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How do I learn piano making my hands work together?

Jun 10, 2008
The most difficult hurdle that anyone has to overcome when they learn piano technique is to play different things in the two hands at the same time. At the end of the day, this is what piano playing is all about and so it's something we all have to overcome if we're to succeed.

I have known very intelligent adults despair to their piano teacher that they'll ever get anywhere and I've known tiny little tots take to it like a duck to water. It's one of those totally unfair situations when some brains seem to be set up right whilst others have the wiring right for most things but askew for piano playing!

Don't despair though. By following the advice below anyone can benefit from their piano lessons. some will take longer than others and may feel they are getting nowhere for a while but there is always some improvement through practice.

Consider these three steps to success.

First of all be sure that the music you are studying is easy enough for you. Don't try to gallop ahead. You'll only get frustrated with the challenge. Adults often try to tackle piano music which is technically way beyond them whereas long term success comes quicker by mastering very simple steps along the way.

With the piano keyboard your brain has to contend with many unfamiliar commands and learn new motor skills. When you think of the story of the hare and the tortoise you can realise that with playing the piano, slow and steady to the finishing line really is the best policy.

Second, make sure you are confident about playing each hand separately. So well in fact that you would not be put off playing by any minor distractions.

A powerful practice technique is to learn to play the left hand accompaniment whilst singing the melody of the right hand. This helps to train your hands to be independent of your conscious thoughts as well as helping you to hear how right and left hands fit together before you can actually play both.

Third, just take it slowly. I mean slow the tempo right down and play the piano notes regularly in tempo but slowly. You'll naturally have to play more slowly hands together than you do hands separately at first.

As soon as you start to put the hands together just cut your speed in half. Then be very precise. If you play too quickly to be accurate then you are actually learning to memorise these inaccuracies. You can always speed up when you are more proficient.

By following these simple steps, you will learn piano very quickly. For some people it will happen almost instantaneously whilst others will have to struggle, but if you persevere and keep repeating these steps the hands will eventually seem to know instinctively which piano notes to play and when.
About the Author
Rachel Branston has created a superb multi media course to teach piano to all ages. Pick up her free introductory piano lessons for beginners and find everything you need to know about learning to play piano at http://www.playyourpiano.com .
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