The piano is one of the most versatile instruments to learn, as it lends itself to just about every musical genre including rock, easy listening, jazz and classical. There are also several benefits when you learn how to play the piano; learning and mastering the instrument can improve eye / hand coordination, encourage creativity or simply help to relax you. Not surprisingly, it’s one of the most popular instruments to learn to play, and many musicians maintain it’s one of the easiest.
Becoming familiar with music theory is important before you even start to play, although grasping the basics can seem tedious and repetitive at first. Chords, note values and key signatures should all be mastered and having at least some knowledge of the basics of music can make learning to play more enjoyable. Your hands will also become more comfortable with the keyboard if you focus on learning the scales. As with learning anything, take it slowly at first and pace yourself; try not to get too far ahead of yourself. The basics need to be mastered before you can move on to the next step. Piano lessons aren’t a requirement, and it’s possible to teach yourself, although having a qualified teacher explain and demonstrate the steps can be more beneficial than simply learning it yourself.
Don’t let the learning process overwhelm or frustrate you; it’s okay to take a break from the piano for a few hours or a few days. However, practicing will be important; it’s impossible to become proficient at the piano or any other instrument in just a few days. Everyone is different when it comes to practicing, and you need to find out what works best for you as far as how often and for how long. Playing the same simple piece of music at least once at the beginning of each practice session is recommended before you move onto unfamiliar or more challenging pieces. Practicing with someone can make the experience of playing more enjoyable, and simply accompanying other amateur musicians can also be an effective way of learning. It’s also important to realize you’ll make mistakes, and to move on from them.
Learning to read music is an important part of being able to play the piano and again you can teach yourself, or take some lessons. Getting some sheet music is one of the best ways to begin to learn to read music, and being able to read music makes the process of playing more fun; it also means you might want to go on to write your own music at some point. Being familiar with written music also makes it easier to understand time signatures and rhythm; basically how a piece of music should be played and should sound. Most popular music is based on chords, and having an understanding of these makes it easier to play a lot of well known pieces without too much difficulty.
Visualizing works with many things, including learning the piano. Imagining yourself playing a particular tune and mentally ‘hearing’ how it should sound can help you to play it a lot more confidently and accurately. Visualizing includes imagining your hand and finger positions on the keyboard as well as how the piece sounds. Most learners are surprised at how effective the technique can be and how quickly their playing improves.
It isn’t hard to see why learning the piano is so popular. Even if you don’t consider yourself especially musical and regardless of your age it can be enjoyable and satisfying. Perhaps the biggest drawback of playing the piano is the high cost of buying one, although it’s certainly a goal to aspire to.