Okay, we get it, learning a musical instrument can be intimidating - and it's easy to feel like you aren't cut out to be a musician. Yes, mastering your chosen instrument takes dedication and determination, but if you put the time in, you'll be rewarded with the sweet sound of music.
One of the most popular instruments for aspiring musicians is the keyboard, and while many wannabe pianists jump into the challenge with both feet, others shy away from it, coming up with a plethora of excuses as to why they won't make a great musician anyway.
Well, we're here to tell you that you can do it. Armed with a little self-confidence and our expert guidance, we're convinced you'll be able to fulfil your musical dream of becoming the best keyboard player you can be.
Join us as we delve into the five common excuses we hear time and time again for not learning the keyboard and why we think you should stop procrastinating and get learning!
5 common excuses for not learning the keyboard
1. I don't have time
This is probably the most common excuse we hear. Yes, learning the keyboard will take up some of your time, but maybe not as much as you think. Okay, so while it's true that the more time you spend practicing, the better you'll get, any time spent at the keyboard is better than nothing.
You may only have 15 mins a day, and that's totally fine. As long as you use the time you do have wisely, you'll still see improvements.
We recommend coming up with a plan well ahead of sitting down at the keyboard, that way when it comes time to practice, you'll not be wasting time looking for the perfect video lesson online or trying to find the correct page in your tuition book and instead have more time to play your instrument.
2. It's too expensive to learn
Yes, there will be an initial outlay when it comes to learning the keyboard, but it may not be as expensive to learn as you may think. Beginner keyboards are now more affordable than ever and come loaded with engaging features to help you master the instrument.
Most music retailers will offer bundle packages that include everything you need to get started and it's often way cheaper than buying all the individual items separately - some even include a subscription to online lessons as well!
Be sure to check out our guide to the best keyboards for beginners for our expert pick of beginner-friendly keyboards for all ages and price points.
3. My hands are too small
It may feel like you can't play the keyboard if you have small hands, but in reality, the size of your hands doesn't really matter. Yes, having larger hands will make playing certain pieces more manageable, and if you have shorter fingers, you may not be able to stretch them over a full octave, but that shouldn't stop you from learning the instrument altogether.
Our advice would be to practice and work on your technique and you'll quickly realise you don't need massive hands to tackle the majority of songs and styles.
4. I'm not musical
Of course you aren't musical, you aren't a musician yet. Despite what people may believe, no one is born with musical ability. It's a skill you need to work on, but with a little effort and plenty of practice, you'll soon realise your musical potential.
We believe you should think about learning the keyboard like any other skill you've gained in life - just like learning to drive or how to cook, some people have more natural ability than others, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. You'll only know if you're a natural or not if you give it a go!
5. It will be too difficult
Learning the keyboard has really never been easier – or more accessible. With the slew of well-designed online learning platforms available today, as well as the plethora of books and other learning materials on YouTube, it really couldn't be simpler to learn.
We recommend taking it slow and learning to walk before you run. Take a look at our guide to the best online piano lessons available today. Most of the platforms we've included in our guide will cater for all ages and skill levels and is the perfect place to start if you are serious about learning the keyboard.
5 reasons you should learn the keyboard
So, those are all the excuses we hear for not learning the keyboard, but now it's time to give you five reasons why we think you should take up the keyboard right now.
1. It can improve your mental health
It's been proven that playing an instrument can positively affect your mental health. Not only does playing the keyboard distract you from your daily worries and give you a positive outlet for your emotions, but it can also reduce stress and anxiety.
Learning the keyboard - or any instrument for that matter - can also help you build self-confidence and boost your self-esteem. Helping you feel better about yourself and your abilities.
2. Playing the keyboard improves coordination
This may sound like an obvious one, but it's worth mentioning. Playing the keyboard can drastically improve your coordination skills.
It's a given that it will strengthen your fingers and enhance your hand dexterity, but it will also improve hand-eye coordination and independent movement of both your hands and your feet.
3. There's a social element to being a musician
When you become a musician, you don't just learn how to play an instrument; you also become part of a much wider community.
Music has the power to bring people together, and as a keyboard player, you'll gain the ability to join a band or ensemble, partake in local jam nights, accompany singers, and so much more.
Now, it's not just people in your local area you'll get to meet, there's a massive online community to explore as well. So whether you're looking for advice on what to learn next or which keyboard to buy, you'll find a fellow keyboard player eager to help you out.
4. It can spark creativity
While learning songs and other people's compositions is a must when you start playing the keyboard, it won't be too long before you begin composing your own songs and melodies.
The keyboard is an incredibly inspiring instrument and we're sure it will spark some creativity in you - even if you don't see yourself as a particularly creative person.
5. It's never been easier to learn
We are living in the golden age of information - meaning it's never been easier to learn the keyboard.
There's a wealth of teaching materials online. Whether it's well-produced and easy-to-follow video lessons, transcriptions of popular songs or entire keyboard courses, you'll never run out of things to learn.
Beginner keyboard recommendations
1. Yamaha Piaggero NP15
The highly portable Yamaha Piaggero NP15 has to be our top pick for anyone looking to learn piano or keyboard for the first time.
2. Casio CT-S300 keyboard
We’ve chosen the CT-S300 for the way it balances features and price. With a full-size, velocity-sensitive 61-note keyboard, this is ideal for newbie players.
3. Casio Casiotone CT-S1
Building on the legacy of the original, the CT-S1 is fully portable with 61 built-in voices, 61 full-size, touch-sensitive keys and 64 note polyphony.
Our online lesson recommendations
1. Playground Sessions
Based around the multi-platform ‘Playground Sessions for Piano’ app for Mac, PC and mobile devices, the curriculum is centred around three main sections. Bootcamp takes you through the basics, Courses features a series of more niche topics, while Songs offers subscribers unlimited access to an ever-expanding library of over 2,000 popular songs to learn.
Pianote takes the web-based, video-driven format and expands on it with access to highly trained professionals that are just a click away. In addition to two fully-structured learning paths, not only are you able to have your questions answered by real-life piano teachers, but you also gain access to weekly live-streaming video lessons, along with the ability to connect with teachers and students in the community forums.
The idea with Flowkey is to learn to play your favourite piano songs via a selection of intermediary lessons. Your skill level is assessed during the setup process so you can jump into the lessons at the correct starting point. The software has a user-friendly interface that’s easy to navigate, whether you want to pick a lesson plan or simply skip to a song you want to learn.