How to Teach Yourself Piano at Home

Many of us don’t realize that becoming a pianist is easier than you think. You can become an entertainer for yourself or your friends playing nice melodies or even rock ballads on the piano. The good news is this skill can be learned without paying cash for an actual tutor. You might be wondering “Do I need to be gifted to make it happen or can anybody do it?” With online teaching platforms like Grinfer, Skillshare, and others, taking a course to help you start with piano lessons is easier than ever.

You’ve been having a golden dream of playing the piano for a long time now but never had a chance to even play a simple scale – start today. But first, peek through the 5 steps on where to start.

Step #1. Decide either an acoustic piano or digital keyboard

You can’t play music without having an actual instrument. Be prepared to make an investment and get an electric keyboard. There is no need to spend a fortune to get the basics because acoustic pianos are definitely not cheap. A decent-quality piano is priced somewhere from $2000 going up to $10,000 and even higher.

For a beginner spending lots of money on an instrument just to practice probably is not the best idea. Find some better option by browsing through Craigslist ads or contact your nearest shop that sells music instruments to ask whether they have any used keyboards for sale. Make sure your new or used piano won’t require constant tuning to produce good quality sound. Probably the major reason that stops people from buying an acoustic piano is its size. Living in a small apartment makes people feel like every inch of space matters. Plus, if you have nervous neighbors who live nearby, they might not appreciate your daily practice.

So, you are not a house owner or live near jittery neighbors? Don’t let it stand on your way to your dream of becoming a musician. To save money or space, consider the option of getting a nice electric keyboard. This option will cost you way less. Plus, the size of an average digital keyboard is considerably smaller. IIf you need to take your keyboard out for repetitions with your band, it will fit in the trunk of your car with ease. You won’t need to rent a u-haul trailer in case you need to move. A good keyboard for 88-keys can be around $150. If you get a piano bench or a stand, you will place your keyboard pretty much anywhere.

Today, keyboards offer additional features like various sample songs, built-in metronome, as well as a whole set of cool sound effects. More features you get, the more money you’ll spend. The good advice here is don’t overpay. There are high chances you won’t use 99% of them. But don’t go for the cheapest and most basic keyboard either. It’s better to get a 4-year-old used keyboard that was a top-shelf then than get a new cheap instrument from the nearest shop.

Step #2. Start with basics

Few most basic steps for those, who just started:

  • Imagine the piano being your best friend. Study all flat keys, sharp keys, middle keys, high and bass notes and listen to how they sound.
  • Don’t be afraid of notes.  Learn them just the same way you learned the alphabet at school. Notes are just like letters. One you learned them, you will speak the language of music.
  • Don’t forget to learn your basic keys. Flat or sharp note sounds make (when pressed) black keys or accidentals. Each octave (set of 7 notes) has five accidentals — sharp or flat.
  • Study some basic musical terms that are widely used among musicians. There are plenty of good online glossaries of musical terms that would cover pretty much anything on basic concepts of music.

Step# 3. Get your fingering technique right and play scales

Before playing music, realize that there are proper finger placement methods that need to be practiced before you move on. Remember, this is an important key to the whole actual process that will make everything right. In other words, know where your fingers are supposed to be before playing the piano. The right-hand position can help avoid joint pain.

Step #4. Practicing scales is essential

Go ahead and number each finger on both your hands. Put a number all the way from the thumb to your pinky accordingly. Basically, fingers on your right hand will scale with the following sequence of numbers one-two-three-one-two-three-four-five according to each finger.

The same way is for playing back down – five-four-three-two-one-three-two-one. While playing scales, keep an eye on the thumb to be sure it is crossed under your third finger to help you to play the second 1 on your way up the scale.

Again, while going down the scale, make sure that your thumb crossed over your third finger at the second 3.

Practice as much as your patience allows. At first, it would be good to start practicing scales with the right hand.  When you feel confident enough, go ahead practice scales with the other hand. After having enough practice, you can try putting them together and play with both hands. Go online to find hundreds of exercises to master the process. For example, there is a Hanon-Online website that offers over 200 finger exercises for playing scales.

Step #5. Learn with tutorials, books, or Youtube

The brief outline of some major resources for better learning:

  • Youtube tutorials (provide useful videos on building proper fingering, as well as body posture while playing);
  • Books (good with teaching different concepts and all information is broken down into chapters with lots of exercises at the end of each chapter);
  • Online learning (compared to websites, online courses don’t have limitations and can offer learning through video chats).

Grinfer offers the “Piano Lessons For Beginners” course. The price is only $24.99 with lots of useful video and audio content.

This course was created by Todd Porter, a multi-instrumentalist. He has 15+ years of experience in teaching various musical instruments. Todd has numerous awards and achievements, including his nomination for the 2010 Maple Blues Award for Best New Artist. During his course. Todd teaches hints on how to learn and play notes easily with both hands (and separately), which is the best way to play scales as well as chords. You will be taking your first solo right at the end of this course and playing various rhythms while having lots of fun for a bonus. 

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