Learning how to play the piano is a useful skill for anyone to acquire. Whether you have dreams of becoming the next Mozart or serenading the person you love, it’s a good idea to learn how to play. But many beginners have trouble figuring out how to get started. We’ll run you through the basics and by the end, you’ll be on your way to get yourself a beginner keyboard.
What is the Best Age to Learn Piano?
Ideally, the best age to learn piano is around 6-9 years old. Older students might be able to learn more easily, but even by the age of 6, children are capable of learning how to handle a keyboard. If your child shows even more promise from an early age, you can get them started by the age of 5!
If your interest in playing the piano developed when you entered adulthood, don’t worry, it’s not too late. Your learning skills and memory may not be as sharp as those of a child, but you can still get started on your musical journey.
Can You Learn How to Play Piano on a Keyboard?
Are you thinking digital vs acoustic piano? With a piano, the acoustic sound generated is by means of a string and it has a full 88 keys. These are a couple of benefits of learning on a piano vs keyboard. Keyboards don’t have these features, but you can still learn how to play the piano on one.
Acoustic pianos are quite pricey, which is why many beginners opt for popular brands of electronic keyboards instead. If you truly are interested in playing an acoustic piano, then you can find a local piano store that lets you rent it for a bit, and also look into buying a used piano.
The plus side about playing on a keyboard is that you never need to tune it, cleaning a keyboard is easy, it’s affordable, and many keyboards come with additional features, such as built-in rhythms to enhance your learning. They also don’t require too much space, are simple to set up, and they’re light enough for you to carry to your lessons or an open mic night at the local pub. Once you’ve mastered some basic playing skills and have enough money in the bank, you can transition to a full piano.
How Long Does It Take to Learn?
The length of time it takes to learn piano depends on whether you want to learn how to play a certain song, or a certain genre of music. You also need to decide whether you just want basic lessons, or you want to play professionally.
Even a person without any experience can teach themselves how to play a tune the same day. You can follow a video tutorial and learn how to play a simple melody like a nursery rhyme or a song that isn’t too complex.
If you want to play something a little more complex like classical music (a little Mozart or Beethoven), you might end up spending hours learning every day for around 10-15 years under a master pianist.
Your individual progress depends on how much time and effort you invest in playing, what sort of instructor you have and your mental capacity.
What is the Best Way to Learn Piano Online?
To learn online, you can look for renowned online piano lessons, such as Musiah that offer different learning packages, based on your level of playing (including some programs for kids). These packages offer video lessons that offer step-by-step guidance, including musical theory and reading sheet music. You can even find personalized instructions for certain songs. In some cases, you can find the app for your online lessons and sync it to your digital piano to stream your favorite music. You may even come across interactive games to enhance your learning.
What is the Best Way to Learn Piano with an App?
You may begin with two types of apps: games that you play on your smartphone or tablet that can help you understand the different keys of a piano, and apps that allow you to play on an actual keyboard. The best way to learn through apps is to sign up for e-lessons and select a package that works for you (such as a beginner or an intermediate package). If your keyboard has USB MIDI compatibility and your app has the option to sync to your instrument, you can connect your phone to your keyboard. This will help you play your favorite songs and speed up the learning process.
What are Easy Songs to Learn on Keyboard?
There are plenty of easy songs to warm up your skills, since they have simple notes that even a beginner can understand. All you need to do is look for the sheet music version of your favorite tunes. Here are some great starter songs for new pianists:
- Chopsticks- the best thing is that you can play this with only 2 fingers.
- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star- even though this is a children’s song, it has simple notes that you can easily learn how to play to get the hang of the piano keys.
- Happy Birthday- it’s a classic! Surprise your grandmother by playing it on her 90th birthday.
- Fur Elise- apart from being a song that is easy to learn, it also gives you the creative license to experiment and add more advanced notes to it.
- Swan Lake Theme- this one is a bit more complex and you may take a few weeks learning the entire thing, but it will be worth it!
- Heart and Soul- if you want, you play this one as a duet with your significant other.
What is the Best Way to Learn Keyboard Chords?
Piano chords vary in shape and size. They have different notes and different types of sound (depending on the types of keys- weighted, semi-weighted, etc.).
The main thing to remember is that playing chords generates a greater level of sound as opposed to playing a single note. You’ll hear the notes playing together in harmony rather than musical lines that you hear by playing a single note. We’ll walk you through the 4 main types of chords you need to know (so you might even be able to improvise as you progress!)
The first step is knowing how to spell chords. Say out or write down the notes before actually playing them. If you’re having trouble, you can simply use the alphabet to remember each note (a technique that is popular with children).
Chords begin with a basic note upon which the rest of the melody is built.
- The Major Chord- this one has a root note followed by a note on the 3rd major and the 5th major (also known as a Major Triad)
- The Minor Chord- this one has a root note, followed by a minor 3rd note and 5th note to follow.
- The Augmented Chord- this one starts with a root note, a major 3rd and an augmented 5th.
- The Diminished Chord- this one starts with a root notes, another root note, a minor 3rd and a diminished 5th note.
What are Chord Progressions?
Chord progressions are a series or a sequence of chords strung together. They help you build a harmonic structure and help you transition towards playing entire songs on your own.
The most common chord progressions are in a 1,4 and 5 pattern. Basically, this means that you will start playing from either the 1st, 4th or 5th note of the scale.
The ideal method of learning chords and chord progressions is to start playing them on your keyboard until you have perfect harmony in what you play.
What Are the Best Learn-to-Play Keyboard Books?
There are (literally) countless piano books that can help you learn how to play the keyboard. So much so, that often you don’t even know which books are actually helpful and which ones just look pretty on your music stand. Here is a list of suggestions of books that were best-sellers on Amazon and overall received feedback for helping people actually learn how to play on the keyboard:
- How to Play Keyboard- A Complete Guide for Absolute Beginners by Ben Parker- this book is great, even if you’ve never even been near a piano before. It provides easy to follow instructions, visual aids, quick lessons and simple exercises and fun songs that will have you churning out tunes in no time.
- Piano Scales, Chords & Arpeggios Lessons with Elements of Basic Music Theory: Fun, Step-By-Step Guide for Beginner to Advanced Levels (Book & Streaming Video) – this book provides 140 step-by-step lessons and 30 videos, all of which help pianists from beginner to pro level. It is recommended that they should be used by intermediate and higher level players since there are better, simpler books for beginners.
- Piano and Keyboard Chords by Jake Jackson- this is also a beginner’s guide, and the best part is that it’s a spiral-bound copy so you can easily attach it to your music stand.
- Piano literature by Randall Faber
- The Billy Joel Keyboard Book- Note-for Note
There are plenty of easy books to help you learn how to play the keyboard. Just make sure to check the reviews and the level they cater to and you’re ready to get started with your music lessons.
How to Learn to Play Keyboard Fast?
Learning the keyboard isn’t that hard. To learn faster you just need to keep a few simple rules in mind:
- Learn the finger names from 1-5. Start from your thumb as 1 and move forward.
- Start playing with your right hand- place all fingers in the “middle c” hand position.
- Start by playing up and down in the same hand position.
- Learn a few basic chords, master them and then move on to something more complex like playing an entire nursery rhyme on your own.
- Learn some of the basic songs like the ones listed in a previous section here until you’re confident enough to play one of your favorite classics.
- Speak to your tutor and get a grade 1 keyboard.
- Find sheet music of your favorite songs and keep practicing until you’ve got it right.
- Keep practicing and putting in effort until you reach level 8.
Congratulations! You can now call yourself a pianist.
How to Learn to Play Keyboard by Ear?
To learn to play by ear, listen to a lot of melodies before even going near the keyboard. Start off by playing with the right hand and not using any additional media sound. To harmonize a song properly, start playing with your left hand until you’ve got the perfect melody.
Learning the piano isn’t hard, but it does require plenty of time, effort and motivation. In addition, you will need to invest in some decent music books, a solid beginner’s piano and maybe a music instructor (or you can use online classes or apps and learn on your own).
You will also need plenty of patience since legends weren’t exactly born overnight. Keep at it until you hit the right notes. Technically, there’s no one maximum point you can reach because you can spend your entire life learning how to play new songs and stimulate your mind.