The piano is a classic, timeless instrument that people have enjoyed for over 300 years. That’s right, three hundred! Plus, around 25% of the world’s population can play. It’s no wonder that it still forms the basis of the majority of songwriting and musicianship now. 

Whether you’re just getting into the piano or are a seasoned pro, there’s always room for improvement. Playing the piano is fun but can take a long time to master. In this article, you will discover some awesome tips to help you practice better and develop your skills. 

Get Lessons

Without a doubt, there is always room for more lessons, even if you’re an experienced pianist. These days, you can even supplement your in-person piano lessons with online teachers for an extra boost. For example, Steve from shares his experience of performing in Grammy award-winning Jazz bands with thousands of students online. This is a great way to get a new perspective or take on a different style of education.

This can be super helpful to experienced pianists as well. Often, sticking with the same teacher for a long time can slow down your development. Trying some new techniques and lessons from someone different can help you improve your playing.

Practice Regularly

There’s nothing better for success than practice. The old saying says that you need to practice something for 10,000 hours to become a master in it. That’s a lot of piano playing! It’s a little over a year’s worth of playing 24/7. If you practiced a couple of hours a day every day for 5 years, you’d be right up there, closing in on your 10,000 hours. Varying up your practice style can help too – more on this to follow! 

Record and Listen Back

A great tip that has been shared by many professional piano players is to record yourself playing then listen back to it. You may think you catch every mistake and feel your flow perfectly when practicing, but often, when you listen back, you will spot things you hadn’t noticed before. This will help you focus on different parts of your playing, improving individual sections of songs or techniques that you may have made small mistakes on. 

Use a Metronome

If you don’t have a metronome already, get to your local music store and pick one up. Either analog or digital, these devices are designed to play a constant beat at any given bpm. Playing along to a metronome is a great way of making sure you’re sticking in time rather than going off-beat.

Metronomes can help you build challenges for yourself too. For example, you might have a section of a song or tricky scale that you struggle to play. Set the metronome super slow, then carefully play this particular section. Increase the bpm by 5 every time you successfully complete it, working towards playing at full speed.

Warm Up Those Fingers

Piano requires dexterity in your fingers. You may find that when you sit down at a lesson or attempt a particularly challenging piece, it takes you a while to get into the groove. This could be down to not getting the blood flowing through your fingers quickly enough. To avoid this, spend five minutes doing basic exercises such as scales and arpeggios. 

Mix Genres

Playing the piano doesn’t have to mean simply playing the classic composers. As mentioned at the top, the piano still helps songwriters from all genres develop their music. Find pieces that you love in genres like jazz, pop, and modern rock and learn to play them too. This gives you a different style and probably a completely different scale to play in. All of this builds great experience and broadens your musical mind.

Immerse Yourself in Piano

Part of your practice and development can simply involve listening. Spend some time listening to the classics. Put the compositions on in your headphones and listen to them being played by a master. Feel the rhythm and the energy – it will almost certainly help you develop your playing style.

But, again, the piano is everywhere! You could sit and listen to hours’ worth of modern pop composition or 70s funk, listening to how their different styles are played on piano. You’ll get some new ideas, at the very least.

Try Closing Your Eyes

Some players find they are becoming dependent on staring at their fingers to find the right notes. If this sounds like you, it may be time to look away – or better still, close those eyes! Choose a piece that you are very confident with. Don’t worry if it’s the most basic piece you can play – this is an exercise, you’ve got to start slowly. 

Start playing the song, then begin to look away from the piano. Keep doing this until you can confidently play this simple tune without ever looking down. Then, you can build up to doing so at all times. This will make you look and feel far more confident when playing piano in front of others.

Remove Distractions

These days, we are surrounded by distractions. Mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and TVs all provide great entertainment, but can quickly distract you from your goals. Practice isn’t easy when you’re constantly interrupted by notifications or calls. To make sure you’re concentrating on honing your skills, put the distractions away. Your social media and TV can wait – it’s time to be a piano master! 

Don’t Beat Yourself Up!

Finally, it’s important to remember not to beat yourself up during this process. In fact, you should do the opposite. Reward yourself for your successes! If you’ve just learned a new piece and played it well, give yourself a treat – you deserve it. If you are struggling, don’t panic and don’t stress. Take five minutes or even pause for the day, then get right back at it tomorrow. Whatever you’re stuck on, it will come!

Following these professional practice tips will help you master the piano and become a super confident player. Before you know it, you’ll be showing off your skills at house parties or giving lessons to your friends! The piano is a lovely instrument to play, so take your time and enjoy it.