I just started learning to play piano in March, and I’ve yet to see anyone play the concerto.
But I’m trying to.
I recently found a thread on Reddit where a member of the orchestra section at the New York Philharmonic posted how he was struggling to play a symphony piece.
“The song has an interesting harmonic structure that I’m not quite sure how to connect to,” he wrote.
I’ve only played it twice, and the second time, I can’t even play it.”
When I asked him why, he replied, “because it’s not in my repertoire.”
I couldn’t agree more.
It turns out that, for most musicians, the only way to play this piece is to play it through a keyboard.
So how can you practice this, without an instrument?
Well, that’s where the symphonic section comes in.
Here’s how it works: Each of the sections is assigned a particular piano, usually an F-major or D-major, which allows the players to play each instrument separately.
In the case of the New World Symphony, the piano is a B-flat major and the players are working in G minor.
Each player is assigned one to two strings, one on each side of the keyboard.
To get to a good pitch, the players must first practice the strings and the bass.
If they succeed, the rest of the piece can be played as a trio or pentatonic (which is a variation of an octave down).
In case you’re wondering, that would be a little more complicated than just starting from a note and then playing the notes on a piano.
The best part?
The symphonies aren’t technically a single piece, and each section can be repeated several times without any problems.
All this practice is all done in a virtual piano, which is what makes it easier to play than a real piano.
“It feels more like practicing on a real instrument,” a member in the orchestra told me.
“You’re not trying to play notes.”
What I want to do, he said, is get a better understanding of the instrument, and to find out what the sounds are like.
For now, I’m just trying to pick up a little bit of the piano and practice with it, but I know that this is what’s needed to play these songs.
What do you think of this new tool?
Let us know in the comments.