Making it Sound Good: A Review of Robert Kelly’s Piano Tone Production


Hi Everyone,

Today, we are doing a review on an article by Robert Kelly “Piano Tone Production

When we’re beginning to learn piano, it can sometimes be a struggle to make what we play sound like what we want and expect to hear.  In an era of instant gratification through technology and apps, the longer process of learning an instrument can seem daunting,  especially to the younger generations.

Piano Tone Production

Making something simple, or something complex, sound great on the instrument you have is as much about science as it is about technique.  Robert Kelly has some great advice about how to make a piano sound good.  It all boils down to some simple concepts:
1.  Understanding where the energy in your body comes from when you’re striking the piano keys.
2.  Understanding the mechanics of the piano and how that energy is transferred from your body to the instrument.
3.  Knowing how your body’s position relative to the piano impacts the transfer of energy between you and it.
4.  Knowing the piece you’re playing and being practiced enough not to overplay or underplay the instrument you have.
Overall. Kelly drives home the fact that the piano is infact an intrument, and not a device to type on. Far often, I notice piano students approaching the piano keys as if they are buttons to be pressed. When the keys are approached music that way, we can only expect a flat range of sounds. When we approach the piano in the way Kelly describes it, then we are able to access an almost limitless range of sounds. Not only does the piano have 88 keys, the way we approach the keys can deliver different levels of volume, sensitivity, and combination of notes.
There’s very little that’s more rewarding than being able to match the sounds that come out of the piano to the creativity inspired by your mind.  Have fun, practice lots, and share your music!
EN Music Studio
Piano Tone Production: A Guide for the Student Pianist