The Complete Pianist:
from healthy technique to natural artistry
Winner of the Presto Music Best New Publication Award 2020, The Complete Pianist covers all aspects of piano technique including posture, finger touch and tone production, chords, octaves, rotation, lateral movements. Also included are sections on mental preparation, effective practice, sight reading, memorizing; phrasing, rhythm, articulation, sound, pedalling, injury prevention and performance anxiety.
The book is suitable for pianists of all levels, from beginner-intermediate to professional performers and teachers. The book is currently available as a print version with online videos demonstrating the techniques discussed.
Containing more than 500 pages of text, 300 videos performed by Penelope herself, and 250 newly-devised exercises, this is the most comprehensive book ever written on piano playing.
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Reviews for The Complete Pianist
“Penelope Roskell’s The Complete Pianist is the most monumental publication yet to arrive for review. I can well believe that it’s the most comprehensive book ever written on piano playing, as well as the most superbly presented. The Complete Pianist is without question an outstanding new landmark in the piano literature, and one which has the potential to transform the playing of pianists everywhere. In terms of its quantity and quality, its detail and depth, I know of no comparable resource.
Roskell is not the first to take a fresh look at technique in the light of our growing anatomical knowledge and understanding of performing arts medicine, but she has surely taken this work to a new level, significantly raising the bar for those who follow her. Nor is there any doubting that her instinctive drive is always practical, realistic, and ultimately designed to serve not only the performer but the music itself.
The Complete Pianist might not offer the direct personal input of a face-to-face conservatoire or pedagogy training, but it certainly covers an extraordinary amount of ground, and offers the highest quality piano education more universally to all. The word “Complete” has perhaps never been more true; as stunning in its execution as it is staggering in its ambition, The Complete Pianist may well now be the only book you will ever need about piano playing.
With a published price of just £44.95, The Complete Pianist represents an astonishing bargain. Anyone who wants to invest in their piano playing would do well to start by investing in this book, right now.”
Andrew Eales, Piano Dao
“Ms Roskell’s book demonstrates that she has a profound understanding of the obstacles …encountered by pianists of any age, and an ability to express that understanding in logical terms. This has been gained through experience as both teacher and performer … and a remarkable ability to analyse problems and suggest positive solutions. With her words and countless examples she helps the reader to see the wood for the trees. This renders her book invaluable for young artists, but also for pianists wishing to return to – or even to start – with the piano at a later stage. I wish I had had access to her book when I was younger.”
Peter Donohoe CBE
“This is an extraordinary, universal book which covers virtually everything to do with healthy piano playing, technique and development in less than 600 pages. Penelope Roskell is a remarkable musician, fusing over 40 years of professional performing and teaching with a knowledge and practice of yoga, an easy to understand and elegant style of writing and tremendous practicality for the essentials of vibrant technical development. This work is her testament to pianists and teachers of all ages and comes complete with about 250 exercises, QR codes for direct links to excellent videos, and much humour, wisdom and intelligence. There is so much to say about this encyclopaedic work! A few examples of its brilliance will have to suffice- Roskell’s description of how to develop ‘Jeu Perle’ is outstanding, as is her detailed classification of how to play chords. Her original exercises and concepts include the hugely useful ‘Parachute touch’ as well as a whole series of innovative yet natural fingerings for scales. The book includes an invaluable glossary which helps with every section of this monumental work.”
Alexander Thompson, Piano Journal
“Penelope’s wonderfully practical, lucid and inspirational new book The Complete Pianist makes frequent use of relevant exercises that illustrate, enhance, convince and develop technical points. She is full of fun but also concentrated endeavour as she pinpoints the essence of stiffness and tension, finding ways to cope with the demands of the keyboard while remaining healthy. The point is that Roskell, like all wise pianists and teachers, never stops listening and thinking. Her QR-coded book demonstrates this brilliantly, offering numerous video clips to help guide the reader. Indeed, isolating keyboard manoeuvres in a ‘pure’ form can be an excellent basis for developing self-confidence and a sense of adventure at the keyboard.”