The process of piano playing is a simple one. You press a note on the key, a sound is produced and you repeat that process till you get an entire melody.
Hidden beneath that seemingly misleading process are 5 common mistakes that beginners make during the early stages of piano playing.
It is important to safeguard yourself against these 5 mistakes as they not only hinder your ability to improve your piano playing skills, it also make learning more difficult for yourself.
Take some time to examine each trap and see if you had fallen into any one of them before.
For a start, beginners tend to want to play their favorite songs on the piano. Perhaps they had heard it from the movies or they heard someone else playing it. Bottom line is that they want to be in the action and play the same piece too.
Due to this tendency, chances are high that they will quit within the first 10 mins on the piano because they find it too difficult to follow along and they tell themselves that they are not talented enough for the piano and gives up.
Firstly, do not get me wrong. I am not saying that you should not play your favorite songs. In fact you should.
What I meant is that choosing your favorite songs* as a starting point to learn how to learn the piano is likely to cause you unnecessary hardship because you may not have the skills necessary to handle it yet.
Musicians/Pianists including myself had years of training prior to our performance. We had to learn from the basics – playing simple pieces that may not appeal to us and even playing boring scales and arpeggios.
Like martial arts, these are basic forms of training and it is essential to have a strong foundation in it before you attempt anything more difficult. After all, you only need to learn the basics once and you will be able to play your favorite pieces one after another.
* this rule will not apply if your favorite pieces happened to be very simple pieces. My tutorial video (although feels difficult at first) is one of those simple pieces. It almost does not require you to play more than 1 note per hand. All notes are also played on the white keys and it is a good beginner piece to work on your hand coordination.
In any slow and moving music, sustain pedal ( the right most pedal on the piano ) is almost always used. The exact art on how it is used remains subjective to individual’s interpretation and preference.
The problem comes when beginners want to imitate the use of the pedal of a concert pianist and ends up pressing on the sustain pedal all the way.
It is quite difficult to explain pedal usage in words. So, here is a link to a video on How To Use The Pedal. Hopefully it will help in your understanding on how pedals are used.
During your first few practice, you should refrain from using pedal. Your focus should be on getting the notes played correctly.
Unlike any other musical instruments, piano has probably one of the easiest way to produce a sound. All you need to do is to press on a key, and a sound is produced.
In practice, you will be tempted to use any fingers to play the keys just so that you can produce the sound you want.
As tempting it may feel to use any fingers to play a series of keys on the piano to produce sound, please refrain from doing so.
It not only hinders your ability to play correctly , it also subjects you to injuries if you are not careful with your wrists. Not to also mention that proper technique is not difficult to learn.
You may consult your piano teacher on the correct finger technique for each piece. If you are learning from my tutorials, do pay extra attention to which fingers I used for each note and follow exactly.
This is a common one. I admit that I had made this mistake myself in the past too.
Let’s face it. It is more fun to play a fast piece and it looks cool. However, if you are looking into learning a piece properly, practicing too fast will help you to accomplish exactly nothing.
It is therefore better to play it very slowly. Get the notes down correctly and to ensure that you are playing it with proper technique. A good technique will not only enhance your piano playing, it also makes playing fast a breeze too.
If you have a poor technique, your performance will sound rushed and awful, it is also likely to make you feel fatigue. Either ways, it is a lose-lose situation if you do not learn how to practise slowly.
Uneven playing happens when your fingers cling onto one note while playing the next note. This happens when beginners are trying to learn hand coordination and therefore it is a common problem.
Learn to release a note fully before engaging the next note. Make a mental note to do this in order to promote a more even playing.
These are the 5 common mistakes beginners make when they first learn how to play the piano. Did you accidentally commit them too?
Try out the solutions above and tell me whether did it improve your piano playing.
I wish you all the best in your piano playing adventures.
Watch my online piano tutorial videos to learn how to play piano without reading a single music note. If you are interested, grab a copy of my personal tips on piano playing and hand coordination and I will see you there.