Playing the piano can reduce stress, increase creativity and even improve your neural connections. Bet you’re glad you started learning?
Of course, this gratefulness can wane when it comes to actually have to practice. Sure, you know practice makes perfect – we’ve all been told this since we were kids.
But, why does practice have to be so difficult? If you’re wondering how to get better at the piano, the answer may be to work smarter not longer.
We’ll look at seven of the most useful piano practice tips for you to implement into your busy routine for effective learning.
By implementing these tips, it won’t be long before you take your piano practice to the next level. Let’s take a closer look:
1. Remove ALL Distractions
One of the first things to do during piano practice is to completely get your head in the game. Choose a time in the day when you’re still feeling awake and ready to learn.
Then, make your piano space sacred while you’re practicing. This means asking everyone in your household to not disturb you.
It also means turning off your phone (or leaving it in another room), laptop or any other distractions.
Make sure to also set up the space before you begin practicing. This could mean making sure you have a drink of water readily available and the right sheet music in front of you.
2. Warm Up Sufficiently
During your warm-up time, play something which is enjoyable and easy. This is a great time to have fun.
Feel the joy of playing the piano and remind yourself why you started learning before you begin practicing!
Next, stretches and scales are a great way to begin your practice as they warm up your fingers.
However, make sure you don’t spend your entire allotted practice time simply on warm-up pieces. About ten minutes or so of practice should be enough.
3. Practice Every Single Day
If you truly want to get better at the piano, then practicing every single day is the key to doing this. This may sound like a lot, but it’s the reality of improving at an instrument.
When you first start learning to play, this can seem like a ridiculous expectation. But, making a habit of your piano practice will become easier over time.
Of course, this is easier said than done and habits take time to build – around 66 days, in fact.
But, when you’ve made the effort to build that habit and you’re in the swing of playing every day, you’ll truly notice the difference in your playing.
4. Have a Goal for Your Practice
If you’re struggling for motivation, then coming up with practice goals can help you sit down and start working.
Set reasonable goals for yourself, such as mastering a tricky scale or running through a piece of music faultlessly three times.
Of course, the goals you set for yourself will depend on your current standards. But, take some time to figure out exactly what you want to accomplish.
Write down your goals and keep this list somewhere in sight. Once you’ve ticked a few off, you’ll be sure to feel motivated to carry on.
5. Set a Timer and Take Regular Breaks
It’s been proven that taking breaks from your practice can actually help you play better!
If you’re feeling stuck in a rut, then get up and take a little stroll or make a cup of tea. You’ll come back feeling refreshed and ready to play once more.
However, if you’re someone who finds themselves taking too many breaks, then you’ll need to work them into your practice.
Why not try 15 minutes of playing with a two-minute break. Repeat this process for a full hour and you’ll have had adequate playing time.
Then, if you want to, come back to the piano later feeling ready for another go at whatever you were working on!
6. Record Yourself Playing
This is a great technique for figuring out exactly where you’re going wrong. As a result, it is a technique used by many musicians.
It is a very simple technique which can take your playing to the next level. While listening to the recording, you’re focused on what you did wrong, why this happened and how you can fix it.
When you’ve finally got a recording which you’re completely happy with, you know that your problem is fixed and you can move onto the next problem.
Listening to a recording of yourself playing the piano on your way to and from work can also help motivate you to practice!
7. Be Patient, Remain Calm and Keep Playing
Learning to play any instrument can be extremely frustrating. But, if you’re regularly getting a piece wrong, try not to feel angry.
The piano is a great tool in soothing the mind so your practice should help you relax, not feel wound up!
If a piece is particularly challenging and you’re not enjoying playing it, move onto a piece which you’re passionate about.
Then, come back to the more challenging piece later. Learning the piano should be enjoyable – so make sure your practice is as fun as possible.
There is no better way to learn how to play the piano than to just simply do it, to be patient and to play regularly!
Piano Practice Like a Pro
One final tip to try for your piano practice is to give yourself something to work towards. There’s nothing that will make a person work harder than a deadline.
If you’re struggling to motivate yourself to learn a piece, enter a competition or invite friends over to listen to you play on a certain date.
As the day draws closer, you’ll feel a lot more focused on trying to get the piece perfect.
If it doesn’t go well during your performance, who cares! It’s the deadline motivation which can help you through those long hours of practice.
If you’re struggling to find something which you enjoy playing, check out our free piano sheet music page for some inspiration. You’ll be itching to play in no time.