Whether you are self-studying, taking classes, or being taught by private tutors, you need constant practice when it comes to learning to play the piano correctly. Practice is not something you can just choose to skip, as mastering the piano relies heavily on how much and how often you practice.
Mentors, teachers, books, and learning programs can only do so much in helping you learn. Applying everything they give you through practice is the only way to improve.
If you want to develop a practice habit, we have compiled a list of routines you can try. You can use these routines for 30 minutes to an hour every day of the week!
Is Daily Piano Practice Important?
Practice is the most important aspect of playing the piano. If you ask how long professionals pianists practice, most likely, they would answer not enough.
Have you ever wondered why? The reason is that the piano is a physical skill. The more you practice, the easier it becomes. It is the nature of our brain to retain memory. The piano, in particular, is an instrument where constant practice is crucial. Practice will allow your mind to get used to playing as well as make it easier for you to improvise and develop your own style along with your skills over time.
Refusing practice or practicing today only to not touch the piano until the next month will not improve your playing. This kind of attitude towards practice can only make it harder for you to progress through your lessons.
30-Minute Piano Exercises for Beginners
To not lose your momentum, you must set a strict daily routine that trains the agility of your fingers and your mind. You will have to exercise strict self-discipline and stick to the routine. If you have to miss practice today, however, that is fine.
All you have to do is make up for it the next day. If you can, extend your practice session to make up for the lost time.
Here is a great 30-minute piano exercise routine for beginners that you can do every day:
|Like most exercises, you should always start practice with a short warm-up session. Warming up is great to get you in the mood for piano practice. A great way to warm up is to study scales. |
One of the things beginners should master is major and minor scales. They are simple and easy, so they are the perfect thing to use as a warm-up. Another thing you can add to your warm-up is chords and inversions. Chords are very useful for when you want to learn popular songs.
|Sheet music is very important if you want to improve as a piano. Truthfully, learning sheet music can be very intimidating but it does not have to be! You can take 10 short minutes to look it over. Just look at the notes, and symbols, name them and look at them carefully. If you can, try to play the pattern in your head–no do not touch the piano just yet! By doing this exercise in your head, it will not just help you practice reading sheet music, but it will also help you develop your sight-reading skills. As a bonus, analyzing sheet music will give you a deeper, more intimate relationship with the music you will be playing.|
|After you have looked through the entire sheet music, you can finally get on the piano and start playing. It is important to try and be attentive to the way you play. Watch out for parts that you think need more focus and improvement.|
|10-Minute Focused Practice|
|Remember the parts of the song you had trouble in? Spend the last 10 minutes of your practice session going over them again. This is the most vital part of your daily practice. By going through the hard parts over and over, you are training your fingers and mind to get used to how it should be played. Want to see immediate results? Try playing the full piece one last time and see how much you have improved!|
Weekly Piano Practice Chart
In this section, I am going to help you come up with a simple weekly piano practice routine for beginners. I will be including easy popular songs that you can use for daily piano practice. You can use the 30-minute routine I have provided above!
|Topic: C Scale and Chord Inversions|
Song: All of Me by John Legend
|Topic: G Scale and Chord Inversions|
Song: Everything I Do by Bryan Adams
|Topic: D Scale and Chord Inversions|
Song: A Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay
|Topic: Review the songs you practiced in the last 3 days.|
|Topic: F Scale and Chord Inversions|
Song: Amazing Grace
|Topic: A Scale and Chord Inversions|
Song: Blank Space by Taylor Swift
|Topic: Review the songs you practiced on Friday and Saturday.|
Classical Songs to Practice on the Piano for Beginners
If you would like to play classical songs that are great for beginners, here are some suggestions (1) that you might like:
|– Bartók Mikrokosmos Book 1 Nos. 1-30|
– Dunhill ‘First Year Pieces’ Nos. 1-3
– Gurlitt Op. 117 Nos. 1-11
– Kunz Op. 14 Nos. 1-20
– Kabalevsky Op. 39 Nos. 1-3
– Satie ‘Menus propos enfantins’
– Satie ‘Enfantillages pittoresques’
– Satie ‘Peccadilles importunes’
|– Attwood ‘Four Sonatinas’ 1-3|
– Bartók Mikrokosmos Book 1 Nos. 31– 36
– Bartók Mikrokosmos Book 2 Nos. 37-56
– vBoyle ‘In Times Past’ Nos. 1-9
– Dunhill ‘First Year Pieces’ Nos. 4-12
– Grechaninov Op. 98 Nos. 1-4, 8
– Gurlitt Op. 101 Nos. 1-2, 6-9, 11, 18
– Gurlitt Op. 117 Nos. 12-24
– Gurlitt Op. 140 Nos. 1-4, 18-19
– Gurlitt Op. 205 Nos. 2-3
– Hässler Op. 38 Nos. 1-5
– Kunz Op. 14 Nos. 20-100
– Kabalevsky Op. 39 Nos. 4-9, 11-13
– Khachaturian ‘Ten Pieces for the Young Pianist’ Nos. 1-2
– Löschhorn Op. 181
– Shostakovich Op. 69 Nos. 1-2
– Streabbog Op. 63 Nos. 1-6
– Swinstead ‘Work and Play’
– Tansman ‘Happy Time’ Nos. 1, 3-7
|– Attwood ‘Four Sonatinas’ No. 4|
– Bach ‘Clavierbüchlein der Anna – Magdalena Bach’
– Bartók ‘Mikrokosmos’ Book 2 Nos. 57-66, ‘For Children’
– Burgmüller Op. 100
– Boyle ‘In Times Past’ Nos. 10-12
– Grechaninov Op. 98 Nos. 5-7, 9-15
– Gurlitt Op. 101, 140, 205
– Kabalevsky Op. 39 Nos. 10, 14-21
– Kunz Op. 14 Nos. 101-200
– Lynes Op. 39
– Reinecke Op. 136
– Salter ‘Easy Going Pieces’
– Schumann Op. 68
– Shostakovich Op. 69
– Streabbog Op. 63 Nos. 7-12
– Swinstead ‘Fancy Free’, ‘The Young Idea’
– Tansman Happy Times book 1 Nos. 2, 8-12
– Tchaikovsky Op. 39
Better Piano Practice Experience
Practice, indeed, tends to be a little drab sometimes. However, it does not have to be. There are several ways to improve your piano practice experience:
Taking an Online Piano Lesson
If you are not yet signed up for piano lessons, consider taking online piano lessons. What makes online piano lessons great is the fact that it is usually an all in one deal.
Online piano lessons do not have a coach. And while some allow students to send in videos for one-on-one mentoring, it can take some time before an instructor can answer your questions. However, the program itself acts as a digital coach, telling you when and where you made a mistake.
Online piano lessons also have great exercises that help you develop the necessary skills in playing the piano. Often, they incorporate it in fun activities to keep you motivated such as quizzes and flashcards.
Last but not least, online piano lessons come with their very own extensive library of songs from every genre. Often, you can sort through them by difficulty and skill level!
Using Piano Learning Apps
Even if you are already taking lessons, you can learn from piano learning apps on the side. Think of it as a practice app!
While piano learning apps often do not come with thorough lessons about piano theory and technique, they have an interesting way of teaching songs.
If you are a fan of rhythm games like Rockband or Guitar Hero, then you should give piano learning apps a try. With similar mechanics to these famous games, most piano learning apps let you play through songs by matching the note displayed on the screen.
Not only will you be having fun learning, but you will also be improving your sight-reading in the process.
What is great about piano learning apps is that you can customize the songs to make sure that you are getting the practice you need. You can choose to play the full song or select sections of it for more focused learning. You can slow songs down, practice with either the left or right hand, and even use a built-in digital metronome to help you with the tempo and rhythm!
Check this article if you are not sure which online piano lessons and piano learning apps to take.
Piano Practice Tips
While it is possible to practice with other people, the piano is often a solitary instrument. Needless to say, it is pretty easy to become unmotivated when you are playing alone. So, before the article ends, I would like to give you a couple of tips that you can use during practice as well as some advice to keep yourself motivated through it:
1. Commit to Daily Piano Practice
Sometimes it can be hard to pick up the slack and do your daily practice. However, if you truly want to become a great pianist, especially if you plan to make it your career, then you must know how important to self-study piano is.
Practice helps you improve your playing piano and several other musical instruments. It also enhances your other important skills, such as your musicality and sight-reading skills.
As I have mentioned before, refusing to practice consistently can lead to stagnation. Stagnation will make it a lot more difficult for you to pick up the instrument next time and therefore significantly slow your progress down.
It only takes 30 minutes a day to practice but I assure you that the payoff is worth it.
2. Set Goals
It can be hard to see how much you have improved. To many pianists, it may seem that they are stuck in one place. This kind of mentality can make you unmotivated and can discourage you from learning. However, it is quite easy to avoid.
All you need to do is to learn how to set goals! It does not have to be huge goals such as play in Carnegie Hall in front of thousands of people (no matter how tantalizing that sounds). It can be small goals such as learn how to play one song or study the A chord and its inversions.
By setting bite-sized goals, not only will you notice the small improvements that make the big picture, but you will also be allowing yourself to celebrate little victories. These tiny factors will keep you motivated throughout your journey.
3. Practice Reading Sheet Music
Practicing sheet music tends to be a daunting task for many pianists and keyboardists. However, the truth is that it is something that we all have to learn. Learning sheet music has plenty of benefits such as being able to predict melody and rhythm as well as a deeper understanding of a particular piece.
What’s great about it is that you do not have to instantly learn everything about it in one sitting. You can take your time, cut it into bite-sized pieces, and take a break whenever you need to. Additionally, you can try and search for the sheet music of your favorite songs online and study that instead. This way, you will be more motivated because you will feel as if you are working towards something fun and interesting.
This website (2) is great at providing sheet music of both classical pieces and popular songs.
4. Be Patient with Your Progress
Often, we find that we are our worst critics. It is easy to notice all the mistakes you make during practice and it is easy to get discouraged by them. However, mistakes are a huge part of learning. There is just no way that you will be perfectly good at the piano on your first try.
Even after some training, it is still easy to get impatient with the speed of your own improvement. Try to shake yourself from this type of thinking. As I have mentioned in my 2nd tip, you should try and set smaller goals for yourself.
Bigger goals is an easy recipe for disappointment. Of course, you are going to take a lot of time before you reach these goals. It can take up to years before you are where you want to be, sometimes even longer! However, this does not mean that you will never make it.
Try to stay away from huge goals, or, you can set smaller, stepping-stone goals to the top.
There you go, now you have a nice routine to follow daily as well as a weekly schedule that you can adopt as your routine. By following these routines, I assure you that you will see a lot of improvement to your playing in just a few days.
Hopefully, you find these tips insightful and motivating. Remember that you can never go wrong with more practice as it will only lead you to become better!
30-Minute Best Piano PRACTICE ROUTINES for Beginners