Robert Estrin - piano expert

How to Play With 2 Hands on the Piano

Learn the secret to learn playing with two hands on the piano

In this video, Robert teaches you how to learn to play the piano with two hands. It is easier than you may think!

Released on February 8, 2023

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Because the hardest part about piano playing is putting the hands together, practicing first small sections at a time, hands separately, really breaks things down so that you can play hands together. Hi, I'm Robert Estrin, this is, your online piano resource with the question how to play with two hands on the piano? Now that seems like the most basic question in the world but I bet you there are people searching for answers on this. People have just started out and particularly those of you who are other instrumentalists and you play one note at a time your whole life and you wonder how the heck do you play with two hands and play all these notes? So it is really a valid question and the answer may surprise you. When you're first learning how to play the piano, the secret to learning how to play with both hands is to practice hands separately. Now that may seem like a contradiction but it is far from it.

Because the hardest part about piano playing is putting the hands together, practicing first small sections at a time, hands separately, really breaks things down so that you can 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 so tough to get all the details straight, to get the phrasing, to get the good fingering, there's just so much information to amass looking at a score. So that is the secret to playing hands together. Take a piece of music. Now at first sure read through it really slowly hands together to get acquainted and you'll probably have to play drastically slowly at first because it's hard, right? But once you do that a couple of times you know you can start from the beginning and just take a very small section and figure out the right hand, all the details of the right hand. I've talked about this process many times before. I was so fortunate to study with my father Morten Estrin who showed me this and my first lesson was a young child and I taught it to countless people and man it really works. You learn that right hand, that little part, you learn the left hand, you get it so it's easy. Because you know what, if the piano was 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 but a piano, not so hard to get basic tone production 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 work out your music section by section, little tiny sections, hands separately, getting each hand really fluent and then slowly put them together and then increase the tempo. And then you can connect section by section and voila, you can play hands together on the piano.

I hope this is helpful for those of you who were afraid of the piano because of the two hands. Any questions you have you can address them here to me, Robert at Thanks again for joining me and ringing that bell and all you subscribers, the thumbs up. We'll see you next time.
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Ioannis Raftopoulos * VSM MEMBER * on February 14, 2023 @6:07 am PST
after achieving to play with two hands, how to manage some difficult combinations like in nocturn in b flat by chopin, where timing is not so easy to understand, because some notes in the left hand have to be played at a fraction of the noes in the right hand? for example play elevenths in the right hand and six in the right hand?
Robert - host, on February 14, 2023 @7:30 am PST
Ioannis Raftopoulos * VSM MEMBER * on February 17, 2023 @2:03 am PST
thank you Robert! it has been very helpfyl! the independency of left from right hand is I think the best aproach, instead of applyling maths to play with accuracy!
Jeannie on February 12, 2023 @8:35 pm PST
Thank you so much! This confirms what I thought was the way to learn two hands together! In truth, I could only play one or the other. Painstaking! But your expert explanation gives me hope. Thank you! Smiley Face
Robert Estrin - host, on February 13, 2023 @8:45 am PST
Hope it works well for you!
Robert Estrin - host, on February 8, 2023 @12:58 pm PST
Putting the hands together is what makes the piano so difficult. That's why hands separate practice is so valuable!
MAnoj Pant on February 8, 2023 @9:24 am PST
So some degree of memorising is ok as when you play each hand separately you do tend to memorise some parts at least where there are runs which are difficult to sight read.
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