Since its invention at the beginning of the 18th century, the piano has remained one of the most popular musical instruments in the world. Unsurprisingly, 21 million Americans are familiar with the piano. So, can you teach yourself how to play this instrument? It’s commonly believed that students will have to study under a teacher for many years before finally being capable of playing the piano. Well, you can become an amateur pianist by learning some basic skills. Many folks are hesitant about approaching a piano. However, anyone who can tell “A” and “B” apart can turn into an above-average piano player. So, we’ve divided your basic piano lessons into a few simple steps to help you nurture your passion for this instrument.
Learning to play the piano in 12 small steps
It’s assumed that children are better at learning the piano than adults. However, experts believe that an adult can learn this instrument faster than kids. So, why does the piano seems so challenging to learn? Beginners are seldom prepared to spend hours practicing diligently. Moreover, people who don’t have a musical mindset and lack a musical background may find their initial experience bizarre. Practicing on low-priced keyboards will also demotivate amateurs speedily. The solution involves devoting yourself faithfully to learning the piano by reading and practicing your lessons carefully. Here are your lessons taught in small steps for better learning:
1. Choose your teacher
Do you need a teacher to learn the piano? Absolutely! But it doesn’t have to be a person. You should instead try online courses available for beginners. Music enthusiasts can learn piano online with Piano for All to pursue their passion for mastering this instrument. This complete program structure helps piano lovers become familiar with this device and receive interesting ebooks to help them study. After choosing your virtual teacher, you can proceed to learn this instrument from the very basics.
2. Obtain a piano
The next step involves getting yourself a piano. So, do you prefer buying an acoustic piano or getting an electronic keyboard? Some pianists want to have that “piano feeling” when the hammer wallops the strings. In modern-day semi-weighted keyboards, this feeling is stimulated cost-effectively. Then there are graded hammer ones for wealthy piano lovers. But we don’t suggest getting an electronic keyboard. Instead, you should spend your money wisely on buying a bench and also a metronome.
3. Improve your posture
Before we discuss playing the piano, you must improve your stance and adopt the correct posture to play the piano like an expert. How do you think Ethan Iverson sits on the bench when he strikes those keys masterfully? Your elbows and the keyboard should be at the same height while your arms stay outstretched horizontally. Keep your back erect, tuck your knees under the keyboard slightly, and place your steps firmly on the ground. Moreover, relax your body and mind while playing the piano!
4. Read the sheet
You might’ve watched pianists reading music sheets to understand which song they’re playing. Amateur pianists must also familiarize themselves with sheet music to improve their expertise. You have to understand these notes, symbols, and signatures. Now, there are many YouTube videos dedicated to explaining sheet music for piano lovers. Here’s another step-by-step guide to learn about reading sheet music. It attempts to explain the symbols (e.g., bass/treble clef) and the meaning of dots/ties.
5. Learn the symbols
There are several musical symbols an amateur must memorize. For any first-time piano player, these symbols represent the ABCs in today’s music. These symbols denote musical sounds and are shown by the first seven alphabets. They all represent differences in frequency, and learning them will make you a better pianist. Remember that the top ones are higher-pitched notes while the bottom ones are lower-pitched notes. Moreover, “A” denotes the lowest of all pitches, and “G” is the highest.
6. Know your keys
It’s essential to become familiar with your keys and remember their functions. We know about the black and white keys pianists squash to produce different melodies. The white ones indicate musical tones, while the black ones signify half-intervals between these tones. These keys help pianists differentiate natural pitches from semitone ones. We use the black ones for flat (b) and sharp (#) notes that appear in clusters of twos and threes in your average keyboards. So, learn these keys by heart.
7. Try playing Doremi
Now, you’ve become expert enough to experiment with some basic sounds on the keyboard. It’s important to continue practicing these essential melodies to obtain enough expertise for moving on to complex sounds. So, which basic sound should you play first? Remember von Trapp in The Sound of Music playing Doremi for children. That’s the first note you should attempt to play and familiarize yourself with these notes. This scheme helps students learn how to pitch notes perfectly.
8. Hone your timing
Next, you should improve your rhythm as a pianist by bolstering your timing. Music sheets indicate five notes on how many beats there should be in every count. Honing your signatures will allow you to become a better piano player. Now, quarter notes have 1 beat per count each. Half notes contain 2 beats per count each, while whole notes possess 4 beats per count each. Then we have eighth and sixteenth notes referring to ½ and ¼ beats per count each, respectively. That’s how rhythms work in piano lessons.
9. Use the metronome
Here you’ll use that metronome to improve your timing. It helps you remain steady without slowing down or accelerating improperly. First, place the device on a slow tempo and, after you master this tempo, continue increasing its velocity while trying to keep up with it. Don’t make the mistake of playing a melody constantly at higher speeds. You should begin practicing from leisure rhythms to become proficient at higher speeds. Another exercise states counting 1-2-3-4 while playing a song.
10. Use both hands
Now, we’ll try one of the hardest feats a pianist is supposed to perform, i.e., playing with both hands! Your brain requires extreme dedication to get used to playing the piano with two hands instead of one. But all expert pianists are ambidextrous (with rare exceptions) in the world. Once you master the art of playing this instrument with two hands, you’ll enter another exciting world of music. This method makes you a better pianist and an even greater musician. So, use the two limbs effectively.
11. Try piano fingering
Among pianists, several techniques help them enhance their expertise. So, fingering involves using a finger for a specific note. Correct fingering enables you to play the piano perfectly. That’s why you must assign a number to each finger, starting with your thumb as #1 on both hands. Some rules state that long fingers play shorter keys while short fingers play longer keys. Remember that your first and last fingers are the shorter ones! So, using this technique will make you a well-practiced piano player.
12. Play some melodies
Eventually, you’ll amass sufficient knowledge to play some melodies on the keyboard. Start with few one-handed songs and gradually make you up to some heavy-handed chords. We suggest beginners experiment with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and master it by playing one-handed. This practice builds confidence and allows you to move on to higher stages of piano playing. Then you may get out of the world of nursery rhymes, replay famous symphonies, and enjoy having pursued your passion.
Statistics show that 46% of Americans take music lessons. A majority of them are interested in learning how to play the piano! So, how do you become a pianist? While some folks prefer learning from teachers professionally, others are more comfortable with self-education. With constant study and practice, you can transform your passion into expertise in three to five years, experts have suggested. However, some pupils can learn the basics in only three months and become well-versed in the fundamentals after one year. You merely have to understand your keyboard with notes and note values on the piano. Then begin with the basic sounds, practice several rhythms, become familiar with the timings, and you’ll turn into a pianist.