Editor’s comments/ This article suggest that you can learn to play the piano much more easily by imitating piano teachers and piano players. It makes a lot of sense, but first, you should make sure the pianist you are copying uses correct techniques. The last thing you want to do is mimick someone that uses bad habits!
The best way to learn the piano is to imitate professional piano players.
Learning the piano is no different to learning a foreign language. As such, it has intonation, phrasing, dynamics, etc. But the key to mastering the piano, like mastering a verbal language, is to acquire good habits from the start. This is why it’s important to learn from someone who has already mastered the language of piano. Many beginning piano students fall into the trap of learning by themselves without the proper guidance to master the fundamentals. The following pointers help to get beginning students into the right track to becoming competent piano players.
* Seek out a good piano teacher who doesn’t hesitate to let you imitate his/her skills. Ask yourself this question “is he/she going to teach me the necessary skills to become a well rounded player or is he/she just going to teach me the same old “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” like many other old school teachers do. If you go with self study, make sure you choose a system that emphasizes the imitation technique.
* Learn the fundamentals – take your time to learn the basics. When you first learn a foreign language, you don’t try to converse in full sentences right away. You start out with one letter at a time, one syllable at a time. Then you put syllables together to form one word, and then you put words together to form sentences. Before long you’re able to communicate with your fellow students. Likewise, when you start out learning the piano, learn one hand at a time, then hands together; one chord structure at a time, then chord progressions. Simply and joyfully.
* Choose a method that de-emphasizes note reading and encourages chord style playing and playing by ear. I’m not saying that you should not learn how to read note, but if you want to start playing hundreds of songs, start learning chord style piano. Chords are much easier to learn and master. With only a few chords you can play many pop songs pretty quickly. And if you are so inclined to learn classical piano later on, you can always focus on pure reading then.
* Have fun or else – just because you are starting out learning the piano, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. This is important if you want to keep playing the piano for years down the road. Many students give up early because they don’t have fun. Unfortunately, traditional methods that teach rote memory and emphasize on sight reading tend to discourage this important element. Thanks to today’s technology and other alternative piano methods that focus on chord style piano playing, students learn to play and have fun from day one. Some online piano methods incorporate audio, video, and computer games to help the beginning students learn better and faster.
The key to learning to play the piano well is not about “suffer first then enjoy later”, but to enjoy it now – from day one! It doesn’t have to take 6 months before you start having fun. Take all the time you need, but enjoy every moment of it now.
The best value for money online course I have seen so far is the Rocket Piano by Ashley Southam. Read more about it here
About the Author
Alex Nguyen is the “Rapid Piano Expert” who has been playing piano for over 20 years. Now he’s helping others learn to play piano rapidly and enjoy it from day one. To get your FREE mini report “The 7 Most Powerful Tips To Learning The Piano Rapidly,” and learn how you can get personal piano coaching from Alex for FREE for a limited time, visit http://www.RapidPiano.com.
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First let me say thanks for you UK Pianos and all the wonderful articles. They have helped my knowledge base expand greatly.
I am 71 years old and decided to learn the piano in February this year
2012 when I was gifted a good upright piano. I played bagpipes as a teen and messed with the guitar for a bit. SO have a reasonable inate musical sense.
I believe one of the main the keys to successful learning is the level of motivation one possesses.
hehe and at 71 Im highly motivated.
Before I started practise I researched the web for as much relevant information that I could find. Also I had a clear goal of the kind of music I wish to be proficient in. Boogie Woogie.
My Current daily practise session consists of Hanon exercises 1 -2 -3 individually then with both hands. In 5 months The Hanon exercises have taken me from being completely finger tied to quite fluent and proficient in each hand individually. But both hands Together still need lots of practise.
Next I venture into a scale practising the fingering.I chose a differnt scale every 2nd session
At present Im still very C based but find D is becoming interesting now .
Next I practise 5 finger scales with accents on the 3rd and the 6th beat in succession.
Next I practise Hands together exercises. Usually boogie based rythms.
I have learnt 10 basic LH hand boogie Bases (all from the net)and practise these for 30 minutes non stop. Its quite tiring but my muscle strength has improved greatly. My Left hand Is becoming automatic in the simpler ones and a side benefit is my touch typing is a lot better.
Next I spend time learning right hand boogie riffs so when the day arrives that both hands co-ordinate I will have some material I can fully enjoy.
Finally to relax I enjoy a random session using the chords Im proficient at and explore the 5ths and 7ths and inversions. I find the beautifull combinations of sounds and simple progressions I sometimes generate quite rewarding at this stage.
This practise schedule is about 2 hours long and I usually split it depending on how focussed I am . I take a break when I need it.
By learning from online lessons I have found information and special skills from all the People who are generous enough to share it. This gives one access to a larger skill base, than from a single teacher no matter now gifited he is.
I also spend time watching videos but mainly listening to the great boogie wooggie and other players at their best.
If one has the motivation then Learning from online lessons is the way because there is so much great information and visuals but self teaching also requires a lot of self discipline and a high awarness to develop good technique. A home environment without distractions to allow regular practise is essential..
So to all the stuggling beginners out there. Regular focussed Practise makes perfect.