How to Learn to Play the Piano (Useful Tips for Beginners)

The adage that “Playing music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything” stands true in each and every sense.

Now, speaking of the musical instruments and one doesn’t mention Piano, is simply not imaginable. Playing Piano is much beyond than music.

The piano provides a more comprehensive understanding of how music works.  Piano music involves both treble and bass clefs, chords and melody.

Now, the piano is one particular musical instrument that seizes a spot which is much above in rating as compared to all other musical instruments.

The world of the piano has been growing. Apart from acoustic pianos, Digital pianos have taken the market by storm. They have simply metamorphosed the whole piano playing experience.

A lot of pianists claimed to have inculcated a lot of essential skills that can only be mastered by practicing the piano. Let’s have a look at some of them:

  1. Perseverance– It is all about mastering time and effort.Piano teaches you a lot of patience as you play the song. You stay motivated and eventually, your perseverance increases. Mastering this particular skill helps one in all spheres of life, may it be school, university, workplace or normal instances of day to day life.
  2. Emotional Intelligence– Playing piano is something that can help people release emotions. Studies have claimed that people who play an instrument are better listeners. It is a fact that musicians are more perceptive in interpreting the emotions of others.
  3. Builds memory– Playing the piano stimulates your brain. This instrument can train you to feel comfortable using both sides of your brain. The areas that are responsible for the storage of audio information, particularly, are more developed in musicians than in non-musicians. It is a fact that musicians have structurally and functionally different brains compared with non-musicians. So automatically, your ability to memorize audio information increases.
  4. Coordination-Piano definitely improves your hand-eye coordination. It strengthens your eye muscles and forces you coordinate your body parts.  Over time, the hand-eye coordination improves greatly. Thus, this tremendous amount of coordination cultivates a lot of essential mental skills in one.
  5. Relaxation– Now, this is one feature which comes along with playing any musical instrument. Playing piano is a great stress buster. It simply refreshes the brain. Now, if you know how to play this instrument you automatically become the center point of any party and a lot of girls dwell on you and vice versa. What else does one need?
  6. Concentration– Playing piano forge you to focus on the rhythm, pitch, tempo, note duration, and several other things. It automatically helps one to sharpen his concentration. Some people even call it the brain food.
  7. Management Skills– Playing piano requires a lot of discipline and determination. The regular practice itself inculcates discipline skills. Playing piano molds time, i.e. one needs to manage time in lieu of practicing piano. Thus, playing an instrument helps you to manage time and be disciplined.

Learning piano has never been that easy. It demands focus, passion, determination and most importantly discipline. Playing the piano is a long-term commitment and demands a good deal of time.

Let’s have a glance at some of the tips that beginners need to infuse while learning or before initiating learning piano:

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Start from the Basics

Now, for absolute beginners starting with basic piano skills.Be fluent with the piano layout section and basic music notation section. Piano layout section basically teaches you about the piano keyboards and how the black and white keys are organized. The basic music notation section will teach you what notes to play and how long to play them.

At least you should study these aspects of the music theory,

  1. Recognising key signatures and intervals
  2. Forming chords
  3. Chord progressions

Don’t be in a hurry and compromise on this part, as this is the initial groundwork for becoming a pianist. The piano key layout, note names, and piano finger numbers must become as familiar to the pianist as the controls of a machine are to a mechanic.

Improvise your skills

After mastering the basics, improvisation is the key. Try to sing along with your improvised lines.  Improvise solos with your left hand alone. This will automatically, enhance your “hearing” ability. Try to play very slowly and try to really ‘hear’ every note with your inner ear before you play it. It helps while working with challenging chord progressions.

Generally, there are two kinds of pianists: those that improvise really well, i.e. playing by ear and those that sight read sheet music very well i.e. playing by sight. It’s rare to find a pianist who does both very well. So, whichever approach you take, focus on the music theory.

Try to play different songs on all the 12 keys.  You’ll experience the musical content differently as you explore the different shapes on the piano.

Play Classical Pieces

Now, classical music may seem boring to a lot of people, but technically it is very demanding. Once you master some classical pieces, you will see a lot of improvement in your technical abilities.

Classical music can help build a very solid foundation of basics from which you can expand. Make sure you pick the classical pieces that are good and challenge you. Now, the theory is as simple: More you challenge yourself, the more you improve. 

Take lessons

To master the piano, you need professional help. A lot of people learn the piano without taking lessons, maybe through YouTube videos or other sources. Though, it helps, but initially, a professional help is must.

Always remember that nothing can beat having someone as a mentor or a person who knows your skills and guides you. They can tell you what would be good to learn for your level, and what to work on to improve.

Thus, taking lessons at the initial stage is highly recommended. 

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Time Management

Dedicate time for your practice sessions.Discipline and consistent practice is the key.However, do include some rest periods in your sessions.The rest periods are when your brain assimilates your effort, i.e. it simply refreshes your brain.

Let’s be realistic, lives these days are really busy. Giving 7 days a week is not possible for most of us. So, even if you practice 4 days a week, precisely and gives 100% of you, it is more than enough. 

Variety of Music

Try to inculcate variety in your music, i.e. practice a wide variety of music. The change of pace will be fun and you will learn some new things to apply to your usual style. For instance, play some jazz, rock, folk, or classical-style improvisations.

By adding a few of your favorite tunes to your routine, you will be more excited to practice the piano. This will eventually get challenging for you and you will enjoy practicing.

Enjoy the Instrument

The last thing that is the main and core of learning piano; is to enjoy at each and every step. Playing piano is a great stress buster. Love what you are doing and you will witness how exponentially you grow.

Go slow and try to feel the tempo and rhythm of the music and you will feel every beat.  Music is all about sharing emotion. Focus on feeling the music, conveying your emotion to the listeners through your musical tone.

Conclusion

Technology these days, have improved a lot. Piano market is no different. Many digital pianos come with additional cool features to make playing and learning more fun, such as intelligent accompaniments that follow your playing, computer connectivity via USB, and iPhone and iPad apps for using your favourite iOS devices with the piano, that make learning comparatively easier and much more fun.

Do remember that “What you sow, so shall you reap”. So, practice is the key. Set small and attainable goals and then aim to achieve them.

Play on the chord strings and rock the piano world.

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