Tips on How to Become a Better Piano Player

Did you just sign up for piano lessons and aren’t sure where to start? Or have you been playing for years but don’t seem to show any signs of improvement? People who play the piano – whether they’re professionals or amateurs – should always aspire to be a better musician and pianist. Whether you’ve been taking piano lessons for half a decade or have yet to touch the instrument, improvement and progression are key. From improving finger strength to constantly challenging yourself, here are a few different ways you can become a better piano player.

Manage Your Practice Time

If you’re the type who practices whenever you have spare time, this could be why you haven’t seen much improvement. Practicing the piano shouldn’t be low on your list of priorities. If it’s at the bottom of the list – along with cleaning out your rain gutters or organizing your spice rack – you should schedule some time each week to sit down and practice your instrument. Whether you practice every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 6 to 8pm, or every weekday for an hour, try not to allow anything to deter you from practicing. Commitment to practice is as important to improving your abilities as finding the right teacher. If you do find yourself with extra time, tack on an extra hour to your practice routine.

Practice Sight Reading

While sitting down and practicing the same piece of music until you play it perfectly is a good way to practice, switch it up every once in awhile by throwing a random piece into the mix. When practicing your sight reading, don’t worry too much about making mistakes. Simply play the piece from start to finish to your best ability, and run through it a few more times for good measure. Not only does this type of practice improve your improvisation skills, but sight reading is essential for those who are interested in joining a band or orchestra. When you do make mistakes, don’t look at them as a disappointment or burden. If you consider mistakes a crucial part of the learning process, you’ll likely find that practicing the piano will become more enjoyable.

Slow Down

Too many people falsely believe that the true test of a musician is how quickly they can play. While playing quickly makes sense in some contexts, those who play too quickly may start to miss notes and play sloppily. If you find yourself missing notes in a particular section, don’t rush through that section as quickly as possible- pause the metronome, slow down, and practice it until you get it right. No matter how well you think you know a piece, practice it at a slower pace every three or four run-throughs. After all, how can you ever expect to play a piece quickly if you can’t play it at a slowed down pace?

Korg MA-1 Digital Metronome The MA-1 is a compact metronome that solidly covers all the basics with a broad tempo range and a rich variety of beats and rhythm patterns. The MA-1 also shows the beat in an innovative way that makes practicing easier. The MA-1 is available in your choice of two-tone color schemes: blue and black, or black and red. With stylish design and reliable functionality, this is an indispensible rhythm training aide for any musician. Learn More

Keep Challenging Yourself

This may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many pianists stop challenging themselves once they’ve become semi-proficient at playing the instrument. Just as a bodybuilder must lift heavier weights in order to get stronger, a piano player must continually play more and more difficult pieces in order to improve. If you aren’t sure which piece of music you should choose to challenge yourself, ask your instructor. They’ll know better than anyone what your strengths and weaknesses are, and they should be able to pick a piece that’s challenging but not impossible. For example, if you struggle playing with your left hand they should be able to pick a piece that focuses mostly on the left hand.

Make Sure Your Goals are Realistic

Whether your goal is to become a music theory master or memorize your latest piece from start to finish, make sure the goals you’re setting are realistic. If you’re expecting to become a genius at playing the piano overnight, think again- becoming better at the instrument requires hard work, dedication, and plenty of practice. We’re only human and, as humans, we tend to dream big. If you’re struggling to meet your goals, take a moment to re-evaluate them. Make a list and, for extra input, go over the list with your piano teacher. They know better than anyone what your current skill set is, and will be able to determine whether your goals are realistic or too lofty.

Play Classical Pieces

If you’re of the mindset that “classical music is boring”, hear us out. Classical music might not be the most interesting genre of music to learn and play, but it’s widely known to be very technically demanding. Once you start getting into some of the more complex pieces you’ll start seeing improvements in your technical abilities. Not only does classical music set a solid foundation of basics upon which you can expand, but it’ll challenge you to become a more well-rounded musician. If you’ve never played classical music before, pieces by Bach and Chopin are a good place to start. Just make sure to choose pieces that will challenge you because, after all, you won’t improve if you only play what you already know.

Music Sales Piano Bench Of Classical Music Vol. 2 for piano solo Standard This tremendous piano solo collection contains 400 pages of great music literature: sonatas, toccatas, preludes, waltzes, romantic short pieces – plus themes from symphonies, operas & ballets, and much more! Learn More

 

Practice Playing in Public

As a pianist, it’s important that you get used to playing the piano in public without becoming a bundle of nerves. If you have a performance or recital in your near future, prepare yourself for the big day by putting on a mini-recital for your friends and family. Whether you play for an audience of one or one hundred, feeling comfortable during a performance is key. Once you’re comfortable playing for your parents, invite some cousins or friends over for a recital. From there, start performing at private events, including Christmas parties, picnics, or school functions. Eventually, playing in front of others will be no big deal and those sweaty palms and butterflies in your stomach will become a thing of the past.

 

 

Music & Arts

Music & Arts is a family owned and operated music resource for parents, students, educators and musicians. With over 140 stores in 23 states and the largest private lesson program in the United States, Music & Arts is an authority on music education and a resource for new and experienced musicians alike.

2 Comments
  1. I took lessons as a youth. I was never good-always made mistakes. Now-some 40 years later, I’m in a position where there needs to be a substitute pianist-small bible study groups, devotions, free community meals where volunteer volunteer pianists, play basic traditional hymns. Many times in their absence, there is no music. I want so much to be the substitute-I love singing these hymns. However, my confidence is poor-I don’t have a place to practice and my skills are fair. I want to be able to sit down to a hymn and successfully play all stanzas of the hymns without mistake. I’m not able to afford piano lessons. I’ve been encouraged to ” just play” and not worry about mistakes. I was asked to play 3 hymns for a bible study; played the treble cleft very successfully-sometimes adding the bass. The devotional leader complemented on the basic melody of the treble. My confidence is growing because at times this task needs to be done,-I want to improve and cultivate my talent to become a hymn playing pianist.

    1. Glad to hear your confidence is growing, Ingrid! Stick with it, keep practicing, and you’ll become more and more comfortable each and every day. Thanks for reading!

      -Music & Arts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.