Playing different things with right and left hands is one of the most difficult skills the beginner pianist has to learn. Still, this is the core of piano playing and so it is something to be mastered at an early stage.
I have known very intelligent adults despair to their piano teacher that they’ll ever get anywhere and I’ve known tiny little tots take to it like a duck to water. It’s one of those totally unfair situations when some brains seem to be set up right whilst others have the wiring right for most things but askew for piano playing!
There is no need for anyone to despair with piano lessons ‘though. Just follow the advice below and you will find it easier to learn to play piano well. Sometimes you may feel you are getting nowhere but, although improvement may be slow it will still be there if you persevere.
Consider these three steps to success.
First make sure the piece you are trying is easy enough for you. Don’t try to run before you can walk. Adults often think they can race ahead past the first pieces in the book. Take it steady.
Remember that it’s not just about training your fingers for the piano keyboard, but your brain has to cope with many, many new commands. So, take your time and take each piece steadily. Think about the hare and tortoise and when you start to play the piano, slow really is the best policy.
Second, make sure you are confident about playing each hand separately. So well in fact that you would not be put off playing by any minor distractions.
You should be able to play the left hand and sing the melody of the right hand at the same time or perhaps you might like to try playing the right hand and talking to someone at the same time. In other words, it must become part of your subconscious, so that your hands will just carry on, wherever your mind may be!
Lastly, be sure to take everything slowly at first. When practicing independent hands take a very slow tempo. Watch your fingers playing the notes and know that you are in control.
As soon as you start to play with both hands, cut the speed in half (way slower than you think you could play it or that you know it should go) and be very, very precise over how you play the notes. Watch the fingers playing the notes and be aware that you’re in control of every movement they make (you are, aren’t you?)!
By following these simple steps, you will learn piano very quickly. For some people it will happen almost instantaneously whilst others will have to struggle, but if you persevere and keep repeating these steps the hands will eventually seem to know instinctively which piano notes to play and when.