The piano is one of the most versatile instruments. You can play music for fun, for pleasure, or even for a career. It’s no wonder pianos are found in every music lover’s home and often schools. Besides playing music, the piano also helps develop your motor skills, hand-eye coordination ability, and sense of rhythm.
Playing piano is about more than just hitting the right keys. If you’re a beginner pianist or an intermediate pianist looking to take your playing to the next level, the proper technique is key. In this article, we’ll discuss the essential piano techniques to help you play the piano like a pro. We’ll also throw in some tips on practising to get the most out of your piano sessions.
Without further ado, here are some of the best piano learning techniques you should know!
What are Some Common Mistakes When Playing the Piano?
There are many common mistakes made while playing the piano. One of the most common mistakes is failing to pay attention to fingering and control considerations. For instance, playing a chord with too many fingers can result in inconsistent playing and poor tone quality.
Not revising pieces is another common mistake. This means playing the same piece repeatedly without practising or playing new pieces when you already have a repertoire of pieces for that instrument. It’s also a mistake not paying attention to the correct mechanics and techniques of musical instruments. This means playing the piano or piano keys incorrectly.
Another one is not using prescribed fingers for each key. As a pianist, you need to use your fingers to play music correctly and with precision. Otherwise, you will be unable to play music well or accurately. Lastly, not paying attention to proper mechanics and technique is also a common mistake pianists make. By practising correct piano techniques, such as hand positioning, pedal technique and finger movements, pianists can learn how to play the piano more efficiently and effectively.
Playing Piano Techniques Like a Pro
If you’re looking to play the piano like a pro, it’s vital to practice the right piano-playing techniques. Legato and staccato are two of the most important piano-playing techniques you must know.
The legato technique is done by smoothly connecting your fingers across the keyboard, while the staccato technique involves sharply touching or releasing the keys. Both legato and staccato play an important role in creating detached tension and smooth transitions in your music, respectively.
When you practice piano playing techniques, it’s essential to take your time and be deliberate with each note. Before you play a piece on the piano, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with it mentally. This will help you develop a strong sense of music and help you improve your piano skills easily.
Plus, check out these quick tips to help you practice piano-playing techniques regularly to improve your music skills and become a professional pianist!
1. Correct Body Posture
To play the piano correctly, it’s vital to maintain good posture– this includes sitting upright with a straight spine, relaxed shoulders, and avoiding craning the head down to look at the keys. To play the piano effectively, your hand position is also key. Palms should be facing downward with wrists relaxed and slightly above the keyboard. When setting up the piano bench, ensure it’s at the correct height to suit your build, and sit up straight but relaxed.
Another important piano technique is “the wings”; you should avoid curling your fingers or moving them out of position while playing. This form of technique can lead to injury if not done correctly. Instead, keep elbows comfortably at your side while playing to avoid “the wings.”
2. Correct Hand & Finger Position
When learning piano, you must first learn proper hand position, which is crucial for piano playing. The right and left-hand fingers are numbered in a piano sheet music, with the right-hand thumb (finger 1) on middle C and the left-hand pinky (finger 5) on the C an octave below. Hand position is important for piano playing and should be taught with palms down and relaxed wrists and fingers slightly extended. It’s also important to play with the force of the entire hand and not just individual fingers, as this will enable you to play powerful and dynamic passages. Playing with consistent accuracy requires practice and patience from both teachers and students.
3. Learning Minor & Major Scales
Learning major and minor scales is an important step in your piano journey. To practice these scales, you must begin with white notes using flats, sharps, and flats. This will help you master the major scale. When practising minor scales, black notes should be used, as well as sharps and flats.
4. Playing with Octaves
Octaves are an interval of eight notes on the piano keyboard. To play octaves, you must press two keys simultaneously. So octave scales are a technique that involves focusing on hand and body position while keeping the hand, wrist, and forearm relaxed. Effective practice of octaves involves practising different hand and finger positions to help develop a relaxed wrist capable of producing powerful sounds. Playing octaves can be a part of many pieces, such as piano rag and classical piano songs. These pieces typically feature octave scales for developing a relaxed wrist and creating a powerful sound.
5. Using Pedals
Pianos have several different types of pedals used to create different sounds. Different pianos use different pedal configurations, which can lead to specific sounds being produced by the piano. The most commonly used piano pedal is the sustain/damper pedal, which is used to sustain or hold a note after it’s been played. Other pianos may have a pedal that allows for chord playing, or one that allows for trill playing. You must remember to keep your hand on the piano keys while using these pedals and playing the piano correctly. Otherwise, you could accidentally play the piano chord instead of the desired melody or lead-in notes of a song.
Practips Tips for a Beginner Pianist to Remember
If you’re interested in learning piano, it’s important to get professional tips and piano advice from the experts. This can help you focus on meaningful improvement and develop the proper piano technique necessary to become a pianist.
Make sure to follow these practice tips to take your piano playing to the next level!
It’s Good to Have a Practice Schedule
Having a consistent practice schedule is vital if you want to maintain your skills and progress as a pianist. By having a set practice routine, you can prepare for playing in public with confidence. It’s also important to commit to a certain amount of practice time each week so that pianists can improve their playing abilities over time. Practising away from the piano can help improve muscle memory when playing the piano. This can help with playing the piano without relying on memory too much.
It’s also vital for you to listen to the song you’re practising to learn from it and improve your playing technique. Additionally, it’s good to have some quiet time after practice to reflect on your practice and work on any technical challenges you’ve encountered.
Having a Clear Goal in Mind During Practice
It’s essential to have a clear goal in mind during practice if you want to become a successful pianist. It’s important to plan what pieces, exercises, and techniques you want to work on each day. By having a clear goal in mind, you can stay motivated and focused during your practice time. It’s also important to be patient with yourself and not be too hard on yourself if you make mistakes. Instead, learn from your mistakes and strive for improvement each time you practice.
Ask for Feedback from Professionals
Start by asking for feedback from piano experts. Whether it be from a teacher, online piano community, or YouTube video, ask for feedback on your technique. Remember to be self-critical and use tools such as a mirror, recording yourself while playing, or having an observer listen in while you play. Use these techniques to evaluate your technique and improve your play over time. Remember to take notes and analyze your performance, so that you can learn how to get better at playing the piano.
Recommended Pianos for Beginners
Yamaha P45 Digital Piano
REALISTIC TOUCH AND EXPRESSIVE TONE
Perfect For: New musicians
A teacher’s favourite for learning with graded hammer action keys
With a graded standard hammer keyboard and sustain pedal for an authentic playing feel
Legendary Yamaha quality
Includes three months of Flowkey Premium
You’ll need to purchase a stand and bench separately, which can add to the overall cost
The TedScore: 9/10
DP-12 Compact Digital Piano by Gear4music
SOUND AND FEEL OF A REAL PIANO
Perfect For: Learning at home
88-key digital piano ideal for living spaces
Synthetic ebony and ivory keys provide that premium grand feel
Play with expression with a three-pedal unit and 128-note polyphony
Get creative with 32 voices and a two-track playback recording
With a sleek and stylish appearance
No Bluetooth available
The TedScore: 8.5/10
Roland F107 Digital Piano
PIANO WITH NEW MODERN DESIGN
Perfect For: Beginners
SuperNATURAL Piano technology from Roland provides world-class sounds
Can connect with Bluetooth and transmit MIDI or audio
With a slim and space-saving design which fits any contemporary living space
Extend your piano’s functionality with the Roland Piano App
The keyboard’s lid folds up and acts as a sheet music stand
More expensive compared to other beginner pianos
The TedScore: 8.2/10
Kawai ES120 Digital Stage Piano
REDESIGNED INTRODUCTORY STAGE PIANO
Improved action with new Responsive Hammer Compact action
Comes with a superb fully-weighted keyboard action
With 192-note polyphony
Bluetooth audio allows for streaming device audio through piano speakers
Comes with an extra speaker size and brand-new spatial headphone audio
No USB functionality
Built without a screen
The TedScore: 7/10
Casio CDP S110 Digital Piano
AFFORDABLE AND EXCELLENT STUDENT PIANO
Perfect For: Beginner to progressing players
Authentic keyboard action encourages correct technique
With an extra sleek profile for a modern aesthetic and added portability
MIDI-enabled for a world of opportunities
A great student instrument, ideal for taking you through your grades
Can easily fit into any practice space
Some more experienced players might find it a bit limited in terms of preset sounds
The TedScore: 8/10
Summary – Piano Techniques
To get your piano playing skills to a pro level, it’s important to practice regularly. However, practising alone isn’t enough. You must always remember the different playing techniques, avoid common mistakes many players make, and get feedback from someone knowledgeable about the piano. These will help you identify your strengths and areas for improvement.
Practising the piano requires patience and practice. It takes time to master playing the musical instrument and building a technique that works for you. So keep practising and playing the piano regularly!
Do you have a different or unique piano playing technique? We’d love to hear from you!
What is the best piano technique?
The best and most important piano technique is to get started correctly with proper posture and hand position.
What is the hardest piano technique?
Regarding the most difficult piano technique, many experts agree that the Polyphonic style is the most challenging. This style requires a pianist to play multiple melodies simultaneously, and only the most skilled and experienced pianists can do it with ease
What are the performance techniques for piano?
Your posture, hand position, and touch all play a role in creating beautiful piano music. When you sit down at the piano, ensure your hands are relaxed, your wrists should be flexible and free to move, and focus on using arm weight to produce a rich, full sound.
What is the 3-hand technique piano?
It’s a clever trick that creates the illusion of having three hands playing simultaneously. The technique involves playing with only two hands, often using the inside fingers (1 and 2, for example), but creating three distinct voices. To try it out yourself, place fingers 3 and 4 on C# and D#, and the remaining fingers on white keys, then press down all five keys.