Can You Teach Yourself the Piano? 5 Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Can You Learn to Play Piano by Yourself?

Yes, you can, but it’s going to be challenging.

In this video you’ll discover the top 5 pitfalls which await someone like yourself, who wants to teach himself or herself to play piano. You’ll also learn some tips for avoiding the pitfalls.

5 Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

1. Not knowing what to play

Most YouTube videos are pretty random and it’s hard to know where to start.

If you’re, just starting out, I highly recommend focusing on playing simple songs that you like. Emphasis on things like theory and technique are important, but they will wait a bit.

Your first order of business is to just play something that sounds decent, that you enjoy playing. Learn how to play a few simple chords and then look for chord sheets on the Internet and play along with your favorite recordings.

Try to find a self-contained online course for beginners or maybe a book. There are plenty, just make sure to read reviews and ask around in forums.

2. Having unrealistic expectations

woman teaching herself how to play the pianoMany people try too hard. They expect too much from themselves if they don’t sound like professional musicians within a month they get discouraged.

It’s important to remember that learning to master an instrument can take many years. Progress may be slow. It can take a few weeks to learn a new song.

Take it easy on yourself and don’t stress yourself out, don’t get frustrated when progress is slow. As long as there is progress – and you keep hammering on.

3. Lacking motivation

Motivation will usually be high in the beginning but can dwindle over time. There are two ways of fighting that.

First just focus on playing something that you really like. Don’t worry too much about the theory or technique.

Second, enlist the help of a friend or a loved one, although they might love you a little bit less once you do. Ask them to listen to you play once a week at a regular time. Knowing that someone will listen to you every week will create a very strong commitment on your part.

Just make them understand it’s more about motivating you and less about impressing them. That’s not the point here.

You could even use your smartphone to record yourself. Listening to yourself grow in weekly intervals and evolve over time will give you a very deep sense of satisfaction.

4. Not having a schedule

Just like any other activity, learning the piano really needs to be done on a regular schedule to be successful.

You need to set aside a fixed amount of time and you need to sit down every day at the same time and practice. Make sure you fit the practice routine into your daily schedule.

It could be every evening after work or school. Or maybe in the morning after breakfast. Either way, having a routine is one of the greatest forces that keeps you going even when motivation dwindles.

5. Not knowing which instrument to buy

Beginners, tend to agonize when buying their first instrument. Fortunately, today even entry-level, digital pianos and synths are pretty great.

Learning the piano, the entry-level, Yamaha, Hawaii or roland digital pianos are all fantastic. You could also buy a used model. That’s fine!

Try to buy something self-contained with speakers that doesn’t need a computer or some additional amplification to work, something that you can just turn on and play.

A Yamaha p45 can be had for about $400, which is really an amazing deal. And, of course, all of the other companies have their entry-level deals as well.

My point is don’t agonize. There are plenty of good, affordable entry level digital pianos available.


Last Updated : February 27th, 2023

Debbie Lee

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