How To Practice Piano Like a Professional

Though enjoyable, elegant, and entertaining, the piano is a complex instrument. [...]

Though enjoyable, elegant, and entertaining, the piano is a complex instrument. Playing it well gives many rewards and relieves stress, but the proficiency required in playing the piano takes time, practice, and effort. 

Pianists must read multiple notes simultaneously and use numerous fingers while reading two clefs. 

It is even possible for a pianist to read up to ten notes all at once if the treble and bass clefs each have five notes. 

If you are still learning how to play the piano or have been playing it for years, fret not – there are ways to improve your practice and even feel like a professional. 

For starters, check out Ted’s List for some ideas. 

Why Practice Is a Must for Pianists

Given some of the details mentioned above about the challenges of playing piano, it is no wonder that even the most skilled musicians always devote time to their craft. 

The ones who dedicate the most time and effort receive the fruits of their labor.

Practice will always be critical, especially for those who want to succeed in playing the piano. One of the hurdles, especially for beginners, is the vast range of notes they need to memorize, given a piano’s 88 keys.

The detail above about reading two clefs also takes time if one seeks proficiency. Technically, one does double sight-reading, requiring constant, deliberate practice.

Hand coordination of pianists is something that improves over time, too. Fast songs, in particular, require serious hand coordination.

Pianists who take time to practice many scales and do various piano exercises learn this quickly. 

Note that pianists have to use their feet to sustain an echo sound (done by pushing down the sustain pedal and controlling it until they are satisfied with the sound they seek to achieve). 

Tips for Practicing Piano Like a Professional

Now that we have established the importance of practicing piano, we give out some tips for practicing like a pro. 

Note that these are suggestions, but you can always try out other approaches that you deem most helpful.

1. Always, always make time for practice.

The amount of dedication, effort, and hard work poured into making music sets the professionals from beginners and amateurs. 

If you want to succeed in playing the piano, devote a minimum of twenty minutes each day.

Making time for practice entails knowing the necessary steps for warm-up because one needs warm-up for the fluid playing of keys. 

When you play, you do not want stiff, clunky fingers as hurdles and as mistake machines.

Lastly, part of taking time to practice is planning ahead of time what you can take on during a session. Note that you need not master a piano arrangement during the first play.

When practicing, a good way to approach new scores is by breaking them down into chunks most manageable for you. 

You must be able to identify your skill level and determine what is a realistic goal for you every time you practice – and then be consistent!

2. When learning a piece, try starting in the middle.

Beginners tend to keep on practicing a piece right from the beginning. 

That is not always ideal because one tends to focus too much on it without barely scratching the surface.

Try tackling the difficult sections when practicing to work towards being a pro. When you do, take your time through the piece, too – even if you make mistakes.

3. Master the tune of the song you are studying to play.

Your fingers can move along so well against the piano if you know the tune well. Part of learning a song is not just playing it but also listening to it.

As you listen to the song when you’re not on the piano, you can imagine it in your head and get inspiration as you interpret it your way. 

4. Learn when to slow down your pace. 

Mastering the piano or learning a particular piece takes time, so know that it is okay to slow down. 

What helps is the deliberately playing of each note as you finger it, and then vary your tempos until you reach mastery. 

Not all who play too quickly play well; some play carelessly. Do not rush through sections you are learning, and just practice until you sound like a pro!

Also, logically, won’t several run-throughs help you towards your goal, anyway? After all, you can only play something quickly if you have gone through it step by step – you can even use a metronome if you want. 

The Right Notes

We hope that these steps struck the right chord and have given you the right notes you need for practicing like a professional.

On top of all these suggestions, a growth mindset will surely help you, too. When piano playing gets difficult, remember that the best virtuosos were once beginners. Good luck!

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Laura.Bartlett

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