Learning how to play piano faster isn’t something that happens overnight, but by following these tips you’ll be playing at the speed you want in no time.

Do you want to learn how to play piano faster? Some pianists favor accuracy over speed, but others would like to learn fast piano playing, with accuracy, of course.

Trying to play the piano at a faster speed can cause frustration at first. But, the faster you can play the piano, it turns out, the more accurate you will be when you play the piano at slower speeds. Here we will explore some tips for increasing your piano playing speed. 

When you are trying to increase piano speed, just as when you are trying to play any instrument faster, there are three principles you must remember: practice, precision and patience

And don’t think that the old adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is necessarily true in this case. Those who have been playing the piano for years or older students just starting to learn to play the piano can also learn how to play piano faster. 

Principles of Fast Piano Playing


The first important concept in learning to play piano fast is to relax your body. Your shoulders, arms and hands should be loose, not tight.

Stretch their muscles before you sit down on the piano bench. Being tense will slow down your playing speed. You don’t want your fingers to start cramping up while you are attempting to play piano fast!

Take a few breaks as you are practicing, and each time, do a shoulder roll, stretch your arms and fingers, and easily roll your head around to stretch your neck muscles. While it might not seem like strenuous exercise, playing the piano is a type of workout in its own right! 

Know the Keyboard Forwards and Backwards

piano fingering

Before you can learn how to play piano faster, you must intimately know its keyboard, without having to look down at the keys or your fingers. This means that you need to possess an innate sense of exactly where each piano key on the keyboard is, as well as knowing where your fingers are on that keyboard at all times.

This is not a conscious process. It occurs in your subconscious which means you won’t even realize you possess this knowledge. Your subconscious mind works must faster than your conscious mind; hence, learning to play piano faster is rooted in your subconscious mind. 

One way to achieve this knowledge of relative positioning of your hands on the keyboard is to make sure that you sit in the same position in relation to the piano every time you play. The piano bench or stool should always be at exactly the same height, and your body should always be the same distance away from the piano. If you align your belly button with middle C, this helps to position yourself correctly in front of the piano and its keys.

Practice and memorization is the key to acquiring this type of knowledge. Run the scales a few times until you can do it quickly without looking at your fingers or the keyboard. Memorize the notes and keys on the piano (if you have been playing piano for any length of time, you have probably already accomplished this, but if you’re a beginner, maybe not yet).

If you are sight reading a piece, try to avoid looking at the keyboard as much as possible. Play a variety of different types of pieces, all without looking down at your fingers or the piano’s keys. 

Know Your Fingering Patterns!

A piano teacher I had during elementary school used to constantly tell me that fingering is the key to playing everything smoothly – and more quickly. If you already know standard fingering patterns, you will be able to play a piece much faster than if you are struggling to decide where your fingers go on the keys.

The best way to practice proper fingering, when you are just starting out learning the piano, again, is to practice your scales. There are also finger exercises posted online that can help you to limber up your fingers and improve your fingering, thus increasing your piano speed.

Check out these free Hanon piano exercises that will assist in giving you greater strength, endurance and proficiency, and ultimately, speed in your piano playing.

Know the Piece Inside and Out

how to play piano faster

You can’t just technically know a piece of music in order to be able to eventually play it quickly. You must truly and fully understand the piece of music before you can hope to play it more quickly.

Before you sit down to learn a piece, read through it a few times. Note the atmosphere that the composer is trying to express. If possible, listen to the piece being played by someone else or on a professional recording. Feel what the music is trying to convey.

If you expose yourself to listening to a variety of musical types and genres, you will be able to pick up on a piece’s meaning much more easily. Eventually, with time and practice, you will be able grasp the meaning of a piece without having to consciously think about it. 

If you want to play a particular piece of music more quickly, it is imperative to technically know the piece completely. Make sure you have properly and thoroughly learned a piece before you attempt to play it fast. This means that, inevitably, you must memorize a piece before you can learn to play it fast on the piano.

Finding the right notes in the proper order without consciously thinking about it will enable you to achieve a higher speed when playing the piece on the piano. This also incorporates knowing the proper fingering for the specific piece. You must have this down pat before you can play the piece faster. 

Some pianists practice each hand separately before putting both hands together. This works for some, but not all, pianists in trying to learn how to play a piece faster. This method is worth a try, but if you find that playing both hands together works better for you, do that instead. 

Keep Hands and Fingers Close to the Keys

When you are trying to play piano fast, it is important to keep from changing your hand positions relative to the keyboard as much as possible. If you are shifting your hands too much, it becomes impossible to move your fingers quickly enough to keep up a fast piano speed. 

Great piano players know to keep their fingers close to the keys when playing piano. Chopin, for example, is known to have kept his fingers almost glued to the keyboard when he played. Keeping movement minimal when you are playing is key to playing piano fast. 

Don’t Mash the Keys

Another trick that pianists use to play more quickly and accurately is not to mash down the keys, but rather, tap them lightly. Of course, you must touch the keys enough that they sound, but many pianists say that the more lightly you tap the keys, the more quickly you can play. As I haven’t tested this tip out myself, I can’t vouch for its authenticity. 

Use Speed Wisely

Make sure to strive to achieve a piece’s target speed, not a practice speed. If you want to play everything faster, this isn’t going to make sense in the long run. A piece that is designed to be played Adagio, for example, should not be played Presto.

When you are practicing the piece, it’s okay to try to play it as fast as you can, just for fun and practice. When you are actually performing the piece, however, remember to play it at the speed it is intended to be played.  

Practice, Practice, Practice!

Practice is key to increasing your playing speed. Achieving the ability to play fast and with accuracy requires a great deal of practice and dedication. You will build muscle memory through repeated practice, meaning that eventually you will be playing piano fast without any conscious effort on your part. Your playing becomes automatic. Think of it as learning to type on the computer keyboard quickly. The more often you type on a computer keyboard, the faster you become at it. 

When you are practicing, start out slowly. It is impossible to learn how to play a piece quickly if you can’t at first play it slowly and accurately. This involves the three P’s mentioned above: practice, precision and patience. You must have all three to accurately learn how to play a piece quickly. It requires patience on your part to acknowledge that you must first learn to play a piece slowly and with precision before you can learn to play it quickly with precision. This necessitates much practice.  

Use a Metronome

metronome piano practice

Some pianists swear by the use of a metronome when they are trying to learn to play piano faster. With a metronome, you can adjust the speed to be a bit faster each time you practice playing a particular piece.

As you master the piece and its intricacies at one speed, the next time you practice, move the speed up just a bit. You can challenge yourself as you increase the metronome’s speed and eventually you will be playing the piece faster than you ever imagined you could!

You don’t even need to purchase an old-time metronome – there are free apps available on your phone, such as Metronome Beats, that offer digital metronomes!

Don’t Increase Your Playing Volume Unless It’s Intentional

Just because you are playing the piano faster doesn’t mean you necessarily have to play it more loudly. If you watch a great pianist play quickly, you will see that he or she is tapping the piano keys lightly but fully (not mashing them down as we warned against doing above).

Changing the volume of your piano playing to match the intended volume of the piece is an advanced skill that you will learn with practice and time. It requires fine motor control, good judgement on your part, and sensitivity to the piano’s keys to achieve the proper sound for a particular piece of music. 

Wrapping It Up

To sum it up, the most important factors in learning to play piano faster include:

  • Relaxation
  • Intimate knowledge of the piano’s keyboard
  • Proper fingering technique 
  • Complete knowledge of a piano piece
  • Hand and finger positioning
  • Knowing when to play fast and when to play slow
  • Using a metronome
  • Keeping the volume accurate relative to the piece
  • Practice

Applying these tips should help you to be able to play piano faster in a short amount of time, along with some patience and practice.