Can the adult learn how to play the piano? Are there any self teaching piano methods? And how a busy person can learn piano? These are some popular questions of adult beginners that I received.
Unlike the kids, the way that the adult approach and learn piano are different. Most of them think that they need to learn piano as a kid, but spend more time and get more difficulties.
Others think they don’t have talent in playing musical instruments or music theory is so hard and long, and they do not have impatience and memory to study all of them. These are barriers for people to contact with “ The King of musical instrument”.
All of the things that you need to do is the time and your passion. If you are ready to say: “I can teach myself piano, and I will do it”, Let’s start!
1. Find a good piano
If you consider learning process is a battle, the piano is your weapon. Learning how to play a musical instrument, especially piano, you need to practice so much. Like learning how to ride a bike, you need time to study different parts of the bike, how it works, how to keep balance or ride it without falling.
To learn piano, you also need to spend a time to study and discover how to sit confront of it, how to use the pedal, how to remember music notes and so on. When you have some basic knowledge, you need to practice more. In that time, a piano to practice every is quite necessary.
In the market, there are two kinds of the piano: digital and acoustic. Acoustic piano will be a great option, but it also has some drawbacks such as size, weight, price and maintenance cost.
Therefore, I suggest digital piano is the best choice for beginners. Because nowadays, with modern technology, the digital piano can have a good sound acoustic.
It also has many functions which help your self teaching piano at home easier thank to some available software. You also choose an acoustic piano with the function of recording performance. By this way, you can improve and perfect your skill.
When you have a piano, you should spend the time to get similar with your instrument. Playing with it and identify what is the middle, flat, sharp, bass, or high tones. Practice until you know how they differ.
2. Study music theory
Music theory is always considered as the most difficult but important part of self teaching piano process. You need to study about the basic part: music notes, music sheet, beat and so on.
+ Note: There are 7 basic music notes named after the first seven letters of the alphabet: A, B, C, D, E, F, G. When getting similar to the piano, the first note is normally learned is C. After you have identified the note C, you can easily learn another note.
+ Keys: the keyboard of the piano may look confusing, but it has a simple layout. Most of the pianos have 88 keys, you can find some kinds of fewer keys but 88-key piano is the best type for beginners. There are two kinds of keys: black and white.
The white keys are also called “natural keys” because they can create the natural sounds. Black keys are called accidentals. In an octave, there are usually 7 naturals and 5 accidentals.
+ Chords are what make the music more interesting and give it character. They usually are the combination of some keys. If they use 3 keys, the chord is triads. This kind of chord is quite popular. If they use four keys, it is called tetrads, and five is hexads.
There are 14 basic chords in piano: 7 major chords and 7 minor chords. Major chords are C D E F C A B and minor chords are Cm Dm Em Fm Gm Am Bm.
+ Notice patterns: All the songs have musical patterns. It means chords can repeat in a steady rhythm or beat. If you can realize the patterns by your ears, it is easier to play a song. You can learn which chords are combined with others. This can help you to understand how the baselines and melodies are constructed.
+ Review finger place: To play well piano, you need to know exactly which fingers to play the keys with. Normally, the fingers have their own numbers.
For example, the thumb is one the pinky is five. You should spend more time to practice and get similar with piano because the first step is always important and hard. This is the basement of your long self teaching piano.
3. Books, videos
There are many books and documents in the market, therefore, you need to prepare for yourself suitable books for your self-teaching piano at home.
If learning piano at home, books can be considered as your teachers which guide you during the learning process. Therefore, a high-quality book is necessary to help you easily approach as well as create a strong background of knowledge.
A guide book will show you all basic rules: how to read music sheets, how to play basic chords and rhythms and some simple songs with some illustrating pictures which help you easily to approach with the piano.
You can also find some documents from the internet including e-books, some tips and even videos which support you during the learning process. Nowadays, there are a lot of people making videos to guide how to play the piano.
Sometimes, they can tell their experience, some difficulties and mistakes that they met during self teaching piano process. Watching these videos, you can avoid some common mistakes and find the useful advice.
4. Enjoy piano club
Is there any piano club or piano coffee in your local place? If you find one, let’s enjoy it. It is said that “Better learn your friend than your teacher”. It is undoubted that this will be a great environment for you to learn piano.
In this club, they will help each other to improve piano skill, so you can come here and learn the experience of other people. Each person has different ways and tips to play a song, we can get knowledge from various sources to find your own way
Besides, when you enjoy such clubs, you not only improve your piano skills but also find the place to share and enhance your passion with piano. Learning alone in your room with four walls is the best way to kill your love for piano.
Books, the internet, and even piano can not talk, can not understand your difficulties. Therefore, there is nothing better than a place where every body can share their love with the piano, where we can chat everything about piano and improve piano skill together.
No matter you are self teaching piano or learning in piano class, practicing is always playing an important role.
+ Do not hurry: self teaching piano is a long process, you can not be a professional player in one day, so you do not need to hurry. You just need to spend 30 minutes to an hour to practice per day but do not interpret that.
With a lesson, you should practice in five days and you should perfect the lesson on the last day before moving to another lesson. You should practice piano every day, and let it become your daily habit, so it will be good for training your muscle and memory.
+ Use the metronome to improve the time and rhythm. Create a habit of practicing with the metronome ( this is one of the functions of most of the digital pianos, it will be useful in your self teaching piano process.
At first, you can learn with a metronome, then play these notes in different rhythms. After such practicing time, you can feel the clear result of this method.
+ Apply 3S rules: Separately, Slowly and Sections. When playing piano, you can start with each finger. If you are a right-hand person, please make sure that your left hand is paid attention than the right hand.
Adjust tempo on metronome lower to make sure that every note’s sound has suitable resonance with time. When you remember to realize each finger, you can speed up.
6. Using headphone to hear and analyze your performance
Using headphone when practicing with digital pianos can help you get more concentration and realize the technical issues. Besides, this also reduces the effect on other family member and neighborhood when you are practicing.
Listen, concentrate on what you hear to find the mistake. If you regularly practice but do not listen carefully, your effort is useless. If you have a teacher, he will find your mistake and correct it.
However, you are self teaching piano, nobody tells you your mistake and you need to do it by your ear. If you let these mistake become a bad habit, they will be a barrier in your learning process.
With music, no matter you are young or old, you can play with your passion. The important thing is you need to find an effective method to bring the best result. If you want to learn piano, what are you waiting?