ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tips on Practicing Piano

Updated on March 5, 2013
JohnMello profile image

JohnMello is a writer, composer, musician and the author of books for children and adults.

Students need to be taught how to practice the piano
Students need to be taught how to practice the piano | Source

Students of all disciplines face many of the same challenges, and one of the biggest challenges is tackling homework in the right way. For piano students, homework is typically referred to as practicing. Teachers can take for granted that their students know what to do, but the truth is that they do not. Like everything else they learn, they need to be taught how to practice.

Below are some tips that will help take the hard work out of any practice session. These tips are universally applicable and should be adopted by students of any age or at any stage of their career. Younger students can be introduced to them gradually, building up their practice skills as their ability improves.

Be sure to practice every day for maximum benefit
Be sure to practice every day for maximum benefit | Source

How to Practice at the Piano

Practicing can be fun and productive if you go about it in the right way. The following seven tips should help make it as enjoyable an experience as it can be.

  1. Set up a practice routine - It's easier to remember to practice if you make it part of your daily routine. Practice at the same time every day so you don't forget to do it. Pick a time when you've got half an hour to spare, a time when there's enough peace and quiet in your practice area to enable you to focus on what you want to achieve.
  2. Practice every day - Once your routine is established, stick to it for all you're worth. Try to avoid the temptation to skip a practice session because you don't feel like it, or because your friends are outside playing. Finish your practice first, then go and do something else.
  3. Get ready to practice - Make sure you have everything you need when you sit down to practice, including your music, a pencil, and anything else you use as part of your session. Start by warming up with some simple exercises such as scales or arpeggios. This helps get your blood circulating and reminds your fingers that they need to respond to your commands.
  4. Practice in sections - Break difficult pieces down into smaller sections, say four or eight bars at a time. Practice these sections over and over to really get them ingrained in your fingers and your brain. It's better to work on the hard stuff in isolation so that when you put the piece back together again it seems less daunting.
  5. Practice hands separately - You have two hands, and one of them is bound to be stronger than the other. You can compensate for this by giving both hands the same amount of "key" time. Don't forget to finish this kind of practice with both hands together again.
  6. Practice along with a beat - Use a metronome to keep time and to help develop your sense of rhythm. you can use the accompaniment feature on a keyboard or electric piano to do the same thing. Always keep the metronome speed at a tempo you can manage: you can always speed things up when you know the piece perfectly.
  7. Finish with a bang - End your practice session doing something fun. Play a piece you already know or a piece you particularly like. This is your reward for putting in the practice time and is a nice way to round things off.

Practice makes (almost) perfect
Practice makes (almost) perfect | Source

Practice Makes Perfect Pianists

Learning any new skill takes time, patience and discipline. If you want your piano playing skills to improve at the fastest possible rate, you need to practice on a regular basis. It isn't rocket science, as they say, but it is the single most important thing you can do to accelerate your progress.

Despite the heading of this section, don't try to be perfect. Aim for perfection, by all means, but allow yourself room for development and growth. If you could do everything the first time you sat down at the piano, there'd be no need to practice. But we're all human, and we have to expect our skills to develop slowly over time.

The Piano Student's Guide to Effective Practicing (Hal Leonard Student Piano Library)
The Piano Student's Guide to Effective Practicing (Hal Leonard Student Piano Library)

The Piano Student's Guide to Effective Practicing shows the student how to save time and build good practice habits, helping acquire techniques that will prove productive and effective for years to come.


What's the Perfect Practice Length?

How long you spend practicing will depend on a number of variables, including:

  • How old you are
  • How long you've been playing or having lessons
  • The difficulty of the music
  • How much time you have available

Everybody's different, so the key is to find a routine and a system that works for you. Some people can practice for half an hour and get everything done in that time, while for others it takes two hours to accomplish their goals.

Generally speaking, the younger you are and the newer to lessons you are, the less practice you need. The best way to approach it is to create a routine in which you can fit in everything that needs to be done, and tick off the items as they're achieved. If you can get everything done in half an hour, then that's as long as you need to practice.

Finally, try to learn how to listen to what you're practicing. If you keep making the same mistake, stop and work it out. Practice the problem section over and over, one hand at a time, slowly and patiently, until it eventually irons itself out.

Have Your Say!

Which do you find most difficult to accomplish?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • JohnMello profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from England

      Thanks gabrielyeong, hope it was of use to you.

    • Bigtelv37 profile image

      Tevin Marshall 

      5 years ago from Winston-Salem, NC

      thanks for thuragment.

    • gabrielyeong profile image

      Gabriel Yeong 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      This is a very informative article on learning to practice the piano!

    • JohnMello profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from England

      Thanks Bigtelv37! It takes time... hang in there and I'm sure you'll succeed.

    • Bigtelv37 profile image

      Tevin Marshall 

      5 years ago from Winston-Salem, NC

      This really helped. Especially the breaking it down into sections to actually learn the material, I've been trying to learn lately, but I've been trying to get the left hand down, and also my transitions


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)