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Efficient Piano Practice

Updated on July 18, 2011

What's one thing that a lot of musicians hate to do? Practice! Practice of course makes perfect, or even better, perfect practice makes perfect. But it's hard to continue when you keep getting stuck over and over again.

When told to practice a lot of people end up just replaying the parts they know over and over again. Why? Cause it's easy to play what you know. Most of us have to be pushed to practice the harder sections. Here's a few tips though that I found online to help you keep your practice time to a minimum while also being really efficient.

Start with the harder parts first

For a more efficient piano practice when given a new song, start with the harder parts first. That way, by the time you get to the easy stuff, you can zip through the easy areas and you'll have learned the whole song. Second, always start with hands separate. Some people may be able to sight read hands together, but it really helps to get the fingerings and techniques down a lot faster cause you're only focusing on one hand. By getting it right from the beginning, you're bound to make less mistakes later on.

Cut down your work

As you begin to practice the difficult parts, cut it down to maybe 2 or 3 measures, depending on the difficulty of the piece of course. This allows you to practice one area of the music multiples times in just a few minutes.

Make sure that when you do this you also overlap a measure before and after the sections you are playing, just to make sure that your muscles get used to transitioning to the next section. Otherwise you might get used to playing that one section and once you try to start playing by memory your muscles might be stuck.

Start memorizing from the beginning

Also the best and fastest way to learn a new song is to start memorizing it right from the beginning. You, like me, might hate memorizing pieces cause it takes so long, but only cause once we know how to play the pieces by reading the sheet music, we don't have the patience to relearn again by memory. Even after you've memorized the piece, if you're practicing for say, a performance, always keep the sheet music in front of you as a guide.

Remember if you're really struggling and just can't seem to get a certain part, then take a break and get back to it later. It won't be efficient practice anymore if you can't focus and keep getting frustrated with yourself.

I hope that these few tips have been helpful to improve your practice time. Happy playing!


Above are a few great sites that I found where you can download free sheet music. Know anymore great free sheet music sites that I can add to the list? Shout it out in the comments below.

Have any other tips for a more efficient piano practice? Shout them out here!

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