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Is Piano Difficult To Learn?

Is piano difficult to learn by yourself? Do I need a teacher?

Piano is really a work in progress. Determining whether or not you are up for the challenge of piano can be the most difficult part. It takes hours sometimes to perfect the most subtle details, but in the end it’s really all worth it. If you’re wondering if piano is difficult to learn then the short answer is; maybe. It kind of all depends on what you’re trying to achieve, your work ethic, the kind of training you have, and your overall ambition.

Most pianists can teach themselves if they invest in the right kind of piano method or online courses. To be able to play piano successfully and get the most authentic playing experience out of it, potentially beginning piano lessons with a private teacher can bring the best out of you.

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10 Things You Should Know About Piano Playing… Is Piano Difficult To Learn?

I want to share with you some things that I’ve learned throughout my journey as a concert pianist and what I think all beginner pianists should know before diving into this instrument. Some of my pointers my surprise you, but it’ll definitely be worth the read!

I’ve broken this all down into 10 short sections so that you can really get an unbiased scope of how piano playing really is. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or advanced, the same sort of principles will apply through your journey with this instrument.

 

1. Learning On Your Own Is Doable…But Having A Good Experienced Teacher Matters

A lot of pianists want to get by without investing in a qualified teacher. I think a common thought is that maybe the teachers aren’t worth the money. Sometimes they aren’t, but a high-quality experienced teacher is definitely worth the investment. They bring their prior musical experience and provide one on one feedback which can be essential when it comes to learning a musical instrument.

Learning on your own is doable, but you’re bound to run into enough frustrating roadblocks that giving up will look like a real possibility, whereas a piano teacher will make you want to play piano harder and play songs.

Piano teachers are there not to just tell you what fingers to use or to simply say “okay now you do it”. Instead, piano teachers are there to offer you the kind of moral support and encouragement you need to keep pushing. A good piano teacher will be able to give you a sense of direction, watch all of the things you do, and help you develop your technique as well.

A lot of the work happens in the practice room, but knowing what to do while you’re in there is helpful with a teacher involved. Once you’ve advanced enough then you can try going without a teacher. But even then, having a teacher by your side is never a bad idea.

 

2. Work Ethic Matters

When you’re working with an instrument like the piano you have to be prepared to really work on it. If you want to do well then that’s basically the trade-off. I’m not suggesting that you jump up and spend 7 hours a day on the piano like some professionals do, but you need to schedule it.

Piano practice should be a regular part of your schedule. This means you’ll have to sacrifice some things at times so that you can work on your craft. If you don’t feel like you can give up a couple of movies and video games to get better then you’re going to have some problems down the line!

Your practice doesn’t have to be long, but it needs to be consistent. Of course, if you’re working on a difficult piece of repertoire like Brahms and Rachmaninoff then you need to make it relative to that project.

 

3. Your Music Background Shouldn’t Matter

It helps if you already have some sort of musical background before playing the piano. Whether that’s singing or playing the recorder, everyone starts somewhere. However, it is not necessary at all to become a pianist though.

Piano a lot of times is like math, and it’s about putting all of those pieces together. If you’ve got a good mentality towards learning to play the piano and are willing to learn then you can approach it no matter your history. Learning to play the piano involves skills that can all be taught such as reading sheet music, hand position, hand movement, finger movement, and correct fingering placements.

 

4. Cheap Keyboards And Bad Pianos Won’t Help You

When starting out, you are not likely to just have a full concert grand piano at your disposal. This is fine, but practicing on a cheap keyboard or a bad piano will not help you learn the correct techniques. Getting a decent digital keyboard is a good start, however, an acoustic piano is the go-to for learning to play the piano.

Having a good upright piano is fantastic for you to practice piano. The moral of the story is that poor equipment leads to poor results, and it’s true that it’s really hard to play well on them in just about every factor. As you advance an upgrade will be necessary.

Do not start on a poor piano as it will lead to you creating your own bad habits and not fully developing as well as you should in the very beginning.

Choosing a digital piano can be confusing, but going through a research phase over a few weeks can really help nail it down to finding the right piano for you.

 

5. Psyching Yourself Out

From practice to performance, it’s really easy to psyche yourself out on the piano. You have to find a way to control your thoughts because that’s really all they are. Yes, it may sound silly, but thinking you’re going to perform poorly won’t help you improve at all. Yes, nerves are a very real thing, but if you worry about trying to get past those nerves then you’ll just get more nervous.

There’s something enjoyable about the adrenaline of performance and embracing it is the way to go. Besides, when you get nervous playing the piano actually becomes really difficult! All factors contribute to your playing and adding nerves can make it more complicated. Rather than overthinking the piano, just take it as it comes.

Something I like to do is take plenty of breaks whenever I get to a difficult passage and things aren’t working out. Rather than waving the white flag, I just come back to it later and find myself feeling much better about things. You have to remember piano is a highly engaging activity, so you should take it in stages.

Having lessons can really help get over some of your nerves. Start piano lessons thinking you are going to blow your piano instructor away with an incredible performance but at the same time, your private teacher will help you further your skills by providing teaching materials whether they show you a textbook or online tutorial for after the lesson concludes.

 

6. Technique & Patience Matters

Technical facility is a big part of piano playing. With good technique, you’ll be able to play scales, falling sequences, and all kinds of fancy stuff that piano players love to do. It takes time to develop that technique but it still comes down to the approach.

Many new pianists will simply complain that they can’t do this or that. “No I can’t play the scale at 123 BPM” and so forth. Much like a baby learns to walk, it takes time to build your muscles up with piano too. Just like an athlete trains and improves over the years so will you as a pianist.

Keep your mind on the prize and understand that your technical development is a long term project! You cannot expect to be playing Beethoven tomorrow. Begin with one-handed songs and take it slow.

 

7. Memory Is Tough

Memorizing piano music is different for everyone. Some people can get it on their first try, and for others, it takes some work. Don’t get too caught up in how long it takes you to memorize music; especially in the beginning.

Establishing good habits when playing the piano is very important. Learn from your own mistakes and keep a focused practice on things you know you need to improve. Developing bad habits will stick with you but you need to correct muscle memory and learn.

Over time you’ll develop some ways that work for you as an individual. Memory is probably the toughest part of piano playing because that’s what allows you to play pieces without having to stop all of the time. I also find that when I have pieces memorized that I can be the most musical versus trying to do sight-reading.

 

8. A Note About Repertoire

There’s a lot of amazing music for the piano. Everything from Liszt to Bartok. I think as a new pianist you’ve probably had your ears on some really awesome music and your goal is to learn it by a certain time period. Wanting to learn something means very little though if you’re not advanced enough for it yet.

The repertoire you choose really matters. Choosing music that’s beyond your technical and musical capabilities can really frustrate you. In that case then yes, playing the piano would be really hard! Instead what you should do is build up to that difficult repertoire.

 

9. Everything Doesn’t Have To Be Classical

Not all songs you learn on the piano have to be classical, playing pop songs or jazz songs may be more your style. If playing pop songs makes being motivated to learn the instrument easier, then play pop songs.

Maybe you just want to learn piano to learn some Pop tunes or read chord charts. That’s totally okay! The same principles will apply. You still have to practice, work on your technique and all of those things. Don’t be scared away from the instrument just because of the style of music. Try a bit of everything!

 

10. I’m Too Old Right?

The last thing I’ll say about learning piano is that you’re never too old to start. Many adults think it’s hard to learn the piano just because they’re over a certain age. You might not become an international sensation and tour the world, but you certainly can learn.

Honestly, it’s a little easier for adults to learn than kids. Since your brain is much more mature it’s easier to grasp some concepts that kids might not get the first time around. You also have more control over your schedule too and are more likely to commit and ask the right questions as an adult.

It’s always a nice thing when you can start the piano at a young age, but it’s not a requirement. Whether you want to learn the piano for yourself or to perform for people the best time to start is right now!

Learn Piano Music Today

Well, those are my thoughts about is piano difficult to learn. Learning the piano is something that I encourage anyone who wants to learn to do. If anything you shouldn’t worry too much about what you can and can’t do. Do not worry about is piano difficult to learn. Don’t even worry about not having the proper equipment either, just make sure you get started.

If you don’t have access to an instrument then consider calling up local churches and schools and seeing if you can use some of their instruments. Make a schedule and then really push yourself to stick to it. If you’re putting the time in every day and maximizing that time then you’ll be just fine.

Like I mentioned earlier it’s never too late to get started. If you are interested in beginning piano lessons, look no further than Music Lessons Australia. We have many dedicated teachers around Australia who want to help you achieve your dreams.You can start weekly lessons and begin your journey to learn piano. Enquire today to book your first trial lesson and see where you can go. And you don’t need to worry about going to the piano teacher’s home because they will come to you. Happy practicing!

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