Timely Tips for Playing RAGTIME!

1. Ragtime derives its punch from a driving strict and steady left hand beat countered by a syncopated right hand melody that flies over the top.

2. Whereas the use of rubato is common in classical music, it is rarely needed in ragtime music. Again, this is about keeping a steady beat in the left hand.

3. Repeated sections give you a chance to expand off the printed page, if you like. Maybe playing an octave higher, or adding some ragtime embellishments would add to your performance. (Listen to piano ragtime CDs to see how this is done.)

4. For clarity, learn your pieces well before judiciously adding the pedal.

5. Faster isnít necessarily better. Itís easy to get carried away, but you want to remain in control and not let your enthusiasm mimic a runaway train.

6. Have fun with the music. Let the title of the piece suggest the mood of the music. One of the very best ways to learn how to play in the ragtime style is by listening to the many ragtime CDs that are available at your local library , music store or ragtime event. Best of all is to hear live ragtime performances. Donít be afraid to talk to the performers. Most will be very happy to answer your questions. To find an up-to-date list of ragtime performances check the West Coast Ragtime Society website at: www.westcoastragtime.com.