Guide to piano practice

Glenn Sutton teaches guitar, electric bass, keyboard, theory and improvisation for over 30 years, he specializes in rock, blues, jazz, Latin, Brazilian, classical, country, and folk.

Introduction

Before you practice you might want to learn how to practice properly. Believe it or not there is a certain way you should be practicing and getting the most out of your practice sessions. Why waste your time and energy on the wrong techniques and methods? Read on to learn more.

Piano Practice

practicing the piano

Piano practice

If you’ve picked the piano as your instrument of choice for learning, that’s certainly a great idea – mastering it can bring lots of joy and a strong sense of achievement into your life. However, that’s often easier said than done – and all that enthusiasm you’re probably charged with right now will likely evaporate as soon as you hit your inevitable first brick wall during your practice sessions (and your long-term learning experience). What’s the trick to keeping yourself motivated and what’s the best guide to piano practice that will make you come back with an actual desire for the next session?

It must come from within you – but there’s certainly a lot you can do to help yourself. First, determine when your peak hours are – this is different for everyone, but in general most people tend to be most productive either in the morning after they’ve waken up, or around the afternoon. It’s important to be familiar with yourself and know these things – if you still don’t, do some experiments to find out, and observe yourself as you work throughout the day.

Place your piano practice in an attractive time slot during the day, when you’ll be completely free of any distractions. Any guide to piano practice will tell you how important this is – concentration is the single vital component for being able to learn everything properly when you sit down behind the piano, and if your mind keeps wandering off elsewhere you’ll never make any progress. Turn off the TV, shut down the computer and set your phone to vibrate. You can live without these things for an hour!

Often, after you’ve practiced for a while and you’ve started learning new things, you’d suddenly hit a “wall,” something that hinders your progress and prevents you from moving forward with your learning. Often the problem lies in trying to learn a particularly complicated technique which would be necessary later on.

And it’s often in these moments exactly that most people give up on the whole thing – after trying numerous times to get it right and failing they just decide it’s not worth it. You must put all your effort into keeping yourself motivated and interested during these tough periods, as your persistence will pay off times fold in a few days when you finally make that breakthrough. Trust us, you’ll feel like the king of the world at that point.

It’s important to keep yourself challenged though – if you only stick to what you’re familiar with and never walk out of your comfort zone (which is common for people once they’ve broken through the initial barriers of the learning process), you’ll stop moving on and eventually lose interest.

If you feel like you’ve mastered your current favorite piece, try learning a new one that utilizes more complex note sequences – anything that you haven’t tried before, just as long as it’s able to help you realize that you’ve still got much to learn and discover. Even better, make a long-term checklist of your goals and keep ticking them off!

 

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