Playing piano can be challenging, but the good news is you don’t have to struggle if you know what mistakes to avoid. In this article, we’ll look at the most common piano mistakes people make when playing the piano and how to avoid them. So let’s get right into it.
The Short Answer
In sum, here’s how to avoid piano mistakes:
- Don’t be in a rush to be perfect
- Watch how you sit
- Avoid slouching
- Pay attention to details
- Practice consistently
- Avoid too much practice
- Try keeping your eyes away from the keys
- Play with relaxed fingers
- Be patient with yourself
- Practice with a metronome
- Record yourself playing
- Keep a record of your piano mistakes
Now let’s examine each point in detail.
Don’t Be in a Rush To Be Perfect
When you started your piano journey, you probably had the image of a professional piano player etched in your mind as motivation. However, understand that learning the proper technique and perfecting piano skills takes time.
The professional pianists you admire did not attain that feat in a day. That’s why slow practice is critical. First, start learning at a slow tempo, then increase the pace gradually. That way, you avoid making mistakes over and over again.
For best results, hire a professional piano teacher to help you practice slowly.
Watch How You Sit
Wrong posture is one of the most common piano mistakes. Avoid sitting too close to or too far from your piano. Sitting this way can cause body aches and even affect how well you play.
When you sit too far from your piano, you’ll be forced to stretch your fingers, which will put pressure on your back because you have to lean forward to reach the piano keys.
Sitting too close to the piano, on the other hand, will make it hard for you to have enough room to move your arms, making it hard to play. You should always sit on the edge of your chair with your elbows slightly in front of your body when you put your fingers on the keys.
According to health experts, slouching can cause spinal misalignment. So although it may feel like a comfortable way to sit, it’ll lead to long-term medical problems. It can also cause wrist pain which will affect how you play.
You should always sit with your back straight. Also, your wrists should be at the same level as your arms. Avoid playing with your wrists below the keys. While you play the piano, your back, arms, and wrists should be in good condition.
Pay Attention to Details
Playing the piano involves more than just identifying the correct keys and pressing them; you also have to press the keys the right way. For example, when you’re playing, you should pay particular attention to diminuendos and staccatos.
Plus, always remember to stick to the tempo; don’t go ahead of yourself. You should also keep in mind that every detail is important, and if you ignore details, you’ll have to come back and correct your errors. So why not get it right on the first try?
To perfect any skill, you’ll have to practice consistently. Playing the piano music is no different. In the beginning, you might be making mistakes, but as you practice consistently, you’ll realize that it becomes easier. That’s how people become professional pianists.
If you can, have daily practice sessions. If you can practice for even thirty minutes a day, you’ll build muscle memory. Discipline can’t be overlooked when it comes to playing the piano. So, choose a routine that works for you and stick to it.
Avoid Too Much Practice
We get it; piano playing is exciting, and once you start, you don’t want to stop. Although it’s essential to practice consistently, you should also avoid practicing beyond what you can handle.
You need energy and focus for the best piano performance. Your focus will decrease if you’re tired or stressed out.
Keep in mind that taking a break when you’re tired does not mean that you’ve failed. Instead, it shows that you’re willing to take care of your body so that the next time you sit behind the piano, you’ll be well-rested and refreshed enough to play.
We recommend having a practice room where you can practice. Then, once you’re out of there, you can focus on other things.
Try Keeping Your Eyes Away from the Keys
When you’re a beginner, it’s normal to keep looking at the keys because you’re still trying to familiarize yourself with the piano. But, as time goes on, practice keeping your eyes away from the keys.
It won’t be easy at first, but as mentioned earlier, consistent practice will make you the great piano player you desire to be.
You can look at the keys when you start playing, then gradually look up, sideways, or close your eyes. Eventually, you’ll be able to play without looking at the keys all the time.
Play with Relaxed Fingers
If this is your first time behind the piano, you might be feeling a bit nervous. It’s understandable; starting something new is not exactly easy. However, when playing the piano, you should always keep your fingers relaxed and not flat.
Playing with relaxed fingers makes it easy for you to play, hence, encourages progress. Before playing, take a few seconds to ensure that your fingers aren’t flat and outstretched. Whenever you notice your fingers becoming tense, take a deep breath and relax.
Be Patient with Yourself
Like every other musical instrument, learning to play the piano takes time and attention. You’ll not become as good as Beethoven in a day.
You need to have a disciplined mindset and endurance. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you make piano mistakes. Instead, embrace errors and use them as stepping stones to learn the correct way of playing.
Sometimes, you should take a step back and appreciate how far you’ve come. You might end up shocked at the progress you’ve made, and it’ll help you enjoy playing.
Avoid comparing yourself to others; we all learn at different paces. When you’re too fixated on whether someone is better than you, you might push yourself too hard, and you’ll end up making more of the same mistakes.
Practice with a Metronome
A metronome is a device that produces clicks at a regular interval. It helps you control your pace and tempo when you’re playing the piano. With a metronome, you’ll be able to master timing and rhythm.
For instance, a metronome can help you slow down a complicated piece so that you can learn it easily. This device also comes in handy when you’re playing with other people. It keeps you in check so that you don’t go ahead or behind your team.
Fortunately, there are several metronome apps both on Android and iOS that you can easily use.
The best way to identify what mistakes you make when you’re playing is by recording yourself. Keep in mind that you’re doing it for yourself; hence there’s no need to be shy. Likewise, you don’t have to show the video footage to anyone if you don’t want to.
Recording when you’re playing the piano helps you know how you sound. In addition to that, you’ll also be able to identify how fast or how slow you play.
This way, you’ll be able to see what aspect of your playing needs improvement. Recording yourself when you play the piano comes in handy if you’re learning from an online course. Your instructor will not be able to see you and hence can’t point out the mistakes you make.
Keep a Record of Your Mistakes
Whether major or minor mistakes, keeping track of the mistakes that you have to work on while you play can be overwhelming. When you remember one, you might forget the other.
To avoid forgetting, write your piano mistakes on a piece of paper and keep it near your piano. This way will make it easier for you to improve your piano skills.
Feel free to cross out an item on your list when you successfully deal with it. It’ll also serve as a source of encouragement.
Playing the piano does come with a lot of benefits. For one, it helps you focus and encourages creativity. Also, it does have its own rules and techniques that make playing stress-free and more effective.
Becoming a great pianist is not an impossible feat. With lots of practice time and discipline, you can become a pro or even a concert pianist. You just need to have patience and celebrate your progress, no matter how little.