The 3 Biggest Mistakes that Beginner Pianists Make

Biggest Beginner Piano MistakesI tend to focus on the psychology of practicing piano efficiently on Artiden.

But it doesn’t matter how many psychology tactics you’re solidifying bad habits and hurting your body in the long run.

Readers often ask about how to play more efficiently, the correct posture, and how to be a better piano teacher.

When I taught piano at public schools, the beginner pianists all made similar mistakes— you can tell how much music experience a student has from these three factors alone.

If you want to play beautiful piano music, remember that professional pianists sound good because they’ve set a solid foundation. If you are a teacher, you’ll see how I might explain the concepts to a student– perhaps this will help your teaching.

Take a look at the video below to see the 3 biggest mistakes that beginner pianists make!

“Don’t let the simple music mistakes hold you back.” (Click here to tweet this.)

Watch out for:

1. Tension in the wrists. If your hand looks like a claw, you probably sound that way, too.

2. Nails. The piano sounds great on its own without the clicking nail rhythm.

3. Distance from piano and posture. My favourite way to measure the correct distance to sit from the piano is to have the pianist hold a fist out in front with a straight arm. In general, that is a natural distance to sit, and allows room for arm movement but not awkward leaning.

What is your biggest weakness in music? How are you working on it? Leave a comment to join the conversation below!

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  • Natalia January 18, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    I’ve always struggled with rhythm. I envy people who play the drums and assume that rhythm comes easily to everyone. On the bright side, I have good ears. Perfect pitch, I believe.

    • Cora October 16, 2018 at 11:27 am

      Same here! I can never get the rhythm right when I learn songs. I watch my friends sight-read and get it perfect the first time, and I am just dumbfounded. I have perfect pitch also and an old untuned piano and it drives my ears crazy practicing! Thanks for the tips, Grace! I am a young piano teacher and I always can use new tips for teaching new students!

      • Grace Lam October 16, 2018 at 6:53 pm

        You’re welcome! Maybe you can consider tuning your piano because it’s not a good idea to get used to the wrong tones!

  • larissa January 22, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Dear Grace
    That was an awesome video. Learned a lot about wrist tension. Hope to see more of your videos in future. By the way, I have begun practicing piano again after the massive Christmas/NewYear lull. The familiarity was not as keen and the fingers were stiff. But the one thing that kept me going was knowing the piece has not totally fallen apart and I could still try to level up to where I used to be..Appreciate your writings.

    • Grace Miles January 22, 2015 at 10:57 pm

      Hey Larissa, thank you for your kind words– I’m glad you enjoyed the video and that you’re getting back to piano. I’m hoping to create more video in the future as well, so feel free to hit me up with suggestions, if there’s anything you want to see.

  • Justin Li February 8, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Hi Grace,
    My name’s Justin, a student of Gladstone Secondary. I’m relatively new to playing the piano. The tips you’ve mentioned from this video will be great help.
    Thank you in advance~

    • Grace Miles February 8, 2015 at 8:31 pm

      Hi Justin, it’s nice to meet you. I wish you the best of luck in piano, and if you have any questions, I’ll definitely try to help you out. Have fun!