to convince the reader how important his opinions are, and to calculate how much time and money the reader will save by reading his book.I skimmed through it and it gave me some keywords to google, to track down some piano practice books written by people who have studied and taught piano as a career.

  • Richard Pohl
    2018-12-20 01:09

    Strange book... along with interesting insights and good advice you find here almost silly statements (Beethove´s deafness was caused by his own compositions...). Written by a non-pianist, yet drawing from many solid resources. Author (a multi-experted scientist, who admits doesnt know much about music theory, but can play some piano himself) sometimes act like Sheldon Cooper, claiming this book is going to change the world completely... Only Bazinga on cover is missing. Otherwise the book definitely contains many passages worth of reading (and some worth of trashing, obviously, too).

  • Will Jeffries
    2018-12-10 00:34

    You can actually download this book for free at: here: is a good read, especially for those interested in learning the fine art of piano playing

  • Deneir
    2018-12-09 20:19

    I've been on a plateau for a while now with my piano technique and this book has helped me take it to the next level. Love the Bar by Bar tip and the Chapter on memorization. Good stuff! Practice does not make Perfect. Perfect Practice does. Download for free and see for yourself. You'll be shocked at how rapidly you progress once you begin maximizing your practice time with this book.

  • Jack Laschenski
    2018-12-15 21:22

    The first and best book on how to practice the piano.Science applied to this universal task.Amazing!

  • Amanda
    2018-11-28 22:16

    A little crazy but informative.

  • fp63
    2018-12-06 01:35

    Amazing book, Must read for all pianists.