Alright, so you are just starting to learn how to play the piano? Or have you been playing for a while now? Either way, these piano tips for beginners will make things a little bit easier.
Practice Makes Perfect
This is the most important tip that you can find on the Internet. Moreover, it’s the simplest one as well. If you only practice for a few minutes on the weekends and after work when you are bored, you won’t get far. And don’t get me wrong. It’s not about motivating you or anything.
It’s pure science.
If you really want to master playing the piano, practice should be up high on your priority list. You don’t have to dedicate all your free time to play the piano. If you set two hours every day to practice, there is a high chance you will quit after a week or so.
Pretty simple. It’s hard. When you lose motivation after a short period of time, you will hate every minute of your practice because there are so many other “fun” and “important” things to do. This is just a rule of thumb.
Some people will last longer and a very small percentage may not give up playing the piano at all. However, generally people find it hard to change their lifestyle this drastically.
How To Manage Your Practice Time?
If you were to go to the gym three times a week for a year, would you see the difference? Obviously. Same applies to playing the piano. It could be half an hour every day, or hour and a half three days a week. Nothing insane or out of your reach.
The hardest part is to keep going.
If you are able to stick to this for six months or more, there is a very high chance you won’t quit. As you go, you’ll find that you are doing well and a lot of like minded people. Quiting is always easy.
Extra Practice Never Hurts
There is a need to also understand that if you get some extra free time, it doesn’t hurt to practice playing the piano for a few more hours.
However, there is no way you can’t find an hour a day when all you do is drink hot chocolate and watch Christmas movies all day long. It’s all about perspectives.
It’s Not About How Fast You Play
People love watching professional piano players. And most of them have their fingers literally flying all over the keys. They play so fast that you can’t keep up.
You know what?
It took them years and years of practice (unless it’s a six year old prodigy) to be able to play the piano like this. What do you think will happen when you try to parrot their way of playing?
It’s going to be bad.
When you play the piano too quickly, you start missing notes and playing sloppily. Don’t you think you’ll be way better off playing slowly but properly? That’s important to understand. Muscle memory doesn’t come right away. And even when it does, you still have to practice often to be able to play this fast.
Consider doing this:
Find a song you like. Buy a metronome and set the BPMs accordingly. Now start playing. If you notice that you start missing notes, slow things down. If the song is being normally played at 120 BPM, slow it to 80.
When it gets too easy, don’t be afraid to speed thing up a notch.
After all, if you can’t play at slower speeds, how do you expect yourself to play the piece at its normal speed.
This is pretty obvious that you have to play harder pieces as you become comfortable with basic ones. You can’t imagine how many piano players forget about this. Yes, they are good, but not incredible.
Wouldn’t you want to go further with your passion?
When working out, you have to keep increasing the weight you lifting from time to time for your muscles to grow. The same thing applies when playing the piano.
If you don’t aim high, you won’t get far.
Of course, having an instructor is beneficial, as they usually have your skill level in mind. Therefore, they can advise what you should improve and how, and which piece will be an interesting challenge for you.
Don’t Aim Too High
Earlier it was said that aiming high is essential for your progress. However, aiming too high is the complete opposite.
These days people want things as soon as possible.
Sending a message only takes a second. A fast two-day delivery is almost a must. “Learn how to become rich in a month” courses are more popular than ever. Because we want all of it right away. When starting to learn how to play the piano, most beginners jump head first and try to become “pros” as soon as possible.
This isn’t a good mindset.
It will take time to learn music theory, chords, notes, etc. Get ready to invest many hours into learning the fundamentals.
In the short run, it’s good strategy. In the long run, you will waste a lot less time if you invest into understanding how everything is set and works first.
Don’t expect to become a pro overnight.
It’s like building an app. It can be very simplistic, but it could’ve taken the developers months of coding and testing to release it. And before that, they’ve probably spent a good amount of time learning different programming languages and math behind them.
Do you want to become better?
All it requires are hard work, good amount of practice and dedication. The same basics apply to business, college, and pretty much everything.
Classical music is not as much fun as playing your favourite pop song. However, it’s known to be technically demanding.
Why is this necessary?
Well, it set a decent foundation which you can build upon afterwards. Moreover, it’s a challenge to face in order to become a better pianist. Once you get into complex pieces, you will find yourself struggling, but improving your technical abilities dramatically.
What’s A Good Classical Piece To Start?
Your best bet would be trying Chopin or Bach. The pieces are not the hardest, but really good for improving your piano playing skills. If it seems too easy, find a harder one. Always look for a challenge, or you will just settle.
Don’t Be Afraid To Play In Public
As you become a little better, it’s a smart thing to play in front of other people. Start from showing your skills off to your family. If you’ve never played outside of your room, it’s a good place to start. Strangers may be intimidating, but your family will usually be really encouraging.
This is crucial in the beginning.
As you get comfortable around the people you know, the time has come. You have to start playing around people you’ve never seen before. In the beginning it may be hard, but eventually it’ll stop being a big deal to you.
Well, your school or college probably has a place where like-minded musicians jam. If you are out of college already, there are lots of places and get-togethers around the city where you can play.
Look Into Sight Reading
When practicing sight reading, don’t be too hard on yourself. Play a piece from start to finish as good as you can. As you practice more, your improvisation will improve. Moreover, this kind of skill will help you if you ever thing about joining a band or something.
Little note here.
Mistakes are common, especially in the beginning, but that’s the best part. When you finally play a piece perfectly, how good would it feel? Definitely a pretty good feeling to say the least. After the first “victory”, even the boring and frustrating practice will become more fun as you see yourself “grow”.
Count Notes As You Practice
Each melody will have a time signature that you should know prior to practicing. The most popular ones are 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4. A tip is to count the notes in every bar. Then it will get a lot easier to judge whether a certain note is played properly, too slow, or unnecessarily fast.
And remember this.
Once you’ve gotten a hold of this and played the piece nicely, you don’t really need to count anymore. Keep playing or find a harder piece to master.
Ask For An Example
Okay, so you feel like you’ve mastered a piece. You don’t understand how one can do better than you. That’s when you are wrong. The best way to find out if you’ve mastered something is to ask a professional pianist to play the same piece.
Does it sound the same?
If it does, you’ve nailed it. Most of the time, however, you will be surprised how different the same exact melody sounds when played by a professional.
Always Play The Piece Properly
Sometimes you may be real good at playing the piano and someone asks you to play for them. You start playing too fast “just to get over it”, or playing too slow “to not mess anything up”.
Maintain the tempo you are comfortable with and stay concentrated. You are not there to impress anyone, as you already know you are somewhat decent. Focus on playing the piece properly and you’ll find the actual fans of yours.
Listen To Pianists
Before starting to play a piece, make a quick Google search or go to YouTube and see how it’s meant to sound. You can add your own twist to it as you progress, but parroting the professionals hasn’t hurt nobody.
You will feel the emotion that the listeners should get when listening to the piece. Once you “feel” it, you’ll understand the melody and the motives a lot better.
Mastering playing the piano is not easy. It takes hours and hours of practice weekly to be able to play somewhat decently. And let’s be honest, the learning curve is quite steep. Good news is it’s a lot easier to do these days. There are tons of e-books, videos, and courses on the Internet.
Speaking of courses.
If you want to master the piano faster, you should definitely try PianoForAll course.
It offers 9 ebooks, 200+ videos, and a lot of high quality material that will make your journey a lot, and I mean A LOT easier. Moreover, you get online access and can use any device to access the course. And no recurring payments or subscribtion, it’s lifetime access with all future updated included for free.
Anyways, hopefully you’ve learned a few things from this article. Remember, it’s 90% hard work and just 10% talent. And as I said, take a look at PianoForAll website for yourself and see if that’s something that you could find useful.
One of the best bangs for the buck out there.
Have you purchased a musical instrument yet? Are you debating on which one to go for to get the best results? I suggest checking out the post about the best digital pianos for beginners. If a digital piano is a little bit of an overkill for you or you don’t have a sufficient budget, check the best keyboards for beginners as they tend to be cheaper and sometimes even more flexible.