Is It Hard to Learn To Play The Piano? - 5 Things That Could Slow You Down

Is It Hard to Learn To Play The Piano? - 5 Things That Could Slow You Down

Are you eager to learn to play an instrument like the piano? If you’re still in the research phase, you may be wondering: is it hard to learn piano?

The answer to this question is not as straightforward as you might think since several factors contribute to the ease with which you can master the instrument. Here’s a look at five factors that make the piano harder to learn, so you can avoid them if at all possible.

1. Learning Without A Piano Teacher

Learning to play the piano with the help of a piano teacher is the best way to learn and progress quickly. Many players who start on their own will have to unlearn bad habits that could hinder progress in playing.

A piano teacher can make learning the instrument easier by…

Establishing good habits: A large part of playing the piano successfully is learning the correct muscle memory of posture, hand position, and finger movement. While working under the instruction of a piano teacher doesn’t guarantee you will become a concert pianist, it can help you not learn those bad habits.

Making stylistic corrections: Piano music sounds best when it is played at the proper volume, rhythm, and tempo. It’s also easiest to play if you incorporate the correct fingering and hand movement. You may not realize your own mistakes without the help of a piano teacher by your side to point them out for correction. This one-on-one feedback is impossible to get from a textbook or online tutorial and is key to progressing to the next level.

Providing teaching materials: A private teacher can recognize specific areas where you’re struggling and recommend extra study exercises to help you improve. Without this extra push, you might struggle with a certain part of music theory for much longer than necessary.

Holding you accountable: You’re much more likely to achieve your playing goals if you have someone to hold you accountable. Your piano teacher will set certain expectations and hold you accountable for them, making it more difficult for you to give in to the temptation to slack on practice or quit.

2) Not Taking the Time To Practice

Is it hard to learn piano? Certainly, but how hard it is depends on how willing you are to practice! The bulk of advancement in playing is done away from your teacher during regular practice. If you only practice once or twice between your weekly lessons, you probably won’t progress at the pace you wish. It’s a waste of money to hire a teacher if you refuse to put in the time in between lessons.

As a general rule of thumb, strive to practice for at least 30 minutes every day. You have to put in the time if you want to see improvement from week to week. Seeing yourself improve is rewarding and motivating and makes it all worthwhile.

3) Not Having A Background in Music

It’s not impossible to learn the piano if you have no prior musical experience; just expect it to take you a little longer at the start to master the fundamentals of reading music. After all, everyone needs to start somewhere! Be patient with yourself, stay focused, and remain focused and positive!

4) Practicing on a Cheap Keyboard

Without a proper 88-key piano, or at the very least an 88 key weighted keyboard, you’re limiting yourself and making it harder to learn the instrument. Why add an extra element that could frustrate you as you attempt to learn piano?

The best option to give you the most authentic playing experience possible as a beginner is an upright piano. There’s nothing quite like the sound of a concert grand, but an upright piano is more economical for your budget and space. If you travel to your piano teacher’s home or studio, it’s likely that they give lessons on an acoustic piano as opposed to a digital keyboard. Having an instrument at home consistent with the one you use in your lessons can certainly help.

5) Having Too High or Too Low of Expectations

Keep your expectations realistic: don’t start piano lessons thinking you’ll be playing Beethoven tomorrow! It’s important that you learn the basics first and build a strong foundation. That means learning one-handed songs and basic melodies before you ever move to more complicated works. If you jump into a piece that’s well above your skill level, you’ll likely get frustrated and have the urge to quit.

With all of this in mind, it’s easy to see the benefits of taking piano lessons as opposed to learning on your own. Just about every factor that impacts the difficulty of learning the piano ties back into whether you have a private teacher at your side, helping you as you hone your new skills. In this way, finding a qualified teacher is the first step toward mastering a new musical instrument.


Alamo Music Center offers lessons for a variety of instruments at both of our San Antonio locations.

Our instructors have years of experience and offer a flexible path to learning. Discovering the fulfillment and empowerment of music is a journey that begins with the first step. Play a note, change your life!


If you are looking for a piano to learn and practice on, please fill out the form below and we will contact you.