Mistakes Beginners Make When Playing The Piano

Mastering to play the piano is a fulfilling experience; the sound it makes, and the beautiful flow of every key are some of the things learners strive to achieve.

Unfortunately, it takes time, commitment and sacrifice to perfect your piano skills [1].

For beginners, it’s wise to understand some of the common mistakes and learn how to avoid them.

This will allow you to avoid old mistakes of playing the piano and progress faster.

Here is a list of common mistakes. Let’s get straight to it.

1. Trying to learn much at once

learning to read musicAs excepted, most beginners are usually excited to start their piano lessons. The drive, in most cases, is usually to perfect their skill and manipulate the keys like the pros.

As a result, the excitement pushes most of the students to attempt learning too much at once. Some usually prepare a long list of songs that they love and are eager to play each one of them.

The excitement is great. In fact, it’s a good thing, but strive to work on one task at a time. That will make it simpler for you to track your progress and identify your mistakes.

One step at a time.

2. Keys are different from notes

Keys and notes on the piano are not one and the same [2]. There is a difference between them.

Keys play pitches that correspond to notes. For example, you will learn that F-sharp and G-flat are played by the same key, but they are different notes.

When you talk about keys, don’t think about the blacks and whites on the piano. Keys offer a foundation for the notes, which form those melodies that you play on the piano.

A key tells you several things about the music you are playing, including:

So, try understanding their keys and the relationship they have with notes.

3. Failure to understand pitches and notes

This is another common beginner problem when playing the piano. Again, pitches are not notes [3].

Take it this way: You can tune a particular note to an individual pitch. This implies you can lower or raise the pitch of a note without changing it to another tone.

For example, in Western music, there are 12-octave keys on the piano, and seven of them are white keys, which play the naturals.

These white keys play the primary notes in Western music, meaning those with flats and sharps are derived from them.

The idea is musical notes can be adjusted either higher or lower but still retain their identity.

4. Poor posture

Many beginners tend not to pay much attention to their sitting position at the piano.

It seems a basic rule, but many break it. The fact is that you can’t perfect your piano skills in a poor sitting posture.

If you sit too high or too low, too far away or too close, you are likely to experience backaches and stiff shoulders.

Take the time to find a comfortable sitting position that allows you to maintain an upright posture when playing the piano. Your forearms should be parallel to the floor, enabling you to reach the keys without leaning forward.

5. Playing the piano in C major

Beginners tend to make this mistake due to the teacher’s teaching method. This is because C major is one of the easiest scales to play on the piano.

C major uses the white keys but does not fit in the natural keys so well. While it is a great scale for playing simple melodies, you are limited in keeping your hands comfortably on the piano.

Instead, focus on learning to use the black keys (B major, D-flat, and G-flat) as they help to support a natural position of your hand on the piano.

The idea is that the longer fingers play shorter keys while, the shorter fingers play, the longer keys. This helps to build and support a seamless flow of your fingers.

6. Looking at your hands all the time

This inhibits progress, but sadly it’s a common mistake that all beginners make. You just need to train yourself how to stave it off once and for good.

The problem that this tendency cause is that students end up learning a piece with mistakes. They fail to learn and memorize a piece thus creating shorter parts of the melody.

When playing the piano, it is important to focus your eyes on the music sheet. This will take much time to master, but it is worth it if you want to possess some mad piano skills.

Also, looking at your hands excessively may cause you to lose your last note on the music sheet.

7. Practicing using one hand

While there are always exceptions for using one hand, try as much as possible to use both hands from the onset. This is a convenient way to learn fast and to master the pattern correctly.

Remember, using one hand may end up becoming a habit, and this will hurt your progress. Choosing the easiest path of playing a piece can be fast, but you won’t learn much.

Instead, select a small segment of one to two bars. Within that segment, play using your left hand until you feel comfortable. Then, do the same with your right hand.

When you feel comfortable, play the segment using both hands until you master it before moving to the next one.

The bottom line

Playing the piano is a mastered skill; one that takes time and efforts to earn.

Pay closer attention to your fingering as it’s the most important aspect of playing the piano. Also, try to challenge yourself with difficult set pieces to refine your skills.

Becoming adept in piano is all about routine, so you must make it habit to practice regularly [4]. Create time for practicing about four to six times a week depending on your schedule.

If you have a piano at home, you can find time to practice at least every day.

Don’t start with high ambitions only to start slackening a few weeks later.

Keep practicing and find a piano that fits you.

Try to practice with simple and easy songs first.

Stephanie Su

Started learning music when she was four years old, Stephanie is a music teacher and a music therapist who is highly proficient in Piano, Violin, Guitar, and Ukulele. She likes to learn, teach, and share her music playing experiences.

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