The Best Piano Bar Songs of All Time

The Best Piano Bar Songs of All Time

If you’re looking for the best piano bar songs of all time, look no further!

Whether you’re looking for something classic or more modern, we have you covered. So please sit back, relax, and enjoy our selection of the best piano bar songs of all time!

This post may contain affiliate links. As affiliates of Amazon, Modacity, Dr. Josh Wright ProPractice, Musicnotes, and Piano Marvel, I may receive a commission at no extra cost if you purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information. I take no credit for the images appearing on this page. All photos are courtesy of Canva.

What is a piano bar?

A piano bar is a type of bar where live music is played on a piano. The music is usually performed by a solo pianist. Occasionally the pianist will be accompanied by other musicians (such as a singer or guitarist).

Patrons of piano bars typically request songs to be played and tip the performer(s) after each piece.

There are different kinds of piano bars. Some feature a pianist quietly performing jazz music in the background. Others feature talented musicians who sing and take song requests.

And other piano bars feature two piano players who interact with each other and the audience, also known as a dueling piano bar.

All piano bars provide entertainment in the form of live music. The performer generally sets the mood and degree of audience participation.

Some of the best dueling pianos regularly perform top songs in a way that makes it impossible not to sing along!

If you’re planning a night out at a piano bar, it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the most popular songs that are typically played. That way, you can request your favorite tunes and sing along!

Piano bars can be found worldwide and are popular destinations for locals and tourists alike.

What about the pianos?

Since this is a piano blog, let’s take a minute to discuss the pianos you might see at a piano bar. Some piano bars feature upright, while others have two grand pianos.

There are even traveling dueling piano shows specializing in corporate events and special events. These shows usually feature digital pianos with grand piano cases to give the appearance of an actual grand piano.

But when you hear them perform, it’s evident that you’re not hearing an actual grand piano.

The experience of visiting a piano bar is more about the ambiance than the actual performance. It’s about throwing a few classic cocktails back with friends and forgetting about everything weighing you down.

Regardless of which kind of piano bar you visit, you’re guaranteed to have a great night!

Without further ado and in no particular order, here are the best songs for an evening at the piano bar!

Ultimate Classic Rock Hits

Do electric guitars and crazy drum riffs come to mind when you think of classic rock hits? If so, you may not believe this type of music lends itself well to a piano bar setting.

But many of these songs translate surprisingly well to solo piano. Especially if the pianist is also a strong vocalist or can at least get people to sing.

And you might find that as the night goes on, the performances get better and better.

Although the music critics may disagree with my choices, my top picks for ultimate classic rock hits are as follows:

Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi

It’s hard not to feel unstoppable when you hear a Bon Jovi song on the radio. And although his songs don’t typically feature beautiful melodies articulated by a piano, Livin’ on a Prayer translates surprisingly well to the solo instrument.

If you don’t believe me, check out this highly entertaining video!

Request this song from a solo or band, and you’ll be rockin’ all night long!

Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Sweet Home Alabama is always a crowd-pleasing staple of the Southern rock genre. People know the words, and it’s relatively easy to sing. Even more so once you’ve had a few drinks!

Sweet Home Alabama sounds excellent with a solo performer or as a band. Either way, it’s a great Saturday night anthem!

I Love Rock ‘N Roll – Joan Jett

This one is sure to get the crowd going! Joan Jett’s I Love Rock ‘N Roll is an uptempo, high-energy classic rock tune perfect for a night out. The best part? It’s easy to sing along to, even after a few drinks.

So if you find yourself at a piano bar with a live band, be sure to request this one!

Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Bad Moon Rising is a classic rock song perfect for a piano bar. It’s recognizable, easy to sing along to, and has a great melody.

While you might not think of Bad Moon Rising as a piano song, the solo instrument actually does a great job of capturing the spirit of the original.

Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison

Brown Eyed Girl is a classic rock hit that everyone in the crowd will know. This song is so recognizable and a cornerstone of the genre that it was included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame list of 500 Songs that shaped Rock and Roll.

It’s not surprising since it’s easy to sing along to and has a simple melody with an infectious chorus.

This is another song that sounds great with a solo performer. So if you’re looking for a fun, sing-along song, this is a great choice!

Top Pop Fan Favorite Piano Bar Songs

Pop music has a definite “feel good” vibe that pairs exceptionally well with a night out! And whether it’s from the early 90s or has a Latin feel, pop music is guaranteed to put a smile on your face!

Here are my recommendations for the best pop piano bar songs:

You Learn – Alanis Morissette

I love a great Whitney Houston ballad, but there’s nothing like an Alanis Morissette song to make me feel like I can belt it out with the best! Maybe it’s her vocal range or how she combines a beautiful melody with an infectious rhythm, but You Learn has to be one of my all-time favorites.

It’s a fun song to hear live if the piano bar musician is a great vocalist. And if not, the lyrics are familiar, so you and your besties can make up for what the performer lacks!

All the Small Things – Blink 182

This song ALWAYS puts a smile on my face! It’s catchy, upbeat, and really fun to sing regardless of how much you’ve had to drink. It’s one of those songs that can be easily forgotten, but once you hear it again, you’re reminded of how truly fun it is.

This is another one that translates really well from band to solo keys.

Bad Guy – Billie Eilish

Look no further than Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy if you’re looking for a more recent pop song to sing at the piano bar. It has a great beat and catchy tune and is perfect for showing off your best friend’s killer vocal range.

Despacito – Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber

This one is a bit of a wild card, but I had to include it because it’s so darn catchy! You might not think Despacito would work as a piano bar song, but trust me, it does! The best part is that everyone knows the words, so you can all sing along even if you don’t speak Spanish.

This is another excellent choice whether the music is a solo piano or a band. Horns and percussion add a nice touch and bring the song to life.

Fallin’ – Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys is a classically trained pianist, and her love for the instrument is apparent in her songs. This is especially true in the song Fallin’. Its haunting melody and interesting harmonic progressions showcase all we know and love about the instrument.

This song is beautiful, with or without a vocalist.

And speaking of hauntingly beautiful, check out her performance of the Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven. She performed it as a tribute to Kobe Bryant, and her emotional rendition is nothing short of riveting.

Legendary Country Hits

Of all the music genres, country is, hands-down, my favorite. It’s versatile and relatable. And the lyrics are often thought-provoking but fun! Although there are so many country songs that translate well to piano bar style, here are my favorites:

Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks

Who hasn’t ended their night singing this classic 90s country hit in a bar? Even if you’re not an avid country fan, I’m willing to bet you know the words to this one which is why it’s an excellent request for crowd singing!

And it’s easy to pull off whether there’s a solo performer or a band.

It’s versatile, fun, and a great piano-bar song!

I Love This Bar – Toby Keith

This is another country song that’s fun to sing, regardless of whether you’re a fan of the genre. And like Friends in Low Places, it sounds great with either a solo performer or a band.

I Love This Bar is the perfect song to request when you’re ready to let loose and have a good time!

Hurt – Johnny Cash

Sentimental and heartfelt, this one cuts to the core. It’s been covered by many artists, but Johnny Cash’s version is my favorite. His voice is so raw and passionate, bringing the lyrics to life.

Hurt is a beautiful piano ballad perfect for a slow dance with your someone special.

Final Thoughts

Whether you find yourself frequenting a piano bar with friends or your significant other, I hope this list has inspired you to make a special request. Piano bars are a blast; if you’ve never been to one, here’s your reminder to take advantage of a great time!

Leave a comment below with your favorite piano bar songs!

And if you loved this post, check out a few of my other posts I know you’ll love!

Can You Really Learn Piano Without a Teacher?

Can You Really Learn Piano Without a Teacher?

Whether it’s possible to learn piano without a teacher is hotly debated in piano circles.

Some say you can’t get the same level of instruction or feedback from a book or online tutorial. Others argue that with enough practice and self-discipline, anyone can teach themselves how to play the piano. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore both sides of the argument and give you some tips on how to start learning the piano on your own!

This post may contain affiliate links. As affiliates of Amazon, Modacity, Dr. Josh Wright ProPractice, Musicnotes, and Piano Marvel, I may receive a commission at no extra cost if you purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information. I take no credit for the images appearing on this page. All photos are courtesy of Canva.

What does playing the piano mean to you?

It may seem like a strange question, but it’s the most logical place to start.

Students of all ages are drawn to the instrument for entirely different reasons. Some students aspire to be able to play any piece of music put in front of them.

Other students want the skills to play their favorite songs by ear. These students may not be particularly concerned with learning the correct technique. They simply want to enjoy the experience of making beautiful music.

Other prospective piano students love learning new things. They are obsessed with classical pieces and may even aspire to become a concert pianist. You may find these students eventually auditioning for several different music schools.

Then some view playing the piano as a way to relax. They don’t want to pressure themselves and enjoy exploring the different sounds the instrument can create.

All of these reasons are perfectly valid! And they will all lead you to different conclusions about whether or not you need a teacher.

It’s important to understand the motivation behind your drive to learn the instrument before we dive into whether it’s possible to learn piano without a teacher.

The “You Must Have a Piano Teacher” Camp

Those who argue for teachers believe that teachers are the key to learning the instrument and developing as a musician. They assert that teachers provide an exclusive and essential service.

This camp believes that, without a teacher, you will never achieve the level of playing you desire.

Members of this group believe a piano teacher can give immediate feedback on your progress and help you identify and correct bad habits.

They also contend that teachers can help instill good practice habits, which is essential for anyone who wants to improve their skills on the instrument.

There are some great points made by this camp! A good piano teacher can provide a wealth of knowledge and support to their students.

And for those who aspire to become a classical pianist, traditional piano lessons are still the best choice, at least in the beginning.

Once you reach a certain level in your piano journey, you can advance your skills with only occasional oversight from a teacher and the help of various online resources.

The subtle techniques required for playing classical are challenging to master unless you have oversight from a good teacher. Without a solid foundation in technique, completely self-taught pianists expose themselves to long-term damage.

And as you start playing more challenging pieces, the risk of injury increases.

The “You Don’t Need a Piano Teacher” Camp

This camp believes that teachers are not essential for learning the piano. They argue that anyone can teach themselves how to play the piano with the right resources and a bit of discipline and motivation.

One of the main arguments made by this group is that teachers often follow a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching. They believe that the path to teaching piano is outdated and isn’t easily adapted to individual learning needs.

This camp also believes you can save money by avoiding traditional piano lessons. They argue that the cost of a private teacher can be prohibitive, especially for those who are just starting out.

This camp also has some valid points! Self-discipline and motivation are essential for anyone who wants to learn the piano independently. And plenty of piano-playing resources are available online, many of which are free.

Is it possible to learn piano without a teacher?

Yes. Many self-taught students are out there improving their piano skills daily without the help of a teacher.

Although I grew up taking piano lessons, I don’t believe traditional piano lessons are a good option for all adult beginner piano students.

I believe that both camps have their benefits and drawbacks. You can succeed on either path if you honor your motivation for learning and stay on course with your goals.

Let’s dive deeper into why you may want to choose one path over the either.

You Might Want a Piano Teacher If:

No one is more vocal about the necessity of having a piano teacher than the teachers themselves!

And as someone who has had years of individual instruction, I can understand their point of view in several different situations.

Shiny Object Syndrome

Are you someone who gets really excited about starting something new but is easily distracted by the next shiny opportunity that crosses your path? If so, you might want to find a piano teacher.

A great teacher can help you stay focused on learning, and with their help, you can stay focused on your goals.

If you’re serious about wanting to learn the instrument, invest at least 6 months into dedicated one-on-one time with a teacher. At the end of the 6 months, you can re-evaluate whether learning the instrument is for you and move forward knowing you gave it your best shot.

Coordination is Challenging

Some people can rub their bellies, pat their heads, and chew gum simultaneously. Others can’t clap a steady beat.

Playing the piano involves coordination between your eyes, brain, and hands. Coordination is something that doesn’t come naturally to some people.

If you fall into this category, don’t give up on your dream of learning! But do know that getting your left hand to work with your right hand may require some oversight from an experienced teacher, especially if you’re a beginner.

Motivation

Do you find yourself starting new projects but quickly stopping progress because you lack the motivation to finish?

Motivation is tricky. Although many people believe motivation inspires action, I think the exact opposite. It’s been my experience that I only feel motivated to do something after I’ve already started taking action.

If I wait to feel motivated, I’ll never do the things on my list.

But finding the right teacher can be a great way to stay motivated to learn piano. This is especially true when you find someone who inspires you to accomplish your goals and challenge your negative assumptions.

You Have No Idea Where to Start

Are you confused and overwhelmed when you think about how to start your piano journey? If so, then you should seek out the help of a teacher.

A great teacher can help you establish a solid musical background and fill in all the gaps that might happen if left to your own devices.

Classical Music is Your Passion

You will want a teacher to help you form a strong foundation if you aspire to play classical music.

Developing the correct technique is crucial for playing this genre without injuring yourself. And it’s challenging to learn the proper technique yourself without any experienced teacher’s feedback.

You’re Not an Independent Learner

Are you someone who thrives on interactions with others? And did you learn better in a group setting than on your own?

If so, finding a teacher might be the best way to learn the piano. Some people learn by reading, others by hearing, and still others by doing.

But if you learn best through feedback and discussion, you should find a teacher, at least in the beginning.

Next Steps

If you’ve decided that finding a piano teacher supports your learning goals, read “How to Find the Right Piano Teacher for You.” This post is a deep dive into what you should consider when searching for a teacher.

It also includes a link to a list of different piano teachers currently offering online lessons. Many teachers have shifted to providing online lessons over the past couple of years, so there’s never been a better time to start playing!

You Can Skip the Piano Teacher If:

It’s also worth noting that even if you start with a teacher, you don’t have to continue lessons forever. There may be times in your life when having a teacher doesn’t work for your schedule or budget.

And that’s ok! As long as you’re enjoying the instrument, it doesn’t really matter.

Although I studied with a teacher throughout my childhood and teenage years, I believe that having a teacher isn’t the best choice for all students.

People come to the piano for various reasons, and not every path to mastery involves a teacher.

You Only Want to Learn a Few Pop Songs

Suppose your motivation to learn piano involves being able to play a few pop songs. In that case, it may not be worth finding a teacher.

There are so many tutorials on YouTube that can give you the information you need for free.

And if you want to learn to play by ear, free apps can help you with that too. My favorite app for ear training is called “Chet,” which helps you learn to play melodies and recognize harmonic intervals.

Its game approach is very addicting!

Beyond the Basics

If you’ve already mastered the basics with a teacher, even if it was years ago, advancing your skills without a teacher might be a good option for you.

You can find many great piano-based courses online tailored to your learning interests.

If classical piano is your passion, then make sure to check out Dr. Josh Wright’s ProPractice course! I first heard of Dr. Wright on a podcast and started following his YouTube channel.

His videos were so helpful that I eventually decided to invest in his course and felt an immediate transformation in my playing.

Although I’d love to incorporate regular lessons into my week, it’s not feasible with my schedule right now. His course has been a lifesaver for me because I can still study pieces on a deeper level but don’t have to feel guilty if I don’t have time to practice every day.

In fact, I recently did the Grade 5 ABRSM exam, and one of my selections is a piece he covers in detail in the ProPractice course. His instruction helped me pass the grade with distinction, and I am so grateful for this course!

La Huerfana and The Storm

If you’d like to find out if the ProPractice course would be a good fit for you, read my complete review of the course.

Independent Self-Starters

Are you someone who would rather be left alone to figure things out? If so, then you can probably skip the teacher.

Figure out your motivation and exact learning goals. Once you nail down your goals, find the most appropriate online program. There are many great apps for learning piano; your learning style would be an excellent fit for almost all of them.

Piano Marvel is one option for learning piano. It offers a guided approach to learning the instrument, so you don’t have to try and figure out where to start.

Although it has a variety of songs at different playing levels, this particular app has a very classical approach to teaching the instrument. You may want to consider a different app if this approach does not appeal to you.

And for my take on the app and whether it might be a good fit for you, read “The Best Unconventional Ways to Learn the Piano.”

You Want to Play for Fun

Formal lessons may not be for you if your only motivation for learning is to have fun. If you never aspire to play for anyone else and simply want to enjoy the process of making music, then you can get by without a teacher.

There are still ways to improve your skills and knowledge if you want to, but it’s not necessary.

You can find plenty of online resources that will give you tips on improving your playing. But for the most part, enjoy exploring the piano on your own, and don’t worry about becoming the next Beethoven.

Composition and Songwriting

If your motivation for learning the instrument comes from a desire to write your own music, then traditional piano lessons may not be the best path.

Many piano teachers focus on teaching the correct body mechanics and technique for playing, skills that are not particularly relevant to composition.

But you will need a solid foundation in music theory. There are many great online resources for learning theory.

SkillShare offers an incredible deep dive class taught by a university professor on music theory. There’s also a website called www.musictheory.net that provides a wealth of information on the topic.

YouTube can be your best friend when it comes to learning the art of songwriting. And you might be surprised to learn that most pop music is based on the same basic chord structure.

Next Steps

Although there are benefits to having a piano teacher, it’s not realistic for everyone. I’ve seen many people put their dreams of playing the piano on hold because they didn’t think it was possible to learn without a teacher.

Don’t let outdated ideas about learning piano stop you! There are so many paid and free resources out there that can help you realize your dreams of learning to play.

There are many online teachers offering lessons on an as-needed basis. And not every teacher expects you to attend weekly lessons.

You could also consider combining online resources and teacher oversight if finances or time are barriers.

For more inspiration and ideas on pursuing your dreams of playing the piano, check out “How to Learn Piano as an Adult.”

The Myth of Talent

It’s also worth noting that musical talent can only get you so far. Many people feel they’re not “musically talented,” which keeps them from learning.

But the truth is that talent only gets you so far. In the long run, effort wins out over raw talent every time. And one of the most crucial factors to making progress is having a solid practice plan.

Consistent and focused practice will help you progress regardless of whether you have a teacher. Although some teachers will help you establish a practice routine, many will not.

And plenty of teachers are still focused on the concept of repetition versus thoughtful and meaningful practice.

The topic of practice is one I find fascinating, and you can read my thoughts on the subject in the following posts:

Don’t let the fear that you’re not “musically inclined” stop you from even trying!

Final Thoughts

I hope this post has inspired you to think about what’s motivating you to learn the piano and to figure out whether a piano teacher is essential for learning.

Although I have had several great teachers throughout my life, I can understand why some learners hesitate to reach out to a teacher.

And I feel there are situations where a teacher isn’t necessary.

Ultimately, the most important thing is that you stop wondering “what if” and start going after your piano dreams!

If you loved this post, please help me out by sharing it on social media. And don’t miss my other posts on mindset and the piano!

Your Ultimate Guide to The Perfect Piano Practice Routine

Your Ultimate Guide to The Perfect Piano Practice Routine

Do you struggle with getting into a piano practice routine?

Are you confused about how much time you should be spending on practice?

Do you feel confident about how you spend your practice time? Or does it feel like you’re not getting the results you want enough though you put in practice time?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and disheartened by your current piano practice habits, this is the perfect blog post for you!

Whether you’ve been playing for 1 week or 10 years, you will find helpful tips and resources to make your piano practice time effective.

We will cover when to schedule your practice sessions, what you should be working on, and how you can stay motivated.

Ready? Let’s go!

This post may contain affiliate links. As affiliates of Amazon, Modacity, Dr. Josh Wright ProPractice, Musicnotes, and Piano Marvel, I may receive a commission at no extra cost if you purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information. I take no credit for the images appearing on this page. All photos are courtesy of Canva.

Why should you take my advice about how to practice piano?

The short answer is that I’ve been where you are right now. Although I’ve played piano for 30 years, I haven’t always had good practice habits.

And even though I studied piano in college, I firmly believed that talent, not effort, was the key to excelling at the keyboard.

I absolutely loved to play piano but had so much imposter syndrome around the instrument for most of my life. This led to anxiety and depression about my skills as a pianist.

And believing in talent over effort led to inconsistent practice as a form of self-sabotage.

It wasn’t until several years after I graduated with a music degree that I realized how hard work trumps talent every time. I began spending my free time researching ways to improve my mindset around practice.

And I started focusing on establishing good habits to support a regular practice routine despite a busy schedule.

With consistent practice, my skills improved, and I started looking forward to my daily piano practice routines. Most importantly, my love and passion for the instrument intensified.

My transformation inspired me to share what I learned about practicing mindset and establishing an effective routine with others.

The Myth of Motivation

The first thing you need to know about effective practice is that mindset matters. If you don’t manage your thoughts around practice, it will be easy to talk yourself out of it.

Other than the lie about talent versus hard work, I used to believe that motivation comes before action. I can’t tell you how many times I missed a day of practice because I didn’t feel like practicing.

But the truth is that you’ll never feel like putting in the work. Your brain will always try to trick you into believing the effort isn’t worth it. And one of the most effective ways it does this is by getting you to believe that you have to feel motivated to do something.

Although I love the thought that practice makes me a better player, I still don’t always feel like putting in the work.

The only way to get around the tricks your brain plays on you is to set a practice schedule and stick with it. Whether you feel like practicing or not, keep the commitment you’ve made to yourself to improve your piano skills.

Action creates motivation. The more action you take, the more your motivation will grow.

How much should you practice?

One of the first questions that come up around practice is how many minutes of practice you should log.

Although many people will tell you that you should plan for a 30-minute practice session daily, I disagree.

I have minimal time available for my various pursuits on any given day. And between a full-time job, husband, kids, dog, horse, and multiple side gigs, there’s NEVER a perfect time to practice!

Setting a specific amount of time for daily practice was ineffective for me because of my busy lifestyle.

I’ve experimented with many ways to develop a solid piano practice routine. The most successful has been committing to daily practice.

One of the best things I did was release myself from the prison of 30-minute practice sessions.

I stopped setting a specific number of minutes because I started feeling guilty whenever I didn’t hit my goal number of minutes. And I learned that the best way to progress was to be flexible.

Some days, I have enough time for 30+ minutes of practice. But on others, I have only 5 minutes.

And that’s ok.

If you’re serious about working on the necessary skills to become better at the piano, I highly encourage you to be flexible in how you get there.

When should you practice?

The easy answer is whenever it’s easiest to fit practice in as a part of your routine. Some adult piano students find that morning is the best time to fit a session in.

Others swear by practicing late at night. I’ve found that fitting a piano playing session in before I pick my kids up from school works the best.

The first step in planning your practice routine is considering what time of day is best for you.

When are you most mentally engaged in tasks? And when do you seem to accomplish the most?

Although it’s not always possible to schedule practice sessions at your peak productivity time, awareness is the first step.

Try to avoid practicing at those times of the day when your brain is on autopilot because your progress will be slow. Those are the times when you’re most at risk of picking up bad habits.

Practicing at night is the hardest because I’m a morning person. And there are times when I practice under less-than-ideal circumstances. But I try my best to coordinate practice when I’m most alert.

What should you practice?

Coming up with a practice plan is crucial whether you are studying with a piano teacher or taking online piano lessons. Coming up with a plan before you practice makes your practice much more efficient.

Start setting small goals because you’ll feel even more motivated to practice as you accomplish them.

And being clear on a specific goal ensures you will spend the time needed to achieve that goal.

Piano Practice Routine: The Warm-Up

The warm-up is a great time to set your intention for the practice session.

There are many different ways to warm up. But think of this as a time to prepare your brain and body for what’s coming.

You could spend some time working through small sections of difficult passages in your music. Separate the left hand from the right hand and focus on pinpointing the exact spot where you struggle.

Technical exercises are another fantastic way to warm up. I recommend the Hanon exercises because they have patterns that aren’t terribly difficult but get your fingers moving. Czerny and Brahms also have books on finger exercises to improve your technical skills.

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Scale practice is a popular warm-up. You can choose one major scale and its relative minor scale to work on per week. Working on scales strengthens your music theory knowledge and finger technique.

I enjoy spending some time sight reading during my warm-up sessions. It helps with my note reading and playing confidence when performing a somewhat unfamiliar piece.

Piano Practice Routine: New Pieces

After my brain and muscles are warmed up, I like to tackle whatever requires the most effort. Examples include working on a new piece of music or memorizing something you’ve already learned.

It’s at this point in your practice session that everything is primed and ready to go. This is why it’s best to tackle whatever needs the most work. I like to use this point in my practice session to practice whatever I want to practice the least.

There are always practice tasks that are difficult or boring. It’s easy to skip right over them, but it’s often these areas in which you can make the most improvement.

Other ideas for filling this part of your practice session include:

  • Focusing in on any hard parts in your music
  • Working with the metronome to solidify rhythms
  • Engaging in slow practice

In any given practice session, there will be things you NEED to work on and things you WANT to work on. The best sessions are a balance between the two.

Piano Practice Routine: The Fun Stuff

And once you’ve tackled the work, it’s time for some fun! I always save the last part of my practice session for the pieces I’m dying to play. It could be stuff that I’ve already mastered or fun projects.

If you love to improvise, save your noodling for this part of the session. I love to work on playing by ear, so I will spend the last part of my practice playing whatever pop or country song I’m obsessed with.

You could also work on accompanying yourself while singing. Try to find piano-related activities that drew you to the instrument in the first place.

Saving the most fun and exciting activities for the end ensures you leave the keyboard on a high note. And that way, sitting down the next day will be easier.

What if you only have 5 minutes to practice?

My advice is to take what you can get. Prioritize what you want to work on and get to it!

Even 5 minutes of focused practice is better than nothing.

Do you have to practice every day?

Getting better at anything requires consistency. I’ve found that practicing daily keeps everything fresh and makes it easier to progress. But consistency is different for everyone.

And making time every day helps me establish piano practice as more than a habit. It’s not as easy to talk myself out of practice when it’s part of my daily routine.

Are there tools you can use to help make your piano practice routine more effective?

Absolutely! One of my favorite tools is an app called Modacity. It tracks your practice time and keeps a daily log, so you can see your practice streak when you log in.

This app has been pivotal in helping me establish the perfect piano practice routine. Aside from the practice log, Modacity can give suggestions for improving your practice. You can also track improvements you’ve made on individual songs.

I’ve been using Modacity for the past 3 years and can’t say enough good about this app!

If you’d like to try it, take advantage of a special deal for readers by clicking my affiliate link here.

There’s a fantastic book by Gerald Klickstein called The Musician’s Way, which breaks practice down into individual components. It resets any negative thoughts you may have about practice. And it helps you form new patterns of more positive thinking that you can use in the practice room.

The Musician’s Way revolutionized how I approach practice, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking to do the same.

What about tools to improve your mindset around practice?

Aside from The Musician’s Way, there are a few other books that I have found helpful in reframing a more positive mindset. And with a positive mindset, you can excel in practice and life.

One of the most inspirational books I’ve read is called Relentless. The book is written by Tim Grover, athletic trainer for the biggest names in athletics, including Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. If you struggle to stay motivated about your goals, reading this book will revolutionize your approach to goal-setting!

Indistractable is another essential read for transforming your mindset. It helps you identify distractions in your life and take steps to improve efficiency. This translates into practice that is infinitely more effective.

And if you’re interested in learning how the best in the world become the best, you have to read Peak by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool. The book explores the traits that the most successful people in the world share. And more importantly, it gives you the tools to transform your own skillset.

Are there tools specific for classical pianists?

If you love playing classical pieces but struggle with finding a piano teacher or attending weekly lessons, I have an incredible resource to recommend!

I discovered the ProPractice course by Dr. Josh Wright several years ago while on the search for ways to improve my playing. Dr. Josh Wright is a world-renowned pianist and put together a fantastic set of resources to help pianists who may struggle with regular lessons.

ProPractice is a course that includes tutorials for some of the most well-known pieces in the classical repertoire.

And he walks you through each piece, guiding you on fingering and interpretation so you can improve your ability to play each piece from the comfort of your home.

Dr. Wright has an active YouTube channel with helpful resources for everything from keeping pieces fresh to dealing with performance anxiety. He is the absolute best if you’re interested in improving your classical skills! You can check out his YouTube channel here.

And if you’re interested in learning about his ProPractice course, click this link.

If you want to see how the course has improved my playing, here’s a recent video of me playing two different pieces for the ABRSM Grade 5 exam. The second piece played in the video, composed by Friedrich Burgmuller, is included in Dr. Wright’s ProPractice course.

By following his suggestions on this piece and others, I completed the Grade 5 exam with distinction. Again, it’s a fantastic resource for anyone who doesn’t have time for regular lessons with a piano teacher.

Two pieces from the 2021-2022 ABRSM Grade 5 Exam: La Huerfana and The Storm

Final Thoughts on Developing the Perfect Piano Practice Routine

I hope this blog post helped outline the perfect piano practice routine! Remember, it’s all about approaching practice with flexibility and a positive mindset.

Regardless of whether you aspire to play at church on the stage at Carnegie Hall, keep at it and never give up on your dreams!

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