How to Learn Piano Fast

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Last updatedLast updated: April 30, 2021
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Want to know how to learn piano fast? We’ve got you covered here. We’ll look at all the steps you can take to accelerate your learning and become comfortable playing the piano as soon as possible.

The piano was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori at the turn of the 18th century. While the instrument has been modernized since then, the way to play it has pretty much stayed the same. It remains of the most popular instruments ever made and has been used in countless songs.

Trying to learn is from being a complete novice can be challenging, especially if you’re not taking the right steps. You need to know what you’re going, set a plan in place, and practice in the right way. Here we’ll show you how to maximize your learning and therefore minimize the time spent.

Let’s get started on how to learn the piano fast!

How long does it take to learn a piano?

How to Learn Piano Fast

This is a hard question to answer as everyone is going to be different. If you practice hard enough, then it’s possible to get to a high level of proficiency in a matter of months. This generally involves practicing every day or nearly every day.

As with learning any new skill, your progress isn’t going to be rapid. There are many different aspects to the piano, and you’ll also know how to read music, which can be difficult if you’ve never done it before.

You’ll also need to consider what level of proficiency you’re aiming for. Do you just want to play along with your favorite songs? Perhaps you want to become a professional musician? Do you want to become a concert pianist? All of these will take different timescales.

If you wanted to get confident playing by ear, then fast progress would enable you to reach that level in 4-6 months. If you practice hard enough, however, you can start to enjoy playing in a matter of weeks. True mastery of an instrument takes years of dedicated practice but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It’s recommended to start with the basics first.

Best piano practice tips

Learning and practicing with patience is said to be a key by pianists. All the effort and time invested in learning piano will result in long-term success. Here we look at the best piano practice tips for you to keep in mind.

Set time aside daily – You need to dedicate time to playing your piano, and the more time you give it, the better. You should practice daily for at least 20 minutes. If you can’t play every day, then simply try to do it as frequently as possible.

Warm-up beforehand – Why do you need to warm up when playing the piano?! Well, bad posture and playing style can put pressure on your neck/shoulder, wrists and fingers. It’s good to start your session with a stretch and then complete some piano warm-up exercises.

Don’t get ahead of yourself – Trying to do too much at the start will only get you down. Take on one task at a time and keep at it until you’re comfortable. It’s a good idea to set yourself goals and try and beat it. Don’t think you’ll be playing virtuoso solos right away.

Take it slow – Why should you take it slow when you want to learn fast? The reason is that it’s much easier to learn something slowly and correctly rather than fast or wrong. Being deliberate and slow with your practice means you’ll be able to master it sooner.

Visualize – Muscle memory isn’t a real thing. It’s just regular memory. If your brain knows what to do, then your muscles will follow. Visualization works as it helps to strengthen those memories and improve your proficiency. Visualize whenever you can, whether that is in bed, on a train, or a bus. Practice keystrokes and think through for scales.

Learn songs you know – It’s a great idea to start off by trying to play songs you’re familiar with. You’ll know the rhythm of the song, and it allows you to focus on your playing. You can learn quicker this way than with songs you barely know. Not only will you learn faster, but you’ll have more fun, which is always a motivator.

Know what you are aiming to achieve

For most people, setting goals works. This could be with their jobs, at the gym, or when you’re learning to play the piano. Before you sit down to play, have a think about what you want to achieve in your practice session.

This could be practicing a major scale 10 times, learning how to play the first four bars of a song, or playing through a song with no mistakes. It’s important to remember the level you’re at. You want to push yourself but not too hard that you get disheartened.

You also need to take into consideration the time you have. Try and set yourself a goal that will take around 20 minutes to complete. If you want to spend more time practicing, you can either repeat what you’ve done or move on to the next goal.

Keeping up motivation is vital when learning an instrument. Setting goals and then completing them gives you a sense of achievement. This, in turn, gives you a little buzz of happiness and keeps you focused.

Make sure you are ready to play difficult parts

How to Learn Piano Fast

We mentioned it briefly in the section above, but warm-ups are essential. Even expert performers will warm up before play. The reason for this is that it literally prepares their fingers and allows for the dexterity needed. It’s vital for beginners.

It’s good to start with physical warm-ups and here is a small selection of what you can do:

  • Place your ear on one shoulder and then repeat with the other shoulder. This will help to loosen up your neck muscles.
  • Shrug your shoulder up to your ears a few times. This is great for your arms and shoulders.
  • To loosen up your arms and wrists, extend your arms out and roll your wrists in a circular motion.
  • Put your hand out with your palms facing out. With the other hand, gently pull back on your fingers, then switch hands. This is great for stretching out those fingers.

Once you’ve done that, you can then focus on technical warm-ups. Common techniques are:

  • Hanon exercises – Created by Charles-Louis Hannon, these exercises build finger strength and dexterity.
  • Scales – Practicing your scales is not only a good exercise, but it helps to reinforce them into memory.
  • Flashcards – This is a great learning exercise in any field. It keeps things random and fun while quizzing yourself on notes, theory, and chords.

Master the technique every day

Repetition, repetition, repetition. It may seem tedious at times but doing the same thing over and over again cements it into your brain. This is why it’s suggested that you practice every day. If you leave it for too long, then you’ll begin to forget everything that you’ve learned.

Practice your techniques every day, and you’ll soon become the master of them. It’s a good idea to set aside a specific time in your day for practice as this makes it into a routine that is much easier to follow. If you keep practicing those techniques, then they’ll soon become second nature.

Along with playing daily, it’s a great idea to read about techniques and theory from reliable sources. The Piano Book for Adult Beginners by Damon Ferrante is one such example.

Play slower and use a metronome

When you try and play fast, you end up hitting the wrong notes, and it can end up sounding like a mess. It’s tempting to do this, especially when you are trying to play a song. You want to play it at the regular tempo, but this is unrealistic at the start.

It doesn’t matter how slow you play. It’s more important to get the notes right. The next time you do it, you’ll be able to play it a little quicker. After a few times, you’ll find that you’re now playing along at full speed.

Using a metronome will also help keep you on time. The beauty of using a metronome is that you can set it to whatever beats per minute (BPM) that you want. It will train your brain to improve your timing and also allow you to set goals.

Listen and repeat

Another great learning technique is to listen along to a song and try to repeat it. This not only makes it easy to feel the rhythm of a song but will also tech you to pick up notes. Some modern digital pianos have a feature on them that allows you to play along with songs and some apps are great for this too.

Try to learn solos

Learning piano solos can be a very fun exercise. When learning a new song, it can sometimes become mind-numbing going over the start of the song time and time again. Solos are different and a good challenge. They are usually great for finder coordination and not too long either. It helps to break up a song and give you something different to try.

Use each hand separately

Using each hand independently significantly increases your playing potential, but it’s not easy. Rather than trying to do it all at once, it’s a better idea to practice using each hand separately. When you’re comfortable with both parts, you can then bring your hands together, starting with a slower tempo.

There is no doubt that this can be stressful. At times it feels as though you need two brains to work it out. If you do start to get stressed then go back to one of your one-handed exercises and come back to it when you’re a little more rested.

Breaks are also important

Learning a new instrument takes a lot of concentration, and it can also be stressful. You should avoid mental fatigue by factoring in breaks. After around 20 minutes of solid learning, get some fresh air or grab a drink. This will help to prevent burnout and keep you fresh. Without a break for playing can get sloppy and tired, so factor in breaks.

Don’t give up!

Many of the tips that we’ve looked at already are aimed at streamlining the process and prevent you from becoming bored. When learning a skill, many people experience a point where they want to give up. There may be a day where you’re just constantly hitting the wrong notes and get annoyed.

At these moments, it’s vital that you push through. Instead of walking away from the piano, have a break and take a few deep breaths. When learning anything, you’ll always have those days when it’s simply a struggle. If you set goals and have targets, then it’s easier to get to those days where everything clicks.

Have fun!

You’re not going to learn the piano if you’re not having fun. You’ll end up getting frustrated, and it’s at this point where many people give up. While practice is vital to your learning, you’ll also want to make it fun for yourself.

As we mentioned earlier, setting yourself goals is a good way to do this as you get that happy buzz when you’ve achieved it. Another way to ensure you’re having fun is to learn one of your favorite songs, as this will remind you of why you love learning to play.

It’s important to find the balance between consistent practice and jamming sessions. If you’re finding it tough, then try and mix it up and have a little fun with it. If you’re finding something a struggle, don’t be afraid to move on and go back to it at a later date.

Online lessons

One of the advantages that modern piano players have is the enormous access to free resources. You have free webinars, which provide expert knowledge without any cost. Along with this, there are many articles breaking down specific parts of piano learning.

Along with this, there are online piano lessons that you can pay for, which can help you develop your skills. These are brilliant as they have a defined structure that you can follow. There are also more niched lessons, such as online jazz piano lessons.

Online learning goes even further than that. There is now a range of apps that you can use to not only play the piano but also develop your knowledge of music. This is great for practice when you can’t be by your piano.

Along with online lessons, you can practice using educational modes that some digital pianos and keyboards offer. If you haven’t purchased your favorite instrument yet, our experts recommend the Yamaha PSR-EW300 model that allows you to hone your musical skills with its built-in learning program.

Final thoughts

While speed has been the theme of this guide, it’s always important to be patient. You can’t start a technical skill and expect to master it in the day. You need to put in the hours and practice and use all of the tools that we’ve looked at here.

They say that practice makes perfect, but that’s not strictly true. Practice makes permanent. If you practice in the wrong way, then you’ll not only develop bad habits, but it will slow down your progress, just like trying to learn to drive with a bad instructor.

When you set goals and dedicate time to practice every day, you’ll be able to stay motivated and see rapid improvements. Hopefully, now you have a clear idea of how to learn piano fast, and soon you’ll be a piano expert and be able to play any song you want.

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