I had a difficult time writing the headline for this post. On the one hand, yes, there is indeed an easy way to become a great pianist. On the other hand, we see headlines like this all the time and they’re often not true. It takes hard work to develop skills and as we all know, piano playing is no different from anything else in this regard.
But there IS one easy thing that all great pianists have done that most people dismiss by thinking it won’t get them anywhere. Here’s how to find out what it is:
First, identify something that comes very easy for you. Not necessarily what you’re currently practicing, but something that’s so easy that you don’t practice it very much. Or you practice it just enough to learn before you move on to the “important stuff.”
If you play pop music, it could be playing simple bass lines with your left hand, or playing an easy chord progression you enjoy. If you play jazz, it could be the melody of each song you improvise on. If you play church music, it could be playing a hymn from memory. If you play blues, it could be using the blues scale. Choose something so easy that you usually take it for granted.
Then, take this idea and go sideways with it. Instead of trying to become better, do it on many, many songs. Play the bass line to every Beatles song. Learn the melody to every jazz tune in the Real Book. Memorize 50 hymns. Play the blues scale in all 12 keys. You get the idea.
I’m not suggesting that you give up your ultimate goal, or cease practicing the “hard stuff.” But I am saying that every great pianist has done what I’ve outlined above. And they’ve loved every minute of it!
Don’t take this lightly. By broadening sideways in this fun, easy way, you’ll be learning new things and developing your skills in ways that you don’t even realize while you’re doing it. And then, in a year, you’ll notice that you can play things you never before thought were possible. Every great pianist has done this, and you can too. In fact, you probably think it’s too easy!
Good luck, and remember to enjoy every step of the way.
If you want some help getting to the next level with your piano playing, my video course may be just the thing you've been looking for. You can check out some sample lessons HERE.