What it Takes to Play Piano
Musical Instruments, Music Education, Music Lessons
Have you ever noticed that sometimes it seems like everybody is a guitar player or bass player, but there just aren’t that many piano players around? There is a reason, and we won’t sugar coat it: the piano is an extremely difficult instrument. It takes a lot longer to learn and a lot longer to master than any other instrument.
But the reward is this: if you want to be a professional musician, piano players are almost never out of work.
Piano is usually taught in a more classical form than instruments that are normally played in pop, rock, or jazz. Piano is extremely versatile in that it can be used for virtually every form of music that people play. So, what skills do you need?
Piano requires great hand coordination, and the ability to play without watching your hands. Also, it is essential that you can do two and sometimes three things at once. Your left hand will play bass, chords, or both, while the right hand plays melody, chords, or both. You also have three pedals for your feet that tell the piano how long to hold notes.
In addition, many electric keyboard players have a large “keyboard” made of pedals at their feet, on which they can play a bass synthesiser that sounds like a real bass.
Piano will involve a lot of practice, mostly scales, chords, and arpeggios, before one can really play much of anything. You really have to be patient with yourself. Piano is probably the instrument that requires the most mental discipline. You have to be able to subjugate your desire for immediate gratification, and work hard before you start to see the results you want.
The upside, though, is that the piano is the most lucrative instrument for a local musician to play. There are a lot of opportunities for piano players because there are not enough of them to cover the demand in many local markets.
Also, like a guitar player, a piano player can sit down and entertain an audience playing solo, or can use the piano as a backup to perform vocal songs. This opens up myriad opportunities for a good player.
If you can multitask and play without looking at your hands, you might be a future piano player.
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