Mistakes to Avoid When Learning to Play the Piano

The piano is one of the most majestic instruments there is. As with any musical learning journey, it requires plenty of practice, dedication, and focus. Naturally, amateur pianists often fall prey to several mistakes that can inhibit their potential and hinder their progress. In that spirit, we’ve compiled some of the most common pitfalls to avoid when taking up the piano.


Getting frustrated by slow and unsteady progress is part of any pianist’s experience. Because the piano has a pretty steep learning curve, it isn’t rare for people to grow impatient, wonder why they aren’t getting better, and eventually throw in the towel. Remember that learning an instrument takes time and that you cannot master it in a matter of weeks. It’s the work of a lifetime!

Lack of Structured Learning

Playing rather than practicing, practicing in spurts, or not taking classes is almost always a guarantee for no progress. As the Maryland-based music aficionados at https://sloanschoolofmusic.com/lessons/piano/ explain, enrolling in lessons and having a structured schedule are essential if you ever hope to play your favorite Chopin or Bach pieces. While you might teach yourself simple melodies, advanced play requires supervision from a qualified instructor.

Neglecting Finger Movement

The piano calls for a great deal of dexterity. In fact, proper fingering techniques are what allow expert pianists to swift through the keys so effortlessly. As a beginner, you may not place enough focus on finger movements, which will inevitably make it harder to play and progress. Try to combine learning the keys with mastering finger movements to ensure optimal results, rather than practice both separately.

Poor Posture

Maintaining good posture is essential for all instruments. Slouching or sitting too stiffly can cause back and neck aches and hamper playing. The same goes for wrist positioning and your distance to the keyboard. If you do not pay attention to these aspects, chances are you’ll have a hard time playing well and getting better. Enroll in courses at your local music center or watch tutorials to master good posture.

Ignoring Rhythm

People too often think that playing well means playing fast, which is one of the greatest misconceptions when taking up the piano. Every piece you’ll come across has its rhythm and tempo, with notes indicating different timings. As such, it’s imperative to respect the music sheet if you ever hope to get it right! Rushing will only build frustration and prevent you from improving your skills.

Shying Away from Performing

Lastly, but importantly, novice pianists will succumb to panic and stage fright when asked to perform in public. In truth, few exercises are as formative as playing in front of people; you’ll learn to manage your stress and overcome your performance anxiety. After all, no one is in their right to expect perfection from a beginner.

All in all, learning the piano is no easy feat. That’s why it’s crucial to take things slow, master basic techniques first, and monitor your progress. With consistent practice and a great instructor, you’ll be able to play your favorite pieces in a matter of months!

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