Can I Teach Myself to Play the Piano?
Perhaps it was that feeling of pure relaxation as you listened to a skilled pianist tinkling the ivories in your favorite restaurant a few weeks ago. Then again, maybe it was the feeling of pure awe, admittedly mixed with a generous portion of jealousy, as you watched a friend entertain everyone at the party with piano classics in a way that would rival any jukebox.
Yes, you feel a budding pianist trying to escape from your inner self, but for some reason you can’t seem to find the release button. How, you might ask yourself, can I begin to learn how to play the piano as well as everyone else?
- If you’re interested in learning how to play piano or keyboard in a fun and interactive fashion, then look no further then Piano for All. This course features 10 in-depth eBooks that contain 200 video lessons and 500 audio lessons. And best of all, the course works on PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, or any Android phone or tablet. Get your copy of Piano for All today while supplies last!
And if you’re looking to get a new piano, please check out our interactive table below to view some of the best selling digital pianos on the market:
|Yamaha P-515||40 Voices, 18 Drum/FX Kits, 480 XG Voices|
|Casio PX-870||Redesigned Cabinet, Speaker System|
|Yamaha YDP-165||GH3 Weighted, Graded Hammer Action|
|Roland RP-102||Works w/Roland Piano Partner 2 app|
|Casio PX-560||5.3” Color Display|
Whether you already have a beautiful piano sitting in your home begging to be played, or you’ve recently began mulling over the idea of buying a digital piano, the following are some common reasons (and excuses) some people give for not knowing how to play:
- I don’t have the time nor money for costly piano lessons
- I don’t want to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars on a costly digital piano without being sure I’ll even use it.
- I want to teach myself, but I feel overwhelmed by the amount of self-taught information online. I just don’t know where to start!
Sounding familiar? If so, don’t panic! Because in this article, my goal is to get you on track to an exciting and fulfilling start to your musical journey. Here are a few things we’ll touch on in this article:
- Getting Comfortable at the Keys
That’s right, within the next few minutes you’re going to learn how to sit at the piano, correct hand position, and even be able to play and name all the white keys on the piano.
- Why Self-Teaching is a Great Alternative to Piano Lessons
We’ll break down why actually teaching yourself how to play on a keyboard or digital piano is such a great idea—especially if you’ve considered paying to get lessons from an instructor.
- A Few Helping Hands
Whilst teaching yourself to play piano depends to a large extent on your own commitment, there are a few pieces of software that can certainly get you moving faster and more confidently.
- Too Many Cooks In the Kitchen
To save you from getting overwhelmed with the large choice of self-teaching piano courses out there, I’ll give you a sneak peek at one that delivers on its promise to have you making sweet music within weeks. Perhaps even days.
Getting Comfortable at the Keys
Let me just make a quick comment to those that currently do not own a piano yet. For many potential pianists, purchasing the instrument is the big and burning question.
For those of you for whom money is no object, by all means go out there and purchase a beautiful acoustic piano! However, for those looking for a more affordable option, the digital piano market is often a much better alternative.
In saying that, one question I was often asked was this: which digital piano to buy? (you can view our comprehensive digital piano buyers guide for beginners here). Prices vary significantly of course, and often the specifications for each piano seem like double-dutch to the beginning musician.
My advice is simple—buy comfortably within your budget. Many famous and admired musicians started in their bedroom with a banged-up Casio keyboard! So remember, becoming a great pianist isn’t about the worth of the piano, it’s about how much becoming a musician is worth to you.
Perfect Piano Posture
Now, as we get started, there’s something important you should know: understanding the right piano posture is critical. Not only will this aid your performance, but it will also minimize your risk of suffering from the aches, pains and sprains all too common in the world of musicians.
Of course, the fact that you are going to look like a professional straight away doesn’t hurt either!
Therefore, you should sit yourself down at your piano and follow these simple steps below:
- Keep your back straight
- Allow your arms to gently fall from your shoulders (no hunched shoulders please!)
- Ensure your elbows are a little higher than the keys (you may need to adjust the stool)
- Make sure your feet are comfortably sitting flat on the floor.
Perfect. Now let’s take a look at your hands.
Correct Hand Shape
It’s natural for your hands to feel a little tense at the start, but correct hand shape should soon eliminate such tension and ensure that playing is always relaxed. Remember, too, that it is almost impossible to have the correct hand shape if your posture at the piano is wrong.
For now, pop each hand on the piano, allowing the five digits to each rest on an adjacent white key. Now, lift the hand upwards, imagining that there is a ball or bubble resting underneath. You should notice that your four fingers are resting on the keys by their tips, whilst the thumb comfortably sits on its side.
There you go. That wasn’t too difficult, was it? Now you’re looking like a pro. So let’s now move on to actually playing the keys.
Learning the White Keys
To a beginner sitting at a piano, those black and white keys can seem far too numerous to even think about becoming familiar with them. The truth is, though, that leaning all of the white keys on the piano is as easy as learning your ABCs.
When it comes to your musical alphabet, however, there are only 7 letters—not 26! The letters you need to know are as follows:
- A B C D E F G
With that out of the way, let me show you how you can begin playing. First, starting at the far end of the piano (those lovely low sounds), hit the bottom key.
You’ve just played an A note.
The pattern is simple. The next white key is B, then C, D, E, F, G.
After G, we’re back to an A note and the pattern continues. Play up the piano, naming each white key as you go and taking time to look at where each note lies between the black keys.
Who’d have thought that even a complete beginner can name all of the white notes on the piano only five minutes after starting to learn!
Why Self-Teaching is a Great Alternative
Not too long ago, we associated becoming a pianist with years of specialized lessons, hours upon hours spent playing scales, and a generally time-consuming and expensive affair.
Perhaps in the midst of the exams, finger drills and exercises we at times lost one simple, yet crucial fact—learning to play the piano is firstly about enjoying the instrument.
Whilst piano lessons, of course, have many benefits, self-teaching also boasts a host of advantages such as:
- No need to schedule in a set day and time for lessons
- Possibility to focus on the style of playing you wish to pursue
- Much more affordable
- Feeling of self-fulfillment.
Thanks to our modern world of software and technology, you certainly don’t need to feel left in the dark as you start your musical journey. In fact there’s a few helping hands that are especially useful for beginners.
A Few Helping Hands
Some of us adore technology, others tolerate it to accomplish a purpose, and then the final group keeps as far away from it as possible! Whichever group you find yourself in, the fact is simple—making piano software your friend can really help you progress more quickly when it comes to your learning and overall ability to teach yourself how to play.
There’s a host of software out there, but here are a few of the best.
eMedia Piano and Keyboard Method
Created by a pianist who used to teach at Juilliard School of Music, this software does have a lot to offer. Beginners will especially like the Interactive Feedback feature, as well as the popular song choice used in the lessons. There’s a thorough description of what you can expect from the software and how other uses rated it as well.
The Illuminating Piano
So this one may not be in everyone’s budget, but you have to check it out regardless. Nicknamed, “the piano that anyone can play,” each of the 61 keys can illuminate in a host of bright colors, guiding you through the music in a way that no one could describe as boring.
You can connect your Illuminating Piano to your iPad wirelessly, or to your PC via a USB cable.
Piano For All
Once you start exploring the world of self-teaching piano, it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed with how much information is available. There’s certainly plenty of excellent courses out there, but if your plan is truly to teach yourself how to play on your own, you may want to check out Piano for All. With over 30,000 sales in nearly 50 countries, Piano for All must be doing something right.
They’ve got a great motto—“It’s not what you learn, it’s how you learn it.” In fact, this is one of the truest statements you could find about becoming a musician. There are some people who know just one or two songs very well but struggle with anything brand new. Then there are others who can sight-read (play a piece of sheet music they haven’t seen before) pretty much note-perfect, but ask them to play a few simple chords without the written notes and it’s panic time.
The problem was not in what they played, but how they had learned it.
Piano for All states that with 30 minutes of practice everyday, you can learn to become a pretty good piano player. Nothing can teach you how to play the piano proficiently in an instant (there’s no quick fix), but with some helpful software or tools or video tutorials and some dedication, you can certainly teach yourself how to play.
The main reason this particular self-teaching course is worth considering, too, is that it lays a solid foundation for any music genre. In other words, you may decide you want to learn piano because you love blues music, but as you start to progress, your musical journey may pull you in another direction. That’s why a solid foundation at the start really is one of the main keys to musical success.
Here’s a quick run-down of what the Piano for All course offers:
- 10 eBooks with embedded video and audio
- 200 video lessons
- 500 audio lessons
- A good fusion of fun-learning with expert knowledge
- Puts a stop to becoming a slave to sheet music
- Download option, as well as a deliver-to-your door option.
- Works on multiple devices.
Ultimately, everyone that wants to learn to play the piano at home will choose their own method and course to follow. But remember—a mish-mash of too many options won’t bring the results you want. It’ll just create confusion and self doubt.
Therefore, choose a good course that will give you a solid musical foundation, and enjoy the journey!
Why ‘PIANO’ Holds the Secret to Success
So there you have it, we’ve learned the basics to getting you started as a budding pianist. You’re already boasting great posture, correct hand shape, and can even play and name all of the white keys on the piano.
You feel assured that you CAN teach yourself to play the piano. You now even know about some pretty impressive software that is on the market today.
Hopefully, you’ve found this article to be extremely helpful and I hope you know just a little bit more about learning and teaching yourself piano than you did earlier.
- If you’re still interested in learning how to play piano or keyboard, get your copy of Piano for All today, which features 10 eBooks, 200 video piano lessons and 500 audio piano lessons!
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