Are you a beginner pianist who dreams of watching your fingers dance over the keys of a piano? Learning to play the piano can be intimidating, especially if it is your first instrument. Once you jump into it, you quickly realize that playing music isn’t just about hitting a piano key or strumming a guitar string. The world of time signatures, key signatures, and major and minor scales can be very complex. But don’t worry! That’s why we’re here to help. Keep reading for 8 tips every beginner Chopin should know!
For most, the fundamentals are the most tedious part of learning an instrument. Who wants to sit through music theory when they could be learning to play Ed Sheeran’s new single? But, with these fundamentals, the journey to discovering your new instrument will be much easier.
- Daily Scales, Chords, and Arpeggios Practice – scales, chords, and arpeggios warm your fingers up and get you used to navigating the keys of a piano. They will also help you with learning basic music theory.
- Daily Note reading and Sight-reading – you can only play music by identifying the notes on the treble and bass clef and knowing what key correlates with which note. That knowledge has to become second nature, which is why daily practice is so important.
- Daily Ear Training – ear training teaches you to hear pitch, identify chords and intervals, and playback simple melodies and rhythms. Daily ear training is a great way to quickly push yourself to the next level.
- Music Theory – Music theory builds a solid foundation for the skills you will learn. It helps you understand what you’re playing and will allow you to play more freely as you advance.
When watching any pianist perform, one thing they all have in common is their posture. You never want to slump over the piano. Instead, you need a stable upper body and want to ensure your arms are parallel to the keys.
Pro Tip: Make sure your hands are relaxed. It will make it easier to glide through intricate pieces of music.
Memorize Your Music
You’re probably wondering why memorizing your music is important, especially since it’s sitting right in front of you. Memorizing your sheet music allows you the opportunity to be more musical. You can shift focus from notes to dynamics and placement. This shift is where you connect with your piece and take your music to the next level.
Use Correct Fingering
In some pieces of music, it may seem easier to play it your way instead of using proper finger placement. However, even if it is easier, you could mess yourself up in the long run. So instead, teach your fingers to make those more difficult reaches so you can handle more complex pieces later.
Pro Tip: When struggling with finger placement, use the 3x3x3 rule. Practice with your right hand three times, then your left three times, and finally, play both hands together three times.
Speed will come with muscle memory. What is essential is focusing on accuracy. If you learn something wrong from going too fast, it is much harder to re-train yourself on the correct technique.
Most likely, you started playing piano because you are interested in or have a passion for music. So, the last thing you want is for it to feel like a chore. Give yourself set times to practice and if you start to feel frustrated, take a break and come back later. Remember learning a new instrument is exciting and should be something you look forward to doing daily.
Break the Music Up
Looking at sheet music can be discouraging, especially for beginners. So, instead, break it up into manageable chunks. Start with two or three measures and slowly work through the piece of music. As you get better, you’ll be able to break the sheet music up into bigger chunks.
Pro Tip: When practicing, don’t start over if you make a mistake. Focus on the measure giving you problems. Once you’ve mastered it, go back to the beginning and start again.
Play What You Love
Find pieces of music that make you happy and work on them. So many pianists force themselves to learn a repertoire they don’t enjoy, which takes away from their passion. Of course, there will be times for competitions or auditions where you have to play particular pieces of music. But when you aren’t working on mandatory assignments, remember to find music that makes you happy and reminds you why you love being a pianist.
There are so many benefits to learning how to play an instrument. Music is food for the soul, and musicians are the chefs. So keep practicing and remember these tips on your journey to becoming an accomplished pianist.