The Worst Thing About Playing The Piano

The Worst Thing About Playing The Piano

What’s the worst thing about playing the piano? No, it isn’t the constant barrage of requests you’ll get from your family and friends. It isn’t the daily practice routines you’ll place on your calendar. 

If you don’t practice the piano the right way and pick up bad habits, you’ll be wasting your time. 

How do these bad habits form?The Worst Thing About Playing The Piano

Many bad habits are caused by stress from practicing pieces that are too difficult for your playing level. To overcompensate for what you can’t do, you reach beyond your means to play in any manner you can. 

Another bad habit is using the damper or soft pedal too frequently. This is a sign of an unqualified teacher. Overusing these pedals only makes bad playing that much worse. 

Some pianists will play without any regard to musicality. They bang away at the notes simply to get through the song. If a student equates completion or loudness with achievement, the result is playing simply to master the notes. But playing the piano is so much more. It takes a trained ear to listen while they play. Creating the right sound involves feeling what you play. 

Then there are incorrect finger and hand movements. This is common without formal training, and is also connected with beginners who simply bang away on the keys. Weak fingers are caused by not allowing your arms to do the work. And when a student continues to play this way, it takes time to be retaught to connect with the full dynamic range of the piano. 

Stuttering can be caused by stopping at every incorrect bar. If you focus on your mistakes, it only makes the mistakes more apparent. Instead, play the music from beginning to end. Don’t stop and correct it. Make a mental note of where you stumble and go back and play that section again. Work on specific areas until you can take it to the next level. Then start the process again.  

The worst thing about bad habits is they can take a long time to eliminate. We fall back into old patterns easily. 

Therefore nothing creates better learning more than learning the right way the first time. For example, a good piano instructor will set you up for positive learning right from the start. And learning to play on a high quality piano will give you the musicality you need to succeed. 

Bad habits can happen. But if you take the right steps and give yourself all the tools you need to play better, you’ll enjoy the process that much more.