It’s a beautiful thing listening to an expert play the piano – it’s a magnificent thing actually being behind the keys, aptly stroking the keys and notes without a care in the world. Words cannot really describe this feeling to its entirety! It is this feeling that prompted me to continue my intimate relationship with my vintage piano for the past 18 years. We are honored to be the ones guiding you through this journey you are about to embark on.
There is so much beauty in everything concerning the piano: nonetheless, reaching that ecstatic point is the major problem for most people. Most students will lose focus of learning the piano as soon as they realize how tricky it is to master the notes. They attach this to learning a completely new language! As a matter of fact, this group of learners is correct: the piano has its own different language which you need to get yourself acquainted to, if you are to make any progress in your training. Having said that, what do you need to know to set this ship to sea and have it brave the storms?
Start from the Basics
Perhaps you have been unlucky enough to encounter one of those over-ambitious students who think they can start learning medicine today and get to treating patients the next day! These are the toughest to deal with since, more often than not, their over-zeal makes them skip a lot of basics, therefore landing themselves in trouble when in the spotlight. You better mess up when practicing than when actually performing. The following tips should come in handy.
A Piano Should Come in Handy
Since you aim to become not only a piano player but a professional piano player, you want to kick it off on a high note by actually saving up for a great piano in contrast to using keyboards or other Android apps. Practicing with a full piano will get you familiarized with the different notes, sounds, and keys. If however, you have an old one, you should consider having it tuned by a professional to ensure the notes come out as they should. Otherwise, you might have a really tough time dealing with the old dog and trying to teach it new tricks.
Master the Keys & Chords
Your aim is to use your piano the same way you use your computer – effortlessly! If you can type without looking at your board to find the right buttons, you should be able to play artfully with your eyes closed. Start by learning the major keys and even assign numbers to them if need be – it’ll make it easier to master them. For instance, the major Middle C can be assigned number 1. Different keys will also produce different chords. You should be able to master how each chord is created with the different key combination. Remember the chords have names – you might not get to know them, but you need to know exactly how they sound. This can only be achieved by spending more time with your piano.
Hum & Play by Heart
Once you’re sure of what the different chords and notes sound like, you should be able to reconstruct a song you’ve heard and play it. To really get down to playing, you ought to first accustom yourself to proper finger placement. This can be learned from beginner’s piano books which can also be found online.
Develop & Sharpen Your Skills
Now you are no longer a beginner in your learning piano process – you need to take your learning to a different level. You can actually learn the piano on your own, but the best thing to do would be enrolling for piano classes which might really be useful – you will have quite a tricky ride nonetheless.
Source Extra Material
Instructional books will really help you as you get started and even progress in this path. By now you should fully conversant with your “Do-Re-Mi’s” and should even be able to play easy songs such as Jingle Bells. Multimedia tools such as DVDs and YouTube videos will also enhance the already acquired knowledge.
Clue in On the Important Knowledge
Certain knowledge should be at your fingertips as you learn the piano. For instance, you should know the 88 keys and differentiate the sounds made by the naturals as well as the accidentals. Understand the chords in the majors as well as those in the minors. Let your finger placement mirror in your dexterity as you move up and down the scales. Eventually, you can use this extra important knowledge to try out playing on simple songs. Once you get the hang of it, try playing more without looking at your finger movement but rather focus on the notes or look straight ahead.
Going to the Next Level
You should confidently slap anyone who calls you a piano rookie by now – your strong and flexible fingers should be proof enough of the efforts and progress. By this time, you should have sourced as many books as you can and fully gone through the basics. Now, what next?
Consider Hiring an Instructor
It’s admirable the efforts you’ve achieved so far all on your own: but they usually say that no man is an island. At the end of the day, there is always someone who can take you to the next level since you are yet to be a pro. Having an instructor will also help you avoid the more common mistakes made by most artists.
That notwithstanding, if still looking to learn piano on your own, you can plan yourself to visit the instructor once in a month just to have a check on your progress. Taking a class will also have the same effect as you will teach yourself more by an experienced pianist. Before I forget, you should also consider downloading apps on play store that teach you on the piano. These are available to be used by the hopeless beginner to the experienced piano guru!