26 Feb
2018

What Makes the Piano Difficult to Learn?

When you look at a piano keyboard, you may think that it is straightforward to learn. You have the white keys at the bottom and the black keys on top. Every key has its chord, and when you are presented with a piece, you think that it is as easy as punching in the chords.

Jazz music on the piano can be intense and fast-pacedHowever, many people swear by piano as one of the most difficult instruments to learn. Looking at a piece may make you think that piano is easy to learn. However, if you try playing the chords with both hands, and then having to play the left-hand side differently from the right-hand side, you will quickly realize that it can prove incredibly challenging.

A different chord for the right and left hand

It is the reason why most teachers teach the piano by doing it one hand at a time. Whatever the student’s dominant hand is, it is the first hand that is trained to play. And then, after the student gets comfortable with playing with that dominant hand, the teacher will start training on the other hand. The progression is different here depending on the student’s skills and openness to training. Some students in jazz piano lessons in New York City take as little as one week to progress from their dominant to the other hand. Other students, though, take several weeks to get confident with switching to the other hand.

Playing with both hands

And the challenge does not stop there. Now that you’ve practiced playing with the right and left hand, you must now learn how to play them together. The trick here is to learn how to play with both hands, even with the seeming independence of each hand. It is because there is a different key for the left and right hand (i.e., what is C for the right hand is different from the C of the left hand). So, you must train well until you get to a level of learning how to play with both hands without hesitation.

It is the part that takes time, though. Some learners never progress beyond playing with their right or left hand. And some students find it difficult to read the piano piece with lots of things to consider, like the chords for the right and left hand, the rhythm, and timing.

Reading a piano piece

Reading a piano piece can be challenging. You need to train yourself to get comfortable with reading it because of the many chords, bars, and frets that you get to see. To get confident on this one, give time to memorize the chords for the right and left sides. It takes time to do this, so be patient. Repeat the lessons and quiz yourself often, so you get to memorize all the chords without struggling to remember. Knowing the chords is crucial when you want to progress with your learning journey.

The piano instrument is difficult to learn; however, with patience and dedication, you will master it in no time. You need to get comfortable with reading piano pieces and playing with both hands. When you get confident with these lessons, you can play any piece that you like with no problems. If you are lucky to get an excellent teacher, then the learning journey gets easier for you.

“Alan Baylock has achieved a goal that many artists aspire to, but often fail to reach: he has developed his own distinct sound as a composer. His writing is fresh, and is imbued with a great sense of spirit and fun.”
– Gordon Goodwin (Grammy & Emmy award winning composer/bandleader)

Profile Pic Alan

“Baylock goes beyond the pale and creates moods and textures which challenge a big band to be on their best behavior. I have the highest regard for his writing.” – David Liebman