Tips for Approaching the Piano through Books & Learning

Learning the piano is something most people would like to do. Piano is an important part our lives and culture. But how should you go about learning the piano? Well there are several ways – from hiring a tutor, learning from a book, or playing by ear, essentially what matters is the piano is being played and played well. What it comes down to is what is best for you.

Here are a few suggestions.

Hiring A Teacher.

pianoThis is probably the most common route people take. Hiring a teach gives us a sense of security as we are in constant contact with someone we think of as a professional. Teachers take care of us and create small and large goals we can complete and feel good about. If you thrive in structure, hiring a teacher may be the best way for you to learn a piano.

Just as important as hiring a teacher, is finding the right one. If you’re going to commit to learning to play the piano, you want your guide to be someone you can get along with and shares your ultimate goal. By default, most teachers will be starting you out in a classical manner, but if you’re just in it to learn some of your favorite Elton John, or maybe you want to learn some Jazz, there’s teachers for that too. Look online and in your local papers, find at least three people that interest you and get in contact with all of them. Think of it as an interview, after-all, it’s them that are ultimately getting your money, so take the time to be sure your teacher is someone whom you will work well with.

Learning By Ear.

Learning by ear is another common route, though this one is a little harder, and takes more personal discipline, learning by ear can be more rewarding. After playing around on the piano you may start to notice certain patterns and themes, common chord changes and structures. You might start to notice most Pop music recycles certain chord progressions, and that there’s a set bracket of how many progressions the song might be. Once you start to pick up on what’s going on, music wise, you might start to find yourself guessing when the verse is going to come in, and what’s going to happen with the chorus, and once you can associate that with physical playing of the piano, you just might find that your on your way to becoming a more fluent player. Lots of great players learned by ear, and many had to. The first jazz pianists come to mind. And, in fact, Jazz itself was a sort of rebellion against classical music. People wanted to break the rules classical music set-up, they wanted music to be more free and expressive, and to do this, they had to do it by ear.

Buying A Book.

Getting a book is another way to learn and self-teach. Particularly a music theory book may be the way to learning to play the piano. By learning entry level theory you start to notice the patterns in music mentioned previously. By learning to read the music, and recognize reoccurring themes, you’ll notice the daunting mystery of learning the instrument will slowly be illuminated by new found wisdom. Getting a few books, and importantly, the right books, is an excellent way improve your skill as a budding pianist.

Of course, the three methods are not exclusive to each other. The best way may be a combination of the three, or any combination that resonates with you! There is no one specific way to learning the piano. What works for you may not work for someone else. The best thing to do is experiment and see what gets the best results.