Reddit reviews: The best books about pianos

We found 1,131 Reddit comments discussing the best books about pianos. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 360 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

Top Reddit comments about Pianos:

u/Yeargdribble · 3 pointsr/piano

So I'm a guy who had a very classical background starting with trumpet in school and went to a NOT Berklee like traditional music school. You can hear me bitch about how out of touch traditional academic music programs are with the reality of being a pro musicians frequently around here... so you've already got that advantage.

I didn't really take up piano seriously until 26 and sort of by accident due to circumstances. It's also when I started learning some of the real world skills that made me realize just how relatively shallow and empty traditional academia was. I compare it to getting a Comp Sci degree and spending 4 years learning how to program for punch cards and only then going out into the world of modern computers and smart phone apps and thinking, "Wait... wut?"

Anyway, that rant aside, I was a trumpet player and I actively gigged and such (in more classical settings) and then started up piano very late.

>Would I be shooting myself in the foot to “throw away” everything I’ve learned on other instruments to go full time with piano?

Well, no, you won't be throwing away anything. Also, DON'T throw away anything. One of the biggest things I've learned is that my versatility is what gets me employment. Piano is my main money make, but I still get gigs on trumpet. I literally sometimes play both at the same time. I've picked up other instruments to varying degrees over the years and get gigs on them. I often just get gigs where I'm playing multiple instrument and have become often the only person who could actually do a certain gig. You need someone to sing a one-to-a-part a capella piece, then lead some songs while walking on guitar... then play piano... then play organ. Well, good luck finding someone else with all of those abilities because everyone ends up feeling like being a jack of all trades is a master of none.

Well that's not how that work (the rest of the saying is something like "often better than a master of one"). Due to expectations you often don't need to be the BEST at anything because most audiences can't even tell.

Can you tell if someone is playing a Bb, C, Eb, or piccolo trumpet? I can. Does that fucking matter? Can I tell what gauge of guitar strings, or what pick thickness, or what pedal setup you're using on guitar by listening. Probably not, but you could probably tell a lot by just listening to another guitarist... does it matter? Not really.

The ultra fine details and subtleties are over-empahsized and only noticeable to musicians trained VERY specifically in your area. You, as a trained musician probably can't pick up a ton of subtleties about different piano brands... certainly not by ear. So it just doesn't matter. Our audiences aren't people who are trained to be experts in our specific areas. It's usually lay people.

For fuck sake, you can be playing their favorite song... something they've heard 100 times from a recording and they still might not be able to tell if you completely fuck up the chords. Either that or they don't care.

Also, so much of your previous knowledge will transfer to piano, but honestly, a ton of piano stuff will end up transferring BACK to make you better at everything else you do by recontextualizing it.

> I’m really into funk, what are some of the comping tricks from a harmonic standpoint? I’ve been studying a lot of George Duke, Herbie Hancock, Richard Tee etc. but It’s just not coming together for me. Is it less about the function of a chord and more about the color in funk? Whenever I’m playing something like Superstition I have no problem using chords for their texture (maybe it’s easier on a clav?)

Honestly, this book is almost certainly beyond your technical level, but the answers are all there. You'll find lots of comping patterns very specifically for that. Funk is just hard to comp. It's a lot of very sparsely voiced stuff with extremely complex 16th note subdivision. Probably some of the hardest comping you can do. That book in general will give you a lot of good comping concepts for various styles.

Which brings me to a side note.

>Ive played a bit of bass too, and I’m comfortable gigging and sight reading at a pretty decent level on all three.

Sightreading or sight comping? I mean, I can sight comp basic chord charts on guitar and I can sightread almost anything on trumpet. But ask me to sightread on guitar and I'll give you a blank look. I've gotten good at both on piano, but for years I was just good at sight comping and my reading is only very slowly catching up with a lot of work.

The other thing is, while guitarists will rarely be asked to sightread you'll likely find that if you play piano, you will get asked to sightread a lot more.

As I was making a living playing in bands and doing more contemporary work, I just kept finding people that heard I played keys assume that meant I could just easily accompany a choir from a choral octavo on the spot. I could not. But I kept getting more traditional work thrown my way just because that's the expectation for pianists. To not learn to do that well is leaving a lot of money on the table.

I've always made it a point to try to never say "I can't do that." I'm never there, but I keep trying. That not only has opened more doors for me due to versatility, but the compliment I get most often is just how easy to work with I am because I'm very chill about just doing whatever combination of things and just making it happen in the moment without getting to freaked out about it (at least outwardly). This is a huge thing for networking. Apparently a lot of people really are fussy, limited, or picky about what they will and won't (can and can't) do.

This also means that you probably need to get comfortable playing on actual pianos with weighted keys. The biggest downside to piano compared to almost anything else is that you're at the mercy of the instrument at the venue in a lot of cases and that almost always means a piano. If you only play on unweighted synths, you'll gonna have a bad time. Synths are still great, but going weighted to unweighted is much easier than the opposite.

> How do I go about putting all that gear together in one signal chain? I work in live audio but everybody hooks up their own keyboard rigs, i just plug it all into a DI box.

That's highly personal, but honestly, it's not much different than the way you would do it with guitar (which can be very similar in how personal it is). I don't work with a ton of pedals because I use a Nord and have most of that stuff on board (because fucking bringing a bag of pedals and a laptop to every gig). Any effects you can just treat it like a guitar and run it between you and the DI box.

Some things like and expression pedal are just going to connect to the keyboard and not have anything to do with the chain and probably require the keyboard to support it though I'm sure some conglomeration of stuff could make it work somewhere down the chain to but I wouldn't want to deal with that sort of headache.

I would often run everything to an amp that I could use as a stage monitor and then use the main output from the amp to run to the DI box. At home I pretty much run everything directly to the mixer or through my looper and then to the mixer.

>Any pedals I should check out for keys/synth?

You can try out almost anything. For pure functionality of practice I just couldn't live without a looper these days. If you've got the cash, a bigger loop station over a ditto looper is just amazing. It can also be very useful for live gigging solo.

> As far as education is concerned, the free college thing doesn’t just cutoff once I get a degree. It’s valid for any undergraduate study. If I wanted to spend 10 years in school getting a degree in everything from composition to music business at 3 different universities I could.

While the atmosphere of a Berklee like school might give you more bang for your buck in just drinking in stuff from a lot of degrees (especially compared to a traditional school where a decade would still leave you clueless going into the real world of music)...I still think the most useful stuff comes from just getting out there and doing it.

Most of the most important stuff I've learned is just from experience and often the hard way. It's all about finding yourself in situations and suddenly realizing what skill set you actually need that you might not have picked up in school. Sometimes that's just because you're working with non-musicians who don't know what they fuck really want and what they are doing.

A lot of it will come from working with people who may have gone to more traditional schools and are super out of touch with what you're even talking about.

I mean, to be fair, a lot of this subreddit could talk to you all day about Chopin etudes and various concert pianist, but as soon as you start talking synths, signal chains, and DI boxes... they have no clue. Seriously, the amount of people who have advanced degrees in music but literally wouldn't be able to plug up a keyboard or guitar to an amp is insane.

But these are the type of people you run into in real gigs and getting the experience of how to work around all sorts of situations is super useful. So I highly recommend getting as much real world experience as you can where you're not always working with competent people.

You might be able to get some of that on the side while getting more degrees, but do be careful not to spin your wheels too much. Also, go check out /r/synthesizers

u/Backwoods_Boy · 53 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Hi! I'm also 24, and I've been playing the piano since I was 8! I think I can help you out some. I taught my younger sister, who was 13 at the time, how to play the piano, and I started her out on a curriculum I put together myself. This consists of work in 5 main areas: Theory, Intuition, Method, Technique, and Musicianship. I'll explain this further.

Music theory is where you need to start. Without a good knowledge of theory, you're pretty much lost. It's analogous to being in the dark with no flashlight (theory), but turn the flashlight on, and you have a sense of where you're going and what to do. However, it's important that you don't become so reliant on theory that you can't play anything without reading the notes.

This is where intuition comes in. Intuition is built by listening to music. The more you listen to music and the patterns in different songs, the more you'll understand when to change chords, walk up or down bass lines, etc. This was my problem. I was never taught how to improve on my musical intuition. I had to learn this on my own, but I've got good enough now to where I can hear a song and pretty much know how to play it. This is what you're aiming for by building intuition.

Method is meant to take music theory and intuition and actually apply it. So the goal in learning method is to learn different approaches to different songs. For example, there's many ways that you can play a song like Amazing Grace. You can play it with three chords, you can include a minor to make a 4 chord progression, etc. All method does is teach you different ways of approaching songs using what you know about music theory and intuition.

Technique is also very important. Technique develops your motor skills and muscle memory. You might say technique is like exercising your fingers and your brain. It's probably the most boring part of a piano curriculum, because it seems like you're just repeating the same thing over and over and over again, and the exercises seem to hold no purpose. Still, the point here is develop your technique to where you can do things like trills, play very fast songs, and make your music sound beautiful. It takes a lot of time and practice to develop good technique, but it definitely pays off.

Finally, the last area is Musicianship. This is the final goal, and what the student has been working toward. Musicianship is combining all of the other areas and putting them into good practice to perform in front of an audience. A good musician will know their instrument and its proper usage and care, how to play it, it's role within the various genres of music, and be able to play it well. A good musician will also know proper stage etiquette and performance.

This is the philosophy I have developed over my years of playing. The whole point is to develop well rounded musicians. It seems very difficult and harsh, but it can be a whole lot of fun! My sister really enjoyed me teaching her to play, and within a few months she was doing far better than I ever was when I was that far in. My football coach always told us that we would get out of something what we put into it. If you put 30 minutes a week into it, you're not going to see good results. However, put in 30 minutes a day and you'll see results in no time.

So now for the big question... where do you start? I started my sister out in this book. That is the most comprehensive and well written book on music theory. It just goes over the bare minimum of what you need to be a good pianist, plus it's a great reference to look back on. More advanced study will come later on, but for now this is a great book to learn how to read music, how it works, and how to start writing your own pieces. I also got her this book, too, because it includes a lot of exercises in theory. As you do the exercises in this book, try playing them on your piano and getting used to associating each note on the paper with a key on the piano. While you're doing this, you might try to listen to which keys sound which way and begin associating each key and note with a particular sound. There are many different "courses" you can go through to learn the piano. I went through the Piano Adventures Series, which I thought was great. That is a link to the primer level books. There's, to my knowledge, 5 levels plus the primer. So, when you master/complete one level, you just move on to the next. I also liked the Exploring Piano Classics series. This is what I started my sister on, because it not only includes great pieces to begin playing, but it also goes through different eras in musical genres and introduces the piano from a historical standpoint. In my mind, this series is the perfect introduction to Musicianship. Here is a link to the preparatory book.

I hope this could be some help to you. The journey to becoming a great pianist and musician is a long one that needs time, hard work, and dedication to achieve, but many have made it before and so can you. I wish you well in learning to play the piano. Good luck!

u/SocialIssuesAhoy · 9 pointsr/piano

Hey there! :)

Your question is a VERY difficult one to answer, as it depends on a lot of variables concerning both yourself and the route you decide to take. However, the EASY answer is to say that you cannot achieve a masterful level of proficiency at the piano on your own. This does not hold true 100% of the time, but MOST of the time it's true.

That being said, you can certainly learn a lot on your own before being held back by your lack of a teacher. It will probably go slower, and take longer, and most importantly you won't know for sure if you're doing things correctly or not (this is the biggest thing) and also you won't have someone to ask questions. But it's of course better than nothing and I would never discourage you from it if it's your only option right now!

When I say that you can't know if you're doing things correctly or not, that really is a huge thing. That feedback which a teacher can provide is essential to knowing that you're learning things right. Teachers also can teach you things that will just be glossed over/skipped otherwise, they can guide you to various things that you'd never think of, and they can tailor your lesson plan to you and adjust it as needed.

Here's what you CAN do, right now:

  1. Try learning songs by ear. Don't bother with anything except the melody, playing it with the right hand. Pop songs that you like are going to be the best place to start. This may be hard to do for awhile and will require persistence before you can pick up on it but it's a good skill to have. It's ear training :).
  2. If you go on youtube, you can find all sorts of tutorials for songs. This will not teach you proper technique, nor will it teach you how to learn songs "in the real world", meaning sheet music, which is the preferred way to distribute music and learn it and preserve it. However, it will give you a way of learning songs which you like (again, pop songs are usually best) and it'll start working on your finger dexterity.

    The most important thing though, is that you need a lesson plan. Since you don't have a teacher to give you one, you need something to replace that. My suggestion would be to look up the Alfred's adult beginner lesson book. Click here for an amazon link to see it! You can just order it online, or find a local music store and look for it/ask for help finding it. Personally I shop at Evolas, I think they may be fairly local though (I'm in Michigan). A piano lesson book provides structured learning and will cover things that you need to know in an ordered way. Lesson books are not perfect; they don't take the time to explain things in TOO much detail because you're supposed to have a teacher going through it with you, and explaining things themselves. However they DO have some explanation of every lesson, and once you know what you're SUPPOSED to be learning about, you can always turn to google for more information about it.

    The lesson book is my single huge recommendation to you. It's probably your best bet. It's by no means perfect, but I don't know what you can do better. You will have to pace yourself; do your best to make sure you understand a concept completely and learn the associated song well before progressing to the next lesson. Again, this will be difficult without a teacher but it's doable!

    My source for all of this is that I've been playing piano for twelve years, and have been teaching for the past 3-4. I'm generally an observant, thoughtful person and this is the sort of thing that runs through my mind :). I would like to close by making you an offer... I will still maintain that you cannot do better than to get an actual teacher and take regular lessons. HOWEVER! Should you choose to seriously pursue this to the extent possible, I would like to help you as much as I can! So at ANY point, if you have ANY question whatsoever, you are free to PM me, and I will do my best to answer! I will teach you things that you're confused about or want to know more about, or anything at all that you can think of. So I'll essentially offer myself as a teacher over the internet. It's very limiting, but it may help you to have someone who you can ask those questions that hopefully you'll have :).

    Good luck, whatever happens!
u/xtracounts · 2 pointsr/MusicEd

Ok, everything here is to be taken with a grain of salt. Not because any of it will be wrong, just because there's no "The One Right Way" to do things.

Rhythm Section:

How to manage it?

Listen to as much big band music as you can. Listen to what the rhythm section is doing and how it fits with the rest of the band. I'll get into some specifics in a bit.

What is the usual set up?

Piano, Guitar, Bass and Keys. Actual positioning? Ideally I would put it with the drums to the right of the 2nd Bone, at about a 45 degree angle. Bass close behind the drums, more in line with the trumpets. Piano in front of the drums facing 90 degrees from the rest of the band and guitar wedged in front between keys and drums. You may not be in an ideal space for this set up. Adapt. With the rhythm section the most important thing is that the drummer and bass player can hear each other. Make sure the bass player's amp is behind the drummer (nobody has trouble hearing the drums).

With a second drummer put them on vibes*. Your students (if they play latin perc.) aren't mature enough to create an interesting and appropriate part that challenges them and sounds good. Most kids playing latin percussion are just playing repetitive rhythms to keep them occupied. Help them learn something. They can double the piano part at least.

Some considerations for each instrument individually:


  • Provides harmony for the group.

  • Usually has a terrible part written for it, especially middle school. Consider writing your own, or doing it with the student. Voicings for Jazz Keyboard by Frank Mantooth is a great resource for how to get the right sound.

  • When comping should alternate and mix up being on the beat, eighth behind the beat, and eighth ahead of the beat.


  • Responsible for time. People think the drummer is in charge but he aint.

  • In public schools they'll usually be playing electric. Try to get an upright sound. Turn the instrument down and the amp up. Play with the settings yourself, don't let your student fiddle with them.

  • Sometimes parts are crap, most times they're an ok walking bass line. Even if the part is written perfectly, you'll be doing the greatest service to your student by teaching them to improvise a walking bass line. Here are some handy rules for what a bass line should be.

  1. Play the root on beat 1.

  2. Play a leading tone on beat 4.

  3. Beats 2 and 3 can be scale or chord tones but they need to be right for the chord.

  4. Play notes as long as possible and perfectly in time.

  5. Alternate going up and down and occasionally leap up or down.


  • Ride on every beat, Hi hat on 2 and 4. I've been told by different people that feathering the bass drum on each beat is both super important and completely unnecessary. It's probably too much for a middle school student to concentrate on stomping the hi hat and playing bass drum super light on the same beat. *"Extra" ride parts should be improvised and not that constant ting ting ta-ting repeated forever.**

  • Fills should be improvised. Have students practicing filling toward a specific beat. Have a fill ready for every one (On 1, and of 1, on 2, and of 2 ect.)

  • Control dynamics for the band. If they don't get loud and soft, the horns won't either, and even if they did, nobody would notice.


    Doesn't really matter in big bands unless playing funk tunes. Serves mostly as a soloist. Guitarists should try to add in some voices not already in the piano. They shouldn't play more than 4 notes at a time and they should play on every beat. Freddie Green.

    Ok, onto improvisation:

    There are a million and one ways to teach present improvisation, but everyone learns to do it on their own. I wouldn't use the blues scale but I can see the appeal. It does give students some success and confidence, but it doesn't really teach you how to play changes. People use it because it limits the choice of notes and lets the student concentrate on rhythm and style. I'd get simple changes and give the students a couple notes for each chord. 7, 1, 9, 3 would be fairly easy to apply, to have the whole group play together and still be limiting. The only way to get good at it is to practice.

    Additional thoughts:

    Please find quality charts and don't play fucking Mission Impossible and Don't Stop Believing.

    denotes opinion, not fact.
u/Jamawamjamjam · 1 pointr/gratefuldead

Okay so for teaching yourself music theory I believe this was the book I used https://www.amazon.com/Practical-Theory-Complete-Spiral-Bound-Book/dp/0882842250 although I can't find my copy to be %100 sure. It was super cut and dry so maybe boring but I think of music theory as like a sudoku puzzle and find it fun. Basically this should teach you basic stuff like the major and minor keys and how chords are built. Learning the fundamentals is super important to really understanding theory in a meaningful way.

Once you get the fundamentals down learning roman numeral analysis will help you understand how songs are built and why chords work the way they do. For example in Casey Jones I know that the D major chord is V/V which is called a secondary dominant which means that it is acting like a dominant V chord pulling to G so I know when soloing on it that the F# in that D major chord is super important because it is the 7th or G major and especially since F# isn't in the key of C it is a note that causes a lot of tension and is just begging to be resolved up a half-step to G. Now none of that probably made sense but its just to show why learning the roman numeral analysis of Bach and Mozart can be helpful to understanding the Grateful Dead.

Learning Roman Numeral analysis on your own maybe tricky so like I said in my other comment if you can take a music theory class as an elective at your school that would be best. If you can't though, you could just buy the textbook yourself like Clendinning/Marvin's Musician's Guide to Theory and Analysis or look through this thread for suggestions https://www.reddit.com/r/musictheory/comments/pse4l/beginners_resources_for_the_sidebar/?st=jf744ciz&sh=fe9dd4bd .
There are a lot of videos out there such as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICDPWP6HUbk&list=PLw9t0oA3fHkxx1PgYpiXrMUPXaOiwh6KU but you have to poke around YouTube to find ones that work for you.

And than for applying this stuff to guitar you'll want to learn all the notes on the guitar. To do this sight reading whatever you can get your hands on (I go to my local music store and buy flute music), classical guitar music, jazz or folk tunes, or just googling sheet music for whatever songs you want to learn and playing this music in different areas of the guitar. Even sight reading a simple melody can be hard in the 9th position if you aren't used to it. If you are having trouble learning treble clef pick up one of the Mel Bay guitar books https://www.amazon.com/Mel-Bays-Modern-Guitar-Method/dp/0871663546 .
Another good way to learn the notes on the guitar is to play scales and arpeggios in all positions and than say each note out loud as you are playing it. Obviously you will first need to learn your scales and arpeggios but once you do play them on guitar or to make that work book I recommended less boring play your guitar as you go through it.

And lastly the most practical thing you are looking for is a Chord-Scale relationship book like this one https://www.amazon.com/Scale-Chord-Relationships-Knowing-Educational/dp/0634019945 I've never owned this book but it looks alright and any chord-scale theory book should help you.
Chord-Scale theory is basically like "on this chord you play this scale" and it's a terrible way to learn jazz and in general it over simplifies everything and I hate it lol buuutttt I do think it will help you with Grateful Dead stuff. It's just very surface level stuff so I'm putting it last to hopefully encourage you to still learn the more boring classical stuff, because it will pay off in the long run to learn how analyze a Mozart piece. However, if you just kinda wanna start getting into it I think a Chord-Scale Theory book will help you out the most quickly.

Also musictheory.net is a good website to check out to help with this stuff. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions!

u/tyrion_asclepius · 1 pointr/piano

I'm not too familiar with Handel's works, but progressing through Baroque music can be fairly straightforward and programmatic. This is especially true when it comes to Bach, who happens to be excellent for developing hand independence! I would recommend going starting with this book, then his Little Preludes, then his two- and three-part inventions, and then WTC I and II. The progression in difficulty isn't completely linear, as you'll find there will be a couple of pieces here and there (like the WTC I Prelude in C you learned) that are easier than the pieces from the book before. For the most part though, the pieces do get progressively harder. You probably won't find a lot of hand independence exercises until you get to the inventions, but there's plenty of great material to start with from the first two books alone that will prepare you. The inventions require you to voice multiple independent melodies, which can be pretty difficult for any beginner pianist.

I also agree with the other poster, keep practicing your scales! There's a lot of different ways to improve your technique from playing scales alone. Learn all your major and harmonic/melodic minor scales. Learn to play them across multiple octaves, in parallel and contrary motion, starting from any key, in thirds, sixths, and tenths. Mix them up and play different scales in each hand at the same time. Play one scale in one hand at half the speed of the other hand. Play them at different dynamics, play them legato/staccato. The variety of ways you can improve your technique from just scales is staggering, not to mention it will be of immense benefit for improving your music theory and will help you run through scales much more quickly when you encounter them in a piece later on :)

u/farkumed · 1 pointr/piano

Hey man, I'm kind of the in the same boat you are. By that, I mean
I used to play for about 7 years with lessons once a week, but I never really practiced much and put effort into it. At the beginning of this October, I started to take it up again and started playing every single day, making sure to do scales, play from Hanon, trill exercises, argpeggios, etc... and then moving on to playing my pieces. I play anywhere from an hour to seven hours a day depending on how I'm feeling instead of playing video games or watching tv and average about 3-4 hours a day. The last piece I had played before quitting a while back was Chopin's Nocturne Op.9 no.2, but it was an absolute wreck. I was able to completely refine it within the month of October and I moved onto other stuff. I tried tackling some Rachmaninov and Beethoven, but they were beyond my skill level for now so I decided to table them and I'm currently in the middle of refining Claire de Lune and taking another stab at Rachmaninov waltz I tabled. Claire de lune a fairly simple piece, at least technically, and if you've learned a basic George Winston song, it should be well-within reach. You might have fingering troubles with the chords and the key is a little hard to play in, but that's about it.

Practice your major and minor scales. They are a huge part of fundamentals that people overlook way too often. They help with fingerings and memorization of the keys on the piano.

buy a copy of this http://www.amazon.com/Hanon-Virtuoso-Exercises-Complete-Schirmers/dp/0793525446
it has a ton of exercises ranging from trill exercises, scale runs, arpeggios, chord trills, etc... Play a few of the first 10 exercises every day maybe 3-4 times and it's a great warm-up. It's immensely useful in building up your hand strength and stamina so doing it everyday is a must. Use a metronome while doing this because keeping tempo and not rushing/dragging will be very important. It also helps to monitor your progress as you get faster and faster. Play the exercises as fast as you can without messing up 3 times perfectly before moving onto the next tempo.

Break the piece into multiple chunks. They are pretty clear sections of the song so work on each section individually until you get each section down perfectly. Write down fingerings on tricky chords or runs so that you can remember them and not have to fumble around the next time you come across it. Take it nice and slow. Rushing it will only take more time in the end. I wouldn't worry too much about tempo and just worry about getting the notes right for now.

In the end though, getting a teacher is probably your best bet as they can give you more detailed instruction. What I said for you is if you're looking to pursue this without any instruction similar to what I'm doing right now. My goal by the end of this year is to be able to play Chopin Etude Op. 10 no. 4 by the end of this year practicing about 3 hours a day at least a tempo of 140 (I think I can do it). I currently am not taking lessons either, but I personally am not at the level yet where previous training hasn't covered me.

This is my goal for the end of the year if you're interested.

u/HomeNucleonics · 1 pointr/musictheory

I'm in a similar position as you. I've been playing guitar for about 8 years now, and I'm currently focusing more on piano than anything. I took a few private lessons at my university, and they were a ton of help. I can show you the books my instructor recommended to me.

Frankly, as long as you've got some material and some diligence, you can learn just as much. A background with guitar and music theory will also help you move along quickly! :)

The first consist of these exercises by Czerny. They're a bit redundant, but going through them to a metronome and gradually increasing speed will really help with dexterity and spacial recognition.

The second I began with is Easy Classics to Moderns. Simple to intermediate tunes that will help with sight reading (which I can't stress enough), fingerings, and will give you a general sense of how basic harmony works and has worked for the last few centuries on the piano.

This last one, also by Czerny, is my favorite. It combines the simple exercises of the first book I mentioned, with harmony and melody from the second book. So it will help with coordination and dexterity, as well as sight reading and familiarization with common chord progressions and melody.

Also, it's interesting to convert a few exercises back to guitar, just to break down the barriers between the two instruments. Having a better understanding of both instruments from the other's perspective is pretty enlightening.

Anyway, I'm getting off to a great start with these books. Hope I've helped you out, too! The piano is a kick-ass instrument. I'm hoping to move up the ladder quickly and learn some challenging material soon. But don't slack off with guitar too much!

Cheers, dude. :)

u/13ig13oss · 4 pointsr/piano

I'm going to teach you all the mistakes I made in hopes that you won't make them yourself, if you aren't getting a teacher. A teacher is easily the best route, no comparison, without one, you're going to have to work your ass off.

  1. Make use of every piano teacher on youtube, the best ones being Lypur,and Josh Wright. Their may be others, but those are essential.

  2. Watch ALL Lypur's videos on the "Learn How To Play Piano (NEW) " playlist and "LEARN FREE MUSIC THEORY". I say start with watching the first 5 of each in a week, and then 1 a week as they get more complicated. And take good notes, just like in school.

    3)You need to buy books. I would say to start off with Josh Thompson's first grade one and then buying other ones such as Hanon, which is a MUST, and some like this one.

    4)Eventually after about a few months of practice, you can buy introductory books to certain composers, such as these: Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. I wouldn't recommend the Chopin one, since his most easiest pieces can be quiet hard until you have a good 2 years of practice and playing in. And eventually Schumann's or Tchaikovsky's Album for the young, I don't know which would be better.

    5)This site is very good, and gives a nice breakdown of how you should spend your time practicing.

    6)And possibly most importantly, you have to find pieces that you like outside of books that you can learn. It's nice to learn little pieces that are in books, but the most satisfying feeling is playing a piece that you love.

u/jbrooky · 1 pointr/Accordion

Been learning for less than a year now... As the other posts say - make sure these things fit your instrument (before learning it all wrong), but these things worked for me!

Print out a cheat sheet of your bass ( e.g. https://i.stack.imgur.com/QrD1P.png ). Some people I heard use a mirror at first, but I find having this handy is a must at first. There is also https://www.accordionhelper.com/ if you are near a computer/tablet, amazing website.

With regards to how to go about learning, there is a great website which has subscription based videos https://accordionlove.com/ which go through all the basics, and break down some songs. The dude who does these is absolutely top. I also recommend the Palmer-Hughes Accordion Course books (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0739012916), if you feel better following something in front of you. These books help you get through learning the instrument, as well as reading music.

Last piece of advice I have is find a song you like and go for it. There's a lot of resource out there for sheet music like musescore. Some songs I hit up early in learning accordion are: Fly me to the moon, Teach the world to sing, Love me tender. I'd be happy to share the sheet music if you'd like it! Just drop me a message.

Hope you enjoy it! Get some video of your first song up on the subreddit if you feel brave enough, it's good to see other beginners!

u/krostenvharles · 13 pointsr/piano

I'd seriously consider taking a break from playing for a while to let yourself heal. I know it isn't your favorite option, but it is the best long-term solution to tendinitis. I had friends in the piano world who had multiple surgeries, had to take months to years off, and had constant pain/reinjury in their wrists and backs due to stress injuries. It's no laughing matter.

That being said, I understand why you won't/can't take that much time off. Seeing a medical specialist is your best bet, so I'd advise asking for a referral to physical therapy and follow the recommendations. In addition, here are some things that have helped me with my own chronic-use injuries over the years:

  1. Ibuprofen regimen, as prescribed by my old doctor - 800mg, four times daily. It's the max dose and shouldn't be taken for more than a week. But a week of that plus rest/wrapping my wrists would really help.

  2. Hot/Cold water baths. You can alternate between them, as it increases blood flow. So I'd usually do 5 minutes hot, then 5 minutes cold a couple of times, for about 20-30 minutes total.

  3. Massage. It worked wonders for my back pain. Seriously, well worth the money. Also, my massage therapist did some myofascial release techniques around the carpal tunnel area, and it was awesome. I have been able to replicate it myself at home, though not as well, but I feel the knowledge I've gained through getting massages has helped me self-massage effectively to keep things loose between sessions.

  4. Body mapping and mindfulness while playing. Learning to be aware of my body and practice safe techniques. As a teen, I was told I "move too much" at the piano, so I stiffened up. It took years to un-learn that stiffness and return to healthy playing. I'd recommend What Every Pianist Needs to Know about the Body by Thomas Mark. I met him for a couple-hours consultation once, and he's awesome. I learned so much, and it really helped my chronic pain.

    Hopefully some of these help! But, again, I'm not a doctor, and talking to a medical professional about these options is definitely the way to go. Good luck!
u/Snuug · 1 pointr/piano

I know it's a contentious group of pieces, but I've had incredible luck with Hanon. If you can read music and play hands together, I highly recommend it.

I took lessons for 13 years, but since I've been in college I've been self teaching. I've always really loved piano and I have decent technique, but I never really learned things in a way that wasn't sloppy. I decided I wanted to change that, and I sat down and learned all 3 parts of Hanon exactly as instructed in the book. It's not a perfect method, but I play through it every day now and honestly my technique is miles beyond what it used to be. I wish I had learned as a beginner so badly it hurts.

So my suggestion to you is this: buy this book (http://www.amazon.com/Hanon-Virtuoso-Exercises-Complete-Schirmers/dp/0793525446/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414561983&sr=1-1&keywords=hanon), play through it every day (no matter how boring it may get) exactly as instructed. It takes a little under an hour to play the whole book at tempo, and I imagine you'll be preoccupied learning all of the etudes for quite a while.

I'm a firm believer that we can all craft ourselves into excellent pianists, and all I think you need to do that is repertoire and a will to practice and make a sound that you like. Once you have the technique from the Hanon down, you can get started on any number of pieces. Another very good method is Bela Bartok's Mikrokosmos, which my mean, Hungarian teacher made me slave away at for years. It comes in 6 volumes, the first of which is (http://www.amazon.com/Mikrokosmos-Pink-English-French-Hungarian/dp/1423493044/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414562208&sr=1-1&keywords=mikrokosmos).

If you were to learn a significant amount of the material from either of those methods, you would be a significantly better pianist. If classical piano isn't necessarily the route you want to go, you'll still be well served by either/or.

The most important thing is to play whenever the urge strikes you, in my experience. It becomes a bit of an addiction, but there's such a huge world of piano music out there that you'll never grow bored with it, and you'll certainly never run out of things to do. Best of luck.

u/Chikuso · 4 pointsr/anime

I think the most important thing is to just get started.

I had a few piano lessons when I was young (7-8), but didn't really have an interest in it.

It wasn't until 4 years ago, after I really developed a passion for classical music that I found a reason to love the piano (and the violin). It was also around this time that I started watching anime.

Instead of looking for lessons, I saved up and purchased a second hand piano and Lost My Pieces was my (re)entry piece into learning seriously.

Don't worry about "lacking music knowledge", if you have a desire for it: jump in. Getting started is the hardest part, after taking the leap its just a matter of repetition.

Here is a great book, which spans from beginner to intermediate lessons. (Though I'm sure you can find a 'free' PDF online.)

Also a lot of YouTuber's transcribe anime OST's into Synthesia, watching and learning from those can help with your timing and you get to learn those pieces from your favourite anime (which is a bonus!)

Also: [Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso] (http://myanimelist.net/anime/23273/Shigatsu_wa_Kimi_no_Uso)

^ Read the manga, and am currently watching the anime. It is a god send to piano lovers and can reinvigorate your passion and drive for the instrument.

EDIT: GOLD?! Thank you kind stranger! Merry Christmas!

u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/piano

I think after three years that seems feasible if you have a pretty good teacher to help get you there. My main advice, however, is to find lots of pieces that are easier than those two for the in between period that you love just as much.

We're very lucky to play the piano because many of the world's greatest musicians have been playing and writing for our instrument for the fast few hundred years, which means there's a huge variety of material written at lots of different levels. Books like the [Masterworks Classics] (http://www.amazon.com/Masterwork-Classics-Level-Alfred-Editions/dp/0739006770/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452604892&sr=8-1&keywords=masterworks+classics) series have lots of good material at different levels and it comes with a CD so you can listen to all the pieces to decide which one you like.

Besides the "classics," there are loads of great pedagogy teachers writing music nowadays, most of which sounds very satisfying and isn't too hard. [Martha Mier] (http://www.amazon.com/Jazz-Rags-Blues-Elementary-Intermediate/dp/0739075284/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1452605076&sr=8-2&keywords=jazz+rags+and+blues), [Dennis Alexander] (http://www.amazon.com/Splash-Color-Contemporary-Awareness-Performance/dp/0739013165/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452604982&sr=8-1&keywords=splash+of+color+piano), [William Gillock] (http://www.amazon.com/Lyric-Preludes-Romantic-Style-Pieces/dp/0874876494/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452605098&sr=8-1&keywords=william+gillock)...

My point is, it's great that you have goals!! But listen around and try to find other pieces that you love just as much as those that you listed that you can play earlier. Alternatively, you can find [simplified versions] (http://makingmusicfun.net/pdf/sheet_music/clair-de-lune-piano.pdf) to hold you over until you get to the real deal.

Good luck!

u/imgonnasaysomnstupid · 2 pointsr/piano

Piano teacher for 5 years here. This is more or less a directly copy and paste from a previous comment of mine.

Obviously, I'm going to recommend you find a teacher as soon as is possible if you really want to advance. BUT there are a lot of things you can do on your own to learn effectively.

  • First, do not practice to the point of frustration. This may sound odd, but 20-30 minutes spend at the piano at the same time each day is much more effective then an hours on end. It more about building up patterns of behavior that are conducive to learning. Set a pattern that you follow every day and be sure to set aside extra time to experience more piano music. Listen to jazz, classical, pop, broadway, film scores, anything that is mostly piano and is recorded by a professional. This ear training will be much more valuable then hours at the keyboard.

  • Secondly, aim a little lower at first. There are tons of method books out there and all of them have value. At this point in your education note reading and ear training are the most important to focus on. Get books that you can easily understand (even if they are children's books!) and read, read, read! the more you read, the better you'll get! Think of how you learned to read when you where a child. At first everyone reads small books with three or four letter words and they read a hundred of them. Then they move on to pop-up books and read hundreds of those. Then short stories, also in the hundreds. This processes is not up for debate, it's how we learn. Apply that to you piano study! The pieces you have already learned are great but have obviously left a few holes to fill in your education. Don't be discouraged, it takes years to become proficient at music reading but you can do it if you put in the effort!

  • Third and finally, learn your scales. There are a few books used by almost all piano teachers to teach basic technique and dexterity. I like to use Hanon: The Virtuoso Pianist in Sixty Exercises and start with #32, 33, and 34. Then move on to #39, which is all the major and minor scales. I start my kids on this after a year or two, and my adult students as soon as possible. You will also benefit greatly from learning the fist twenty or so. Those focus solely on the practical study of hand coordination and dexterity, rather then the more theoretical study of major and minor keys. Another is Czerny: Art of Finger Dexterity for the Piano. There are also few others I'm not super familiar with. I would NOT recommend the Czerny without a teacher! that book is an asskicker and could seriously hurt your wrist/forearm without proper guidance.

    I hope this helps a little. Remember that you have just started and you have to crawl before you can walk. Take it easy and make sure you understand everything before moving on to the next step. Good luck and have fun!!
u/monkai · 1 pointr/piano

i was in the same boat as you

havent played since elementary school and just started up again at 21 last November.

i started off pretty slow in the beginning not even being able to play scales or do the most basic music for the first month

but the general plan that I've taken
i've used

http://www.amazon.com/Elementary-Training-Musicians-2nd-Edition/dp/0901938165/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395538406&sr=8-1&keywords=hindemith (this might not be as necessary if you're really good with rhythms?)


after doing about 5 of those pieces from that i moved on to beethoven sonata 49, then i moved on to eyes on me (http://ffmusic.ffshrine.org/ff8sheet/ff8-sheet-music.php), suteki da ne (http://ffmusic.ffshrine.org/ff10sheet/ff10-sheet-music.php), and then debussy's arabesque

so if you were looking for a timeline thats how I've been progressing so far with a teacher;

what was kind of helpful for me was just to go in with the mindset that each new piece you're gonna improve on reading and technique so that the next piece will be easier and to pick pieces that helped me; for example, i really wanted to play debussy's arabesque which involves a lot of polyrhythms and arpeggios in the left hand; while i definitely couldn't play it right after playing the sonata, the two songs i played before it was really helpful; eyes on me was great for the arps in the left hand and suteki da ne was great for the polyrhythms

u/nanyin · 1 pointr/CasualConversation

There are a lot of resources online - youtube etc, but I prefer books so when I decided to teach myself how to play around 2 and a half years ago I used Alfred's Adult all-in-one, progressive sight reading, and Easy classics to moderns.

Once I felt comfortable enough with sight reading, I just started buying whatever I liked. I also sit down and transcribe the music I like. Just got done learning this track from pride and prejudice, and it barely took a week to learn! It's so wonderful to see my fingers flying across the keys, I can't even describe it.

You might also like flowkey.

Good luck, and I'm sure you'll thank present you for starting - say 5 years from now, when you're sitting at your piano and feeling generally amazing after a particularly good improvisation :)

u/alessandro- · 1 pointr/piano

This is pretty good! It's impressive you were able to work that out by ear.

If you can learn to read sheet music, that will really help you out a great deal. If one issue you have is reading rhythms, you need to use a counting system. (The system I use is described in this PDF.) An excellent resource for reading rhythms is the book Rhythmic Training, which you can get inexpensively, especially if you buy it used. (Edit: note that this book is for professional/college level musicians, so if you can't get all the way through, that is completely OK. But going through the first few chapters slowly and steadily and clapping the rhythms is probably a good idea.)

For reading notes on clefs, you kind of just have to do it. It takes a lot of practice and will be slow going at first, but will get easier. One book for piano that includes both the very basics of music theory and some things on technique is Alfred's Basic Adult All-in-One Course. Maybe you could ask for Book 1 for Christmas, if you celebrate Christmas?

As far as technique goes, one thing I notice is that the index finger of your left hand is collapsing at the first knuckle (screenshot). That shouldn't happen. You might find this video (by piano professor John Mortensen) helpful on what your hand should look like when you play.

Good luck as you keep playing!

u/djfl · 12 pointsr/piano

I'm not into jazz, but I had this book highly recommended to me: http://www.amazon.com/Voicings-Jazz-Keyboard-Frank-Mantooth/dp/0793534852/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1451105347&sr=8-6&keywords=jazz+comping

Full disclosure: it is for jazz and involves a lot of 9ths and 13ths you can go an entire career as a rock keyboardist and never use. However, the premise of the book is solid...what range to play in to best avoid "stepping on" other instruments.

I put this forward because it is pretty fundamental if you're going to be playing with other musicians.

Other than that, you have a massive leg up on many of the rest of us. I'm a keyboardist now but come from a piano background similar to you. I haven't gotten the whole thing solved yet, but it's important to keep an open ear at all times and listen to what sounds like is needed. Don't do a bunch of stuff when the guitarist is, when the singer is singing, etc. Keep it simple and, if you ever get lost, hump the tonic note of whatever song you're playing.

Other than that, go to local jam nights and soak in what the guys are playing. Then go home and listen to those songs, specifically what the keyboardists in those songs are doing (if there are keyboard lines).

Yes, knowing the chords and their inversions is a must. Know all the major chords, minor chords, 7ths, sus's, and all their different inversions...ie CEG, EGC, & GCE are all different ways to play a C major and all make the song sound different.

Anyway, I'm in a rock band, do some background piano music behind a singer, and do some solo piano stuff. I'm no expert, but I'll help you out. I've been where you are, though perhaps with a tenth of your talent. As always, desire and hard work will get you wherever you want to go. Cheers and good luck!(which you will make yourself ;) )

u/Radian2x · 1 pointr/Piano2

I have a similar background, and just recently started again. I started out with some more basic songs.
There are tons of theories out there on practicing and playing. Hanon is good to get your fingers trained again, but musically it's not as much fun.
I would suggest finding some easier pieces and work on playing those well. That way you can build up your confidence, enjoy yourself, and work your way up to trickier compositions.

Personally I started with 'first lessons in Bach':

And album for the young by Schumann. These pieces are really fun and quite varied as well:

Then for some great advice which I picked up on the pianoworld forums:

  • Don't try to rush through a song and make the same mistakes every time. This way you're training yourself to play the wrong notes, and it becomes harder each time to unlearn it.
  • Instead, start playing very slow and make sure to get the fingers and notes correct from the beginning. Once you play it right at the slow tempo, start playing faster.
  • Instead of playing through a piece from beginning to end and glossing over the few hard sections, mark those... and then practice them until they're easy. Break down in very small sections and practice until you get it right!

    This has really proven beneficial for me, and allowed me to learn pieces quicker! Currently I'm working on Schubert Impromptu Op 90 No 3. It's so beautiful.
    Good luck in your learning. You'll most likely get frustrated, which is normal. Learning the piano is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be days where you can't hit a right note, but other days where you surprise yourself.
u/comited · 10 pointsr/piano

I started 2 years ago, @25yo. This is how I progressed.

Step 1: I picked up Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One and played out of it for about a month. At the end of that month I felt confident enough to play for my grandmother, who inspired me to begin. She encouraged me to go go no further without the instruction of a teacher

Step 2: Got myself a teacher. We began mostly with scales and exercises, then moved on to Keyboard Musician. This book is made up of smaller pieces ranging in difficulty, and incorporates some theory.

Step 3: Practice, practice, practice. I have been at it for two years. I try to practice on my lunch break on every business day, typically for 45 minuted to an hour. Which usually means I get 3-4 days of good practice in a week. Its not enough but I have been able to make progress, and am definitely glad I made the commitment.

I am now choosing bigger pieces to play, typically spending a month or two on each, but I always have 3-4 things going at once. Here are some examples of what I am currently playing or have played: example 1 (1st movement only), example 2 (not me playing ;) ), example 3

Of course you could be looking to go a different route. Many people learn to play by ear and skip the whole reading music part. Learning to read music has been one of the hardest parts for me. Anyway that you do it, just do it. Good luck to you.

u/blithelyrepel · 3 pointsr/Learnmusic

Second the recommendation of scales and arpeggios, in all keys, major and minor. You can start off with just a few, the easiest ones (go in order of the circle of fifths if you want), and continue to add on. Start slowly and, most importantly, EVENLY, building a good foundation for speeding it up later and applying it to technical passages. But there's no real recommendation anyone can give you for "X amount of times," because scales and arpeggios are things you'll continuously practice no matter how high of a level you get to. At a higher level once you've mastered them, you may not have to do the entire set every day, but you can then apply them to pieces by choosing from your arsenal certain exercises that practice the techniques needed in a tricky section of Rach or such.

A good resource for other technique exercises is the book of Hanon exercises. It's been used for many decades, and includes lots of scale/arpeggio-type exercises, and you can work your way through them. Be aware, though, that they're VERY tedious (literally just pattern building through each key), but it sounds like you have the ability to self-motivate yourself. Be careful not to treat these just as exercises, though, and go through them robotically and monotonously, because it's very easy to see them as such. They're just tools developed to help finger agility, speed, and recognition of patterns so you can apply them to full-blown pieces. It's like a tennis player who practices a certain type of grip for 50 serves a day. Great if she can do it through the exercise, but if she reverts to her old grip when she starts playing a game (putting it into action), the grip practice was wasted. Application of theory into pieces is sometimes the hardest thing to do.

I know this has been a giant essay, but lastly, none of us can really give you an individual recommendation. It seems like you've got the self-motivation to learn yourself, but if you are interested in really getting a structured routine, get a private teacher, if only for a few lessons, to help you develop what kinds of things you need to work on.

u/Joename · 2 pointsr/piano

Rather than trying to understand theory/progress yourself, you might want to consider having a conversation with your child's teacher to talk about progress, and with your child to talk about enjoyment.

If she is enjoying herself and the teacher is happy with her progress, then I think that's all you really need to know.

Here are two small things you can listen for as a layman

Is she learning the piece by trying it over and over and over again from the beginning and struggling through to the end, or is her teacher breaking it up into chunks for her, and she is practicing those smaller chunks? She should be doing the latter. The main part of learning is learning how to learn. Her teacher should be actively coaching her on how to have a successful practice session.

Also, is she simply playing what she knows over and over and over again, or is she working on new pieces, or new parts of a piece of music? It should be the latter.

A good way to very generally assess progress is to ask the teacher how many pieces she has learned. If she has only worked on 2 or 3 pieces in the entire first year, I would say that is a warning sign that she needs a new teacher. If she is progressing through a method book and has sampled a collection of many smaller pieces, that is a good sign.

If you do want to take a more active role and understand more of what she is learning, start learning your child's method book or pick up Alfred's All-In-One Level 1: https://www.amazon.com/Adult-All---One-Course-Lesson-Theory-Technic/dp/0882848186/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473689244&sr=8-1&keywords=alfred%27s+all+in+one+adult+piano+course+level+1 . This book will teach you the notes, terminology, and will introduce you to the challenge of learning to play that your child may be encountering.

Best of luck!

u/Klairvoyant · 3 pointsr/piano

First what you want to do is probably get a decent book of beginner songs and just work your way through them.

The piano literature series is popular, but I personally have not used them. I know volume 2 has a bunch of popular songs like Sonatina that everyone plays.

Burgmuller is also very popular among intermediate beginners.

You probably also want to get Hanon because everyone uses it for warm ups no matter what level, and it has all the scales.

And you might want Czerny, which are really short decent sounding pieces that people use for warmups.

These few books will get you started. Just start working through the books. Work on something from all three or four books.

Just a note. You'll probably be very enthusiastic in the beginning and get really bored before you reach your third month. You need to persist if you want to get good. I personally did not enjoy playing piano until I got pretty good and was able to play the more virtuoso piano pieces.

u/pianoboy · 5 pointsr/piano

There is a core set of basics that are common - e.g. understanding music notation, rhythms, time signatures, scales/keys, chords, being able to read and play hands together, etc. However, here are some differences I can think of off the top of my head:


  • Expected to play exactly as written, every note perfectly. Phrasing is considered more important.

  • On average, way more variety of types of musical elements throughout a piece, and often way more difficult. Left hand can be as complex or (moreso) than the right-hand.

  • Due to the variety and difficulty of the various musical phrases, usually requires much more honed technique (and experience with a variety of techniques) to be able to play everything well - e.g. play ascending 3rds fast and evenly, playing 4 independent lines at the same time (e.g. in a fugue) and you're expected to bring out certain lines louder than others, etc.

  • Lots of teachers and method books for learning classical pieces/style.


  • Most pieces based around a 3-6 chord progression that cycles over and over, which greatly reduces the complexity of learning a song. Usually a simple melody with chord-based accompaniment. Accompaniment often follows a syncopated rhythmic pattern, with various licks/riffs thrown in.

  • Music is often not written out with exact notes to play. If it is (e.g. buying sheet music MusicNotes), it's often not what the pianist/keyboardist on the original recording played, as the sheet music will include the melody whereas in a band often the keyboardist just accompanies with chords while the singer sings the melody. You'lre often better off following a chord chart / lead sheet (e.g. in a Fake book), and it's expected that you will fill in the missing details (exactly what notes to play, what rhythms to play, how to voice the chords, etc.) yourself -- a bit like Jazz, but often in pop/rock you're trying to play it a specific way to make it sound as close to the original recording as possible, unless you're purposefully making your own unique cover version.

  • Left hand especially is much simpler in rock than in classical - usually single notes or holding chords, only changing with the song's chord changes every few beats... or even no left-hand at all if you're playing in a band.

  • No emphasis on having to play exact notes, no emphasis on good phrasing. Basically, you can usually be "sloppier".

  • Requires ability to pick appropriate chord voicings, licks, and rhythms to achieve the style of the song. Since this often isn't written out for you, it usually takes lots of experience and good listening skills to be able to do this well.

  • You need to be able to read and understand chord notation (e.g. Gmaj7, Ebmin7b5, C5, Dsus2) and helps to understand chords in context of the key with Roman Numeral notation (e.g. I bIII IV vi V7).

  • Not many teachers or books that can teach rock/pop piano well. Often you end up learning on your own over many years.

    One book that seems to get recommended a lot for learning pop/rock piano is Mark Harrison's Pop Piano Book. Although if you're a beginner, that probably still moves too fast. I don't know of a good comprehensive resource.
u/jseego · 2 pointsr/piano

There are many. Pick one with good reviews that looks good to you and get started.

Also, check out this book.

And, as someone who has been playing piano for over 30 years, I recommend that everyone who is interested in learning an instrument find a teacher. It is so worth the money. You can even check out a local college and find a graduate student in music to teach you. You can find people who will give lessons online.

Things you will learn from a teacher that you will not learn from books and videos:

  • A good technique that will make it easier to play and help you avoid accidentally injuring yourself
  • Learning effective methods of how to practice
  • Guiding you through a repertoire that will keep you interested and steadily progressing
  • Pointing out any personal shortcomings or weak spots or bad habits in your playing (and training you on how to fix them)
  • Giving you accountability and something to shoot for every lesson
  • Providing personal encouragement
  • Building (hopefully) a great relationship and someone to share love of piano with

    Good luck and have fun!
u/giarox · 4 pointsr/piano

Everyone is right about getting a teacher, particularly for the basics and more advanced concepts as well. I personally started playing through a high school class for a semester then was taught all over again by a guy from my church.

Since then however I have been playing on my own (with books) and learning by ear as well. Here are my recommendations

  • get a teacher, even if its for three months
  • get a good book. Ive used three beginner piano books and my top recommendation goes to the elder beginners piano book, which I used in high school. It is nice because it teaches at a good pace, it doesnt assume youre amazing or a genius and there is a good amount of practice before new topics
  • second is Alfreds piano book, my current book. Which I love and personally prefer, as someone that has been instructed before. I just feel it moves at too quickly a pace for an abject beginner. there isnt as much practice as I'd like and I'd be left behind if my foundations werent already decent
  • third, while still a good book.....I honestly can't remember the book right now. I'll update when I get it. It is a great book long term but it skips through topics really quickly. Much better as a supplement to one of the others
  • failing to get a teacher, youtube and particularly Lypyur/Furmanzyck is a great resource for much of what you'd need to learn as far as theory. He is a great teacher and I highly recommend his stuff
  • Have a goal, a otpic or song that you aspire to and can work towards tangibly. Thats up to you but people here can help you as far as breaking it down and being able to get there
  • and an extra tip, a shameless plug for r/PianoNewbies, where you can learn and improve with other beginners
u/Vetalurg · 2 pointsr/piano

I was in the same boat a couple of moths ago, went to musical school from ages 6-13, stopped when I moved to another country. Haven't touched piano for 6 years. Decided to get back into it, bought a digital piano 2 months ago.

For key signatures, I recommend practicing scales and arpeggios, acquiring this book can certainly help. For music theory, I highly recommend checking out Dave Conservatoire. He has made a bunch of videos about general music theory.

Sight reading is something you pick up with experience, a good exercise is to sightread absurdly easy pieces (start with grade 1). I was never much into sight reading, but I do have this PDF which might be helpful. There should be plenty of sight reading exercises on the web.

I am not sure what you mean by this, is it training relative pitch or improvising on spot and playing exactly what you have in mind you want? I seem to improve both of these things while transcribing music into a score. I guess composing could work as well. I started out painfully slowly, (took me 5 hours to transcribe first 20 seconds of Come on Eileen). But, just like any skill, you will get better at it with experience. The software I use for ranscribing is called Sybelius, but if you can not afford it (or if you do not support pirating) there are free alternatives.

Arguably, the most important thing is staying interested. Playing scales, learning music theory, listening to the same song 50 times because you can not figure out a chord or timing can be extremely boring at times. So playing a piece that truly challenges your hands will reward you much more than practicing tedious scales.

u/TheMentalist10 · 21 pointsr/piano

I've been playing for a long time now, and have never experienced this thing which you term 'piano culture'. Of course there are competitive people in every field—from music to lawn-mowing, probably—, but do you have to associate with them? Absolutely not.

It should not be at all challenging to find a teacher who is willing to teach away from the exams. You may find that you want to take them down the line, or see how well you're progressing by practicing material from the grades. This is fine, as is staying away from them altogether.

At the end of the day, if you want to learn: learn. Self-teaching is not frowned upon at all, it's just more of a challenge and, on average, you probably won't progress anywhere near as quickly as with guided instruction. If your enjoyment motivates you to learn solo, then do that. Lots of great musicians have, and will continue to.

Edit**: If teaching yourself is your favourite option, I recommend the Alfred's Basic Piano Course series! Best of luck :)

u/BookThemDaniel · 25 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Source: I play piano (3 years of lessons, 2 years self-taught) and have started picking up guitar (6mo self-taught)

Piano and violin can be rough to learn without a teacher. If you just want to play music, there are a lot of free resources available for guitar - justinguitar.com is fantastic. There is a subreddit for learning guitar which has a very helpful and supportive community.

Now, if you maintain that classical piano is really your thing, then I can certainly relate, but I will warn you that the available free video lessons are largely missing. There are tutorials on youtube around specific songs or specific topics, but nothing as structured as justin's site (at least that I've found).

My recommendation is to pick up a method book - I used Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One, which is about 10$ on Amazon - and work through it page by page. Join a forum like the adult beginner forum at pianoworld, where you can post videos of your progress and people can help you with the trickier items like posture and hand positions.

There is a subreddit for piano here as well, which is worth subscribing to as well.

u/roseicollis · 1 pointr/LofiHipHop

I do! Don't have a lot of beats so far but I'm working on it haha. You can check them out here if you want.

Also if you really want to learn music theory I recommend the book "Music Theory for Computer Musicians" by Michael Hewitt, you can also "borrow" it online if you catch my drift. It's a series of 3 books if I'm not mistaken (second covering harmony and third one composition). Then maybe you'd want a piano scales book (like this). Knowing your scales is pretty important if you want to compose music, you'll have to practice those and the book is really helpful for that. You can also find free versions online of similar books (I think r/piano has a link for one in their beginner's guide).

But again, really not that necessary for lofi hiphop unless you want to go deep. Music theory however is not wasted knowledge, so go for it if you're really motivated.

u/dftba-ftw · 2 pointsr/piano

Lol are you me?

Your story is scary close to mine, I took lessons from 9-12 and just started to try and get back into around 23.

I can tell you what I did, I'm still kind of figuring it out myself:

I bought a P115 (600$), I didn't have the option to use my old unweighted piano as it broke many years ago, I could have gone with the P45 (450$) but recent college grad with decent paying job so I said fuck it and dropped the extra 150$ based on this subs recommendations.

That being said playing on a decent weighted keyboard is infinitely more enjoyable than playing on an unweighted keyboard; I think if I had had something like a P45/P115 (they use the same key action so they feel the same) I would have stuck with lessons as a kid longer. It is just so much more enjoyable to sit and play at.

As for getting back up to speed I try and practice 30 mins ~ 1 hour a day in 15-20 min sessions.

I usually do a Hannon Hand Exercise then I do a scale/cords ( I'm just working my way through major and minor scales one per day).

I bought Alfred's All-in-One Adult Beginner Course and blasted through the first 3/4ths of the first book and now try and do one little chunk (lesson and associated song) a day or over the course of 2 or 3 days based on it's difficulty.

I try and sight read something new everyday and really focus on technique and dynamics, so I'm working my way through Kabalevsky's 24 Pieces for Children one piece a day, nice and slow, focusing on dynamics, technique, and tempo.

Lastly I picked two songs I wanted to work on that are just slightly above my current level and maybe a little bit below the my level when I quite all those years ago. The way I practice those songs is by picking out the hardest measure and working on it nice and slow, hands apart and together, then work on the next hardest measure, and so on and so forth.

So that's what I'm doing, maybe you can find a nugget of help in all that, I did a fair amount of research on how to practice and what to practice ( had some really boring days at work lol )

u/ThomFromMyspace · 2 pointsr/IWantToLearn

The first thing I’d try to impress the most on you is the practice of GOOD practice. That in itself will make this whole new process less difficult for you to overcome:

— 30 minutes to an hour, 6 days a week (your brain as well as your body needs to rest). This step is really important.
Don’t practice for like, 3 days and then a month later come back. You’ll lose all of what you practiced and basically have to start over again. You want to be as consistent as possible so that you train your brain to be efficient — not your fingers.

— Keep a journal of what you practiced and how long.
Going back and looking at your progress after a month of doing so will help you to see how far you’ve come in such a short period of time and will help you gain confidence that you don’t, in fact, suck.

— Don’t play anything above your means. If you haven’t managed something like Bach’s Minuet in G than don’t try to play Flight of the Bumblebee by Korsakov. You’ll only hurt yourself and your technique and discourage yourself in the process. The later is the most dangerous.

— Learn some of your favorite pop songs. Classical music is cool and all but, you can also learn a lot from non traditional teachings of chords, harmonies and technique. Plus, you’ll look cooler at parties if you can, in fact, play Flight of the Bumblebee and then follow it up with Bohemian Rhapsody.

Here’s some books and websites that I started out with.
They’ll help to propel you in the right direction with everything that I’ve taught you thus far:

For challenging yourself/learning new pieces: https://www.amazon.com/First-Lessons-Bach-Complete-Schirmers/dp/1423421922

For sight reading practice: https://www.amazon.com/4S01-Royal-Conservatory-Sight-Reading/dp/1554407427/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1543250017&sr=1-1&keywords=Four+star+sight+reading+book+1

For free scores of almost anything classically written: https://imslp.org

Here’s also a link to one of my favorite piano channel’s that talks about technique, progressing in skill and a plethora of other details that I didn’t cover: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz0PmHG0RvQHazlEsFU-4uQ

I wish you nothing but the best in your journey.
Fight against the current and make your dream a reality.

A. B. Martin
Live Alive With A. B. Martin — https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyPSSMyYUS_KT8xcg7OsbBQ

u/PhatTimmyT · 1 pointr/worshipleaders

I'll echo several comments on this thread. Take some time to learn theory yourself. Learn to read music. If all you knew how to do was speak English but never read English you would be missing out on so much beauty. I'm not saying become a proficient sight reader but at least learn about the written language of music.

Some ways to do that are to audit a music theory class at a local college, go through the lessons at musictheory.net, or pick up an easy adult piano course book like the one below which is how I got my start learning to read music before heading to college. The piano is the best instrument to learn how theory fits together on and learning theory on the piano has made me a phenomenally better guitarist.
http://www.amazon.com/Adult-All---One-Course-Lesson-Theory-Technic/dp/0882848186/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452649895&sr=8-1&keywords=adult+piano wh

A great place to start with these musicians is to begin using lead sheets. I've done this with several churches I've consulted with. (I'm work with a few church consulting firms helping churches transition music styles if they need to go more contemporary or blended to be more relevant to their community.) Taking an older church lady who is used to reading the block chords in hymns and using lead sheets to transition them to chord charts has worked 100% of the time. Lead sheets help them follow the count, which is what they're used too, but only gives them the melody to read. Songselect.com and praisecharts.com has all the lead sheets you'll ever need.

As a worship leader it's your responsibility not to grow complacent and learn, learn, learn as much as you can about music. Disciple these junior-high students into great church musicians. Meet them in the middle and share a common ground with them. You learn some theory and they learn some improv. Win-Win. Also, be patient.

u/magpiepdx · 2 pointsr/Portland

OP - I've never taken lessons, but I highly recommend the Palmer-Hughes accordion series. http://www.amazon.com/Palmer-Hughes-Accordion-Course-Bk-1/dp/0739012916

I bought an accordion in college because it was just so beautiful, and my friends gifted me with book 1 for my birthday. Pretty easy to go through (especially if you have a piano background, but that's not needed), and slowly progresses. Don't know if you will need to start with book 1 or not, since it seems you can do some.

Anyway, worth checking out! I've enjoyed my books, and although it's kinda vintage-y, it does a good job of giving you different kinds of songs too (waltz, polka, latin, etc.)

I'm also really interested in answers in this post!

u/JoeDoherty_Music · 1 pointr/musictheory

Music theory is easily the greatest thing I have ever learned as a musician. More useful than any one instrument that I play. I started with Practical Theory by Sandy Feldstein (recommended by my band teacher as I began my music journey as a drummer, and wanted to learn piano)

Practical Theory: Complete, Spiral-Bound Book https://www.amazon.com/dp/0882842250/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_h30SDbVJZGNJP

It's a workbook format with one lesson per page. Do one page a day and diddle around with each concept on your guitar after you learn it. If you have difficulty with a concept don't move on until you understand it. But yeah, excellent book for learning music theory basics.

I think when learning music theory it is important to remember this: music theory is NOT a rulebook. It ONLY describes why already-written music sounds the way it does. It does not tell you what you CAN and CAN'T do. Music has no rules. People who dont know music theory like to spew BS like "it's too limiting" which just tells people who actually know music theory that that person knows literally nothing about what they're talking about. Music theory is an explanation of how music works. Check out this video:

Music Theory is a vast, unending rabbit hole, but the most useful basic stuff is fairly simple and everyone should be able to figure it out. So don't get discouraged when you hear about crazy stuff that is way over your head; the stuff you NEED to know about music theory is really all in that book I linked above.

Music theory also makes learning other instruments and communicating with other musicians much easier, which are both obviously super useful. If you learn a bit of music theory as a guitarist, you could probably learn how to play basic piano stuff in an evening. I went from piano to bass guitar extremely easily because it all carries over.

So I know this is sort of unorganized but definitely work through that book (it's not very long) and watch that video if you arent convinced.

u/JuanPRamirez · 2 pointsr/piano

I run a discord serve aimed at helping people that are new at piano, but if that doesn't work for you I also recommend these sites.

MusicTheory.Net - to give you the overall idea of what music theory should be.

PianoLessonsOnTheWeb - for overall piano lessons. Not much seen into this guy personally, but what I have seen is pretty good.

Bill Hilton - absolutely awesome youtuber that provides some good ideas and techniques on what to do

Michael New - Overall really good at describing music theory.

Alfred's - Overall one of the most highly regarded beginner series known out there. Highly recommend.

Paul Barton - Overall to be amazed by his godly voice/humbleness and his overall playing (inspiration)

Discord - Shameless plug of my very own discrod server!

u/zenon · 2 pointsr/Music

Not a website, but: I'm using The Piano Handbook by Carl Humphries. It's the best instruction book I've ever read. I recommend it highly.

I've also used Fundamentals of Piano Practice by C. C. Chang. It is a comprehensive guide to practice techniques favoured by Mr. Chang and his daughers IIRC. I'm not qualified to say if this is the "best" technique, but it certainly works.

There's more classical sheet music that you could ever want at the International Music Score Library Project.

Good luck! :)

u/autumnfalln · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Aw, I'm sorry you're feeling sick and bummed out. I'm in the same exact boat! I'm got super sick yesterday, and today I'm feeling no better. And this week is my Spring Break! I had plans to be outside and stuff. Sigh. I guess it's better that I got sick when I didn't have school though. =/

I saw this video last night and I couldn't help but smile! It's silly, but I like Taking Back Sunday a lot, and I thought it was really cool of them to do this. Plus, the chorus is like...genuinely awesome, haha! And they showed bunny and chinchilla puppets (I have a bunny, and I had a chinchilla that passed away two years ago).

If that doesn't put a little grin on your face, then this ought to do the trick! =D

Oh, and here's my item: piano practice book.

Please feel better and thank you so much for hosting this contest!

u/NorrecV · 1 pointr/piano

You should get a piano bench that is adjustable. I started with the one linked below, although I'd shop around as the price may have jumped up. I don't remember spending 50 dollars, but considering it's lasted 6 years I guess it was worth it. It's not 100% adjustable since it has "levels" and you might end up needing a height between levels. The acoustic piano benches that are fully adjustable cost $200+ though. A bench at the proper height will help avoid back pain after playing for a little while.

Scales are good to learn, you can do this as a warm up. I just listed two that seem to come up often and only had a single black key in them. I wouldn't recommend learning only scales as that would get boring. My teacher would have me do one scale as a warm up and when I could play it two-octave, hands together, including the 3 primary chords and inversions, and the arpeggio (the book we used had all of these on one page) then we'd move to a new one.

Now I'm going back and playing the scales of any pieces I'm working on at the time during warm-up. I do 4 octaves contrary motion. So it starts out normal then half way left hand starts going back down and right hand keeps going up. When right hand hits the 4th octave it starts going down and left hand starts going up again. Makes them feel fresh. I can learn scales faster than pieces so soon I'll have to start rotating scales in that aren't tied to pieces.


Edit - this is the new book I use for scales. The old one was fine but this had a little more info in it. There were some sections at the beginning that explained how scales were formed before getting into the usual big list of all of them.


u/KFung · 1 pointr/piano

Hey there!
Since you don't have any musical background, a great place to start is learning how to read sheet music and general music theory. A great website for you is http://www.musictheory.net/
Under lessons, you can learn a ton about sheet music.

To be honest, I'm not a great Piano player. I just recently picked it back up. I do, however, have a musical background and even with the information I have, it is still difficult to pick up. I don't have a teacher but I will eventually get one whenever money isn't so tight. Piano isn't something you learn how to play overnight nor is it something you can "master". You can always improve and there is always something to learn.

The last piece of advice I could give you is buy a workbook! It's especially helpful. I personally recommend:

Good luck and have a blast on this new journey you're about to embark! Remember, don't give up! You got this!

u/BeowulfShaeffer · 2 pointsr/piano

Get a copy of Mark Harrison's pop piano book. It has a fairly unique take that I found quite useful. The first 100 pages seem pretty dry but some of the "drill" exercises are really good and translate very well to the kind of licks you're looking for in a variety of genres. It's definitely a step above most "learn to play [shitty renditions of] blues/pop/jazz in 21 easy lessons" books.

100 ultimate blues riffs is ...okay but worth getting ahold of and playing through. It also some ideas you could steal.

The short version is that it's all about the pentatonic, baby. Learn it. Love it. Live it. That famous solo in the Allman brothers "Jessica", the piano outro in "Sweet Home Alabama" and the crazy keyboards in "Frankenstein" are all largely built on pentatonic and blues riffs.

u/jessequijano · 1 pointr/piano

music theory on youtube


see if you can hook up your instrument to a computer or get a modest priced/used one that can and get synthesia


pickup this book; you can take the cdrom that comes with the book and load those midi files into synthesia. This will allow you to ensure you are doing the exercises in the book correctly


Learn the landmark system (instead of the typical Every Good Boy Deserves Chocolate and FACE methods of learning the Treble Clef


I also recently had this book recommended to me but it has not arrived yet


I just started using this app to train my ear to identify notes


My method so far about 8 months into learning. My best friend is a professional musician (lives far so can't help me practically) and unlike some opinions floating around he was very encouraging of using Synthesia as long as I continued to pursue actual music reading in parallel. There is a button on Synthesia to show the sheet music so you can do both. That said sitting with just the book or a piece of music that is familiar in front of you and forcing yourself to spend some time with it alone is very fulfilling and will come slowly as you work with all of these materials. Good Luck!

u/FeebleGimmick · 1 pointr/piano

You could practice just tapping out rhythms with your fingers on the desk to start with, in time to a metronome or drum beat. Accent the first beat, then practice accenting different beats. Obviously, you have to continuously listen to the metronome, and correct your tapping if you get out of time. Being able to get back into time is something you need to practice and improve.

Don't worry about forgetting pieces you've learnt - it's a fact of life. Once you have a piece as good as it'll get, make a recording for posterity and move on. You can keep pieces as part of your "repertoire" if you want, but you'll still need to work on them from time to time, and to be honest it gets boring keeping pieces you've already learnt in maintenance mode. So learn new stuff.

It's hard to recommend pieces since I don't really know your level, I started a long time ago, and I'm not a teacher. Like I mentioned, Hanon Part I is good as an exercise (kind of alternative to scales - use for warming up). Something like First Lessons in Bach seems to have good reviews. If you just want an individual piece, try "Prelude in C Major" - you should recognize it. Good luck.

u/OnaZ · 3 pointsr/piano

Scales would be the obvious place to start. Work on one scale every week for the whole week. Find a resource online for proper fingering or pick up a cheap resource like this. Hands slowly separately. Then hands slowly together. Work with a metronome.

Try to find a teacher as soon as you can. Even a few formative lessons (1 to 3 months) will do wonders for your playing down the road and give you the best possible chance to develop good technique.

Music flashcards are good. Back in my day they were actually on paper, but nowadays there are apps which do a better job. Make it a priority to be comfortable reading music.

Now that you have your keyboard, I strongly urge you to examine your chair height. Most people sit too low and this starts causing extra wrist tension. Look for the forearms to be level or sloping slightly downward toward the keyboard.

Good luck! Take it slow, don't expect anything to come quickly. Be patient. Have fun!

u/Bebop_Ba-Bailey · 5 pointsr/piano

It's hard to find stuff on Jazz Theory on Google for sure, much less recommendations for music transcription. I really can't think of a good place to start with regards to the songs you should try to transcribe, but there are books I've used that have plenty of suggested reading/listening listed. Hopefully you don't already know about these...

The Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine (it can be kind of pricy, here's a link to it on Amazon) which has a whole regimen of listening suggestions in its curriculum, focusing a good amount on jazz harmony, and melodic improvisation.

I learned a lot about jazz chords and voicings from Miracle Voicings by Frank Mantooth. Working through these books will help you understand better how to approach jazz chords, which should help you better conceive of what you're hearing when you try to transcribe them.

EDIT: The book has been republished as Voicings for Jazz Keyboard by Frank Mantooth

u/HYP3RSL33P · 11 pointsr/musictheory

They're actually super useful for airy/spacious voicing of common chords. I can give a few 5 note examples with C as the root (transpose to your heart's content):

C6/9: E A D G C
Cmaj7(6/9): B E A D G (this one replaces the high C (root) from the previous with a low B (maj7th) but you can totally do both for a 6 note chord)
Cmaj7(6/9/#11): F# B E A D
C-11: G C F Bb Eb
Csus(9): D G C F Bb

Using less than 5 notes will be more ambiguous but you can totally use this to your advantage. Nothing wrong with using a quartal voicing/structure on top of a standard triad or even just a 3rd and 7th. Pretty useful for dominant chords:

C9: E Bb D G C (obviously the bottom tritone is not quartal but the top 3 notes are)
C9(13): Bb E A D G (I flipped the bottom tritone from the previous example for a more evenly spaced voicing)

Because quartal voicings can be ambiguous they're a great tool for modulating. They can be placid or intense depending on how you employ them. I first got into using them after reading Mantooth's Voicings For Jazz Keyboard. It's not a book directly about quartal voicings but they're used as a kind of basic building block for many of the voicings in the book. Also, McCoy Tyner is a quartal fiend if you're looking for inspiration.

u/tit_curtain · 2 pointsr/piano

B&H has the px160 with stand, pedals, and bench for $450 new.


Guitar center has a lot of used digital pianos. They price them to be competitive with used listings on ebay. Looking through listings on guitarcenter and sold listings on ebay might be as close as you'll get to a blue book value.


PX150 and PX160 have the same action, either would be fine to start on. Getting a yamaha p115, kawai es110, or roland fp30 might be a better fit for some, but the level of improvement is not huge. Unless you really dislike the casio tone, either keeping the px150, or selling it to get the px160 bundle I linked above, would leave you with a perfectly fine instrument to start out on.

A teacher is recommended, but if you go with method books, faber adult all in one or alfred adult all in one are fine to start with.



If you get to the end of the third alfred book and can play through the pieces in the 'ambitious sections' at the end of the book, you might want to consider an upgrade. Until then, don't worry about it. A PX150 is just fine.


u/darknessvisible · 2 pointsr/piano

I haven't seen a (free) scale and arpeggio manual online, but a complete training book is available for $5 at amazon. You may as well buy one because it will last a lifetime and it will give you a rock solid foundation to build your repertoire upon.

For free sheet music the best place I have found is the Petrucci Music Library at imslp.org. Best of luck on your piano journey.

u/solidh2o · 2 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Most piano teachers will give you this book to start:


I spent a long time learning as a child, went back to teachers a couple of times as an adult to get a refresher. If you can get through book 1 and book 2 in the series, you can pretty much play any pop song, and holiday type song and it allows you to start to gauge tracks at an intermediate level. From there it's how much you want to practice.

1 hour a day every day for 2 years will do more for your ability than any number of lessons. Teachers are a guide, it's all about your willingness to work at a new skill. If you can't do an hour, do 30 minutes, or even 15. But daily practice is the key. If you can't commit to 15 minutes a day, you should consider what else you're prioritizing if you really want to learn to play.

Also, the whole 10,000 hours to mastery is especially true for any kind of music. an hour a day means 30 years to mastery. 8 hours a day means 5 years. This is why musicians typically get really good in high school - by around 6th grade most people are crossing over from hobby to passion, and then start committing real time to their passion before real world problems get in the way ( like work, marriage, kids, etc.).

u/Monkey_Bach · 6 pointsr/piano

If you want to learn piano, go to amazon and get these 4 books:

1.The Musician’s Way

2.First Lessons in Bach

3. Two and Three Part Inventions

And finally

4. The Well-Tempered Clavier

These books will teach you all you need to know about music. This is how I personally started playing piano. Work through the books in order, as each one builds on top of the other. Once you can play counterpoint excellently you can play pretty much anything else.

In the words of Brahms: “Study Bach. There you will find everything.”

As far as a keyboard goes, I have a Yamaha P-60 and it gets the job done. Just make sure you have weighted keys and 88 and you’re good. Bach’s music doesn’t require a pedal, so you don’t even really need that.

Good luck on your musical journey! To work through all these books will take a life time.

u/wolfanotaku · 3 pointsr/piano

You want to learn to play them comfortably in any key, and you want to make the feeling of playing them very natural. At first you'll have to play very slowly and that's completely okay and it's even the right thing to do. Play as slowly as you possibly need to so that you get the movements just right. Your teacher may ask you to play them for him/her during the first year (or maybe not that long) to ensure that a) you're during them and b) that you're doing them with correct technique.

A good book to get is The Complete Book of Scales, Chords, Arpeggios & Cadences. It has all of the scales in each key as well some arpeggios and chords which you can start to play with too. It also has a very small blurb on what to do for scale practice. Personally I do them each day before I practice other things.

u/Kuebic · 2 pointsr/piano

Are you trying to work on reading music? If so, it's just like reading words. Remember when learning to read how you did it? Taking it slow, like first recognizing 26 letters and the sounds they make, then you sound out groups of them called words, then groups of words for sentences, etc. You get better the more you do it. There may be tips/tricks promising quick results, but even with them, you just have to do it over and over.

I would suggest adult beginner piano books.

Amazon Link

Example PDF

They don't go painfully slow like kids beginner books, and taking it from the beginning is nothing to be ashamed of. Having a solid foundation will make future skills more stable. Best wishes!

u/WarrioressTurnip · 2 pointsr/piano

Playing evenly requires strengthening your finger muscles. Like the other comment mentioned, each finger has different strength depending on your usage. Hanon books are usually very good for practice. Another very good book is the Hal Leonard Schirmer's Library "Scales & Finger Exercises". Each exercise tells you which fingers it's focusing on. I honestly don't believe in the tapping on table method.

I think it's pointless to keep tapping one finger to strengthen it over and over again. You need to move that finger in a context with the OTHER fingers as well because usually it's 'alternating' between fingers that demands the most control. You can develop the muscle memory for a particular finger but when you alternate/change it become even more challenging. Hanon and the book I mentioned have the same idea. They focus on strengthening your weaker fingers alongside neighboring ones.

Link to the book:





Bach pieces or Handel are usually also very good exercises :)


u/Cayham · 2 pointsr/piano

That's good that you recognized it. It's always tempting to rush past tough fingerings, but you get the most out of practice when you can isolate a technique, break it down, and focus on it.

Check this video out: http://youtu.be/AoLvhHjacMw?t=56m14s
It's Valentina Lisitsa working on a brand new piece (to her).
Here she repeats a single section repeatedly until it's almost 100% before moving on. Even the top pianists have to replay sections until it's in their fingers. Hold yourself to a similar high standard when you practice. Really try to get at least get one solid pass without mistakes, even if it's at a much slower tempo. Here's a story about Rachmaninoff practicing a Chopin etude so slow it was unrecognizable: http://www.practisingthepiano.com/enjoying-ultra-slow-practice/

Also, I recommend you get Hanon: The Virtuoso Pianist in Sixty Exercises. Lots of good exercises. Even Rachmaninoff recommended them. Good luck.

u/gnuvince · 1 pointr/piano

I'm sort of in the same situation as you; I'm 31 and hadn't played since I was 11. For the past two weeks, I've been spending time at the music library of my university:

  1. Going through my old Dozen a Day books; I'm still on the easy ones (doing the preparatory one at the moment), but they are great for exercising the fingers.
  2. Going through the Alfred All-In-One Course; I don't know if it's the best series for self study, but it seems to have all the qualities I was looking for: mix of theory, finger exercises, simple melodies and a progression that doesn't remind you of drawing an owl.

    I haven't started playing songs quite yet, my motricity and coordination are not quite up to par, but I found my old books such as Technic Is Fun (vol. 1-3) and a book of simple Mozart songs that I'll probably be picking up in the upcoming week.

    Finally, there is one thing that has been absolutely essential to get me to practice an hour every night: having fun! I remember how much of a drag I found piano when I was a kid, I would try to find ways to reduce my practice time in the weirdest possible ways; it's no wonder I quit. Whatever you decide to do, just make sure it's fun for you, otherwise you'll just be miserable.

    Good luck buddy!
u/Kalarin · 2 pointsr/piano

I'm 26 and started playing piano 2 months ago! I can't stress the impact a teacher has had on my learning!

I've been going through Alfreds Basic Adult Piano Course Music and Theory and have found it a great introduction.

This has also been supplemented with additional pieces from my tutor (I've just finished learning Motzart Minuet in F K2 and am nearly finished with Bach Minuet in G minor, BWV Anh. 115 ) which I though were challenging but fun pieces to learn :)

I guess I could have picked these books up and learnt myself, but I'd say my progress would have been a lot slower. I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have as I am in a similar situation?

u/chinchelli · 1 pointr/classicalmusic

I recommend taking a look at this book. Relatedly, you could talk to a teacher of the Taubman Approach, or as someone already mentioned, the Alexander Technique, which is a more general application of healthy motion.

This will require you to rework your approach to the keyboard, which I can attest is no easy feat. It's based on the premise that what you're currently doing is not healthy (given that you're injuring yourself) and that there are more efficient ways to produce the same, or better, musical results.

It's important to stress that unhealthy playing is not an indication of bad musicianship - many of the greatest pianists have experienced related injuries (Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, Gould, Schnabel). Regarding the Taubman Approach, I think the most famous beneficiary is Leon Fleisher, who regained the use of his right hand, although there are countless pianists who never get injured in the first place because of this.

The book I mentioned has a quote I like: "Some people believe pain comes from being unlucky. Lucky pianists can play as much as they wish whereas unlucky pianists get injured. But that is also false. Musicians' injuries are not booby prizes in a lottery."

Hopefully this information nets you a better-than-expected Christmas gift!

u/shaba7elail · 1 pointr/piano

Alfred's All-In-One Course is the easiest and best book I've tried. I also highly recommend getting a couple of private lessons especially at the beginning to get help with hand technique and other things that you may incorrectly teach yourself.

As of keyboards, fully weighted keys are of utmost importance to learn to play with proper dynamics. I recommend the Roland FP-4

u/mtszyk · 2 pointsr/piano

Hi OP.

I'm 27. I had piano lessons for several years when I was a preteen. I stopped and started a few times in the past several years.

I recently picked up Alfred's piano books (I'm sure there are better options for this specific use), which contain far easier pieces to play than what I played when I was 8-9 years old.

But that means despite not knowing the sheet music, I know I can play the pieces themselves fairly easily. It's been AMAZING for me to get started sight reading again.

In other words, find pieces that are easy for you to play technically, so that when you're practicing the piece you're actually working on how to read the music, not play the piece. In my opinion, anyway.

u/Sonaza · 5 pointsr/piano

In my opinion if you truly are a beginner Bach's inventions wouldn't likely suit your skill level just yet. ^(I'd call myself intermediate level and they still stump me.)

I like Burgmüller's Op. 100 that has 25 easy etudes and start from roughly (ABRMS) grade 2 level and go up to grade 4-5 level (generally regarded as the level of easiest Bach inventions). They're all short pieces but simple enough to learn in one or just a few sittings. I recommend this Edition Peters scan, it has good fingering.

If you want to go with Bach there are a plenty of easier pieces. One good starting place could be First lessons in Bach book that's been recommended in this subreddit before.

u/RU_Student · 3 pointsr/piano

[Czerny's 30 exercises are great] (https://www.amazon.com/Practical-Method-Beginners-Pianoforte-Op/dp/0793525675/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505531391&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=czeerny)

I would also recommend playing a few pieces from Bach, his music really reinforces right/left hand independence. Every time I sat down and committed to a Bach piece I came out a much better pianist.

Aside from that it takes time and commitment. For me it too a solid 6-8 months to really start getting comfortable with the mind/muscle connection associated with hand independence when playing.

u/blueguy8 · 2 pointsr/piano


That's an exercise book by Hanon. As far as I know, it's pretty well known. The begining exercises are super easy, but towards the middle and end, they are good at making your fingers do paterns and things they don't commonly do. I'll pick one out and do it as a warm up kind of thing regularly. They are good for flexibility and dexterity. I would recommend, especially if you don't have a piano teacher making you do runs, arpeggios and everything else.

u/Excendence · 2 pointsr/piano

Hello! This question has surely been answered before, but this is definitely the thread to ask it in again. I started learning piano at the beginning of this year by taking a class at my university, and what really kept me going was the weekly lessons. We used Alfred's all in one adult piano book 1 http://www.amazon.com/dp/0882848186/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_3?pf_rd_p=1944687542&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0739013335&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=13PYJQZQ6C25YD6GVMVW , which progressed at a perfect pace, and I was assigned anywhere from 20 pages a week in the beginning to 4 by the end of the semester, until the book was completed and the year was over. I guess the questions I'm asking are for good incentives to stick to a regular routine of practicing (i.e. the little gpa booster the class was for me before) and more importantly, if I should move to alfred's book 2 or if anyone knows of a piano book that picks up from the basic skills I've learned yet has slightly more intriguing music! Thank you so much in advance :D

u/Metroid413 · 2 pointsr/piano

How good is your sight reading? I would definitely recommend working on that. I have book recommendations but they're mostly lower-level so unless you've slacked on sight reading over the years, they probably won't prove useful. Maybe something like this would be good to read from.

Otherwise, there are plenty of exercises that you can work on:

  • Major scales, 4 octaves, parallel and contrary motion
  • Minor scales (natural, harmonic, melodic)
  • Chromatic scales (with the 2 or three different fingerings)
  • Improvising
  • Arpeggios, either memorization or getting them up to a higher tempo
  • Chords -- Blocked, whole, inversions

    You could also work on etudes from various composers, but stay away from the stuff that would surely be too difficult (Chopin, Listz, most Rachmaninoff, etc).

    There's a lot you can work on but the truth is that it certainly depends on what type of music you want to play -- pop, classical, jazz, anime, ragtime?
u/HempHouse · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Hello there! Congratulations on finishing your first year of college and happy pre-birthday to you!

  1. My goal (to be accomplished within the next 10 years) is to become a travel photographer. I would love to travel the world, soaking up culture and events, and being able to show neat things I see to other people elsewhere. So far, I have a professional camera and the drive to accomplish my goal! My next step is purchasing editing software, such as Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop.

  2. 437

  3. Item
u/doranws · 2 pointsr/piano

Hanon can be helpful, but remember that technique is a means to an end. Really, if you learn to play 3-10 short pieces with musical dynamics and articulation, you're learning technique and coordination as well. Why not grab a book like the [first Masterworks Classics book] (http://www.amazon.com/Masterwork-Classics-Level-Alfred-Editions/dp/0739006770) and try to learn 5-10 pieces? I think you'll be surprised at how quickly you can improve.

Also, my biggest suggestion for technique is to keep your wrist fluid. If you make sure to keep your wrist from locking while playing quickly, you'll go far. For example, many beginners think of the first five notes of Hanon #1 as five notes/five finger motions, but it's really one wrist movement. When you start thinking of grouping notes like this, your technique can take off.

u/ralphie_buffalo · 1 pointr/piano

My advice:

Buy this book to learn your scales.

Buy this book to strengthen your fingers.

Google how to read sheet music. You can learn the basics from many sources.

I recommend the PianoWorld Adult Beginner's Forum to hang out at.

Search the google, search that forum, and browse the index of quarterly recitals on the forum to find beginner level music that you enjoy listening to.

Find the sheet music for the pieces you'd like to learn on IMSLP. It is best as a beginner to find version with suggested fingerings (small numbers near the notes).

And get to work learning what you want to learn. Print the sheets, study them, take a pencil to them, write the notes in English to help you learn to read.

You'll undoubtedly come across symbols you won't recognize from your basic google search. When that happens, look the symbol up here.

Many people recommend the Alfred books and such, and though I'll admit I've never tried them, I have seen many people lose steam because the music in the Alfred books isn't appealing to them.

It won't happen overnight, but if you truly are interested you will stick with it. The method I have outlined is what I did. I took two lessons and didn't like them. It's been nearly five years but I am at the point where I can learn to play Chopin preludes and nocturnes, and sound half-decent. I don't claim to be an expert, but you can learn to play piano as a hobby with minimal resources.

u/amandatea · 1 pointr/piano

Get a book of music that is maybe a bit above your level, and try to play as much as you can from it. Example: when I was 13, my mom gave me the classic piano library here and I just really wanted to learn a bunch of the songs. The book was way above my level at the time, but I managed to get through a few of them pretty well - I think the first one I learned was The Beautiful Blue Danube. I got really good at reading after playing around in that book.

Another thing is to learn intervals and chords. I am the pianist at my church and I began a habit of reading chords instead of reading each individual note - which was generally how I read before - and my reading has gotten twice as fast.

Edit: added link

u/ok_reset · 2 pointsr/musictheory

Mark Harrison's book, although pretty old at this point, has a really great breakdown of classic gospel patterns. The last 200 pages are devoted to gospel styles.

Second, learn hymns and gospel standards. Look up "shout music": that's one of the most exciting patterns, but extremely simple and flexible.

Third, there are a million youtube videos of gospel tutorials: this guy is one of the best. Very clear explanations and demonstrations.

u/UmbraVeil · 1 pointr/SJSU

Alternatively if you are disciplined to do so, you can pay the music use fee (at the student services center) for access to the instruments and teach yourself piano.

I did this a few semesters ago. It was a great stress relief and highly enjoyable. If this is something that you might be interested in, this is the book I used, Alfred Adult All-In-One Course. There are multiple other books in this series to guide your profession. Also, /r/piano is a great community to follow for additional help and inspiration.

u/TheEmuFarm · 1 pointr/piano

It sounds like you haven't tried yet, so why give up before even trying? Playing any musical instrument is going to be hard and having a teacher would definitely help, but if you've got the motivation and tenacity, it's far from impossible. If I'm not mistaken, several posts here have been made by people who were self taught.

Of course, I had a teacher as a kid, so perhaps if a self-taught pianist could back up (or refute, if that's the case) what I'm saying, that'd be great.

PS: This seems to be a good resource for starting out:


u/Carlz23 · 2 pointsr/piano

The [Masterwork Classics] (https://www.amazon.com/Masterwork-Classics-Level-1-2-Book/dp/0739006770) series is pretty good. They come in quite a range of levels that would see you through a lot of growth. There's also a decent amount of songs in each book for a relatively affordable price. The variety of classic composers in each book might also help you discover which composers you enjoy best (if you don't already know).

u/EstebanLimon1998 · 5 pointsr/piano

Take this and this; that's all I needed to read, play and write music.

Paying for lessons is recommended, they are a shortcut.

My advice: You have to keep your motivation alive: Watch videos of other people playing pieces you would like to play, it's as important as brushing your teeth. You require ambition but also you must acknowledge the nature of the process of learning; you will invest time, emotions and money to get there, keep that in mind.

Enjoy your journey, music is a beautiful investment.


u/LogStar100 · 3 pointsr/piano

First thing: READ THE FAQ. It covers a lot of things like how to get a good teacher, how to self-learn if needed, etc. I am going to leave this post below from before, though.

> Once again, I have to plug the FAQ's thing of at least try to get a teacher or a lesson, since the biggest challenge with self-learning is technique. That said, if you must self-learn, I would recommend getting Alfred's Adult All-in-One course and learning more into theory. The Royal Conservatory of Music has some great things, including a syllabus for piano (as well as the same syllabus for popular music) and a theory syllabus. I'll link it all below. Work through the first book until you have that material down. Also check out musictheory.net for their tutorials, as the theory can get tough very quickly. Once you have worked through those pieces, try looking at some real piano literature (e.g. Pezold: Minuet in G major) and complementing it with the scales, arpeggios, broken chords, etc. that the RCM syllabus can provide. If you are into classical music, there is a published called G. Henle Verlag that grades all of their pieces on a scale of 1 to 9 that helps a lot if needing help choosing pieces. Escalate the difficulty bit by bit. Links below!
> Alfred's All-in-One course
> RCM's piano syllabus
> RCM's popular music syllabus for piano
> RCM's music theory syllabus
> musictheory.net
> G. Henle Verlag
> Some beginner/intermediate classical pieces graded by difficulty

u/beaumega1 · 3 pointsr/musictheory

I'm fond of the Alfred Adult All-In-One book. It emphasizes both theory and technic. When I was in the business of helping musicians find the right resources for them, this was my go-to book for players like you, who had moderate experience back in the day, but were looking to pick it back up again. It's going to start with pretty basic theory, so you might want to supplement the theory with a more theory-centric book. There's a nice accelerated version of the Theory Time series.

You're likely to find these at popular music retail chains.

u/pandrice · 2 pointsr/IWantToLearn

I would highly suggest investing the time and money in Lessons. You will improve much faster under the guidance of a teacher (even just once or twice a month) than by yourself. If you absolutely refuse to go this route, however, I would suggest getting "Alfred's Basic All-In-One Piano Course Book One" (https://www.amazon.com/Adult-All-One-Course-Lesson-Theory-Technic/dp/0882848186). Go through this book and the others in the series (I think there are 3 total) and by then you should have enough technique under your fingers to be able to learn whatever songs/tunes/pieces you want.

Speaking as a professional musician (classical trumpet player) I can't stress enough the value of practicing scales and other "boring" technical exercises. These fundamentals are the building blocks of virtually all the music you'll ever play and the more you practice them, the easier it will be to learn new music. Good luck and happy practicing!

u/TheRealOzz · 6 pointsr/piano

I'm definitely no pro; I started playing about a year ago. But I would not recommend trying to start on either of these, they are relatively advanced, assuming you've never played before.

I would suggest starting with this book:


It will help you to understand what you're playing, not just how to press buttons.

Best of luck learning, it's a lot of fun!

u/aaathomas · 3 pointsr/IWantToLearn

You’ve got to have a piano or at least a keyboard. Once you get one I’d recommend this piano book: Adult All-In-One Course: Lesson-Theory-Technic: Level 1 https://www.amazon.com/dp/0882848186/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_.hRQAb5KQXXJC. It covers a lot of the basics and is pretty straightforward. Teaches chords, hand positions, note names, different styles, and etc. if you ever need any help shoot me a pm! Best of luck.

u/gosh_jolden · 13 pointsr/piano

You'll hear "Get a teacher." on this sub a lot. This is great advice, but not always possible. That being said, check the FAQs for some really great resources for sheet music, online learning tools, and general tips and tricks.

I'd recommend getting a method book, such as Alfred's, a classical composer's 'beginner's' collections or notebooks, such as Bartok's Mikrokosmos or First Lessons in Bach, and then grab a book of scales such as this.

For future reference, if you do get a chance, please get a teacher, especially if you can swing it sometime in your first year, even if just for a few months. They can help prevent poor technique that may come up and can save time in the long run.

Edit: For poor hyperlinking on mobile.

u/TheSlugKing · 4 pointsr/piano

I am just starting to get into jazz myself, and someone on here recommended the book intro to jazz piano. I have been going through it and it seems to be a good introduction to comping, soloing, and melody treatment in jazz. https://www.amazon.ca/Intro-Jazz-Piano-Leonard-Keyboard/dp/1617803103. A lot of people on this sub also recommend the jazz theory book or jazz piano book by Mark Lavine. This book isn't very beginner friendly however. Another thing many jazz musicians seem to stress is the importance of ear training and transcribing. I have also read that you should expose your self to as much jazz music as you can as well. Finally, you will learn much quicker if some one teaches you. You can ask fellow jazz musicians for tips or simply watch how they play or practise. You will benefit a lot from a good jazz teacher! Like I said, I am a beginner so hopefully someone with more experience will chime in.

u/cmattis · 1 pointr/futurebeatproducers

Well, my best advice (if possible) is just to pick up any book that has a combination of scales and basic chord progressions (like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Scales-Chords-Arpeggios-Cadences/dp/0739003682/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343850716&sr=8-1&keywords=piano+chords+scales) and spend a few months working everyday learning them on piano or a keyboard. When you're making a song if you know ahead of time what key you want to write it in and then limit yourself to the notes available in that scale you'll find that you feel a lot more in control. If that's not possible you could try to pick up a music theory textbook, but in general those tend to be geared almost exclusively towards people that are going to be composing with pencil and paper (AKA Sibelius) in the Western Classical tradition so a lot of the rules they impose early on (avoidance of parallel/hidden fifths and octaves, some of the rules dealing minor scales) won't really apply what so ever to the stuff you're trying to do, but if you're interested in doing modulations (fancy smancey word for key changes) or utilizing weird scales like the half diminished you're probably gonna want to pick up a music theory textbook eventually.

NOW if you wanna go really deep down the rabbit hole, I'd pick up this book: http://www.amazon.com/Theory-Harmony-100th-Anniversary-Edition/dp/0520266080/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1343851092&sr=8-3&keywords=schoenberg

It's partially a music theory textbook but it's more an investigation into why harmonic structures work the way they do. Schoenberg's theory relating bass notes to chords completely changed the way I make music.

Hopefully that wasn't too confusing.

u/Frantic_Mantid · 1 pointr/synthesizers

>build functional skills for comping, figuring out lines, and soloing over backing tracks / tunes

I have this book called "Reading Lead Sheets for Keyboard". It's nice because it teaches general skills like that, as opposed to just learning how to play a given song or chords. Also teaches some theory and will leverage what you know. There are probably other books like it but that's the only one I've used.

I'm sure you'll have a blast twiddling knobs and learning the synth, but I'd recommend reserving some time for structured key practice. Set it on a simple epiano/organ/brass patch and leave the knobs alone for a bit while you practice your scales, chords, arpeggios, etc. Hanon is a classic source for good exercises, but tough (expect to spend many days on the first few pages).

I also find it's good to practice monophonic key skills separately, as it's a very different thing.

u/Ohjann · 2 pointsr/IWantToLearn

I'd agree with all of this, I honestly can't remember how I learned the notes myself. I think it just came naturally from playing.

In terms of finger exercises a really good book I have is "The Virtuoso Pianist" by Charles-Louis Hanon. As you can see by that link it seems to have a good few criticisms but I found it really good myself. I'd say you should go over them with your piano teacher now and again just to ensure you aren't drilling them incorrectly. A possible way you could learn the notes as well could be by saying them out loud as you are doing the exercises.

You can check it out on IMSLP here anyway and decide for yourself, or if you'd prefer a hard copy of it there are plenty on amazon too.

u/saichoo · 5 pointsr/piano

In addition to a teacher, there are:

  • Mastering Piano Technique by Seymour Fink (video.) A good resource of various movements we can do to achieve our musical goals.
  • What Every Pianist Needs to Know About the Body by Thomas Mark. Helps to update the conception of your whole body, not just the fingers, hands and wrists.
  • The Craft of Piano Playing by Alan Fraser. Start with the section on Natural Hand shape first.

    Other technique books I haven't read or had a glance at:

  • On Piano Playing by Gyorgy Sandor.
  • Abby Whiteside on Piano Playing.
  • The Art of Piano Playing by Heinrich Neuhaus.
  • Chopin: Pianist and Teacher: As Seen by His Pupils. An insight to how Chopin taught.
  • Twenty Lessons in Keyboard Choreography by Seymour Bernstein.
  • The Physiological Mechanics of Piano Technique by Otto Ortmann.
  • The Visible and Invisible In Pianoforte Technique by Tobias Matthay.
  • The Art of Piano Playing by George Kochevitsky.

    Your mileage may vary. These books I haven't read are often very expensive or out of print, so you may need to go to a library.
u/missmuffins · 1 pointr/AskReddit

I started with the Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course It teaches you how to play with the right hand first while learning how to read the sheet music (you do learn the sheet music at the same time, it's just starts out VERY basic.) I had a teacher (it only cost like $12 a lesson) and I sped through all three books in a year and I'm now grade 5 conservatory. It takes practice, practice and more practice. But the Alfred's course was really helpful and it explained everything perfectly.

u/rdmhat · 1 pointr/piano

You can most definitely be self-taught. Whether or not a teacher would help you learn faster is dependent on what teacher you get.

I do, though, suggest you get a "guide" of some sort. That way, you don't wander off in youtube land learning about things that... you're not really ready to learn because you haven't learned the basics.

I used the "later beginner" version of this exact course: https://www.amazon.com/Alfreds-Basic-Adult-Piano-Course/dp/0882846167 I'm turning back to the piano now and grabbed this adult version and liked it (oddly enough, it was a tad too easy for me -- probably because I was playing other instruments in my absence from the piano so my sight reading and theory is still good).

It's $16 physically, cheaper electronic (only get it electronic if you can print it or if you have a full sized tablet). I bet you can get the physical copy super cheap used. Let this (or some other course) guide you on what supplemental material you should be looking up on youtube. :)

u/tommyspianocorner · 1 pointr/piano

Something like the Alfred courses might work well for you if you already have some music theory. Mainly aimed at Adults (can't tell your age here of course) but if you know some theory even if you're a little younger it shouldn't be an issue. You can find them on Amazon of course. Then supplement this with some good YouTube videos on basic technique. For this, I'd check out Pianist Magazine's YouTube Channel or Website - they do a good selection of beginner lessons which should supplement the Alfred book nicely.

u/padraigf · 1 pointr/piano

They're from this series by Paul Harris:

Yeah, I like them. They're filled with 4-bar exercises, and I tend to do one a day, which takes me 10-15 mins.

It has a good difficulty curve, never too hard or too easy. He has the exercises roughly grouped by scale, so you pick up a bit of scale-knowledge along the way.

I'm not saying the books make it easy, I think learning to sight-read requires a lot of work whatever route you take. But the way he has it broken up into small exercises is probably the best way of going about it. I'm starting to see benefits now when working on other songs of being able to recognise the notes quicker.

u/puzzleheaded_glass · 1 pointr/musictheory

Yeah, so when they say "can read music" they probably mean "can play 'three blind mice' on the piano from a written staff with a minute to practice". They'll teach you all you need to know about chords, intervals, scales, etc.

If you have access to a piano, get yourself a basics book or the first chapter or two of a comprehensive book and you'll be golden (I like this one for basics with goofy cartoons and this one for comprehensive adult learning). Piano is definitely the best instrument for visualizing music theory and learning staff notation, because the staff notation translates very directly to the keyboard.

u/sknapp_1012 · 0 pointsr/piano

I'm not sure if you would be interested, but I know of a piano book that will actually be free to download tomorrow! It also comes with a lot of free video content as well.


u/Taome · 2 pointsr/piano

Former classical guitar student here that definitely agrees that piano is easier than guitar in many ways. Anyway, there are a number of method books for piano such as Alfred's Adult All-In-One Course: Lesson-Theory-Technic: Level 1. A search at Amazon for "piano method books" will turn up others. Good luck!

u/Itsmeagainmom · 1 pointr/IAmA

I was going to say "a human teacher" but if it's about money I would suggest this: http://www.amazon.com/Adult-All-In-One-Course-Lesson-Theory-Technic-Level/dp/0882848186

I use that for my adult beginning piano lessons. It's very user friendly and has a CD with it. $20 normally in stores with a CD. Easy to understand and easy to work with solo.

u/NirnRootJunkie · 4 pointsr/piano

I've posted this a few times but I think its well worth repeating:

I am using Alfred's Adult all in one and there is a guy on YouTube that covers each lesson with good instruction and tips.
Here is the link:
Alfred's Video

I also hired a tutor who I meet with every two weeks, just to make sure I'm not picking up bad habits.

Amazon link to Alfred book

u/funtech · 1 pointr/piano

I've been using the Paul Harris "Improve Your Sight-Reading!" books and they have been great. They gradually move you from stupid simple, introduce a new technique/rhythm/key signature/something every chapter in a really logical way. I started with just basic grade 1 about 6 months ago and am now on grade 4, and the difference in my sight reading ability is pretty danged amazing.