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Let’s talk piano progress.

Learning the piano is a long, long journey of consistent practice, review, and improvement.

Like learning a new language, learning an instrument like the piano requires commitment for years to really improve at it, but without any sort of tracking method, it can be impossible to really know if you’re improving at the piano, not improving at the piano, or even developing bad habits that can lead to injuries down the line.

Lucky for you, tonebase has just released a revolutionary feature that allows you to pinpoint exactly where you are in your piano progress, regardless of level.

Here is our Head of Piano Dominic Cheli introducing our new feature to the tonebase platform, Practice Plans:

If you'd like to experience the benefits of tonebase's new Practice Plans firsthand, click here to sign up for a free 14-day trial.

However, if you’re looking for something more old-fashioned, we’ll cover a few methods to track your piano progress all on your own.

Let’s jump into the best methods to track your progress at the piano, so you can excel at faster rates than ever before.

1. Setting clear goals for piano improvement

The first thing every aspiring pianist should do when looking to track their piano progress is to set clear, manageable, and measurable goals.

What are you looking to accomplish as a pianist? Do you want to build your interpretive language more, or refine your technique so you can play more advanced repertoire? Maybe you want to learn improvisation?

These are things to consider when assessing how you will go about tracking your progress on the piano.

Now, it should be noted that sometimes it can be quite tricky to know exactly what you should improve. Analyzing your piano progress does require a certain level of understanding when it comes to what areas of piano technique exist.

Also, it can be quite confusing to figure out what repertoire will best match your level at certain skills on the piano.

This is why we invented our new Practice Plan feature, a revolutionary approach to piano progress tracking built into the tonebase app.

In case you haven’t heard of tonebase, tonebase Piano is a massive online library of piano lessons and courses from the world’s best pianists. Teachers on the platform include Juilliard and Curtis professors, Grammy winners, and many more amazing mentors, such as Emmanuel Ax, Garrick Ohlsson, and Seymour Bernstein.

Now, as a tonebase member, you can fill out a detailed survey that outlines all of your skills at the piano, such as arpeggios, scales, staying in tempo, sight reading, and more. 

You’ll receive a personalized track for improvement at the piano, tailored to your exact needs.

Click here to sign up for a free trial to tonebase, and take the survey to find out the best path forward for you as a pianist.

Practice Plan assessment on tonebase Piano

2. Daily piano practice logs

While tonebase’s new Practice Plan feature is the most efficient way to know your progress, keeping daily practice logs can also offer value to you as you make progress.

Start with a piece of paper or a new document on your iPad, and write down what repertoire you’re working on, and what element of this repertoire you’re struggling with. Maybe you’re working on a Chopin Nocturne, and you’re running into issues with layering polyrhythms while maintaining lyricality. Maybe you’re running into issues with a specific run in a Liszt piece.

These are issues you’ll want to track over time, so jot them down on a sheet and revisit them every day when you practice to keep track of your improvement.

It’s a very hands on approach which requires more effort from your end, but if this is something that suits you more then give it a shot!

3. Record yourself at the piano

Taking recordings of yourself (both audio and video) at the piano is a wonderful way to measure your progress.

Prop your phone up on the side of the piano so you can clearly see your hands at the keys, and take some videos of you running through your current rep.

Now do the same maybe a week or two later, and see how you’ve improved!

Check for tempo, see if you’re locking into a more steady pulse without the help of a metronome easier than the previous video.

Also look for clarity in voices, make sure your comfortability with the material is improving so that you can properly phrase complicated passages. These are points of progress you can identify through consistent recording.

Again, this will not solve all of your progress tracking needs, but it is a nice effort that will offer a glimpse into how you’re moving along with your current repertoire.

4. In person piano lessons

The best way to track your progress without question is through the observation of a private instructor week-to-week.

If regular private piano lessons are an option for you, these lessons will open doors to attentive progress observation in each lesson, aside from the vast benefits of personalized/real-time feedback from a professional.

However, if in-person lessons are not an option for you, then be sure to explore online alternatives, such as the live + community features included in a tonebase subscription.

tonebase members get to participate in weekly live events, where they can interact with other members of the community. This provides a great opportunity to gain feedback from both the piano mentors on the events as well as the other pianists, thus advancing your ability to track your progress at the piano.

If you combine this ability with the new progress tracking capabilities unlocked via tonebase’s new Practice Plan feature, you’ll have a detailed understanding of where you are in your pianistic development.

tonebase's personalized content path to help you excel at the piano


As you can see, there are plenty of ways to track your progress at the piano utilizing either new online capabilities, or more old-fashioned techniques.

Whether or not you decide to take the up-to-date approach to piano tracking, you’ll still have a great view into where you are in your development as a pianist and how fast you're growing in your skills.

However, simply tracking your progress isn’t enough to know where to go next at the piano.

It’s important to create a plan forward based on your learnings that is tailored to the areas of improvement you should focus on.

This is ultimately why we created our brand new Practice Plan feature, a tool that gives you as the aspiring pianist complete guidance on the next steps to take in your practice journey.

If you want to explore tonebase’s new Practice Plan feature entirely for free and discover exactly where you are at the piano, click here to sign up for a free 14-day trial.

You’ll immediately unlock hundreds of state of the art piano courses, be able to participate in live events, interact with the community, receive hundreds of custom annotated scores and workbooks, and immediately accelerate your piano progress.

We hope to see you in the forums!

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"I don't regret for a minute having spent the money on the membership. There's something for every musician on tonebase – I recommend you give it a try."

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Dave McLellan

Concert & Chamber Musician

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