Every pianist starts learning from scratch with little or no skills and experience. Some of them succeed within a short period while the others take ages. As nothing comes easily, a beginner pianist needs to observe some tips and tricks in order to master everything related to playing the piano.
Table of Contents
- Get Rid Of Beginner Anxiety
- Tips To Remember Chords
- How To Pick Up Speed While Playing Piano?
- Sight Reading
- 10 Best Piano Tips and Tricks for Beginners
- 1. Record practice sessions and identify your weaknesses
- 2. Finger movement and hand position
- 3. Practice piano playing with or without music
- 4. Practice consistently
- 5. Play sections separately
- 6. How frequently and how when to practice in a week?
- 7. Ear training
- 8. Learn your first three chords
- 9. Focus on accuracy and not speed
- 10. Find the correct music piece
- Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)
- 1. Why is it necessary to practice slowly before gaining tempo?
- 2. What are the important benefits of sight reading?
- 3. Why is practicing important despite having many tips on how to play?
- 4. Why should one avoid sugar and caffeine before performance?
- 5. How long does it take to master sight reading?
Get Rid Of Beginner Anxiety
You are probably familiar with the sensation of having butterflies in your stomach, trembling hands, and worrying about playing the piano in front of everyone. Fortunately, there are many strategies you may use to manage your nerves and lessen the need for performance anxiety. Let’s learn how to harness that apprehension for a stellar performance because being anxious may actually improve your playing!
- Exactly why are you performing? Is it just to pass the test, win friends over, or win the approval of your piano teacher? Or are you eager to impart your musical skill to the audience? Knowing why you’re performing will enable you to take action to put yourself at ease.
- Pay attention to the audience, not yourself. Consider your concert from their point of view: You are offering them a fantastic musical gift. Remember that the audience won’t likely see your errors, even if they do, they will still respect your effort and the bravery it takes to perform.
- Play to your strengths rather than attempting to be flawless or better than others. As long as you give it your all and keep improving, you’ll be successful! Don’t let a few little errors in your playing cause you to despise playing the piano.
- Positive thinking and communication. Avoid using phrases like “I’m going to mess this up” or “I’m going to be so embarrassed I’ll never want to play the piano again.” By doing that, you are setting yourself up for failure. Instead, be positive by telling yourself, “Yes, I’m ready, and am capable of this,” or “I’m never ready to let a few slip-ups kill my passion for piano!”
- Keep your breath in check. Take a few deep breaths; they’ll make you feel much calmer and will help your muscles function properly. While you’re waiting to play at a recital, make sure to practice taking calm, deep breaths.
- Don’t look up at the crowd when you’re performing. This is not just distracting, but it also increases tension and might make you lose track of where you are. Play like one would at home and act as though no one is watching.
- Do not overthink it. Pay attention to your performance, but try not to overthink each area that is giving you difficulties as you play. Just keep going if you run across trouble. Your error won’t be noticed by the audience.
No matter how skilled you are at the piano, giving a performance can be terrifying, particularly in front of a big crowd or during a piano test. These pointers ought to assist you play your best and help you get ready for your next performance. Don’t be hard on yourself if you have a terrible encounter; instead, use it as a learning opportunity to improve yourself the next time.
Tips To Remember Chords
The use of piano chords is great. They unlock a vastly expanded musical universe. They enable limitless piano improvisation. They are related so closely yet are like a distinct language, apart from sheet music.
The fact is that learning piano chords by heart requires practice. It does require effort.
You must learn your chords by heart, for sure. The basis for so many elements in the piano are chords, which explains why. You will miss out on so much if you only learn how to read sheet music and disregard chords. You may learn how sheet music is put together by learning your chords by heart. Additionally, you can progress to learning how to improvise using chords. Triads are the simplest form of chords for a novice to begin remembering. These are three straightforward note chords. Many people will transition to 7th chords after mastering triads. Instead of only using three notes, these chords use four.
7th chords come in 5 different varieties, which makes them a little trickier to memorize. Know your objectives. Everything is based on your own objectives. For instance, you probably don’t need to study reduced and augmented chords if all you wish to do is be able to perform the newest pop tunes on the piano!
But if you want to study music in college and want to become a classical pianist, you must learn all those chords. Let’s dive even deeper into the specifics of chord memorization.
If you created a lengthy list in the previous phase, you could feel a little overwhelmed and believe there are simply too many things to study. But here’s the thing: patterns are what chords are all about. You just need to adapt it to any other chords that follow the same pattern after the pattern has become clear.
You might believe that the most basic chord is all you have to know as you learn chords. However, inversions play a significant role in both chord learning and the chords themselves.
Another beneficial thing to do is to ask someone else to test your knowledge if you feel that you’ve got a good number of chords and their inversions under your belt. As you sit down at the piano, they will start calling out chords at random for you to perform. Practice identifying them as quickly as you can after that.
How To Pick Up Speed While Playing Piano?
- Etudes are brief classical compositions that concentrate on a specific area of technique, such as trills, arpeggios, or octaves. Select etudes that are intended to increase speed. Modern speed drills for the piano are an additional choice.
- Simply playing loud and quickly with your finger strength will cause you to become exhausted very quickly. Let your arms hang loosely at your sides to acquire a sense of their weight, then use that weight to propel the playing. You’ll see the difference right away!
- Keeping your fingers near to the keys when playing the piano is another approach to “make the steps smaller.” It takes longer and slows down transitions if you frequently pick up your hand in between chords. Your hands should be in the next position as soon as you finish playing a chord or melody line.
- Your thoughts should constantly be one point ahead of your fingers, as you may have learnt from sight reading. This prevents you from stopping at the piece’s challenging sections and keeps you moving forward. To perform a song at a steady and quicker tempo, the flow must be preserved.
- The piano follows the same methodology. You won’t have any time or energy left over to speed up the piece if you put all of your time and effort into pressing the keys. To play more swiftly, a little bit lighter touch is required.
- It will be challenging to play at a faster pace if you hold strain on the shoulders, wrists, and forearms while you’re playing. Fix this by practicing carefully, sitting at the piano correctly, and warming up appropriately with scales, chords, arpeggios, and finger exercises. Your ability to play more quickly and easily will increase with good seating, which will also increase your comfort while playing and reduce your risk of injury.
- You cannot reduce the intervals in your composition shorter to simplify them to play, unlike with dancing steps! What you should do is ensure that switching from one chord to another swiftly comes extremely naturally to you. When the fingering becomes challenging or when the chord or key changes, don’t pause because this will disrupt your rhythm.
The art of interpreting and playing a musical composition without prior understanding, knowledge, or practice is known as sight-reading. Despite the fact that many people are extremely passionate about music, many of them struggle greatly with sight-reading. It presents a dilemma for music teachers as well. Sight-reading requires a combination of talents that have been honed over time rather than just one specific ability. Knowledge of the keyboard, musical notation, and the musical score must all be mastered. The very first step is to carefully go over the score. It’s possible that the left and right hands will be playing separate things, so make sure you thoroughly review the score before starting.
- Master the art of skimming. The use of this approach in sight-reading music is highly challenging because good reading demands not only eye and brain coordination but also good motor skill coordination and accurate analysis of the composition being read.
- Predicting outcomes via reading in advance can help you prevent calamity. By reading ahead, a musician can anticipate what will happen in a piece of music.
- The pupils should concentrate on practicing diverse musical scores in order to get high results. A learner is capable of comprehending the fundamentals through practice. A newbie shouldn’t begin playing a piece they are reading right away. To understand what is expected of the work, it is crucial to skim the entire thing. Analyze the bars quickly to determine the song’s rhythm, and keep an eye out for any scoring signals, such as a piece being transposed, a change in tonality, or a change in tempo. Due to the pupils’ familiarity with the understanding of musical signs and symbols, this should just take a minute or two.
- Before learning the skill of sight-reading, students must first understand musical terminology and practice. This will make it easier for them to translate the musical composition both before and during performance.
- Additionally, it is crucial for pupils to maintain their composure at all times. Try practicing some breathing techniques.
- Practicing with other pupils is one approach to make the sight-reading process easier. This helps reduce worry and boost confidence.
- Players must adopt a positive mentality in order to achieve anything. Those who approach sight-reading negatively from the beginning suffer the most. It’s crucial to maintain an optimistic attitude since it will show in your results.
Below is a compilation of the top tips and tricks for every beginner pianist.
10 Best Piano Tips and Tricks for Beginners
1. Record practice sessions and identify your weaknesses
Success starts with identifying your weak areas that need improvement. A beginner needs a coach to work on their skills in recording practice sessions whilst listening keenly. Working on your skills helps in breaking up the piece into overlapping sessions.
This is a good start for students when they repeatedly practice to refine their abilities while following the notes provided in that session. After honing your skills through a series of sessions, have an extended play of what you have learned so far. With this, you can identify your strengths and the areas that need improvement.
2. Finger movement and hand position
To make your piano playing experience easier, it is recommendable that you first play with your right hand and then move on to your other one. A separate hand movement is easier for grasping and you can then gradually move on to using both hands.
Most teachers find the conventional technique of separate hand practice more fruitful. After mastering this technique, you can now use both hands. This is seen to improve coordination as well as enhancing efficiency in playing.
3. Practice piano playing with or without music
For a start, practicing piano through sheet music may be difficult but once you memorize the notes, you will not need to play them on autopilot. Students should also exercise their brain during practice sessions, in order to enable them to analyze the music they are playing.
While beginners have to practice at the piano with some music sheet, those who have already memorized it can even play without the music sheet. The advanced learners improve their skills through playing the keyboard in their head as they try to remember the music or while reading the sheet.
4. Practice consistently
Sitting at a piano for the first time may be quite overwhelming. A piano is one instrument that is not so easy to play, especially to those that yearn to land at the advanced level within no time. It takes time, efforts, and dedication to get to an expert level in playing the piano.
A beginner who entirely dedicates his or her time to practice may find it a lot more worth it.
The piano is a beautiful sounding instrument that perfectly blends with sweet music, especially when an expert does it.
Playing the piano is not all about mastering how to follow the music sheet from memory, but also involves learning how to deal with the stumbling through various notes mostly on live performance. Although most beginners freeze up making a mistake glaring to the audience, a pianist who is consistent in practicing will know where to start all over again.
5. Play sections separately
For a beginner, it’s hard to play well especially with the variations in the chord structure of a music piece. For a better experience, try to divide the music into various sections. Ensure when practicing the piano notes you start with quarter notes as you gradually move on to the eighth and then sixteenths. Playing in parts is essential in maintaining continuity through including the ending notes of the former section in your current one.
6. How frequently and how when to practice in a week?
A teacher will always advise a beginner pianist to practice regularly, and particularly every day throughout the week. For an intense concentration, a student should only practice for a short session of 10 to 15 minutes. This is better than practicing for over 30 minutes which will slowly fatigue your body and mind.
Remember this is not a chore and by overdoing it with time, you may lose the zeal to play the piano. Just like learning to ride a bicycle, playing the piano is honed and tested up to the time it becomes part of your psyche.
7. Ear training
Listening to other professional pianists as well as ear training are ways that work magic on improving your technique. To play by your ear will help you improve thus an excellent technique for many musicians in learning from their masters. This will yield good results in improving the style and hand movements.
8. Learn your first three chords
C, F, and G is a very famous chord progression. To play the C chord, place the right-hand thumb on middle C and then your middle finger on the E note. Go ahead and place your little finger on the G note. Play all the three at the same time.
Try to play C chord at least four times, let the F chord follow and finish with the four G chords. This makes a significant chord progression that is applicable to a thousand popular songs.
The journey to becoming a great musician starts with sacrificing time to learn the first few initial yet critical chords.
Practicing them over and over makes your experience and journey remarkable. Make sure you practice the C, F, and G chord progression until you can automatically pursue them with ease. Start playing using both hands at the same time and with this; you are sure of achieving great results.
9. Focus on accuracy and not speed
Many beginner pianists concentrate on playing at high speed forgetting that accuracy is the key starting point. It is recommendable for every beginner to pursue accuracy and not speed. Focus on hitting the right keys and not hitting them fast. Concentrate on efficiency and accuracy, and speed will come with time.
10. Find the correct music piece
Your trainer can help you in coming up with or selecting the most suitable music for practice purposes. The Internet has a lot of good music that is helpful during practice. Various websites provide e-books as well as pdf documents that have useful information on how to select the best music. The Fake Book is a famous fun book for the beginners which contains quality information regarding chord structure.
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A perfect combination of some of these tips can be of great help to the beginners. Do not adopt one trick and leave out the others, for each and every one of the tips has a definite advantage to the pianist. With efforts, time, and inner motivation you will love your experience. Every professional pianist started from scratch, and through dedication and smart work they are where they are now. You too can make it.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)
1. Why is it necessary to practice slowly before gaining tempo?
Practice slowly if you want to pick up your instrument rapidly. If one can’t play a piece accurately at a slow tempo, you’ll never be able to play it successfully at a high tempo. It’s imperative to begin learning a song at a speed that will enable you to play it flawlessly before accelerating the tempo. Use of a metronome is the greatest approach to guarantee that you are performing the song at a slow, regular tempo.
2. What are the important benefits of sight reading?
Audiation, commonly known as the ability to listen to the music prior to performing or singing a note, is another amazing skill that sight-readers master. Sight-reading improves the capacity to sense the rhythm and identify the general vision of the melodic notes and harmony just by looking at the music, even if it is impossible to sing the exact pitches out loud. Because you can predict the pitch and rhythm before you play, this greatly increases overall accuracy.
3. Why is practicing important despite having many tips on how to play?
Even with all of these suggestions, there may still be instances when you feel that learning and memorizing chords is taking a lot of time. But keep in mind that this takes time. It takes time to complete the process. Consistent practice will help you succeed the greatest. You may achieve a lot by practicing your chords for just 20 minutes each day! Being persistent and patient are essential.
4. Why should one avoid sugar and caffeine before performance?
Although it may seem needless, consuming excessive caffeine or sugar can cause jitteriness and increased anxiety. Sugar, particularly for younger children, might make them feel too energetic and hinder their ability to concentrate.
5. How long does it take to master sight reading?
It may take you up to two years if you are a complete beginner before you feel like you are truly sight reading.