No matter how much you love playing the piano, it can also drive you crazy! Can you relate to these common piano problems?
1. When you’re practicing and you need to turn the page.
Someone please invent a way to turn the page without having to stop playing! Luckily, if you own an iPad, a music app like forScore can help organize your music and turn the pages while you play.
2. When your fingers won’t listen to you.
Sometimes you know in your head exactly what you need to do to play a piece, but your fingers won’t cooperate. Take a deep breath and try again. Eventually, you’ll get the hang of it.
3. When you’re trying to play with cold hands.
When it’s cold, your fingers can feel stiff or even numb, which doesn’t do your piano technique any favors. If you practice in a cool room, or you’re performing in a chilly venue, bring a hot drink to hold before you play, and wear a pair of fingerless gloves. Warming up before you play is even more important when it’s cold, so keep those Hanon exercises fresh!
4. The horrible feeling of guilt when you miss a day of practice.
It happens to the best of us. Life gets busy and suddenly it’s the end of the day. As your head hits the pillow you realize you didn’t get a chance to practice. Forgive yourself, once, and vow to play tomorrow. Daily practice is the best way to improve!
5. Always wishing your fingers were just a little bit longer.
Even if you’re lucky enough to have hands that span an octave on the keys, there will always be challenging pieces that require more of a stretch. If you’ve got smaller hands, stretch your fingers out before you play and incorporate larger interval reaches, such as octaves, ninths, and tenths, into your warm up.
6. When you memorized a piece last night but forget it in the morning.
How does this happen? Sometimes when we are over-tired or simply aren’t practicing with enough focus, new pieces can slip our minds overnight. The good news is, if you learned it once you can definitely learn it again!
7. And when you nail a piece in practice but mess up at your lesson.
You play it perfectly all day, but the instant you start to play for your teacher your fingers turn into Jell-O. Try to stay relaxed at your piano lessons and take time outside lessons to practice playing in front of other people. We tend to make more mistakes when we’re nervous, just as we play more beautifully when we are relaxed.
8. When the key signature has five flats.
Take deep breaths and proceed with caution! Some keys are trickier than others, but with patience and perseverance you’ll master those tricky sharps and flats.
9. When someone is playing the piano in a movie…
…and you can’t help but criticize their technique. If only there had been a piano teacher on set!
10. When you own all of the piano key neckties…
…and piano everything all the time. You wear your heart on your sleeve, and your heart just happens to be a piano. Whether you got these piano items as gifts or you buy them yourself, you can’t help but notice you are surrounded.
11. When you visit someone’s house and you notice they have a piano.
“Do you mind if I play for a minute… or an hour? You know what, if you need me, I’ll just be here with your piano.”
12. When your piano gets out of tune.
Suddenly, nothing sounds quite right and your practice time becomes increasingly frustrating. Getting a new piano tuned four times a year for the first year and twice a year following that should keep the off-key blues away. Some pianists recommend having your piano tuned when seasons are changing, as changes in temperature and humidity can affect the tune of your instrument.
13. When you’re transposing difficult music.
Transposing can be tedious work! Keep your Circle of Fifths handy and give yourself plenty of time to work through the music.
14. When you have to move your piano.
Pianos are big and heavy, so moving your baby is a serious chore. Whether you’re rearranging your house or moving across the country, moving your piano can be quite a headache. It’s best to avoid moving your piano if you don’t have to. If you must move it, hire a professional mover to make sure nothing gets damaged.
15. When you realize you can’t live without piano!
In spite of all these piano problems, you love your instrument. You’ve got a true passion for tickling the ivories and you wouldn’t have it any other way!
Is there anything we missed? Tell us all about your piano-playing problems in the comments below!