Technique is everything when it comes to playing an instrument, regardless of whether you’re a beginner or an experienced pianist, there are some mistakes everyone makes that hold them back.

However, when you’re starting out, it’s important to weed out your mistakes and develop good playing habits.

Here are six common piano mistakes and how to avoid them.

Sitting Too Close

The first mistake beginners often make is sitting too close to the piano, because they think it might help them reach the keys quicker. In reality, if you’re sitting too close your arms won’t have enough room to extend, limiting your range of motion.

The ideal form is to sit on the edge of the piano bench and move backward until your elbows are extended forward from your shoulders.

Keeping Wrists Low

If your palms get too close to the front of the piano and your wrists collapse downwards, you’re playing it wrong. The wrists need to extend straight from your arms and shouldn’t bend down.

If your wrists get too low, they’ll likely cause strain in your arms and fingers, reducing the speed at which you play. Practice sitting in the right posture so you can play more effectively and keep your arms safe.

Not Taking Classes

Though the ads online say otherwise, the piano isn’t something you can efficiently teach yourself. You might be able to teach yourself a few little poems and learn the terms, but in order to play the right way, classes are necessary.

It’s not required to get a live teacher, free online sessions on YouTube or intro gospel piano books will do the job just fine. All that’s important is you keep practicing and stay consistent.

Playing Everything Fast

It may seem like you’re more advanced if you play keys fast when you’re sitting at the keyboard, but it doesn’t sound the same to the people listening. It’s common for beginners to practice their pieces too fast.

As a part of learning the piano, you must learn to play a piece slowly so you teach yourself the correct muscle memory. After learning it at a slow tempo, the speed can be increased safely.

Ignoring the Details

Anyone can learn how to play the right notes with the right rhythm, but everything else on the rest of the page often gets left out by beginners. The additional details are there for a reason, without you can’t perform a piece correctly.

When playing, the crescendos, diminuendos, fortissimos, and staccatos need to be noted and followed. Avoiding the changes in volume, weight, and dynamics is a huge mistake you’ll regret later on.

Stressing Over Slow Progress

It’s impossible to fully learn any instrument in a day, and a piano is no exception. Learning to play the piano takes a lot of hard work and patience, especially because it’s a slow-going process.

Never forget why you started to learn in the first place. If it’s something that’s worth learning, it will take time so don’t give up.