The basic stroke

"In instructing a beginner, a good tennis or golf coach first emphasizes the basic stroke or swing, coordinated thoughout the whole body.

A beginner practices this stroke again and again for two primary reasons:

  1. To ensure consistency in controlling the placement of the ball and
  2. To develop a fundamental sense of good coordination and timing.

It is this feeling of smooth coordination which eventually leads to mastery of the more complicated strokes or swings of the game.

A good athletic coach realizes the importance of teaching basic form and efficient, free body use. Understanding and programming in the “basic stroke,” the fundamental gesture of making sound at the piano, is the first requirement of piano technique, but one which is rarely addressed by teachers. From it the principles of good coordination and efficient body use at the piano are established."

From "Rethinking Technique" by Barbara Lister-Sink, published in the 1994 May/June issue of Clavier