How to Play With 2 Hands on the Piano

Piano Lessons / piano practice / How to Play With 2 Hands on the Piano

Welcome to, I’m Robert Estrin. The subject today is about how to play with two hands on the piano. Now this may seem like the most basic thing. But I bet you there are people searching for answers about this. This can be particularly perplexing for those of you who have played other instruments where you play only one note at a time. You might wonder, how the heck do you play with two hands and play all those notes? So it is really a valid question, and the answer may surprise you!

The secret to learning how to play with both hands is to practice hands separately!

That might seem like a contradiction, but it is far from it. The hardest part about piano playing is putting the hands together. Practicing small sections at a time, hands separately, really breaks things down. It makes it easier for you to play hands together. If you try to play hands together immediately, and that is the way you practice a piece of music, it’s going to be tough to get all the details straight. You will struggle to get the phrasing and fingering. There’s just so much information to amass when you’re looking at a score. So that is the secret to playing hands together.

When you first start learning a new piece of music, read through it really slowly, hands together, to get familiar. You’ll probably have to play incredibly slowly at first, because it’s hard! But once you do that a couple of times, you can start from the beginning, just taking a very small section. Figure out the right hand. Learn all the details of the right hand. Then do the same thing with the left hand. Then put them together. You repeat this process one small section at a time. I’ve talked about this process many times before. I was so fortunate to study with my father, Morton Estrin, who showed me this at my first lesson as a young child. I have taught this to countless people. It really works!

If the piano was played with only one hand, it would probably be the easiest instrument there is!

Trying to get a sound out of a clarinet or a flute is an arduous task. Basic tone production on a piano is as simple as pressing down a key. You can get a sound the first time you try it! But put those hands together and it becomes exponentially more difficult. So the secret to playing hands together is to work out your music section by section, hands separately. Get each hand really flowing and then slowly put them together. Then increase the tempo. You can connect section by section working through the piece this way. Before you know it, you can play hands together on the piano! I hope this is helpful for those of you who are afraid of the piano because of having to play with two hands. Thanks again for joining me, Robert Estrin here at, Your Online Piano Resource.

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