- Are you looking to learn to play the piano to accompany yourself on vocals?
- Are you looking to learn the piano to accompany others?
- You want to play with other instrumentalists?
- You want to go further in your own songwriting?
- Wonder how fast you can learn to play the piano?
- Wonder how and with which learning methods/tools you could really progress?
By the end of this article …
- You will know if it is possible for you to learn to play the piano on your own
- And have the tools to learn how to play the piano in great conditions.
- You will know how long it will take for you to reach your goal of accompaniment
- And, you will know how to organize yourself to progress quickly without putting your musical career on hold.
Do you already have some songs ready to be heard? Send them on Groover and get in touch with the best media and music pros ✨
I recommend that you take notes throughout the article. I will ask you questions, suggest different methods of organization and give you exercises to start your journey. Keep these notes, they will help you not to lose sight of your goal, and to progress simply and quickly on the piano.
1. Is it possible to learn how to play the piano on your own?
You can learn to play the piano on your own. You just need to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of doing so. This way, you will know if self-teaching piano is for you or not.
- You will be able to find all the content you need to learn how to play the piano on the internet.
- You will be able to find an “online teacher” that suits you. That is, a piano teacher whose content, character and pedagogy you like.
- You will not have any requirements or expectations. You will be able to learn the piano when you want, where you want, at your own pace.
The disadvantages :
- There is no precise method on the internet that is more beneficial. Often, we can spend more time looking for good content, rather than actually learning and practicing our musical instrument.
- We have no one to ask our questions to because we don’t have a “real” teacher.
- We can quickly take bad habits which will block us in our learning. (Incorrect hand positioning, incorrect interpretation of the pieces, etc…)
❓Now that you have a better understanding of what it would mean to learn piano independently, here are the first questions you need to answer before you move forward:
- What areas did you enjoy and progress quickly with in the past?
- Did you have a teacher?
- How long did you work independently to progress?
- What would be, for you, the best compromise to learn how to play the piano?
2. What is the best way to learn how to play the piano?
The best method for learning how to play the piano is the one that is best suited to you and your needs.
❓So, let’s define them right away, and then I’ll share some different methods for you to choose from.
- Do you already have knowledge that will help you?
- What are your strengths in learning new skills quickly?
- Do you have any weaknesses when embarking on a new learning experience?
- What is your ultimate goal for learning how to play the piano?
- Ideally, when would you like to reach this goal?
Here is an example of answers to help you:
- Already know some music theory and I can play the drums (which will help me to know how to play in time).
- Know that I will do a little bit every day and that I can find the right information on the internet quickly.
- Don’t ask enough questions to people who already know how to play, which makes me form bad habits.
- I would like to be comfortable at the piano so I can compose.
- And, I would like to reach this goal in 6 months.
Now that you know your needs better, here are different solutions to learn to play the piano that may interest you:
1 – A music school
A music school will allow you to take a year-round course with a piano teacher. You will also learn how to perform and read sheet music.
2 – A private teacher or tutor
A private piano teacher is someone who you will pay by the hour and who will offer you piano lessons in his or her home.
Each teacher has their own way of working and teaching. It is up to you to speak with the teachers in your area and see if there is one who can adapt to your needs.
You can try and find these private teachers or tutors online or on social media!
3 – A Youtube channel
Une chaine Youtube te permettra de trouver des cours et du contenu pour apprendre le piano gratuitement.
There are many different methods to go about your research:
- You can either look for a specific exercise or a particular song, and choose one of the channels that meet your needs.
- Or you search for a channel that you like, and you watch each of the proposed contents.
Here are some examples of Youtube channels to learn piano: Pianote / MangoldProject
4 – An app
Do you like to learn quickly using video games?
Then maybe an app like Simply Piano will suit your needs! It will allow you to play the piano while having fun.
Warning: With this method, you will not get professional advice.
| Also check out: 10 must-have apps for musicians
5 – An online piano school
If you’re looking for a compromise between online lessons and the teacher next door, then you’ll probably be interested in an online piano school.
This will allow you to follow a learning method made by professionals, while having the feedback of a distance teacher.
3. Can everyone learn how to play the piano?
Here’s the only reason you wouldn’t be able to learn how to play the piano: you’re doing it out of obligation and/or you have no real motivation for it. That’s it.
So if this is not your case, then yes!… You can learn how to play the piano without any issues!
You don’t have to have big hands, a good ear for music or be “young” to learn quickly. In fact, each piece can be adapted to the size of your hands. The musical ear is like everything else, it needs to be worked on. And when we are adults, our learning abilities are as developed as those of children.
Therefore, as long as plaything the piano is something you like and you have a real desire to progress … Then, there are no excuses! You can start learning NOW!
❓Motivational questions: how much would it change your daily life to know how to play the piano in 6 months? How much would you like to see this desire become a reality?
4. How do you play the piano?
To master the piano in order to accompany yourself on vocals, to accompany other artists on vocals, to play with other musicians, you will have to take these 3 things into consideration when practicing:
1 – Technique :
This is the basis. On the piano, it all comes down to fingering technique and hand positioning.
This is something you should pay close attention to from the beginning of your piano learning. Otherwise, it can block you from learning many pieces. Also, you shouldn’t hurt yourself by forcing your hands 😉
💡 Here is a tip for you to start using now:
First, the palms of your hands should be nice and round when you play. It’s like holding an apple half while playing. You don’t need to force your fingers to play chords or use any force when pressing on the keys. It’s better to use your chest and lean forward slightly to give your hands strength. You can practice a few simple chords today, then increase the difficulty of your pieces in the next few days.
2 – Harmony :
Harmony refers to all the rules that allow us to make the notes sound good together. You will also have to train your ear to recognize the notes or chords of the piano, for example.
These rules include: notes, keys, chords, scales, etc…
💡 Here’s a little improvisation exercise to start training your musical ear:
You make a C major chord with your left hand (C, E, G) and you play melodies with your right hand, making sure they sound good. You can repeat this exercise with different chords.
3 – Theory:
There are two types of theory:
- decipher the different parts which will allow you to play any piece by reading musical scores.
- understand how harmony works in music and how pieces are constructed (I think this is the one you are interested in!)
To learn how harmony works, you will have to learn the different scales, the different chords (Major, Minor, Inverted, etc…), etc…
💡 To start learning your chords, you can start with a random note and find the associated major chord.
Here is some information to help you:
A chord consists of 3 notes:
- The first one is the fundamental, the first key you press down;
- To find the 2nd note, you count 4 semitones to the right or 4 keys to the right (this includes white and black keys).
- To find the 3rd note, you count 3 semitones to the right (starting from the 2nd note this time.)
You will see that some chords will have only white keys, and others will have white and black keys. Then you can continue this exercise to find the minor chords, the diminished, etc…
5. How quickly can you learn to play the piano?
In order to learn quickly, you need to choose the most complete method that best suits your needs.
Learning how to play the piano quickly and in a self-taught way will be easy for you if :
- You already have a good knowledge of music.
- Naturally, you are organized.
- You are rigorous and practice every day.
- You know in advance that you have a solution to avoid bad habits.
Learning quickly with a tutor or private teacher will work for you if:
- You already have a basic knowledge of music.
- You can see your teacher once or twice a week.
- And, you listen to the advice and you know how to apply it quickly. Your teacher adapts to your needs and your final goal.
For me, the safest and most flexible method is the online piano school:
- Much more flexible on schedules and with follow-up.
- A complete method used by students all over France.
- You learn directly from home.
- You can immediately send your questions by message to your teacher.
- And, you can listen to and watch your teacher’s videos as many times as you want.
If you choose the method that best suits your needs… You will be able to play the piano and sing along in only 6 months! You will be able to learn just about any piece in 1 year!
| Check out: How to find concert dates?
– Translated by Betty Gonzalez Gray –
So… Ready to start your training?