I have been a music/piano teacher for a lot of folks in my neighborhood. At thirty-five years of age, I own a studio with over 30 private students. At first encounter, I often get bombarded with many questions from newcomers; “How to learn piano fast?” “How to learn piano on my own?”, and what not. So, let’s address the elephant in the room (the most commonly asked question).
Can You Learn Piano on your Own?
Yes and no! I know, the answer sounds contradictory, but let me explain. You can learn to play piano songs on your own for yourself, fun, or even family concerts without attending a traditional piano school. In fact, to make learning on your own easier, you can also seek help from an online piano teacher or online piano courses (by video/audio and e-books). But, you will always be better off with a highly qualified piano teacher by your side to bypass the little difficulties and to learn much faster than usual. With that said, let me offer you some pro piano learning tips.
I want to Learn Piano: 5 Basic Tips
- Start with the Basics
Start from scratch and learn the notes, scales, tones, chords, and everything else that you need to know as a beginner. Agreed, it’s a boring task, but you need to do what needs to be done, or else the path ahead will be full of roadblocks. So, learn the theory part and correct all the mistakes that you are making. Your understanding of piano music will improve drastically by befriending the theory behind the compositions.
- Make your Fingers Obey
Didn’t get it? Ok, here’s the thing! By default, most beginners apply too much pressure on the keys. Naturally, this generates an unpleasant sound from the instrument. To avoid this pitfall, you should not hit the keys too hard. Ideally speaking, your fingers must glide smoothly over the keys. Also, you must keep your hands relaxed while playing the instrument. This will help you reach out even to the farthest keys faster than usual. Furthermore, you must focus on accuracy and not speed to get better at the task at hand.
- Play Music that you Like
To be easy on yourself, it helps to start with the songs that you love. This is a surefire way to stay hooked to the instrument for longer than usual without letting boredom affect your training. Of course, make sure to choose songs that have simple tunes and melodies that you can pick without too much of a fuss. So, have a handful of choices at your disposal. By following this simple recommendation, you will stay not only motivated, but you will also make fast progress even if the tunes are not very challenging for your needs.
- Break it Down into Pieces
Keep in mind that it’s not easy to memorize complex hand movements right off the bat. Therefore, your best bet would be to break the chosen song into small segments of 5-10 seconds and practice one section a day. This will help your brain focus and master everything much better than what you would normally do. Of course, be patient and don’t get frustrated too soon. Set a pace that you can maintain to reach your goals slowly, but definitely. And, don’t be embarrassed about your mistakes. They will only help you improve.
- Maintain a Disciplined Practice Schedule
As they say, “The more you practice, the better you get.” The key over here is to practice well as opposed to mindlessly blasting through the keyboard. Yes, I have made this mistake, so this is coming from my first-hand experience. Once I learned that I was wasting a lot of time on things that I had already mastered, I devoted most of my time on the passages that didn’t go smoothly until I could play them with ease. So, practice smart and not hard to get the most value out of your time. It’s better to practice for half an hour each day versus practicing 4 hours on just one day a week. Simply put, leave things for the next day!