There are so many people who want to learn a new skill, but they believe that they need a teacher or competent tutor to do that. Without any doubt, attending courses or private lessons can be very helpful and much more useful for learning. You have someone who can supervise you, correct your mistakes and help you avoid bad habits you might develop while trying to learn something new. Still, if you can’t afford it or you want to learn whenever and wherever you want, don’t feel discouraged!
There are many fabulous piano players who are self-taught. If they could do it, you can do it too! Still, just because there is no formal teacher who assigns you with your tasks and ”homework”, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to work a lot! Learning or improving skills takes time, will and effort and there is no way you can avoid that.
On the other hand, if you have those three and you are ready for some serious thing – hop in! Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced level, it’s enough for you to have a piano and internet. There are always new ways of learning and we are happy to reveal some useful tips and ways of improving your piano skills without a teacher!
Table of Contents
- Is It Easier to Self-learn Piano?
- Most Effective Ways to Practice Piano
- Top 4 Ways to Improve Piano Skills Without a Teacher
- Things to Know Before Learning a Piano
- Tips to Improve Piano Playing Skills
- Piano Tips for Beginners
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is It Easier to Self-learn Piano?
When it comes to playing any instrument, it is usually highly remarkable to hear that someone “learned themselves” how to play the instrument on their own. A lot of people have the misconception that playing the piano is a little bit too difficult to figure out on your own and that you will want the assistance of a teacher to figure it out.
It is necessary to have a complete understanding of what “self-teaching” entails to correctly understand whether or not it is possible to teach oneself piano. However, what exactly is meant by the word “self-teaching” in this context, given that it is feasible to train oneself to play practically any instrument? If you haven’t played the piano before, you might look at someone who has taught themselves how to play and say, “Wow, that’s impressive! Someone has taught themselves how to play the piano!”
On the other hand, it is possible that it is not as amazing (or impossible) as it initially appears. Before we get into some of the more practical parts of learning to play the piano on your own, here’s a little something to get your creative juices flowing. Although not everyone on the list is a pianist, we thought it was important to include self-taught guitarists as well because there is a school of thought that suggests learning to play the guitar on your own is even more difficult than learning to play the piano because of the difficult hand positions and the need for strong finger muscles.
Most Effective Ways to Practice Piano
Practice is essential whether you are just beginning to learn how to play the piano or are attempting to perfect a piece written by Chopin. You’ll find the following eight helpful hints and suggestions listed below:
- Devote at least twenty minutes of your time every day to practicing. The bare minimum is twenty minutes, but the more time you can devote to practice, the better. If you do find that you have extra time on your hands, try dividing up your practice into 20-minute chunks that you complete throughout the day. This will make the task seem less overwhelming.
- Don’t forget to do some warm-up exercises. Have you ever attempted to send a text message even though your fingers were numb from the cold? Because your fingers are so stiff, it is quite difficult to type swiftly and accurately without making any mistakes. Playing the piano is very similar in this regard. It is essential to warm up your hands and fingers before attempting to play the piano so that you can do it with ease. This is of utmost importance when you are first starting because you will make more than enough mistakes even if your fingers aren’t all clunky and stiff!
- Don’t make the mistake of trying to take on too much. It is extremely improbable that you will be able to master an arrangement the very first time that you play it unless you are a piano virtuoso. Even then, it is exceedingly doubtful that you would be able to do so. Instead of trying to tackle the whole thing at once, try breaking it up into more manageable chunks. This might be as little as one measure or as much as an entire page, depending on your degree of musical aptitude. Set a goal for yourself to practice that you and your instructor agree is attainable for you, and make sure you don’t deviate from it.
- Resist the urge to embark on every endeavor by going back to the beginning. Beginning at square one is not necessarily the best strategy in every situation. When you sit down to practice, if you always begin at the beginning, you will only ever become proficient at the beginning of the piece before your allotted practice time is over without ever allowing yourself the opportunity to face that challenging area.
- Take your time when practicing. If you try to get through the task too quickly, you run the chance of making mistakes, and then you incur the risk of having to learn from those mistakes. Instead, play each note thoughtfully until you are confident in your fingering, and then you can move on. You can even record your performance at a slower tempo while practicing and then play it back at a quicker tempo to hear how it will sound once you have mastered the piece. This feature is available on most digital keyboards.
- You can practice without a piano if you want to. This piece of advice may sound completely off the wall, but you can practice playing the piano keyboard anyplace. When you are ready to sit down and practice, it can be helpful to your muscle memory to have previously worked on the fingering of a challenging piece away from the piano.
- When you’re not playing the instrument, listen to the song. When playing an instrument, having a song in your head can often make it easier for your fingers to travel along the keys. Download the piece of music you are working to perfect onto your mobile device or tablet, and make it a habit to play it and listen to it frequently, even when you are not at the piano. Having the tune in your head might also inspire you to step behind the keyboard and give the piece some personal attention by way of practice.
- Decide the part of the game you want to play. It might appear to be common sense, but if a song is enjoyable to you, you are far more inclined to practice it. Because you are going to be playing the song numerous times, you should make sure that it is one that you enjoy listening to. Since it has thousands of pieces of music, you will come across something that piques your interest. You are even able to simply alter the music that you have purchased. This means that if you want to change the notation or transpose the key, you can do so before you print it off.
Top 4 Ways to Improve Piano Skills Without a Teacher
The Internet has made everything so much easier in today’s world. If you want to access any information you need, you can do it from the comfort of your own home. YouTube may be the best option because there are so many videos that skillful piano players have shared with others who want to learn. A great thing about it is that you can always pause, repeat and re-watch parts you have missed or misunderstood. A great advantage of YouTube is that you can easily find any area you want to learn about: piano basics, rhythm exercises, chord progressions, music theory. You can even find easy tutorial videos for your favorite songs! That way, learning can become easier and even more fun because you will crash endless theory learning with something you really enjoy.
Piano in 21 days –You are a beginner and you want to learn how to play some of your favorite songs? Jacque Hopkins can definitely help you with that! Okay, 21 days may not seem much at first, but, hey, remember – you can do it!
Lypur – This is a great channel for improving your piano skills on more levels and for understanding music theory better.
Piano Video Lessons– Another great channel that can help you start better and learn how to play the piano in a proper way.
Pianists and piano teachers know that being and working online is very important if they want to access a wider number of students and potential users. Many of them decided to start their own websites to promote their work and offer part of their knowledge to others who want to learn. Sometimes they charge their lessons, but they often have some free content which can show you the way they work so you can see whether you like it or not. Still, there are many pages where you don’t have to pay any money to access high-quality and great videos.
PianoLessons–A Great site where you can find plenty of lessons that are proper for developing your skills because they have videos for beginner, intermediate and advanced level.
Hoffman Academy– Mr. Hoffman is a great teacher who works with all age groups, so this might be a great start for you if you want to provide online piano lessons for your kids. You will pay 15$ for the Premium option, but their basic plan is completely free.
Zebra Keys– This site gives you more than 50 free piano lessons which are more than enough to explore and improve your skills.
Our mobile phone has become so much more than just a phone these days. Not that we only use it for communication, but for taking pictures, games, checking our social networks. There are so many apps with interesting and useful content as well, so piano lessons are no exception.
Best Piano Lessons – Simple and interesting Android app that even children can use!
Real Piano Teacher– This interactive app gives you an opportunity to learn chords, your favorite songs and simple melodies on the piano.
Piano 3D – Piano App with Songs & Lessons – Here’s something special and useful for iOS users that can help you improve your piano skills and learn many new things related to music.
Whether you prefer downloading books and reading it on your Kindle, tablet, laptop or mobile phone; or you just prefer an old-school way and hold that book in your hands, learning has never been easier! There are so many great books that offer you great music theory explanations, exercises which can improve your playing skills and ways of learning new songs.
You can download or buy them on Amazon, eBay or some other sites; or you can just get the title you want in your closest bookstore. Borrowing some great titles from city libraries are an option as well! Still, that way you are limited with time because you have a deadline to return that book. On the other hand, it can help you with making yourself read it and learn much faster. Here are some helpful titles for you:
Learn to Play Keyboards – Steve Ashworth– Within this book, you will get well-explained content with an extra CD with audio materials that can help you.
How to play Piano – James Rhodes – “How many hours a day do you practice?” Asks James, while trying to point that you are never too old or too young to learn something new you are interested in as long as you are willing to work.
Hal Leonard Student Piano Library Book 1 – This book gives you an opportunity to explore, learn and have the best time while doing it!
The book author, Peter Nivio Zarega, once said, ”I know that no one can really stop me but myself and that really no one can help me but myself.” That means that with or without a teacher, it’s always up to you! You decide whether you want to practice after your lesson is over and how much of your time you will dedicate to your work. And, in the end, you are the one who is happy and proud of yourself when you realize that you really CAN do what you want – everything else is just excuses.
Things to Know Before Learning a Piano
It takes a lot of work and dedication to get to the point where you feel comfortable playing the piano. Even though you have a clear idea of what has to be done in your head if you lack the appropriate training and practice, the situation may appear to be out of control and chaotic.
Make an effort to understand it like you would a foreign language: The notes on the keyboard are equivalent to the letters of the alphabet, and the chords that you play on the keyboard are comparable to the words that you can form with those letters. Invest some time into properly familiarizing yourself with your keyboard because learning the letters on it is a prerequisite to being able to read the text. Play a note and see if you can determine what it is, or pick a note at random and try to reproduce it on the keyboard! The keys of the piano can be learned, which will make playing the instrument much simpler and more natural.
There are hundreds of modern songs that you will be able to learn and execute with just a few chords (and a little know-how), even if you are just learning the keys. The only exception to this would be if you were truly striving to become a master at On Top of Old Smokey. There are hundreds of modern songs that you will be able to learn and execute with just a few chords (and a little know-how), even if you are just learning the keys. The only exception to this would be if you were truly striving to become a master at On Top of Old Smokey.
Tips to Improve Piano Playing Skills
1. Schedule Your Rehearsal Sessions
Do you only play whenever you have free time? The lack of progress may be due to this. Putting in time at the piano should be near the top of your to-do list. Even if it’s at the bottom of your to-do list, you should set aside time each week to sit down and practice your instrument. Find a time and stick to it, whether it’s every workday for an hour or only once a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Finding the appropriate teacher is essential, but so is a commitment to practice. To make the most of your time, add an extra hour of practice per week.
2. Practice Sight Reading
Sitting down to perfect a single piece of music is a fantastic approach to practice, but it’s also nice to shake things up every so often than by learning something completely different. Don’t stress yourself out if you make a few blunders while learning sight reading. Just give it your best shot and play the whole thing through, then do it again just to be sure. Not only does this help you become a better improviser, but it also helps you become a better sight reader, which is a must for playing in a band or orchestra. Don’t let your mistakes weigh you down or discourage you. Practicing the piano will likely become more fun if you view your blunders as valuable components of your education.
3. Put the Brakes on
Does how rapidly a piece is played indicate the genuine competence of a musician? While this may be true under certain conditions, if you play too quickly, you risk missing notes and sounding sloppy. If you find yourself missing notes in a particular portion, don’t race through that section as quickly as possible- halt the metronome, slow down, and practice it until you get it properly. Every three or four times through a piece, even if you think you know it well, you should practice it at a slower tempo. What’s the point in learning to play a piece rapidly if you can’t even perform it at a slower tempo?
4. Never Give Up on Yourself
Although it might seem obvious, many pianists stop challenging themselves after they acquire a decent level of proficiency. As with any ability, consistent practice and pushing your boundaries are the keys to mastery. Find out from your teacher which piece of music will challenge you the most. They will be in the best position to evaluate your capabilities and provide you with work that will challenge you without being overly difficult. Your teacher should be able to give you a piece that places a lot of emphasis on your left hand if you have problems playing with it.
5. Set Reasonable Goals
Make sure the goal you select is reasonable before deciding on any old objective. Expecting to become a piano prodigy overnight is unrealistic. You can get better at any instrument if you put in the time and effort necessary. Humans are compelled to have a big-picture perspective. If you discover that you are falling short, do a brief inventory of yourself and reassess your goals. Meet with your piano teacher to discuss the issues you’ve raised. They can assess your current level of knowledge and inform you about the reasonableness of your goals.
6. Become Knowledgeable About the Classical Guitar
Those who instantly discount classical music as boring may wish to keep reading. A great level of technical proficiency is necessary to perform classical music well. Once you start working with more difficult material, your technical skills will advance. Not only will classical music give you a solid foundation, but it will also encourage you to grow as a performer. Bach and Chopin are excellent choices for folks who have never heard classical music before as introductions. You won’t improve as a player if you only play games that you are already at ease with.
7. Examining Your Skills in a Public Performance
You should become accustomed to playing in front of an audience as a pianist. In front of your closest friends and family members, perform a dress rehearsal. Play with assurance whether one or one hundred people are watching. You can invite some family and friends around for a performance after you feel at ease performing for your parents. Play at small, private gatherings like school events, picnics, or private Christmas parties to get your foot in the door. The stage fright and clammy palms that accompany performing in front of an audience will ultimately pass.
Piano Tips for Beginners
1. Relax and Have Fun
You never want training to become a chore, despite how it may feel at times. Learning an instrument takes time and effort, and it can be frustrating to practice when you’re having trouble. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, give yourself a break and do something completely different for a few hours or maybe the full day. Taking a break will allow you to relax and unwind, allowing you to return to practice with renewed vigor and assurance.
2. Take Your Time
It’s important to take things carefully in the beginning when learning scales or new music. You should start by learning the song the right way, with the right rhythms and notes. Skipping around the song and missing notes or rhythms will make it harder to fix your mistakes afterward. The second objective is to learn the skills and muscle memory you’ll need to play the piece with proficiency. If you rush through the process of learning something new, you’re less likely to master it and more likely to develop bad habits that will be difficult to break down the road.
3. Purchasing an Idea
Knowing the fundamentals of music theory may seem boring at first, but it will make playing the piano much more enjoyable as you progress. You’ll be able to perform with greater confidence and a wider range of material as your mastery of these basics grows in tandem with your abilities. Acquire a working knowledge of the grand staff, key signatures, and other elements of music theory. Regularly testing yourself will ensure that you can distinguish between a quarter note and an eighth note, a G and a D on the grand staff, and a major chord and a minor chord. Take some private lessons or read a book on basic music theory if you want to learn more.
4. Listen to Some Songs You Like
Maintaining a consistent practice routine is critical to making progress. On the other hand, if you’re not feeling driven because you don’t enjoy the music, you probably won’t stick with it. If you include a few of your favorite songs in your practice routine, you will be more driven to keep at it. Though these songs won’t be too challenging, you may still make it fun for yourself by adding your flair. It’s still a fantastic feeling to take control.
5. Scale Development
The 12 key signatures can be memorized more easily with the help of scales. Scale practice is a great way to get your fingers used to the piano and familiar with the different notes that live in each key. Don’t stress yourself too much about being able to play all the scales perfectly right away; take your time. Next, we’ll go over how to enhance your accuracy by starting slowly and working up to full speed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Is It More Cost-effective to Rebuild Than Replace?
The cost of restoration is often higher than the purchase price, especially for smaller instruments. However, depending on the brand and the state of the market, most grand pianos of comparable quality can be reconstructed for less than the price of a new instrument. If the piano has sentimental importance to its owner, he or she may feel it is worth the expense to restore it.
2. How Long Does It Take to Get Good at the Piano?
From start to finish, it can take you roughly eight to ten years to be able to play masterpieces if you’re a complete beginner. It takes at least two years of dedicated practice to master the basics of the piano. Institutions such as the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM), which offers 10 unique grade levels to evaluate piano proficiency, and the Associate Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), which offers eight, exist. Since it could take a year or two to go from one level to the next, it would take at least ten years for a complete novice to become proficient enough to play extremely difficult pieces.
3. When is the Right Time to Introduce a Child to the Piano?
Youngsters between the ages of six and nine may be ready for piano lessons, although younger children as young as three or four may begin to show an interest in the instrument. Since every kid is different, it could take some time before yours shows any interest in learning the piano. Children vary greatly in age; some may struggle to sit still for an entire hour at the piano. Going to school is a good indicator that a child is ready for lessons since it shows that they can follow written instructions and complete tasks independently, both of which are necessary for success in piano study. Alternatively, you may work with very young children and introduce them to the piano through activities, recorded music, or even outdoor concerts.
4. Just How Long Do Digital Pianos Typically Last?
For the most part, a high-quality digital piano will serve its owner for twenty to fifty years. It’s possible that entry-level digital pianos could start displaying symptoms of wear and tear after around fifteen years. The Kawai and Roland digital pianos, for example, come with a five- to ten-year warranty on parts and labor, respectively. Knowing how to properly care for your digital piano will ensure that it lasts as long as possible. Most modern digital pianos are constructed with a durable enough design to resist moderate to heavy strain from the outside world. The keyboard sensors are more likely to wear out over time if the instrument has been exposed to liquid or stored in an environment with extreme heat and humidity.
5. What is the Price of a Piano Tuning?
An upright acoustic piano may be tuned for around $70 every six months, while a concert grand piano would run you around $150. If the piano is regularly tuned, the expense of tuning it will be lower than if it were adjusted less frequently. If a piano needs a pitch raise because it has been left in the sun or a humid environment for too long, or if it hasn’t been tuned in more than a year, the cost will be much higher than usual because the tuner will have to perform two full tunings in quick succession.