If a person spends most of his or her life playing the piano, then most probably he/she has seen almost everything that is possible with the instrument. That person has definitely undergone many ups, downs, and inexplicable situations throughout life. However, in spite of so many difficulties, the reasons for becoming a successful piano player are only proper training and a correct approach to this instrument.
When you just start your piano learning, it is essential to follow some fundamental principles to become a successful player. It is easy to find various techniques, methods, and books, but these do not work for every learner. Whatever you are doing at the initial stages matters, and if you can invest your time correctly, you will end up being a successful piano player.
When you start implanting helpful piano tips, you will see improvements instantly, and some of the tips are mandatory to follow. You might already be implementing some of the tips. If that is the case, a sincere congratulations to you, as you are on the correct track. These tips are from an expert who has learned these tactics over many years.
It is absolutely okay if you do not implement all of these steps now because playing the piano is a continuous learning process. However, when you start implementing these beginner piano strategies, you can at least be headed in the right direction.
Find a Good Teacher
Many times, a beginning pianist wants to learn all things on his or her own. With the repository of online information, videos, and resources, it’s absolutely possible. Many advantages are associated with self-learning, such as saving money. But if you think you can easily learn the piano on your own, you are making a mistake. Finding a good teacher will really pay off.
A good teacher can very easily observe your skills, provide you with valuable advice, and guide you towards a correct set of approaches to rectify your problems. Watching an online video cannot always address all your specific questions, such as tempo and fingering. You can realize on your own that everyone plays in different ways and the “one size fits all” concept does not match here, especially when you are getting into the advanced repertoire.
It is completely true that not everybody can afford a top-notch piano teacher, as it could be a matter of investing $60/hour. But you can purchase some good-quality training programs and then switch to a teacher once you’ve completed that phase. When your skills start improving, and you start taking this instrument more seriously, having a good teacher will start becoming more meaningful to you. So take some time before making decisions.
Play Music You Are Enthusiastic About
Do you know how much music exists for pianists? The fact is that there is so much music that it’s impossible to cover it all in one lifetime. So, it’s really important to look for something you really enjoy and want to work on. Many times, beginners and advanced pianists force themselves into learning pieces that they actually do not enjoy playing.
Sometimes you have to do that if it’s a music audition or competition. The rest of the time it’s only to impress people with your amazing piano-playing technique. But the fact is that the music that you are not actually interested in is really difficult to work on. When you want to play something poetic, and you are not able to connect with it, your performance will become dull.
When it comes to practice, it actually lowers your focus as well as work ethic. The pieces that you do not really like will make you do less work and will cause you to pay less attention to details unless you have become a learned professional concert pianist. So, it’s recommended for you to have a good amalgam of music as a beginner.
You need to grab some pop and classical music and mix in some advanced repertoire as well to get some exposure. Sometimes you may discover a piece that you thought you disliked but which turns out to be your favorite piece. Just make your hands superbly active and try out new music whenever it’s possible.
Do Not Emphasize Method Books
When you are still a beginner piano player, it is very easy to find yourself lost in method books. You definitely want to build up a good technique, and such books are absolutely amazing for that purpose. Nonetheless, piano playing is more than finger dexterity exercises and scales.
As per the recommendation, you need to use technique books here and there; however, you should not spend a considerable period on them. When you find your technique slipping, you can warm up with some Moszkowski and some fundamental Hanon exercises. In this way, some bad habits can be easily isolated and remedied.
If required, you can easily convert your present repertoire into the technique exercises. You can also convert the music into short rhythms instead of playing it as usual. For instance, in case you hold a measure with sixteen notes, just break it into groups of four and so on. It is always possible to split chords up.
Try to Perform as Much as You Can
If you have just started your journey with the piano, do not think you cannot perform in front of people. Music is something that any performer wants to share with others instead of limiting it within him/herself. Grab every opportunity that enables you to showcase your piano skills in front of people. It will provide you with great public confidence and will also reassure you that you are actually able to play the piano well.
Chunk Your Measures
Chunking measures is an important aspect and is applicable to players of every level. Chunking provides your brain with an opportunity to actually understand what is in the music.
When you are a beginner piano player, digesting a complete page of notes is a very big matter. It might look intimidating from time to time. But if you can break it up into a number of small pieces and make small achievements along the way, it’s good.
Properly Listen to Piano Music
If you are a beginner at piano playing, then recording can be incredibly helpful for you.
Sometimes, you might be in doubt as to how to interpret some particular markings in your performance, dynamics, articulations, and mordent markings (mordents are extra tones that can be added to a music piece to make it more appealing). Listening to the recordings will help you discover a repertoire that you did not know existed.
In addition, the answer might be in front of you in the respective sheet music but could still be difficult to grasp completely. That is why you can make a habit of listening to other pianists to gain some great inspiration and figure out where you have identical approaches. Prior to listening to any music, it’s recommended to familiarize yourself with that music on your own for some time so that you won’t go the wrong direction.
Start Practicing Slowly
You should not opt for high speed when you are a beginner. Yes, there are some things you can practice at high speed without much thinking. But many things require a slow approach. Slow playing will be helpful for you to remain consistent, become more accurate, and remove minor mistakes. Sometimes you will find incorrect rhythms, a serious lack of evenness, and a lack of dynamic control.
Slow practice is the best way to stop such mistakes from happening. Beginners need to always start slow so as to perfect their music.
Try to Invest in a Grand Piano
Keyboards may be a small investment, and you can easily find one for less than $100. The problem is that their synthetic hammer cannot completely replicate whatever a grand piano can perform.
Try to get an upright piano in good working condition. Keyboards are decent temporary solutions; however, as you advance, you want a real piano.
Understanding of the Basic Theory
The theory is essential when it comes to understanding everything regarding music. The basic theory is important for the purpose of breaking down the structure of music, basic piano chords, and to understand what is really happening with your music. If you are a beginner pianist, you have to know the necessity of accidentals, key signatures, markups, and so on to master the piece.
A large number of high-quality online resources are available for grasping music theory. Even with a basic online search, you will get some great information.
Try to Memorize Everything
It is very important to read music. Your focus should be on memorizing your music as quickly as you can. After completing that, you will be capable of beginning to play with placement, dynamics, and choreography as well. It is also important to figure out where you can completely connect with your repertoire and take these things to another level.
Sight-read on a Frequent Basis
It is obvious that while you learn new music, you’ll have to sight-read again and again. Acquiring these skills will help you in identifying notes, rhythms, and key signatures and thus the process of music learning will become faster.
In case you do not have decent sight-reading skills, then you can get stuck in the music in trying to analyze things at a slower pace.
Make Use of Good Posture
Posture is very important while it comes to playing the piano. Do not slouch over the instrument. If your bench is extremely low, you should invest in a bench that you can easily raise or lower. Do not forget to keep your arms in a parallel position to the keys and always keep your upper body in a stable position.
It is very easy to develop lazy playing habits if your repertoire is not demanding. Hence, beginner pianists are prone to experience posture problems more frequently. Irrespective of the type of notes, you need to always make a habit of staying in the right position.
Make Use of the Appropriate Fingering
Fingering is extremely significant when it comes to piano playing. You can handle some situations, but poor fingering can never be a replacement for playing. Some parts of the music need proper phrasing and legato lines. And if you are jumping all around the place with the respective fingering, the particular piece might sound bad.
Always adopt appropriate fingering techniques. Upon building up decent fingering, the choreography of the playing will improve, and you will become more musical.
A lot of the time, the repertoire and technique books that you go through will feature fingering. Sometimes, it will not match your fingers. So you need to invest some time in figuring out which fingers actually work for you and make changes accordingly.
Stop Looking at Your Hands
Some beginners go through a tough time playing the piano without looking at their hands. Looking at your fingers is not a good idea as the moment you do that, you can lose control. Just try to look throughout. Also, move your body around here and there. Moreover, you need to depend on your ear and memory. Do not rely on whatever you are physically seeing all around while you are playing the piano.
Sing the Melody
Remember, playing and singing two different things. For beginners, it is important to sing. It is helpful for keeping your place in the music, it supports your memory, and it plays into the respective dynamic process as well. In addition, if you can start looking at the piano music as a song instead of just notes on a page, you’ll drastically start improving your piano playing.
In a Nutshell
Now you are familiar with all the important beginner tips and all things that beginner piano players need to know and implement into their piano routines. None of these strategies are really difficult to implement. However, your approach to piano playing should be properly thought out, or you will just be wasting your time.
The most important tips among all these are definitely the ones that say to invest in a good teacher and a grand piano. These two tips will contribute the most to your development from a beginner player to an expert. The next most important steps are to develop sight-reading skills and practice slowly. But you can’t build up these skills without acquiring the skills of how to efficiently read music and how to implement those measures the correct way.
Hopefully, all these beginner tips will greatly help you throughout your piano-playing journey.