How To Teach Yourself To Play Piano


Getting Music Theory Down

Can you Teach yourself Piano? My Self-Taught Piano Journey Tips for Beginners!

Music theory is a large encompassing term that is more of a category than a single subject. Music theory is simply how musicians understand, notate and communicate with each other and themselves about the music they are hearing, playing, or composing. A basic knowledge of music theory includes chords, dynamic markings rhythm, time signatures, chords and scales. These sound like complicated concepts, but they are actually quite simple.

Discover more about the importance of music theory.

Is It Possible To Teach Yourself Piano

Signing up for traditional piano lessons and hiring private tutors are pretty expensive. For this reason alone, many people attempt to find ways to learn by themselves. By eliminating the middle man, the lessons become relatively cheaper.

Additionally, people are often pressed for time. It is much harder to squeeze in a tutorial session or a piano class into their schedules. By choosing to self-study, it allows people to simply pick up their lessons any time they can.

However, many people still wonder if teaching yourself to play the piano is truly possible. There is always that underlying fear that they might be wasting time trying to self-study if it would not work in the end.

But with all the resources available these days, it is possible to learn the piano by yourself.

These resources include the same piano books that many piano tutors and schools use to teach their students. There are also plenty of piano learning apps and online piano lessons that you can use to help yourself learn the piano.

How Long Does It Take To Self Learn Piano

There is no clear answer to how long it will take to self-learn piano. It depends on factors such as how much time you are willing to devote to learning, how quickly you learn new concepts, and how much experience you have with music in general. However, with dedication and practice, it is certainly possible to make significant progress in a relatively short amount of time.

To give you a rough estimate, enter your information in the fields above. There are ten levels of piano learning and playing, and a student can reach Level 1 after a year of study if they devote their entire time to the subject. By watching the sample videos, you can determine which type of music will be available at each level. Scales, skips, and chords are quickly becoming popular in simplified pop songs as you learn them. You can now cross over and under by your fingers more easily in addition to learning to play songs with more hand shifting. Beethovens Fr Elise and Pirates of the Caribbeans Hes a Pirate can be played as part of the orchestral score. If you want to achieve the best rate of progress as you learn piano, you should find a reputable teacher. A great teacher will guide you to the next level by teaching you how to maximize your practice time.

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Our Guides To Help You Learn The Basics

Heres a complete guide to basic music theory. And click here if youre interested in the Suzuki Method.

And heres a full guide on everything you need to know to learn how to play the piano. This guide will give you a solid handle on ALL the basics we discussed above. So definitely read through it

Once youre good to go with those guides, you can also dip your toes into more piano scales and piano chords to practice.


Learn Jazz Piano With One of the Biggest Legends in Music

Study Basic Music Theory

Alfred Teach Yourself to Play Piano Deluxe Edition CD

Placing your hands on the keys, knowing how high to sit at the piano, reading musical notation and pedaling are all important parts of piano playing. Still, a basic knowledge of music theory is absolutely crucial as your playing advances.

For a beginner student, just knowing the basics is enough. Youll want to focus on articulations, dynamics, harmonies, and musical form. These are things you will be using consistently in your music from the very beginning, and every method book teaches these.

With articulations, executing those the correct way really has an impact on how a piece sounds.

For example, if you have a two-note slur followed by a staccato, it should be explicitly played this way. Doing it otherwise will completely change the character of the piece.

Articulations are there for a reason and should not be ignored, especially as you start to experiment with different musical styles.

Dynamics are important because they help tell the story behind the piece. Pianists should develop a touch for each dynamic level.

When it comes to piano, mezzo piano, pianissimo and mezzo forte, and forte, there needs to be a clear distinction there. Working on your touch each day will help you become a more creative musician.

Next comes the harmonic analysis of a piece. Im not suggesting you do a pitch wheel analysis on the pieces youre playing, but having a basic understanding of perfect authentic cadences and how a chord is structured is really important.

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Playing The Piano With Both Hands

Its Show Time!

In this lesson, we will combine everything we have learned so far. But dont worry we will carefully explain each step we take together.

First, look at the notation. The notes for your right hand are shown on the upper staff, those for your left hand are on the staff below:

So, you will play the first bar with your left hand, the second with your right, and the third and fourth bars with both hands together. To get an idea of what the song sounds like, listen to the audio sample:

Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 audio. Here is a link to the audio instead.

Place finger #5 of your left hand on the low C of your keyboard. The low C is 7 white keys below middle C. If you dont find low C immediately, look at the keyboard in the picture above it is marked with the number 5.

Now, place the finger #1 of your right hand on middle C, which is also marked with the number 1. Your hands are now in the correct starting position.

In the third bar, you will have to adjust your finger positions. Finger #1 of the left hand changes to the note A, below middle C. Finger #3 of the right hand is on the note A above middle C. If you had left your fingers in their starting position, you wouldnt have enough fingers left to play the notes beyond the third bar. Try it out for yourself!

A lesson on music stems and beams

First lets take a look at the song shown. What do you notice?

Practice Music You Enjoy

You didnt start to learn a new instrument to have a miserable time. You want to have fun. When you practice, make sure you are working towards progressing with the songs you love.

Pop is an easy genre of music to pick up. This music has simple melodies that arent hard to understand. Theyre catchy too and wont be too dull to keep playing.

There are also several beginner piano songs that are catchy and good for practice. Learn what these are and use them to practice your technique.

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Can You Be A Self

If you have not attended formal piano lessons or studied in an official setting, such as a school, you are probably self-taught. Despite the fact that you will learn from the ground up after attending a full Pianu academy, you are still self-taught because you must complete the course on your own.

The Waltz And Other Types Of Music

Teach Yourself Piano (Piano Lesson #1 of 5 Piano Lessons)

Maybe you already found similar ones in the songbook that you acquired? Some of them can be seen in the figure above.

The time signature represents the length of a bar like you already learned when we talked about the 4/4 bar.

A 3/4 bar indicates that the length of each bar equals 3 quarter notes. A 2/4 bar indicates that each bar has the length of 2 quarter notes. A 6/8 bar indicates that each bar has the length of 6 eighth notes.

  • A 3/4 time is used for waltz

  • A 2/4 time is used for march or polka

  • A 6/8 time is used for a jig, or American march

Below you will find a library of time signatures and examples of how they are played. How about a bite of music to whet your appetite?

While the page with the time signatures loads, you can listen to the song Take Five by Paul Desmond.

Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 audio. Here is a link to the audio instead.

The song is written in 5/4 time therefore it consists of 5 quarter notes per bar. You also get a 5/4 bar when you combine a 2/4 bar with a 3/4 bar. Combining different time signatures is a common technique to create a unique rhythm.

Waltz 3/4

Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 audio. Here is a link to the audio instead.

Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 audio. Here is a link to the audio instead.

Irish Jig 6/8

Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 audio. Here is a link to the audio instead.

Half time

Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 audio. Here is a link to the audio instead.

  • 12 bar blues in 4/4

You did great!

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How Long Will It Take Me To Learn The Piano

To answer this question, you have to explain what you mean by learn the piano.

If you want to play Hot Cross Buns, then you can do that in less than a day . But if you want to play the renowned Piano Concerto #3 by Rachmaninoff, then you will need to study for more than a decade, practicing diligently for hours a day with the guidance of world-class instructors.

Chances are, youre aiming for something in between these extremes. If learning to play the melodies of popular tunes is your goal, then you can do this in weeks or months.

If youre aiming to play the melodies and harmonies of standard, midrange classical pieces, then you can expect to study for multiple years. Furthermore, the farther you intend to go in your learning, the more seriously you need to consider taking lessons through a traditional approach or a hybrid web-conferencing arrangement.

Whatever the case, you need to practice faithfully. And did I say that you need to practice faithfully?

You know the old adage, that practice makes perfect. Well its true. No matter what keyboard instrument and learning method you choose, these factors alone wont give you the skills to fulfill your dream of tickling those ivories with ease.

At a minimum, reputable voices will encourage you to practice 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week. More serious students will need to plan for more. Are you up to the challenge?

How To Find A Piano Teacher

See also: How to Find a Piano Teacher and Whats the Best Way to Learn Piano Online?

Other than your piano, this is probably your most important investment.

Not too long ago, the only way to learn piano was to visit a teacher once a week. Today, thanks to the Internet and new technologies, we have many more options.

Lets take a look at the pros and cons of three major ways of learning: in-person lessons, app learning, and online learning.

In-Person Lessons

May be against local Covid-19 restrictions 100% virtual and socially distant

If youre on the fence about joining Pianote, take a peek at the membership here.

Combine Methods

If online, traditional, or app learning doesnt cut it for you on their own, try combining methods. For example, you could take lessons with Pianote and connect with an in-person instructor once a month.

Whichever method you decide on, keep these two things in mind:

  • Make sure your teachers style aligns with yours. If not, it can be frustrating if you want to play jazz and your teacher only teaches classical.
  • Find a teacher who is encouraging and patient. I personally studied under a traditional, classical piano teacher who had high expectations. But I stayed with her for over 10 years because she was conscious of my needs and had a wonderful sense of humor.
  • Also Check: Pirates Of The Caribbean Theme Song Piano

    Learning To Play A Melody On The Piano

    Youll need your piano/keyboard for the next lesson. As soon as you are finished, please play the audio sample:

    Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 audio. Here is a link to the audio instead.

    In the previous lessons, you heard metronome clicks now you will hear the sound of a piano. Every keystroke on the piano corresponds to a click the note you are hearing is the F above middle C.

    Place the ring finger of your right hand on the F note of your keyboard. Remember how you can find the F? Starting with middle C as note one, it is the fourth white key on the right. If you need a refresher, please check lesson 1 again.

    Exercise: To tune in, play the F note a few times and then play along to the beat of the song. While you play, follow the F notes on the keyboard in the above graphic. Repeat this exercise until you feel secure, because this is how you train your ability to read and play notes.

    If you are unsure where to place your fingers, the following tool will help you to learn the piano. The following button will jump to the picture showing where middle C is. Use this as a point of orientation.

    Look at the note lines first. What do you see? Correct! Two different quarter notes. The first is middle C, as you can see on the keyboard. It is repeated twice. The second note, also repeated twice, is an F. Now, please play the second audio sample:

    Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 audio. Here is a link to the audio instead.

  • Examine the time signature

  • How To Play Piano Notes

    Alfred Teach Yourself to Play Piano Book

    There is no one answer to this question as everyone may have their own method of playing piano notes. However, some tips on how to play piano notes may include practicing regularly, starting with simple melodies, and learning chords and progressions. One may also find it helpful to listen to music to get a feel for how the piano should sound.

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    Find Ways To Motivate Yourself

    Learning to play piano or keyboard can be a tough journey, and there will times youre over it. Look for ways you can keep yourself accountable and establish forward momentum. For example, try to set a goal to learn certain songs, or set a goal to play in a band for a live audience. Even better, if you tell your friends that youre learning the song or book a show, now other people expect you deliver. The pressure will likely get you where you need to be, and you get to reap the benefits of seeing your progress!

    Overall, turning piano into a legitimate hobby for yourself is the absolute best way to stay motivated. You dont want to learn to play piano, but become a pianist. If playing music is engrained in your lifestyle and your social circles, its very unlikely youll quit. Speaking from my experience, playing piano is so engrained in me that no amount of challenges or difficulties in the learning process could make me give up.

    Turning piano into a hobby like this isnt easy check out this article for a list of action items I use to do it.

    Identify Musical Patterns And Scales

    Most music that you hear is made up of a certain reoccurring pattern or set of patterns. When you do basic music theory analysis on those pieces, those patterns will stick out much more easily.

    As you recognize the pattern you can better put together the form of the piece and form a plan of action for teaching yourself how to play it.

    I encourage you to spend a great deal of time learning not just the musical notation, but scales as well.

    Most pieces are made up of a combination of scalar passages and harmonies. The more familiar you are with those scales, the better fingering you will develop. Heres how to learn music scales the easy way.

    This makes approaching pieces that much easier, and youll be able to teach yourself how to play them much faster because you already recognize those patterns.

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    Studying Music Theory And Applying What You Learn To The Keyboard

    This strategy takes a more minimal approach than a full piano curriculum provides, focusing on music theory alone.

    This means that you will focus on the written and structural elements of music, but not on the technique, style and practice of producing sounds on a keyboard .

    Music theory encompasses elements of key signatures, time signatures, notation, chord structures, rhythmic patterns, important symbols, and descriptive words, phrases, and abbreviations.

    In summary, this is an academic and mental approach to learning the piano that focuses on the side of music.

    To benefit from this approach, you will need some innate musicality and a heightened personal aptitude for applying and analyzing information in a practical, musical way without outside assistance.

    As challenging as this method may seem, it offers some valuable benefits.

    For one, it is highly cost-effective.

    For nominal $s, you can purchase the theory books alone from the established curriculums Ive previously mentioned, while not purchasing the methods and technique books, too.

    You can also opt to purchase a book devoted to explaining piano theory in a thorough and straightforward way, such as The Complete Book of Chords, Arpeggios and Cadences by Willard Palmer.

    Besides affordability, this approach equips you to play the piano in an intelligent manner. You will learn to think carefully about the music that you play.

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