How to Practice Piano Effectively

How to Practice Piano Effectively

 

Some piano players feel that they are stuck at a certain level and can’t improve due to limited practice time. On the other hand, some of them thinks that it is very hard to master a piece no matter how much time they spend on practicing. In fact, it is useless to practice for long hours if you don’t practice effectively. How to practice piano effectively? Here are some great tips for you to help you make the most of your practice time and achieve your goals in the shortest time.

 

Be Consistent

The most important thing in practicing piano is, of course, be consistent. Practicing consistently for a short session every day can give better improvement compared to practicing for long hours once a week. Therefore, it is advisable for every piano player to create a routine and practice every day.

 

Break Down Your Practice Into Small SessiBreak Down Your Practice into Small Sessionsons

It is also important to break down your practice into small sessions according to your own concentration span instead of practicing for a long session. When you practice in small sessions, you will be able to fully concentrate on what you practice. The most effective practice session should be around 30 minutes to 45 minutes depending on each individual. Try to determine the practice duration which is most suitable for you by finding out your own limit. When you feel tired or keep making mistakes, it is time to take a break and continue later.

 

Warm-up and Prepare Yourself Before Practice

Warming up your fingers is a good way to get your piano practice started at the beginning of the session. It can be some simple scales or finger exercises. Warming up prepares your fingers to adapt better for the piano practice and reduce the risk of hand injury. Remember to keep your hands at the proper piano hand position to achieve the optimum effect.

 

Keep Your Practice Interesting

Always keep yourself motivated is another key to achieving good results in piano practice. A good way to maintain your motivation is to keep your practice interesting. Try to learn something new in each practice session to keep your practice fresh. You can also devote 10 to 15 minutes of your practice time to play something you love.

 

Set Goals

Set some long-term and short-term goals that you want to achieve. For example, your short-term goal can be to learn a small section of a piece within a week and your long-term goal can be to pass a music exam in a year. With specific goals set, your practice will be more meaningful and goal-oriented which will in turn become more effective.

 

Keeping a Music Practice Journal

A music practice journal is a diary used by the piano player to record his piano practice. You can record the pieces that you learn in each practice session, goals, things to improve and practice time in each day. Keeping a music practice journal can help you to monitor your learning progress, tracking the days that you skip practice and help you to work towards your goals.

 

Enjoy the MusicEnjoy the Music

When you enjoy and love what you are playing, you can surely perform and interpret the music in a better way. Therefore, always feel the music and enjoy! Keep a positive attitude and be confident to yourself while you are playing or practicing.

 

Record Yourself

Recording yourself during your piano practice session is another beneficial way to speed up your performance and learning processes. By listening back to the recording, you will be able to hear your own performance like an audience. You will be able to notice some of your weakness or mistakes that you didn’t realize while you are practicing. Furthermore, recording yourself gives you a feeling that you are playing in front of an audience which can help you to overcome stage fright during performance too.

 

Tips for Learning a New Piece of Music


 

Analyze the piece of music1. Analyze the Piece

Observe for the key signature and time signature. Analyze the structure of the whole piece by looking for patterns and similar phrases in the piece. Also, find the accidentals, unexpected notes, and tricky parts of the piece so that you can pay extra attention to it. Try to identify scales, broken chords, arpeggios, and ornamentation and note it down on the piece.

 

2. Start Practicing Slowly and Hand Separately

In the beginning, learn the notes by practicing slowly on separate hand. When each individual hand can be played fluently, try to practice hands together. Slowly speed up to the desired tempo by increasing the speed little by little. You can use a metronome to help you on this.

 

3. Practice by Sections

Divide the piece into small sections and work on each small sections one at a time. Practice each section until it can be played fluently without mistakes. Then, move on to the next section and practice with the same way.

 

4. Do Not Practice Mistakes Over and Over Again

When mistakes happen, try to correct it on the spot to prevent it from becoming a bad habit.

 

5. Practice Without Pedal

Try to practice the piece without pedal. You will learn to play the piece smoother and it helps you to get familiarize with the notes too.

 

6. Polishing the Piece

Lastly, polish the piece by observing the performance directions, phrasing, dynamics, tempo, and feeling.

 

Do you think these piano practice tips are helpful? Any other tips that you want to share with us? Let me know your piano practice experience in the comment box below!

 

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10 Comments:

  1. practice really does make perfect.
    the idea is that you are performing muscle memory, and over time the skills like reading notes and finger power is ultimately taken over by muscle memory, or habits;
    I think recording yourself helps you improve a lot because then you get to experience hearing your music through the ears of others, which is VERY different than what we hear.
    I really like this article, even though its more about piano, a lot of these tips can be broken down for other musical ambitions too like signing or guitar, thanks for sharing!

    Matt TheDopestMatrix

    1. Hi Matt, thanks for your comment and glad that you like this article. Yes, some of the tips are useful for students learning other musical instruments too. Do drop by again for more piano learning tips. 🙂

  2. Great post! I have always been a music lover, a greatly appreciate people who took the effort to master an instrument. It has always been a dream of mine to play the piano. Your post makes it sound so easy, but I know that it takes a lot of effort and hard work. I believe that your post will help those who are on the road to mastering the piano.

    1. Hi Stephanie, thanks for reading my post! Yes, mastering an instrument requires a lot of hard work and dedication. But if you are willing to put in the effort, I believe that you can make your wish come true too! Learning piano as an adult is not impossible!

  3. I have brought some of the tips from this page to my nephew who is learning the piano as we speak. I am not a musician, so it has been trouble so far. Your point of not practicing mistakes is one point we must emphasize more. I need to listen more specifically to the mistakes the first time. Haha. Thanks for the help I shall be back.

    1. Hi Kayc1021, how nice of you to share these tips with your nephew. Hope that he finds them useful! Do come back again for more tips about piano learning. 🙂

  4. Hi Saber,
    My father was a musician and because of this, I always wished I could play an instrument of some kind but struggled understanding the basics of reading music. I must admit it put me off a bit. Now as I’m getting a bit older I am thinking of trying again. I was always told I had pianist hands but now I have the beginnings of arthritis in my two little fingers. I was worried that long hours of practice would hurt. This article has made me realise that I don’t need to be practising for long lengths of time. Perhaps I will revisit the idea again. Thanks for giving me something to consider. Ange

    1. Hi Ange, I’m sure that you can. You can try by starting slow for maybe just 5 minutes a day. Do not stress your fingers too much and just take it as a small finger exercise. I believe where there is a will, there is a way. Good luck to you!

      Saber

  5. Hey, Saber.

    Practise, Practise, Practise!!

    As a couch potato guitar player, practising every day does help with one’s playing ability. Results are the time we put into the practising.

    I’ve been practising on that one song for the last thirty years and I think I got it down by now!!

    You’ve got a lot of things here that I do with the guitar.
    Warming up with scales, finger exercises, and getting to know those majors and minors.

    I’ve heard the transaction from piano to guitar is easy for most.
    Is this just as easy a transaction from guitar to piano??

    I’ve enjoyed your site, got it booked marked and hope to see more of ya.

    Larry

    1. Hi Larry, yes, practicing is really important to master an instrument. The points I wrote in this post actually can be applied for other musical instruments too. I have never learn guitar before, but I think learning a second instrument should be relatively easier compared to learning the first because you already understand the basic music theory. Thanks for bookmarking my site and hope that you will enjoy my future post too! See you around later.

      Saber

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