7 Weird Things All Pianists Do

As a blog that caters to pianists, the goal of this post is to make us all feel just a little less weird about ourselves and the odd things we think only we do. Turns out pianists are united in the fact that we all engage in somewhat odd piano-related behaviors. So prepare to feel understood, and prepare to fervently nod your head in agreement a number of times, because we’re about to prove to you that the weird things you do mean that you are simply a part of the pianist family. And despite what you think, you are not such a weirdo after all.

1. Inability to hear a song without singling out the piano part

Call this a weird habit, or a disorder of some sort, but apparently many pianists have this thing they do where they immediately dissect any song they hear in order to single out the piano’s part. When the song is over and friends begin to ask “Weren’t those lyrics so deep?” All you can do is blankly nod your head, having not heard the lyrics at all, but boy was that piano part pretty. 🙂

Inability to hear a song without singling out the piano part

2. Judge places based on if they have a piano that you can play or not

Have you ever used the excuse “But that place doesn’t have a piano!” as a reason for why one place is better than another? If so, welcome to the pianist family. True pianists know the real deal, and they know that any location immediately becomes a more enjoyable place when a piano is around.

Judge places based on if they have a piano that you can play or not

This place does not have a piano, therefore I rate it an F-.

3. Playing the “air” piano when there is no piano around

In the case above where you get dragged to a place with no piano around, us pianists have that scenario covered, too. Call it a tick or a habit, but if there’s a hard surface in the near vicinity, you can darn well be sure we’ll be tapping our fingers on it, imagining beautiful music emerging from our invisible piano. In extreme cases, if there’s no hard surface either, we’ll just play in the air, like our friends the dinosaurs.

Playing the "air" piano when there is no piano around

We imagine dinosaurs had to play invisible pianos to fill the void caused by them not being invented yet!

4. Become immediately defensive when someone insults pianos/pianists

Yes, yes. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But as proud pianists, we’d rather just not hear those opinions that are unfavorable of the piano. Therefore, if someone scoffs at Chopin, or declares that pianists are dweebs, our inner mama bear is unleashed– and it’s usually not a pretty sight.

What did you say about Chopin??

5. Judge people’s piano playing ability based on their hands

They say not to judge a book by its cover, but that doesn’t mean you can’t judge a pianist by their hands. Though in reality hand size/finger flexibility does not necessarily guarantee success, you’re still going to look and judge. That means you may be jealous of Julie- your long-fingered friend, or feel superior to Martha because she has stubby, chubby fingers. Whether it’s right or wrong, it likely won’t change. It’s a weird thing pianists do and we’re proud of it!

Judge people's piano playing ability based on their hands

Just as I suspected, I always knew I was better than you.

6. Invent whimsical piano compositions while dreaming

Invent whimsical piano compositions while dreaming

One piano, two piano, three piano, four…

Many people don’t like practicing, but some of us love the piano so much that we practice even while we sleep- while our brain is supposed to be away on vacation in dreamland. No guarantee you can play your magical compositions the next day though.

7. Try to recruit your friends to join in on the fun!

When the piano is your religion, you become the missionaries of pianos. That means that every friend is a candidate to recruit to the pianist club. THERE CAN NEVER BE ENOUGH.

Try to recruit your friends to join in on the fun!

*Knock knock* Hi there! Do you have time to learn about pianos?

So readers, what do you think? Do you do these weird things too? Did we miss any weird habits? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. Chrissy Tetley

    These comments can apply to flute players too!

  2. Blanche Laborte

    Whenever I listen to jazz music, especially the piano instrumental ones, I imagine the chords in my head. And I invent new chords in my head to improve the composition. It’s all my imagination!

  3. Christina Pepper

    Hi there; great list! Here are a few more idiosyncrasies (of mine, at least. Heh).

    -Being insanely protective of my sheet music! Let a friend borrow a book and it came back mangled; I was furious.
    -Listening to a song and trying to decipher how well I could arrange it for piano solo.
    -Looking back at my YouTube “watched” history and noticing that about 90% of videos are piano-related…
    -Watching movies/TV and scrutinizing the actor’s hands to see if they match up with the music being played.

    There are probably many, many more. I really am a complete piano snob…

    1. OnlinePianist

      Great list!! I personally am very guilty of the watching movies one, those actors are never playing what it shows on the screen! 🙂

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