How to Learn to Play the Piano at Home

We hope you enjoy and find value in the products we review. FYI we may receive a small commission if you buy through the links on this page. This does not influence what products we recommend and all our suggestions are made after an independent review process.
How to Learn to Play the Piano at Home?

Looking to learn to play the piano at home but aren’t sure where to get started? One of the great things about the piano is it’s possible to learn to play it no matter your age or experience. Whether you’re a student at school or an older adult, we can all learn to play the piano at home!

All it takes is some hard work and dedication to your chosen learning method. Plus, with several learning methods available, you have many options for you can learn to play the piano at home. From paid lessons to online videos and software, there are countless resources for any aspiring pianist!

Let’s take a closer look at what options are available for learning to play the piano, and what you can expect from the experience. This should give a clear idea of what it takes to successfully learn to play the piano at home.

The Two Fundamental Components of Learning the Piano

Learning the piano consists of two main components – playing technique and theory.

Playing technique covers things like hand placement, fingering, posture, and all the physical components of playing the piano.

Theory is where you learn how to properly read and play the music.

The Importance of Fingering

When it comes to technique, one of they key skills you must develop is fingering. Its one of the fundamentals of piano playing, consisting of the various placements and movements of your fingers on the keys.

The first thing you learn for fingering is the numbering, where each finger represented by a number. These numbers are often written on sheet music when learning, as it helps you see what key each finger should be placed on as you play.

Fingering is a fundamental technique in piano playing, so you’ll need to develop this skill properly. With proper fingering technique, learning to play the piano becomes easier, allowing for smother playing with a much better sound.

Furthermore, every person has different hand sizes, so fingering ensures everyone develops the proper technique needed to play a wide range of notes, regardless of hand size.

The Two Fundamental Components of Learning the Piano

The Importance of Posture

Posture is another key component of playing technique, so something that should be developed early during your learning. By learning proper piano posture, other techniques become much easier to develop while your body remains comfortable and pain-free.

Unlike fingering, piano posture can vary depending on factors like the size of the piano, where the player sits on the bench, and the seated distance from the piano. Given that we all vary in size, where you sit in relation to the piano can also differ.

Regardless of seated position, it’s important to sit with a relaxed, natural posture with loose arms and shoulders that are free to move along the piano keys. Elbows should bend naturally without you needing to tense any part of your upper body.

Forearm positioning is important – they should sit parallel to the ground with the hands resting on the keys.

It is a good idea to have curved hands as they rest on the keys, as this ensures they remain loose and comfortable as you play. We’ll go into a bit more depth in the best positions for your hands shortly!

The final part of posture you’ll develop in your home learning is the seating position. Where you sit on the piano bench is important, as it ensures you stay comfortable, avoid any aches developing, while you the best position for optimal playing technique.

We recommend sitting as close to edge as you can while keeping most of your bum on the bench. Avoid sitting too centrally or towards the back of the bench, as this makes maintaining good posture much more difficult.

Sit like this and your upper body will get sore quickly, while improper posture over the long-term results in poorer playing technique and possible injury! 

Getting the Correct Hand Positioning

The position of your hands is obviously very important for learning to play the piano. Get the right position and everything becomes that bit easier, so be sure to develop this from the offset!

We get that a lot of people lack the dexterity to freely move their hands around a piano as they learn to play. Proper positioning helps overcome these challenges, helping to reduce the difficult of learning to play.

Plus, if you learn to play the piano with poor hand positioning, you’re likely to develop all kinds of aches and pains down the line!

The best position for your hands is rounded, as if you are holding a tennis ball. Palms should have a slight arch while the fingers curve down, mimicking the grip of holding a small ball. By using this hand position, you’ll find it’s easier to reach other keys without hands getting sore or tired.

Finally, make sure to cut those fingernails! Nails need to be short to ensure they don’t add unwanted sounds as they hit the keys. Long nails also make playing a bit tougher, so it’s always good to get them trimmer prior to your lessons.

What to Expect from Theory?

Music theory is one of the more challenging components of learning to play the piano. You’ll need to learn to properly read music, which can often feel like learning a new language!

Thankfully, there are set rules to music theory, so if you follow these rules, you should eventually pick it up.

Music theory for piano consists of things like staves, time signatures, key signatures, and a variety of notes across several lines and spaces. It can be overwhelming at first, but once you break down each component of the music theory, it does become more manageable.

Invest the time and effort into understanding music theory and you’re guaranteed to become a much better piano player! Plus, leaning is made that much easier over the long-term if you commit to music theory early.

How to Learn to Play Piano at Home

Now that you know about the fundamentals of learning to play the piano, you know what to expect from your learning experience.

There are many options for how you can learn to play the piano. You may find one specific way works best for your needs, while others like to use various methods to better learn the piano.

Some common ways to learn the piano at home include:

One on One Lessons

Learn directly from a professional pianist! One on one lessons are great for learning all the fundamentals, working at your own pace. Most consist of weekly lessons, with piano tutor coming to your home to teach you how to play.

This does require commitment to weekly lessons, which not everyone as the flexibility to fit into their lives. However, if you can afford the time and money for lessons, we highly recommend it as you’ll learn everything you need to play the piano, all from the comfort of home!

Digital Learning

There are all kinds of online resources available to help learn play the piano at home. From e-books to videos to sophisticated software, there are various digital resources you can use to learn the piano from the comfort of your home.

These are great for learning at your own pace!

Another option is to use a digital piano. These often come with integrated teaching software that help you learn certain songs and techniques. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to the piano or to supplement your other learning methods.