The piano is hailed for being an incredibly versatile instrument with a universal presence in virtually all genres of music. As such, it is no wonder why it is one of the most popular instruments to learn for those looking to get into music. Whether you wish to teach yourself how to play the piano or enroll your child in piano lessons for kids in Singapore, the learning process of this complex instrument can be frustrating. In most cases, common beginner mistakes are the reason for this frustration. To make the experience more enjoyable and speed up your piano learning, it would be best to avoid the following pitfalls.
Don’t follow an improper position and posture
Previously, you might have already learned not to sit too near or far from the piano when learning to play. Thus, practicing how you sit and correcting your posture may not all seem important to playing the piano, but it is. Consider it a small but integral part of the bigger picture of your piano learning: you need to nail down every little detail to produce the best sound and fully comprehend what you are doing.
One of these details that get commonly overlooked is the position. Having the right or wrong posture can significantly impact the quality of your performance and even comfort. Hence, make sure to use a suitable stool or chair, adjust it to the appropriate height, maintain an upright position with feet on the floor, and hold your wrists above the keys. Keep your fingers curved, not flat or splayed. Lastly, try to stay relaxed when you play.
Do pay attention to the fingering
After playing a piece several times, it can be tempting to ignore the fingering directions for that given piece. However, take note that these directions are crucial. If you choose to neglect this advice, you could find yourself having difficulties as the music progresses and struggling to make a stretch. Developing good habits, such as paying attention to the fingering, right from the start will prevent avoidable frustrations down the line.
Don’t overlook the rhythm
Many beginners tend to overlook rhythm when focusing on learning the notes and minding your fingering. However, becoming familiar with the rhythm, also known as the signature beat of the music, can have a big difference in your playing. No matter what piece of music you are practicing, think about its beat before even touching the keys and consider using a metronome when playing to internalize its tempo.
Don’t stick to a C major only
It is understandable to prefer sticking to the comfort zone of C major, where there exists no flats or sharps to contend with. But to progress, it would be wise to get to grips with more challenging keys and gain mastery of the keyboard. In doing so, you become more proficient and better at changing keys as well as altering the pitch and range of a piece of music.
Do know the difference between keys and notes
To fully understand the inner workings behind the musical structure, it is essential not to overlook the distinction between keys and notes. The keys are the tangible and physical parts of the piano keyboard and relate to pitch. On the other hand, notes are represented by the music sheet of a given piece.
Don’t neglect the scales
Scales can be best described as the basic yet crucial exercise in your training to develop your playing muscles. They improve one’s strength and dexterity, two vital requirements for progression, and help cement an overall understanding of pitch, notes, and chords. Learning the scales is not all that exciting since it is not exactly ‘musical’ or fun, but it is nonetheless fundamental for your musical education.
Furthermore, running through the scales also serves as a fantastic warm-up exercise for your fingers before you practice. No matter how quick your progress may be, always put in the time to continue practicing the scales since it will stand you in good stead.
When it comes to something as challenging as learning the piano, just remember that the adage ‘practice makes perfect’ remains true. It is inevitable to get into bad habits when starting out, but what matters, in the end, is if you make an effort to recognize what these habits are and put in the time to correct them. As a result, you will see your piano playing skills quickly improve and make you more confident as a musician.
If you need extra guidance when it comes to mastering the piano, The Music Works is here to help. Our certified, professional instructors are dedicated to teaching you how to be the best pianist you can be by following the well-established syllabus of the ABRSM in Singapore. Contact us today when you are ready to build a solid rhythmic foundation with us!