Why do I get worse when I practice

5 mistakes to avoid while learning to play the piano or keyboard

Now you have the perfect sitting position. But before you start hitting the keys, let's briefly explain how to hold your hands correctly: only your fingertips actually touch the keys. You can do this easily by arching your hands and bending your fingers slightly, as if you were holding a small ball in your hand.

Mistake # 2 Long practice sessions

When I started to learn new songs that I really burned for, I always started with a huge helping of enthusiasm. And so I tried to learn as much as possible in one practice session. Most of the time, however, it ended in frustration and cramped fingers.

At the beginning, however, it is completely sufficient to practice about ten minutes at a time every day. Since your muscles first have to get used to the new movement sequences, it is much better to practice a little every day than just once a week for two hours at a time.

As you start to make progress, you will most likely add length to your practice sessions on your own. But even professional musicians take breaks during their rehearsals and usually do not practice for more than forty minutes at a time. For adults, thirty minutes a day is a reasonable length of exercise. This can usually be done in one piece without any problems. For younger piano students or children, two to three practice intervals of ten to fifteen minutes may be more efficient.

Mistake # 3 Not developing an exercise routine

If you don't make practice a habit of yours, you will not be able to become a good piano player. Often you start with great ambitions and a lot of practice time. After a few weeks, the regularity of your practice units decreases and at some point you suddenly notice that you haven't touched your piano or keyboard for a few weeks.

Instead, you should make practicing part of your daily routine (like brushing your teeth). After a few weeks, you'll get to the point when your practice time is actually something you're looking forward to. All it takes is ten minutes a day. That's about two commercial breaks on TV! So why not spend this time doing something a lot more useful?

Mistake # 4 The wrong fingerings

When I first started playing the piano, I was so impatient that I didn't pay too much attention to which fingers I play with. I just tried to memorize the keys as quickly as possible and took the path of least resistance. That's why I've always opted for the simplest and, in my opinion, most obvious fingerings.

The problem with this approach, however, is that what you think is the simplest fingering is not necessarily the best. Often it is only much later that you realize that you cannot play at a higher tempo with a certain fingering. Then changing the fingering again is extremely difficult as your muscles have already got used to a certain playing style. The only way out of this dilemma is to start all over again, this time with the correct fingering. This can take weeks and is quite frustrating.