o you ever feel like you need something to break out of your typical 9-5 routine? Try adding a little musical spice to your daily life! Music brings liveliness every time it’s played it oozes passion and brings out the height of every emotion. Why not start with a musical classic like playing the piano?
Gather resources for your new musical hobby
First things first you need to get all your learning tools together! Instruments, teachers, and learning aids alike will fast track your ability to learn!
Start with the instrument.
Since most people don’t have pianos just laying around their house most people start with acquiring the real deal. Craigslist has a wide selection of cheaper pianos and lots of times can find one for free! All you have to do is show up and get it. Keep in mind moving a piano is no small feat. Consider borrowing a truck or enlisting a friend to help with pick up. Remember to keep in mind your house/apartment size. Not everywhere is fit fora grand piano, but regular or a miniature piano are just nice and work just as well.
If you are lacking in space, have no fear! Piano keyboards are a budget friendly choice and a more compact option. Bonus: Most keyboards come with a removable stand. This means when you are done playing you can take the keyboard off the stand, collapse the legs, and place it in storage. That way it’s not taking up your living space full-time. Admittedly it’s not as aesthetic as piano, but keyboards are much more functional.
The last option is a Hand Roll Portable Electric Piano. Not only as economical, but portable to virtually anywhere you go! This is small, doesn’t take up space, and is good for beginners. Even if you do wind up getting a keyboard or piano it wouldn’t hurt to get a practice keypad. It's a good option for anyone constantly on the go, but still wants to carve out time to learn. It’s also a good choice for those who are on the fence about learning. If you end up not liking the discipline of learning a new instrument the roll-up portable piano is the easiest to get rid of.
Find a piano instructor
Traditionally one might strike out and find an in-person instructor. Which is great personal face to face instruction provides a more hands-on experience! Additionally, in face to face teachers can point out mistakes that a student by themselves might miss. Although this can be expensive depending on your tutor and often requires carving out a set time weekly or even twice week to see your instructor. Thankfully if you don’t know anyone there is any easy way to shop around for music instructors besides the traditional methods. Try using the site Taylor Robinson Music (seen on Shark Tank) to pick an instructor right for you. The site shows a list of background approved tutors, their schedules and pricing for you to choose from. Quick, easy, and innovative. However, when balancing things like school, work, and a social life creating time for a new hobby might be tricky. Luckily it is not the only option for musical students.
YouTube is the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to (generally) free content. With a variety of content creators there is a variety of people and ways you can learn virtually any skill to do including learning a new instrument! Try watching a few tutorials and seeing what kind of teacher you like. Generally these instructors will create a few series of videos for students to follow along with and get progressively harder as you go. If you don’t find anything that vibes with on your first search try switching up your keywords when you search. Here a few suggested searches to try on YouTube.
- How to play the piano (for beginners)
- (How To Learn) Piano Basics
- Playing Piano 101
- Beginners Piano Lessons
- Easy piano tutorials
Any mix or mashup of the above will also work too!
Get a learners piano-aid app
There are plenty of extra aids you can use in addition to traditional learning. Take the Practice+ Tuner & Metronome app for instance. As promised in the title, you can use it to tune your piano, a metronome, and with an in app purchase that will allow you to record and playback your music. Also an app of interest is forScore! It costs $14.99 to get, but is very useful when navigating your way around sheet music.
Pick a few things to master
Student studying sheet music to get better at his craft.
Start with a scale
Scales are one of the many building blocks with music and help to create a melody. Learning this first will be a strong foundation for learning how to play a new song. It might not be the most appealing thing to start with, but sometimes the essentials are not. There are 12 major scales although starting out most people start with C Major, however feel free to try out anyone of the following:
- C major scale: C – D – E – F – G – A – B – C
- G: G – A – B – C – D – E – F# – G
- D: D – E – F# – G – A – B – C# – D
- A: A – B – C# – D – E – F# – G# – A
- E: E – F# – G# – A – B – C# – D# – E
- B: B – C# – D# – E – F# – G# – A# – B
- F#: F# – G# – A# – B – C# – D# – E# (=F) – F#
- Gb: Gb – Ab – Bb – Cb (=B) – Db – Eb – F – Gb
- Db: Db – Eb – F – Gb – Ab – Bb – C – Db
- C#: C# – D# – E# (=F) – F# – G# – A# – B# (=C) – C#
- Ab: Ab – Bb – C – Db – Eb – F – G – Ab
- Eb: Eb – F – G – Ab – Bb – C – D – Eb
- Bb: Bb – C – D – Eb – F – G – A – Bb
- F: F – G – A – Bb – C – D – E – F
Reading sheet music
Even though it is possible to learn by ear, being able to read sheet music will overall prove useful to your piano career the further you advance. Did those scales written out make any sense? Depending on your musical background it might not. While learning about the staff, notes, measures, and so on might seem daunting there are many educational tools like Music Notes to help out. Also many people learn a mnemonic for notes on scale like Every Good Boy Does Fine for lines of treble clef and FACE for the spaces of one.
Try learning a song
Learning a song can be a great way to motivate you to continue learning with your lessons. It will provide a sense of accomplishment and give you something to show off when you tell people you are learning piano. Consider these things when picking out a song to learn:
- Song length- no one would ever start with symphony when learning how to play piano. Keep the length down and the sooner you can master it.
- Difficulty- This one may be tough for a beginner, but just ask your instructor or watch a quick tutorial to see if this song is right for you.
- Quality- you are going to hear this song a lot so aim to pick out something enjoyable to listen to.
If you are struggling still to pick out a song here are a few recommendations.
- Chopsticks- This song can be played with just two fingers.
- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star- This is an easy one for kids and adults. It’s short so it will take no time at all to master. It’s a classic beginner song for must instruments anyhow.
- Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran- For anyone who likes pop music!
- Jingle Bells- If you are feeling the Christmas spirit.
- The Main Legend Of Zelda Theme Song- For any gamers out there,
- Girls Like You By Maroon 5- Because everyone likes at least one Maroon 5 Song, right?
- Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye- Because Marvin Gaye is a timeless classic. Good for anyone who likes soul music.
- I’ll Make A Man Out Of You- For Disney fans and because Mulan is a big crowd pleaser.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice makes perfect or progress depending on your mentor. Either way practice is a necessary discipline to learn piano. It’s hard making time in a busy schedule but consider practicing a bulk time each week starting with something small like practicing two hours a week and bumping it up or down depending on schedule! This allows for a lot of flexibility in your playing schedule. If you need help staying motivated, ask a friend to listen to you play someday. Pick a specific piece you want to be able to play and set the date you want to play it by. Sometimes a sense of responsibility to perform will boost your motivation. Even if you don’t learn it all in time you can show your friends what you learned and even try teaching them a little! With these simple steps you’ll be a piano enthusiast in no time.