What’s the best way to practice? What if I’m finding a song difficult?
Slow it down
Use Practice mode to slow songs down, all the way if needed. You can also select Pause and play what’s on screen at your own pace. This helps you to build the coordination needed to play songs up to speed. Speed only comes once your fingers know what to do, and that happens best when there’s not too much time pressure.
With Auto tempo mode, Yousician reduces the speed to 50%, and then goes up or down depending on how you play. If that feels too fast, you can move the slider down to 25%. You can also practice with only one hand by turning off left or right from the options.
Practice in parts
It’s most efficient to learn songs one part at a time, focusing on just that section until you’ve got it down. You can pick individual parts from the song start screen. The first part is unlocked when you start a new song. You can move on to the next part once you’ve unlocked the previous one.
Practicing one part at a time breaks the song into bite-size pieces, so you’re not trying to focus on too much at once. It also makes it easier to spot the repeating chunks of music that make up most songs. For example, chances are that each “Verse” section is similar, each “Chorus” is similar, and so on.
You can break things up even further in Practice mode. Move the sliders to loop difficult sections. This way, you can really focus on a specific trouble spot, and get it under your fingers.
Once you've mastered all the parts, you can play the whole song. You can access the whole song by selecting the Practice or the Play button on the song start screen.
Move on, then cycle back
Here’s the best way to make progress in the long run: do your best for now, move on to other things, then cycle back later to build mastery. Move on, cycle back.
If you only move ahead when you’ve got gold stars, you keep hitting a wall whenever your fingers simply need more time. If you rush on to the next level asap then you might not be giving your fingers enough time to learn. If you never review earlier skills, you forget them.
Instead, aim to get reasonably confident with each song, e.g. collecting most silver stars. Move on to the next song to give yourself some variety. Then cycle back later to collect missing stars, build mastery, and keep your skills fresh.
Mix it up
If you’re feeling stuck, try playing something else for a while, as your fingers might just need time. As an example, you can cycle back to earlier missions, and review some of your favorite songs or collect missing stars.
It’s also a great idea to practice songs outside the missions – it’s lots of fun, and helps you build mastery over the skills you’ve learned in the missions. Try going to the Songs tab, and pick a collection based on your interests. Select the Filter option and set the level(s) you want to work on.
Song levels are tied to the missions in the learning path. This means that if you have completed e.g. level 2, then you should have the knowledge and skills to tackle any level 2 song. If you feel like something easier, pick a lower level song and just enjoy playing. You can use song search to find more songs to play.
Tips for improving finger agility
- Work on finger isolation. Set your hand up on the white keys with one finger per key. Press all of the keys down and hold them down. Play your thumb five times while still holding the rest of the keys down. Repeat this for each of your fingers.
- Practice scales. Playing scales improves speed and melodic playing. Make sure that the notes sound smooth and connected, even when your thumb is going over or under. You can find information about different scales in the Knowledge path and find the trainers under the Learn → Workouts tab.
- Play staccato notes. Set your hand up with one finger per white key. Use your thumb to play a short, detached note. Do this for each of your fingers and repeat.
Next up: Correct posture for playing piano