Introduction: How to Play the Piano With Both Hands

Learning how to play the piano with both hands together can seem like a bit of a puzzle to figure out!

Can you pat your tummy while you rub your head at the same time? Or do the reverse?

Maybe not the first time, but after a few tries, you can!

This is just what it is like when we start playing with both hands together on our piano keyboards. Each hand is doing its own thing but at the same time.

Playing with both hands together is one of the biggest challenges any new piano player faces. Once this technique is mastered, however, a whole new door of music and learning opens up and your piano playing will move into an exciting new level.

Let's look at some important things to do when you're first starting to play with both of your hands together on the piano.

Step 1: Take One Hand at a Time

When we look at a piece of piano music, we see that the top and bottom lines have different notes in them.

  • The top notes are the Treble Clef notes and these are played with our right hands.
  • The bottom notes are the Bass Clef notes and these are played with our left hands.

Ultimately, we end up playing both the top and bottom lines of music at the same time.

In order to do this, though, we need to break down the music and learn one hand at a time.

Start with the top line which is the Treble Clef line and is played with your right hand.

  • Make sure you know how many beats you are counting in each measure and what your key signature is.
  • Read through your notes verbally at least once before you start playing them on the piano.
  • Play through the Treble notes on your keyboard next and do this several times until you feel you know the music.

Next, do the same steps with the bottom line which is the Bass Clef and is played with your left hand.

TIP:Don't try to play either line faster than you can correctly. This will have an effect on your ability to play both lines of music together. Remember, you can always speed up your tempo later on, after you've mastered this technique in a slower tempo.

Are you ready to try both hands together? Let's see what you need to do first in the next step.

Step 2: Take One Measure at a Time

Next, we're going to break the music down a different way from how we did it to learn each line of music separately.

Take just the first measure. In this example, we have 4 quarter notes in the Treble Clef along with a whole note in the Bass Clef.

If you want to review each hand separately before trying them together that's fine; do that as much as you need to.

Now, put your finger down on the Bass Clef C note at the same time you put your Middle C finger down in the Treble Clef and hold the Bass note while you play each note in the treble clef throughout the measure, for 4 counts.

  • Notice that you don't have to lift or move your left-hand note even though you do, in your right-hand notes.

Play this measure with both hands together as many times as you need to to get secure with the notes and rhythm.

See how much easier it is when you break it all down into smaller sections?

Now that you've gotten the first measure learned, move on to the second measure and do the same process.

Slow down your tempo if you're having any difficulties.

When you've worked through the first 2 measures separately, try playing them together and keep doing that until you can play them as a group of measures comfortably.

Keep doing this throughout the entire piece until you are able to play all of the notes in both hands together.

TIP: Be aware of where rhythmic and note patterns change from measure to measure as this will help you play them all together smoothly and easily.

Now it's time to put all of this together so you can be sure that you're doing everything correctly! Come Practice With Me in the Final Step!

Step 3: Come Practice With Me!

This quick video tutorial takes you through the steps we've gone over here using the same sample that is in the images and it will reinforce your learning as you play along with me and see just how easy it can be to play your piano with both hands together.

Once you've mastered this skill in easier music, you'll be able to move on to playing both hands together faster and smoother with more difficult music, in no time.