6 Tips on How to Practise Piano the Quick Way (Strictly for Adults!)

1. Only work out the Difficult Bits (DBs)* and practise those one bar at a time. Very slowly. The rate of one note per second is good. Don’t rush things and don’t do it fast.  Playing slow builds confidence. Don’t play from the beginning and waste time. That would be practising piano the slow way.

2. Repeat and repeat the DBs until perfect. Maximum time allowed: 10 minutes. If you don’t get it right within 10 minutes, practise with separate hands. Very slowly.

3. Every time you get it right, reward yourself with something edible and quick. Chocolate, drink, etc.

4. If you practise with separate hands and you still cannot get it right, give up and come back later or play something else.

5. If you come back later and you still cannot play the DBs correctly, don’t play from the beginning. Unless you have a deadline, stop for a day, a week, a month, however long it takes for you to recover. If you have a deadline, repeat step 1 above. Don’t worry, your fingers will take over. Muscle memory will erase what your brain is telling you to do and you will perfect it with patience and time!

6. When the DBs are perfect, put them back into the whole piece and play it from the beginning. Music is like cooking. When all the ingredients are prepared, then only you assemble it. So put it all together. When it sounds and plays so seamlessly like a beautiful, delicious and fresh dish, people will wonder – “WOW! How did you do that???” But of course, you won’t tell them the 6 steps above, that is our secret.

*DBs  = a Satsuma original term of endearment.


Tip #1 Perfect if you have a keyboard and can play this using the harpsichord sound.
This is a great tune by one of my favourite
bands. The intro is in both 6/8 time and 7/8
time but that sounds harder than it really is.
If you can master the intro, you’ve pretty much
nailed the rest of the song. The intro to most
pop music is its ‘hook’.
Tip #2: when playing, try to ‘swing it’ a bit,
i.e. to say, don’t play exactly on the beat,
but slightly BEFORE the beat.
This will ensure that the rhythm is pushed
along nicely without any awkward gaps.


Tip #1 This is easy if you are already experienced in playing Latin or Jazz or better still, Latin Jazz. Or else you will screw up the rhythm section. Learn by playing very slowly at first when you are practising. You will still be just in time to wow your audience at your Christmas party.
Tip #2 See my video on how to play whole tone scales.
Live at:
Tip #3 Smile! When I hear this tune, I am back in 1996.
See also my .SATC Piano Solo at


Seemingly tick tock classic bossanova rhythm, but you will find it naturally hard to keep up if you have never played funk, soul, latin, jazz or all three of these genres. If you are singing and playing it’s even harder, but if you are just focussing on one instrument it’s not too bad.