How Long Does It Take to Learn The Piano [+ Faster Ways]

By James  •  Updated May 21, 2020

Take To Learn The Pianos

The piano is a very complicated instrument that requires skill, knowledge, and plenty of practice to master. Many people would like to know how to play the piano, but they are often afraid because of the length of time it requires to actually learn it.

So, how long does it take to learn the piano? Here are some tips and advice to expedite the learning process.

Factors Affecting Average Time to Learn Piano

Several factors could affect piano-learning time, including:

  • Musical Talent – Some people learn faster than others (1). People improve and learn at different paces. The speed of your improvement depends on your learning capabilities.
  • Available Resources – Here is a simple question: who do you think would learn faster? Someone with a piano or keyboard available at their disposal at all times or someone who has to travel to a studio, music room, or someone else’s home to find one? The person who has access to instruments, instructors, and music sheets will learn quicker than those without.
  • Available Time – Being good at playing the piano requires quite a lot of practice. Someone who has plenty of free time to dedicate to it will find themselves progressing faster than those who are busier throughout the day. 
  • Taking Lessons – It is a lot easier to learn when you have a mentor or is following a linear curriculum. People with tutors or are enrolled in piano lessons can learn much faster than those who self-study or try to learn by ear.

How Long Does it Take to Get Good at Piano?

Get Good PianoThere are plenty of factors that could affect the amount of time needed before you are good at playing the piano. One huge factor is your goals.

People often have varying reasons for wanting to learn the piano. Some simply want to learn a few songs for their next social gathering. Others just want to take it up as a hobby.

Some would like to take it seriously and turn it into a profession. Depending on what you want to achieve, your learning time can certainly vary. 

How Long to Learn a Piano Piece?

Piano PieceLet us say that you simply want to learn a song or two. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube for you to watch. Often, this kind of learning method is only applicable to popular songs and nursery rhymes. You do not even need to learn much about how to play the piano. As long as you can put two hands on the keys and follow the tutorial, you are good to go. 

Of course, this method needs a little bit of practice before you can actually perform the song. This method would take you about a few hours to a week.

How Long Does it Take to Learn Basic Piano?

Learn Basic PianoIt takes a bit longer to learn beginner level piano. You will have to learn about technique, theory, and other piano fundamentals like music sheet reading. You will need to memorize 48 notes. 

To memorize, you will need a lot of practice and repetition. Because not everyone can dedicate themselves to daily practice, learning beginner piano can take from around 6 months to 3 years.

How Long Does it Take to Learn Piano Chords?

Learn Piano ChrodsPerhaps you are not the type to go for classical music. Maybe you wanted to learn the piano to be able to compose songs and only really care for learning chords. If this is you, then you just cut your study time in half. 

Once you memorize chords and their inversions as well as learn how to read music sheets, you already sound impressive to many people. Give it around 3 to 5 years of practice, and you will sound like a professional pop pianist. 

How Long Does it Take to Read Piano Sheet Music?

Piano Sheet MusicIf you simply want to learn the basics, you would probably take about 6 months to 3 years. However, reading sheet music does not just end there. If you want to be able to read intermediate level sheet music on sight and match the keys with your fingers, you can add another 7 years. 

All in all, you would need 3 to 10 years to proclaim yourself an expert in reading sheet music.

How Long Does It Take to Master Piano?

Master PianoIf you would like to master the piano and play difficult classical pieces like Liszt, you will need lots of lessons and even more practice. There is a reason why many people start young when learning the piano. It takes about 10 to 15 years or even more before you can play well enough to consider yourself an expert. People who start later in life may take more time.

Let us do a little recap:

  • Learning a single piece can take a few hours to a week
  • Learning basic piano can take 6 months to 3 years
  • Learning piano chords can take 3 years to 5 years
  • Learning how to read sheet music can take 3 years to 10 years
  • Mastering the piano can take 10 years to 15 years

Tips on How to Expedite the Process

Learning the piano is no joke at all. You truly need to dedicate a lot of time and effort into practicing and improving your skills. Understandably, not everyone has that amount of time in their hands. So, here are a few tips on how you can expedite the process:

  • Familiarize yourself with notes and keys. Whether you choose to become a pop pianist or a classical pianist, you will need to learn your instrument. The quickest way to get there is to familiarize yourself with notes, its symbols, and the corresponding keys.
  • Learn where the Middle C is and practice rhythm. Finding the Middle C simply makes it easier for you to know where the rest of the notes would lie. This way it would be quicker for you to begin practicing easy songs. It is also useful to get a hold of a metronome fairly early on. You do not have to buy one, even downloading a metronome app could be very useful for you to get used to timing and rhythm.
  • Take Lessons and Practice. Having a mentor and a curriculum to follow simply makes it easier to learn and familiarize yourself with the piano. Whether it be traditional lessons, private tutors, or online piano course, you will have an easier time learning with guidance than without. Getting lessons will also give you great practice as well as exercises that will help you retain all the information you need to get better quickly.

Of course, it is important to remember that these are very rough estimates of how long it would take to learn even the basics of the piano. If you have the will to learn and devout your free time for practice, you can definitely learn the piano more quickly even if you are learning piano as an adult.

References

  1. https://www.wired.com/2011/10/why-do-some-people-learn-faster-2/