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Congratulations on your resolution to gain a new skill!
Once you get fascinated by the piano, its but natural to get desperate to learn to play it. But for many, lessons with a piano teacher is a deterrent; most are reluctant to spend money as they’re not sure what’s in store for them. With a course, you can always read reviews, ask questions in the forum to know more about the product. However, many’re not comfortable asking questions to a music teacher or don’t feel comfortable to ask them to give a demo of their playing. That leaves several questions unanswered in their minds.
Besides, for many, it also means spending a lot of time commuting to the teacher’s place to get piano lessons. That is where alternative methods such as learning from software/dvd courses come in handy.
At the end of the day, however, its your choice!
Just remember that this skill has a lifetime value and in addition to the innumerable benefits that it offers, you will always gain instant enjoyment and relaxation by playing this instrument.
But now, since you have started, it is important that you stay focused. Just be regular with your lessons and practice. Do all the homework that is assigned to you.
Listen carefully to whatever you play.
Just be regular with your practice and in a matter of few months you should be able to impress a lot of people with your playing.
Piano Key Finder & Keyboard Stickers
Piano Key Finder Stickers are useful tools for the early beginners, helps overcome the initial challenges faced while learning to play the piano or electronic keyboards. read more…
Piano & Keyboard Books
The best piano & keyboard books for beginners, as well as for intermediate players who want to advance their skills and learn more techniques, read more…
Piano For All
The Pianoforall learning course is suited to the absolute beginner, who doesn’t like to go through tons of learning material and wants to quickly get started with piano playing, read more…
Learn & Master Piano
Learn & Master Piano is meant for serious beginners and intermediate keyboard or piano players, looking for structured and comprehensive piano learning program. The Learn and Master series from Legacy Learning Systems are known for their quality of Lessons, read more…
Is the Piano Difficult to Learn to Play?
This is another common question that lingers in the mind of several beginners, especially teenagers. They think that the piano is a ‘hard’ instrument to learn, and as a result most of them don’t even get started.
However, as with any musical instrument, it’s easy to get started and learn the basics, but it’s hard to master and take years to do that. There are many who think sight-reading is difficult, but then a major challenge when learning to play the piano is to get your hands working together, I mean the left and the right hand.
That is where beginners spend some time, to get both your hands to play bass & treble well together. Once you are comfortable doing that, it gets easier to take on challenging songs & exercises. Also, at times, you should just take the plunge, try it out for a few months and see for yourself how it feels. ‘Hard’ is also a subjective term, some may feel the way you do whereas some may not despite being beginners themselves.
One thing that helps initially is to take the time to practice. If possible have more practice sessions in the beginning, have shorter sessions if you can’t spare more time. If you’re passionate about a thing, you do get across the initial hurdles and things do get easy eventually.
Several Ways to Learn
As far as learning is concerned, you have different ways to learn. If you are in school or, in general, if you have sufficient time to spare, you can go to a Music teacher.
For other people, especially adults, who are hard-pressed for time, you can consider getting yourself instructional CDs or take online courses.
But taking private music lessons from a Music teacher is still the best option as you will not only get personalized attention, you will also get a lot of other
relevant information from the teacher’s personal experiences
So here are the various ways in which you can learn.
- Learn from a music teacher (best option but is expensive and the least flexible of all options)
- Get a self-learning instructional course (best flexibility and some of them have good content)
- Get piano method books (can pack in lot of information and most come with accompanying CDs as well)
A few points to remember as you move along:
- Get yourself a Good Teacher
- Start with simple songs
- Practice everyday, preferably at the same time
- Practice your finger exercises
- Learn to understand the basics of sight reading
- Do Ear training exercises
Just remember that you need to be focused in this initial stage of learning.
Try to learn the concepts and do the technical exercises whenever possible. Do not just concentrate on playing the songs as you will be tempted to do most of
Time and effort spent well here will give you a lifetime of enjoyment, relaxation and pleasure!
Leverage Your Computer
In case, you don’t have easy access to a piano teacher, you can always use your computer to teach you. With a range of piano learning software, it should not be
difficult to get started.
The advantages being: it is cost-effective and you can learn at any time.
The down-side is that you need to be a bit more motivated to learn on your own.
So if you want to learn to play the piano, it is possible is you already have a computer.
Use the Right Learning Strategy
If you are an adult who has recently started taking lessons, or someone who doesn’t have enough time for practicing the piano, it is very important that you use the right strategy to learn.
There are many who start learning, especially those who self-learn and somewhere down the line, they feel that their piano playing has become stagnant and is not
improving no matter how much they practice.
Is this something that you can relate to? Are you facing the same problems?
In that case it makes sense to rework your learning strategy / method. This is different from piano technique, which is more of technical skills.
The reason it is important to implement a balanced piano practice schedule is so that you push yourself to learn newer things, and do not skip the difficult parts.
So you should ensure that you go through scales, arpeggios, classical pieces, etc at least once in a week.
Most beginners spend most of their practice time only playing their favorite songs; they just hate doing the technical parts.
Things to Include
A better strategy would be to plan your learning so that you become good in different areas. Here are things that you should ideally include in your practice sessions.
In case you have limited time, you can split these across multiple sessions.
While developing technical skills is important, you also need to be clear about what you’re trying to achieve with your piano playing.
There are many who don’t like practicing technical stuff as they’re quite content playing by ear, playing their favorite pop songs, and happy creating music. So whereas it may be okay if you decide to skip these, if you’re student preparing for piano exams or want to become an accomplished piano player (or even a concert player) this should be a part of your regular practice routine.
Technical skills include finger exercises, scales, arpeggios, chord progressions, etc and it is suggested that you spend around 5 to 10 minutes daily on these.
Books by Hanon and Czerny are extremely useful to help you develop technique and act as great practice materials, suitable for even intermediate and experienced players.
It is always good to know a set of musical pieces which you can perform whenever an opportunity arises. A good target would be to try to learn a new piece every 2-4 weeks so that your repertoire broadens over time. As you learn new things, its also very important that you brush up on your existing knowledge. Learn to practice your entire repertoire once in a while.
It’s also a good idea to learn to play in a variety of music styles.
You may want to consider adding the following books to your library – The Beatles Best, Popular Sheet Music Hits, Ultimate pop & rock fakebook, The Library of Piano Classic.
Learn to Improvise
This is not exactly for beginners, but for those with some experience or the intermediate level players. Try to spend around 15-30 minutes daily on improving your piano improvisational skills.
Lot of beginners and intermediate level players who have been learning for a couple of years, reach a plateau, and find it difficult to learn new things. Most of the time the reason is that they don’t have access to better learning materials that will push them further.
So they end up playing the same thing over and over again, thus getting bored and not improving in the process. So if you’re taking lessons from a music teacher, ask your teacher to give you more challenging lessons. If you’re learning to play on your own, add more resources to your library – Tons of runs, Piano Chords & Progressions, How to play despite years of lessons.
Everybody who wants to start learning the piano usually has limited amount of time, so it is very important that you utilize it effectively. Fortunately, nowadays there are several resources to help you get started on your own. These, combined with the strategy mentioned above, will help you start taking piano lessons right at home.