When it comes to practicing instruments some are easier to play on the move than others. For example, guitarists can easily pick up a small amp and a smaller guitar and practice wherever they are, even while they travel. It’s enviable for pianists to see people practice like this because our instrument isn’t the most portable.
However, we’ve come up with some top travel ideas so that you can practice your piano while on the move. We have a number of pianos that are easy to travel with including roll-up options that are small enough to be considered as hand luggage. Even when you’re tight on space, some of these tips will help you to practice effectively without having a physical piano in front of you.
Listen to the Music and See Yourself Playing the Piece
The easiest and most accessible way to practice the piano while on the move is to listen to the piece you’ve been studying. Grab your headphones and listen to the music as many times as you want. A great tip here is to listen to the professional recording of the piece and then listen to a recording of yourself so you can compare how they sound. This helps you not only pick up ideas from a pro on how you should perform but also helps you to pick out any mistakes you may be making.
One of the most powerful ways of practicing many things, and a technique many Olympians use, is envisaging yourself playing the music. This is almost a meditative state where you concentrate fully on what you’re hearing and then see yourself playing it back. It does take a lot of skill and concentration but with practice, it’s definitely something that can have huge benefits. Plus it helps you kill some time on long journeys.
Invest in a Portable Piano
There are plenty of foldable and roll-up piano options available out there which make playing on the go much easier. These pianos are portable and if you’re interested, you can find some great options for the best roll-up piano online. Midi keyboards are also a great travel companion that is affordable and can be hooked up to your computer.
When looking for a portable piano there are a few things you want to think about and take into consideration before making your purchase. Make sure to check that the piano is affordable for how much you will be using it. The piano will need to be very compact and it’s a bonus if it comes with its own carry case for protection. You may also want to think about a keyboard that is compatible with smartphones and can have a Bluetooth connection so you can play along to pieces on the go.
Rent a Music or Hotel Room
If you are planning on staying in a hotel, check if they have a piano. Many function rooms will have a piano because they are used for parties and weddings. They will have their own dedicated space where you can go and there’s a great chance no one is going to disturb you. Hotel lobbies are also another place where pianos are a hit, but playing in front of other people may make you nervous.
To get in some serious practice then you want an empty room so that you can be more productive than if you were playing for an audience. Let yourself get completely stuck into that work so you get a great session in, even when you’re not at home. It’s more than likely that it will be higher-level hotels that have access to a piano but there may be a room where you can set up your portable piano to practice as well. You’ll never know if you don’t ask.
All around the world in small towns and major cities there are recording studios and practice rooms available to rent out hourly. If you’re planning a trip, then make sure to search for a piano practice room in the nearby area. It’s really simple to find a place to practice and some people even offer up their homes for traveling musicians.
Another place you may consider practicing while on the move is in music colleges and schools. All of these places include practice rooms for their students to use. Especially when school isn’t in session, these practice rooms often sit empty so they may be more than happy to let you rent out space or even use it for free. There are also practice rooms where you can book online and pay in advance so you just show up and play in your allotted time.
If all else fails then head to a local music store! Music shops allow you to test drive instruments before you buy them. It may seem like a bad thing to do but while you are on the move, it’s an easy and free way to get a bit of practice in.
Use Your Tray Table
Nothing is more portable than sheet music. If you have a great imagination and can see the keys in front of you, why not use tray tables they supply on trains, buses, and planes to get your practice in. Just be mindful that there are other people around you so you don’t want to be constantly tapping and annoying them. Use a part of your sheet music that you’ve been having trouble with and then you can either use your left hand, your right hand, or both to practice.
Perform Wherever You Go
Whatever reason you may be traveling for, why not think about booking yourself a gig to play at the other end. This will help you to stay in that right music space and gives you great motivation to keep your repertoire ready to go. An added benefit, if you are a musician full time, is that you get paid at the end. You can also write the travel time off your tax which is a huge bonus for self-employed professionals.
Before you travel anyway make sure you grab that sheet music. Never leave home without them. There’s always an opportunity to practice, even if you do travel regularly. We hope our tips helped and let us know in the comments if there are any other ways you practice on the move.