For many, the journey to becoming a good piano player seems to be a long, hard, and exhausting one. But only a few people realize it’s possible to be great without practicing insane hours a day. And after playing piano since I was three years old, passing many musical theory tests, and playing in Carnegie Hall twice, I can confidently say that I'm one of those people, and by following these simple steps, you’re on your way to being the next Beethoven!
Ask a friend-It’s very possible that one of your friends or family members can play the piano! There’s no shame in asking them for a little advice. Whether they give small suggestions here and there, or just become your full time teacher, it’s always better to get a second opinion, then spend hours worrying about something all by yourself. And who knows, the two of you could even end up playing a duet together!
Divide the sections-An entire piece can seem very intimidating, especially when you’re either just starting out, or attempting a very long and difficult piece. The trick is to divide the composition into different sections, usually only about a few measures long. Once you’ve perfected it, you can move onto another section, and eventually combine the two. Before you know it, you’ll be able to play the whole thing without a problem
Play hands separately-As you play through these different sections, you want to be sure you have everything down, and the only way to do that, is to play hands separately, or at least in the beginning. Play a few measures of each hand many times before you put them together-or at least enough times where you can generally play all the notes without much thinking. Each hand must have a mind of their own while playing, which enables the melody to be brought out, however this is only possible when you have mastered all the notes on both hands before finally playing them together.
Add in articulations-Once you’ve learned all the notes, it’s time to start adding in some of the extra details that help bring a piece to life. For example, even changing the volume (known as dynamics) at times, can add a lot to the story the composition is trying to tell. Louder and bolder moments are often encourages in the intense sections, while light, quiet moments are mostly saved up for “happy” and dainty parts. Simple things like these help a musician bring out the emotional aspect of the piece.
Be wise about your tempo-Many beginner players do not realize that playing at the final tempo right after learning all the notes and articulations could break the entire piece. While it may sound vaguely similar to what it’s actually supposed to sound like, it can be fatal towards your playing. You will obviously miss many notes, play the wrong ones, and develop bad habits. You need to be sure that you’re very confident about your ability to play all the right notes, rhythms, and articulations before you can speed up the piece and play the tempo it’s meant to be played at.
When Beethoven was only a young child, he went deaf, and was obviously devastated, after realizing it would be near impossible to play the piano without being able to hear a single thing. However, he loved playing so much that he felt the vibrations on the piano to make music, and now he is one of must praised and loved musical composers in the world! It is true that he was in fact, a musical genius, and all pianists know the struggle of not giving up in the tougher parts, but another thing we all can agree on, is when you finally perform the piece and realize how much you’ve grown, it’s all worth the blood, sweat and tears invested into the piano, and by using these tricks, it’ll be just a little bit easier to do so.