One thing which many beginning piano players want to know is how long it is going to take to learn how to play properly. How long it will take you to learn piano, in terms of the numbers of hours or years, is determined by a variety of factors.
It might take you less than a year of practicing 1 hour each day to reach a beginner level, and it can take several years of playing for 1 or 2 hours per day to get to an intermediate skill level. Let’s take a look at the factors which will determine how long it will take you to learn and what kind of time commitment you’re looking at.
How Long does it Usually Take to Learn Piano?
There are of course different skill levels involved here. It’s going to take you much longer to become an advanced piano player than it will to reach a beginner’s level. The below estimates of how long it will take to learn piano are based on the assumption that you will be practicing at least 1 hour per day for 5 to 7 days per week.
To reach a beginner’s level of piano playing, you can expect to take about 1 to 2 years of playing for around 1 hour per day. If we put this into pure hours, this means taking anywhere from 240 to 480 hours of practice to reach a beginner’s skill level. A beginner level involves having a decent grasp of sheet music, playing basic octave scales, and other such basics.
Next on the list is the intermediate skill level. When practicing for roughly 1 hour per day, 5 to 7 days per week, you can expect to take between 3 and 4 years to reach this skill level. In terms of pure hours, this means practicing for between 720 and 960 hours.
An intermediate skill level involves being able to grasp fairly advanced concepts, being able to understand complex rhythmic patterns, being able to play scales in a variety of octaves, and sight reading. At this point you should be able to learn and play moderately hard songs on your own.
To become a truly advanced piano player, it is of course going to take some time. To reach an advanced skill level, you can expect to take anywhere from 5 to 10 years, and this is if you practice for at least 1 hour per day for at least 5 days per week. In terms of hours dedicated, this means practicing for anywhere from 1,200 to 2,400 hours.
Attaining this skill level means that you should be able to sight read music, you are familiar with all scales, arpeggios, broken chords, and all other concepts in all keys. At this point, you should be able to learn and play fairly advanced pieces on your own.
To become a true piano master, to master all basic concepts and skills involved in piano playing, and to be able to read, learn, and play very complex music on your own, expect to take up to a full 20 years. This may mean having to practice for up to 5,000 hours before reaching this skill level.
Factors that Determine How Long it Takes to Learn Piano
Let’s quickly go over some of the main factors that are going to determine how long it will take you to learn the piano.
Yes, unfortunately talent does make a difference here. Some people just have a natural knack for playing music. If you have talent, it may take you much less time to learn the piano than the estimates outlined above. If you are not musically inclined, it might take you much longer. It really depends on the individual.
Something that will cut down on the time it takes you to learn the piano is having a good instructor. Sure, it is possible to learn piano on your own, but it is much harder. Having a trained and skilled piano player/teacher will help speed up the learning process.
We did base the above estimates on playing for 1 hour per day for 5 days per week. That said, some people take this to the next level and may practice for up to 4 or 5 hours each day. No, it won’t take fewer hours to learn, but it will take fewer months or years. The more you practice on a daily basis, the sooner you will attain higher skill levels.
As you can see, there are many factors which will determine how long it takes to learn the piano. However, what can be said is that the most important aspect by far is practice. Practice leads to progress, and the more you practice, the quicker this will go.