If you’ve bee trying to figure out how to teach yourself piano, the good news is you don’t need to run out and hire a fancy, high-priced teacher - you can learn to play the musical instrument by yourself, in the comfort of your own home.
Our comprehensive guide presents the best way to teach yourself how to play the piano using free and paid online courses, digital apps, and affordable books.
You’ll also learn how long it takes to learn this music skill and (as they say on TV commercials) much, much more!
Can You Teach Yourself Piano?
Of course, you can. While it is best to learn to play the piano from a teacher, we understand that it’s not always possible. Some people prefer self-teaching because it allows them to learn the piano at their own pace while others consider it because it’s quite cost-effective than learning to play the instrument from an instructor.
Whatever your reasons are, rest assured, you can teach yourself piano at home. That said, you can only succeed at learning to play the piano if you are disciplined, consistent, and motivated. Teaching yourself works best if you follow a strict plan with a proper aim and technique. You can learn to play the piano in different ways such as playing by the ear, using an instructional book, an online app, etc. So, in order to learn to play the piano, you need to determine which method works for you and stick to that throughout your learning session.
If you are a complete beginner, it may take you some time to get the hang of playing the right keys, notes, etc. One thing you will need to keep in mind is to be patient and consistent. You will also have to practice a lot to learn the art of playing the piano in no time.
Is Piano Easy to Learn By Yourself?
Many people think that teaching yourself to play the piano may be the toughest task in the world, but that’s not quite so. In fact, you can easily learn to play the piano if you are a serious and determined learner.
You should also be smart in your choice of learning tools so that you can easily guide yourself to play the piano from scratch. For example, many user-friendly online apps enable learners to teach themselves basic and advanced piano lessons. These apps come with video tutorials and training that help learners to easily develop the necessary piano-playing skills. Studying the notes, noticing patterns, learning finger placements, practicing playing scales and chords, using instructional books, and then applying this knowledge into playing simple, popular songs can help you move toward an intermediate/advanced level. This is one of the ways you can easily learn to play the piano.
How Long Does It Take to Learn to Play the Piano?
This depends on a lot of things. If you are a complete beginner with no basic knowledge of piano playing whatsoever, it may take a few weeks to months to comprehend and play the right scales, notes, chords, etc.
You will need to practice a lot in order to become better at playing. If you practice less, it will take longer for you to learn to play the piano. But if you stay at it and dedicate a good amount of time to practicing daily, you can play the piano at a faster rate.
To master a piano-playing technique, you will need to practice at least ten minutes every day. In about 12 weeks or so, you will have a rock-solid grip at playing the technique. When learning to play the piano by ear, it may take five to six months to learn the necessary skills.
When it comes to playing songs on the piano, it may take six months to master it. The best way to learn to play the songs is to start with the easy ones. As soon as you have mastered them, you can learn to play complex songs by breaking them into sections. Keep in mind to practice for at least 20 minutes or so every day for a week to become proficient at playing the piano.
Best Way to Teach Yourself Piano
In this section, we will discuss the best method to teach yourself to play the piano; without having you rely on expensive piano lessons.
Teach Yourself Piano Online
You can develop many new skills online, and one of them is the art of piano playing. You can easily find online resources – YouTube, sites, or digital apps – that can help you teach this skill for free. Of course, there are some amazing paid online courses as well. The best thing about online piano lessons is they usually employ the latest trends and teaching method, which help you stay updated.
You can find thousands of online lessons, tutorials, e-books, articles/blogs, and discussion forums that can provide you with the necessary piano playing skills and techniques according to your learning level. Compared to physical books or manuals, these online resources are updated from time to time. Plus, they have a ton of variety of songs, genres, exercises, lessons, tutorials, and techniques, enabling you to become a wholesome player. With great convenience and flexibility, you can easily teach yourself to play the piano at your home.
Below are a few great online options to help yourself play the piano at home:
Teach Yourself Piano Online Free
1. Best Free Online Lessons
Piano Lessons is a free piano lessons website, featuring a library of amazing piano lessons for free. The website combines engaging online tutorials with instructional YouTube videos. These lessons are taught by capable instructors at Piano Lessons.
The tutorials are aimed at beginners so they are ideal for you if you are just getting started with your musical journey. Other than this, you can also join Piano Lessons on their social media where they provide regular free live piano lessons, fun tips and tricks, and lots more.
Pianu is a great online service to play your favorite songs on the piano for free. However, you will find their guided training and effective lessons available for a small fee. The piano-learning site has a game-like user interface that will get you playing along with popular songs in a flash. Every song comes with a music sheet and a virtual keyboard. This makes the piano playing simple and fun at the same time.
Pianu is best for beginners that want to learn to play all the kinds of songs.
For some, individual learning works while others prefer group learning. For those wanting to enjoy a social group experience, TakeLessons is the way to go. Each class is taught live, so there is no pre-recorded session.
You can play the piano along with others in the class and receive instant feedback on your performance. TakeLessons features classes in three sections – Basics, Techniques, and Performance. You can join any class you want based on your competency level. You can try their hundreds of free live streaming lessons 24/7 for two weeks!
Another free source to teach yourself to play the piano is by Piano Nanny. The piano lessons are categorized into three sections: Starter Studies, Intermediate Studies, and Advanced Studies.
The beginner section offers 13 lessons, the intermediate 10 lessons, and the advanced level has 9 lessons. Each lesson is about 35 minutes long. You can pause and repeat and learn at your own pace without a worry in the world.
2. Best Youtube Piano Lessons
If you’re a perfect beginner, Hoffman Academy is the one for you. Their YouTube channel features a plethora of videos with step-by-step instructions from a pianist and educator – Joseph Hoffman.
The video tutorials are so easy and simple that even young kids can follow them without any trouble. Hoffman Academy is best for music students or individuals that want to learn to play the piano professionally at some point in time.
Piano in 21 Days
This is great for someone who wants to learn to play popular songs in a short time. Jacques Hopkins – the founder of the YouTube channel – mainly focuses on playing chords on the piano. With the help of his free content on YouTube, you can learn to play the major and minor chords.
While most of his videos are free on his online channel, including a playlist of 34 chord videos, there are some paid courses as well. If you enjoy learning with Piano in 21 Days and benefit from their free videos, you should consider checking out their paid content too.
This YouTube channel was started by a French music producer that goes by the name – The Gadget. His videos are aimed at individuals that want to learn to play songs on the piano.
Each of his videos is rated according to its difficulty level, ranging from “easy” to “legendary”. In the description box of each video, you will find a music sheet that helps you play the right notes. This YouTube channel is ideal for beginners that may possess the basics of piano playing but want to learn individual songs.
Andrew Furmanczyk is the founder of Furmanczyk Academy of Music. He is a professional pianist who has been playing the piano since he was 5 years old.
He has a passion for teaching piano to others, and this passion reflects in his interactive YouTube tutorials too. The pianist offers an array of free online courses both on his YouTube channel and his website. It is a great option for anybody that wants to learn about music theory and how to play the piano.
Teach Yourself Piano Online (Paid Courses)
Playground Sessions teaches you how to play the piano with engaging lessons featuring popular songs. These songs belong to a wide variety of genres ranging from Pop, Rock, R&B, Classic Hits, Traditional, and Classical genres. These songs belong to three different levels – Rookie, Intermediate, and Advanced levels.
It has a game-like user interface. If you play a note right, it turns green; but if you play it wrong, it turns red. You earn scores and rewards and level up. Playground Sessions offers three different memberships, keyboard bundles, and family plans. The best is the lifetime package with 40 free songs, free classical songs, bonus courses, and music theory boot camp.
ArtistWorks offers a great personal touch with its personalized video lessons and the feedback option. Currently, the online course features three teachers who teach Jazz, Popular, and Classical piano. This changes from time to time, as new instructors come on board.
All the piano teachers give lessons within their courses, covering both the basics and advanced learning methods. You can get access to all the lessons from your chosen teacher and improve at your own pace.
Udemy Piano Lessons
Udemy Piano Lessons is a fun and easy way to learn to play the piano. It offers a new approach to learning the piano which every beginner should consider. In this course, you will learn to identify and read all the notes of the piano and to form scales, chords, and melodies. You will also learn to play hit and classical songs with the right hand, the left hand, and with both hands simultaneously. At a later stage, you will learn to play the most important scales and chords and common chord progressions in music.
Teach Yourself Piano Apps
Teach Yourself Piano Software
FlowKey is a cross-platform learning app, designed specifically for beginners. The innovative software features a huge library of songs, ranging from classical, pop, jazz, etc. The app also includes informational videos on important topics such as the piano posture, sight reading, and learning basic music theory.
The app comes with a free membership that gives limited access to a few courses and songs. However, with a paid subscription, the online software allows you to access all the courses, lessons, and the entire song library with over 1000 songs in each category. Each song comes with a music sheet and video, which makes the learning process easy and fun.
This is another amazing self-teaching piano app to consider. Developed by JoyTunes, this highly popular piano app is known for its game-like format. To use this software, you only need a mobile device or tablet and connect it with your piano or keyboard via USB MIDI. However, in case you don’t have an instrument, you can use the app’s keyboard and learn to play the instrument.
This app features 27 courses which are divided into two main streams – Soloist and Chords. The learning software has a huge song library with hundreds of songs to choose from. Select the song of your choice and learn to play it. As you play the song, you will be shown how many notes you got right. The app will also give you a rating (out of three stars) based on your performance.
Yousician is another fun app to teach yourself to play the piano. However, with this software, you can also learn the guitar, bass, ukulele, and singing. The app features thousands of songs, exercises, workouts, and lessons, tailored to varying learning needs. That’s not all. As you play along, you receive instant feedback, helping you to improve every step of the way. You can also set your playing goals and track progress.
The video tutorials feature step-by-step instruction, allowing you to develop the necessary piano playing skills in no time. The fun part is the weekly challenges that you can participate in and grab the leading spot on the leaderboard. To use this app, all you need is your musical instrument and phone (iOS or Android), laptop, or tablet. Unlike Simply Piano, you won’t need any cords or cables.
Melodics is a great app for beginners that like to play contemporary music and want to play the piano by ear. Please note that it is a desktop app that is designed to be used with a MIDI keyboard. It may not be an apt choice for everybody, but for someone who is into playing modern songs. The app has about 60 free lessons with exclusive lessons from renowned artists.
Melodics makes practice fun. You get to play hit songs from the contemporary music genre and receive instant feedback which helps you improve learning as you go along.
Teach Yourself Piano Books
Another great way to learn piano playing is by piano books. These are guidebooks that feature exercises, music sheets, lesson plans, techniques, and many other important details that can help you play the piano in a short span of time.
Best Teach Yourself Piano Book
Alfred’s Teach Yourself to Play Piano
Alfred’s Teach Yourself to Play Piano by Morton Manus is an amazing tool to learn the basics of the piano. The book is aimed at adult beginners that want to learn the piano from scratch. This learning course teaches the piano basics, step by step. In the beginning, you will learn the fundamentals such as how to sit at the piano, fingering positions, and various musical notations. You will then be introduced to different keys, notes, scales, chords, etc.
The piano book also covers chords for the two hands, how to play melodies with more than two notes, how to play songs such as Amazing Grace, The Donkey, The Entertainer, Lavender’s Blue, and Happy Birthday to You, and much more. You will find songs belonging to different genres, including Pop, Classical, Folk, Hymns, Blues, Spirituals, and Ragtime. The guidebook also comes with online audio that you can play it on your computer or mobile phone. This helpful reference will allow you to play and practice along.
Teach Yourself Piano Books for Adults
Adult Piano Adventures All-in-One Piano Course Book
Adult Piano Adventures by Nancy Faber is another great self-teaching book for those who have never played the piano before. It is created for adults to help them understand the basics of music. The guidebook features the music theory, lessons, and techniques all in one place. Book 1 mainly focuses on the fundamentals of music, music notation, musical form, and chords playing. The book presents information in a step by step method, so the learning process does not overwhelm the student.
Hal Leonard Adult Piano Method: Book 1
Hal Leonard Adult Piano Method features easy-to-follow instructions with accompaniments for downloading and streaming. The book covers lessons in a logical, systematic process which makes it easy to read and understand the keys. In this way, you learn to play the piano quite fast.
When learning to play the piano, make sure you use downloadable music. It will enhance your learning process and improve your musical skills.
Teach Yourself to Play Piano CD
Can you teach yourself piano? - 5 mistakes and how to avoid them
Using the online courses (free or paid), piano software, and piano books discussed in this article, you’re going to simplify the process of teaching yourself piano and become the next Mozart in no time! (okay, maybe that’s stretching things…) But if you follow the advice in this guide, we’re sure you’ll learn to play the instrument quicker than you could imagine!