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u/Issac_ClarkeThe6th · 1 pointr/piano

Can’t comment on the Hanon, but I do have a recommendation you may be interested in. I’ve been playing classical for a while, but in the last year decided to take jazz improv on top of it. There are a few things that if you really work at then will show stellar results.

First thing is chord voicing, these are truly your bread and butter as a jazz pianist. If you ever play in a group, then these will give you a great sound with many many options to choose from.

It would take a very long time to write out a bunch of voicings, but here’s an example. For major chords there are two main interchangeable voicings which we’ll simply refer to as A and B voicings..
-A voicing is formed by starting at the root, then moving up a major third, then building a minor 7th chord. For example C root, then E minor 7. If you look at it, you’re really just playing the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th. You can drop the root once you learn minor and dominance chord voicings, but seeing not only the expanded C major chord, as well as the chord writhin a chord (E Minor 7 within the C major 9) is extremely helpful.

-B voicing is a major third up from the root, then a minor 7th chord, finally inverted twice. This will give you another voicing option so you don’t use the same chords over and over. Now for any major chord, you have three options (Root, Rootless A, Rootless B).

There are more chord voicing beyond that, but that brief example should give you an idea of what’s out there. There are A and B voicings for Major, Minor, and Dominant chords, with Dominant chords having many many options.

For now I would recommend learning you major 7th, dominant 7th, and minor 7th chords in all 12 keys. Play the root an octave lower, then with both hands play the given rootless voicing above it. This will give you an excellent foundation to build from.

Next most important thing is Modes and Scales. Each chord has a corresponding scale with notes that will sound great over a particular chord. Again due to the vast array of options, I’ll give you a starting place to go from.
-Major chords can be paired with major scales. Pretty cut and dry.

-Minor chords will be paired with the mode Dorian. Dorian is similar to a minor scale, but instead of being formed with a flating the 3rd, 6th, 7th Of any major scale, it’s formed by flating the 3rd and 7th of any major scale. So D Dorian would be all white keys.

-Dominant chords can be paired either the Mixolydian Mode. Mixolydian is formed by flating the 7th note in a major scale. So G Mixolydian would be all white keys.

Now there are many MANY options just like with chords, but this will give you a very firm place to begin improvising. As an exercise to get you playing the right scales with the right chords, play in your right hand a particular scale up two octaves and a third, while playing in your left hand the corresponding chord every 8 notes. You’ll see it line up perfectly. When you can do that reliably at 80 bpm with you major, minor, and dominant chords/scales, you’ll be in a great places.

Last but not least is basic Roman numerals theory. If you know what Roman numerals sound good going to each other, then you’ll be in a great place to not only improvise, but to even write and improvise your own songs on the fly. Again, there’s a whole lot we could cover, but to give you a taste, we’ll talk about probably the biggest progression in Jazz. The ii-V-I.

If you break it down a ii-V-I is the culmination of what we’ve talked about so far in this post. First, why this progression. Well the V-I is a common pull in music. The dominant is one of the first in the overtime series, and it’s pull to I is extremely strong. Almost if not more in some cases powerful than the pull of a vii-I. That’s cool, but what about the ii? The ii-V is actually a very strong pull in its own right. So ii now leads us into V, which then takes us home to I.

For great examples of this in action listen to Afternoon In Paris, and Take The A-Train.

Now once you have those chords in place from earlier, you can fill in the minor 7th chords for the ii, the dominant 7th chords for the V, and the Major 7th chords for the I. So in the key of C this would look like d minor 7th for ii, g dominant 7 for V, and C major 7 for I. Once you can do a ii-V-I in every key, practice playing the corresponding scales while you ii-V-I. Or you could also add rootless voicings to the ii-V-I by doing ABA voicings (Minor A, Dominant B, Major A), or BAB voicings (Minor B, Dominant A, Major B).

I would highly recommend buying a copy of The Real Book. This is a set of over 150 standard lead sheets for famous and great jazz songs. Both songs I mentioned above are in the book. Take the book, find a song, and break it down using Roman numerals. After a while things will make sense as far as what chords go where, and things will really start to click.

If you’re interested in further reading, I would highly recommend The Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine. This book covers many many topics, and will take you far. I like the book a good bit because by any topic, it will show a real excerpt from a jazz standard of a chord used so you can see how what you’re learning is utilized.

I know this is a lot to do, but just pace yourself. You can’t build a house in a day, but if you’re patient and diligent, the world of Jazz Improve is a fun and exciting one. Best of luck, and if you have any questions feel free to comment or shoot me a dm.

u/Yeargdribble · 12 pointsr/piano

Here's my obligatory write up of people in your position.

Beyond that short treatise, I figure I should touch on another thing having to do specifically with something you mentioned.

>Additionally, I do have the discipline to do scales/arpeggios.

This is great, but be careful about the approach. It's easy to get extremely technically focused as you try to "catch up" technically on a secondary instrument, to the point that you become obsessive about the scales themselves rather than their application. These also can feel very comforting and eventually... comfortable.

All to often people make the mistake of focusing on one scale to the detriment of others, say focusing on getting C major from 110 to 120 while there are other keys that are barely at 60. I suspect you know better than that, but the pitfall you're more likely to run into is trying to get all of your scales to a point... and then push that tempo rather than focusing on music.

You really need to read... a lot. You need to work on actual songs even though they will be children's songs and silly crap. At the very outset you likely won't be doing any true sightreading, but you should push to be working on that ASAP.

I think for piano more than most instruments, there's more to be learned by progressive pieces of music than with pure technical work. For monophonic (and mostly monophonic; e.g. bowed strings) instruments, you're mostly covered if you have scales, arpeggios and maybe some advanced sequences. That literally is 95% of music... fragments of scales, arpeggios, and sequences.

With piano, that doesn't even scratch the surface. You'd need to add cadential patterns to that list and those are almost infinite in a way that the rest are not. And that's still not even tackling the real issue... composite rhythm and the coordination issues it causes, especially when complicated by all of the other technical barriers.

Experiencing very small, approachable hurdles like these by working through lots of childish books really helps deal with these issues that are relatively unique to harmonic instruments.

It's easy to get complacent and feel like you're making progress by plopping down to run your scales and arpeggios daily, but I'd recommend strictly limiting the amount of time you allow yourself to spend on these. It's easy to feel like you're making real progress when really you're just mindlessly repeating them. Drills are comfortable for some of us. It sounds like they are for you and they definitely are for me, but we have to be careful not to let them be a means unto themselves.

It's much harder to sit down and really mentally work on simple songs that have small coordination hurdles for you, particularly when they don't feel inherently musically rewarding, especially to those of us who previously had a lot of experience being very virtuostic and musically expressive on our primary instruments. But this is the true path forward.


I like this book for scales. I'd strong encourage you to avoid doing all of the scale variations it has. Simple HT 2 octave in every key should be the goal long before you worry about some of the others and I'd argue that the real value isn't even in any of the variations. You'd get more out of doing single hand 3rds and 6ths than the separated versions which you'll very rarely run into in reality. They are nice coordination parlor trick, but I don't feel like they have a lot of value and like I said, you'll get more practical stuff from working on simple songs in method books than you will bashing your head against some of these. Save them for much later (like years) if at all.

Likewise, I wouldn't agonize over the dom7 arpeggios either. There are much more common and useful patterns found in all sorts of music. However, DO focus very intensely on the cadences and triad arpeggios.

I like this method book overall. I'm not even saying it's the best... it's just one and it works. I'd honestly recommend visiting a used book store and just buying a lot of beginner books of all different series. Focus less on pushing hard toward progression in on series and more on just consuming a huge volume of different music. Or, you might work through this series of Alfred books and then use other such books are sightreading practice once you start getting better.

Get this book for sightreading as a start. It's offensively easy, but it's really where most people should start and I wasted far too much time trying to poorly sightreading much harder stuff for too long because I just didn't realize the collection of small deficits that were tanking my ability to improve despite my fairly solid technical facility.

Read with a focus on keeping your eyes on the page and reading a bar ahead. You obviously know how this works from violin whether you think of it or not, but there's a lot more notes to drink in on piano. You've got to learn to know what your pace is for reading and accurately playing. Carry these concepts over to the children's books that will be more complicated than this particular book.


I will strongly caution you not to try to play hard music. It's such a waste of your time. Lots of people get very good at playing a handful of very hard pieces, but they are based on pure finger memory. These people have no functional skill at piano and can't prepare almost anything new with less than several weeks or months of brute forcing it into their hands.

When you let yourself jump from hard song to hard song, spending weeks or more on each, you'll eventually realize years in that you haven't actually gotten any faster at learning new material. It shouldn't be that way. I'm sure you can sightread (and would be expected to) for tons of gigs on violin. You could probably throw together some fairly advance solo rep in a week or two. Meanwhile, many pianists who've been playing for decades couldn't play an arrangement of some song they heard on the radio in less than a month. It's a sad state of affairs. It's just part of piano culture and many only end up learning maybe 5-10 pieces of new music every year.

Be mindful of the fact that much of your growth as a violinist is due largely to the ensemble experiences you've had... constantly reading tons of new music that's not at the bleeding edge of your ability. You've probably had times where you learned more music in a month that some pianists learn in an entire year, but it has made you a functional player... not someone who has to hide away and practice for 3 months to come back and have your part of the string quartet music learned.

Read! Read a ton and read easy. Your reading skill is the the specific skill that lets you be able to learn new music faster. The better you read the more music you can consume...the more you consume, the more you improve on lots of tiny thing that let you consume even more faster. Unlike almost anything else in music where improvement tapers off, with reading, you just get faster and better at it.

It's definitely a case I make for anyone wanting to make a living (or even side money) playing piano, but honestly, even just for people who want to really enjoy piano as a hobby, putting in the (fairly enormous and painful) upfront investment in good reading is what leads to a point where you can really just sit down and enjoy music.

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/StrettoByStarlight · 6 pointsr/piano

I was in the same boat as you a few years ago, I played classical my entire life then started to pick up some jazz when I entered college. This is super useful, as it has really helped my playing overall and now I can make a decent amount of money playing around town because i have diversified my skillset. As a classical player I can understand where you are coming from when you say you want to learn scales. I was definitely the same way when I started, very obsessive with the theory and involved in jazz, and I think that if you have been training your brain to approach the piano a certain way your whole life, you shouldn't try to change it now. I agree with OnaZ on his book choices, and you should start picking up your modes, but don't worry about them a whole lot, they are not the end-all-be-all of jazz music. Modes are just a tool you can use to achieve a desired sound or color. If you understand the way you find modes (different configurations of a major scale) then you don't need to spend hours and hours drilling them into your head. I think you'll find that once you start playing jazz and picking up tunes, etc, the modes and bebop scales will kind of fall into place.

More than anything, I suggest you find a teacher! And a good one! One that plays jazz primarily. I would suggest contacting a university nearby and see if you can get connected with some people in your area for lessons.

So! If I had to go back in time and give myself some advice to how to really pick up jazz it would probably go something like this:

  1. Listen to Jazz:

    Only recently has jazz become something that you can learn in a school/university. Throughout the majority of jazz history, jazz was learned by people listening to jazz musicians. It is, more than anything, aural tradition. Find jazz that you enjoy, not just stuff that people say you should like (although you are going to have to listen and learn to appreciate some albums you may not care for). Definitely check out An Introduction to Jazz Piano (Although it leaves out my main man Red Garland:( )

  2. Transcribe:

    Start picking up licks and riffs from your favorite players. Just steal them. The first step to becoming a good jazz musician is emulation. You don't have to transcribe whole solos (although this is ideal) you can just grab parts of them and learn some riffs here and there. Blatantly rip off the greats and start building up a bag of tricks. If you are already a little comfortable with some blues scales, I would highly suggest maybe doing a few transcriptions of Horace Silver. He is a great guy to start on and his timing/feel is impeccable. He plays a lot of blues that you check out on youtube or grooveshark.

    Listening and transcribing are going to probably be the most helpful, I find that a lot of players (especially guys coming out of classical into jazz) have more trouble with the rhythm and timing of jazz, and not the scales or notes. Honestly, I like to make the argument that rhythm is superior to harmony/melody in jazz (but that's just my opinion). The Jazz Theory Book is a great place to start. I would definitely recommend picking that up, although it is cheaper than a teacher, it definitely will not replace a good one!

    Wow, that is a pretty intimidating wall of text (sorry about that)! I tried to edit it down as much as possible, I could talk about this stuff all day. Although jazz can seem very intimidating at times, don't get frustrated! Your classical chops will really help you out. I really hope you find this music to your liking, I think it is the best stuff around. Good luck!!
u/Xnense · 2 pointsr/piano

I live on the pacific coast so I can’t help with the teacher part but I have just started jazz piano about a six months ago after playing piano for a year, I feel that you should first familiarize yourself with piano in any way you can before moving into jazz and paying for lessons, once you’re experienced you should buy the sixth edition of the real book and learn how to read jazz standards. These are songs that are in the book (400+ songs) are classics that pretty much all experienced jazz musicians can pick up on and can play along to. It’ll only have the melody on the chords to go along with it, you should learn the melody and play it the way you feel is best and play around with it and then harmonize it with the chords. Once you get familiar with this you should try your best to solo over it along with the chords, you might sound like ass but you’ll have to practice to get an ear for soloing, eventually you’ll get better and pick up and learn techniques. One of my favorite jazz pianist YouTubers made a great video that gives a list of some of the easier jazz standards that are mostly in the real book, they are great for gaining a foundation in jazz. It’s important that you know how to play all types of chords to best play jazz standards, if you’re interested message me and I’ll send you directions for a good exercise for this. Lastly when learning jazz standards it’s best to listen to the song and the chord changes a lot first to get a feel for the song, learning the vocals also helps with expression. Once you get a foothold for all of these basics then you should look for a teacher, I suggest taking a few months before that.

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
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/audigex · 1 pointr/piano

TL;DR: Okay this comment got very long. Basically, I think it's entirely accidental but people have a habit of going OTT when they're "into" an instrument, and forget what a beginner truly needs. I think there's a minimum requirement, but that it's achievable for something closer to $180-300

I see two clear sides to this.

Part of it is that Piano tends to be a predominantly middle class "hobby" (/pastime.... the fact "hobby" doesn't feel like the right word half proves my point), and therefore perceptions of "cheap" can vary quite wildly. That can throw out a feeling of snobbery, especially when anyone new to the instrument knows they can get a basic keyboard for $50. That's where the stuck up/snobby side comes in

There's also a point that most people who are here take the piano fairly seriously: and therefore have a different perception of what is needed for a "minimum acceptable" piano, because they themselves would find anything below that level completely useless. This is where the elitist side comes in to the perception

Similarly, there's a point that the more "into" piano, or anything else, you are, the higher your minimum accepable level is. I struggle to recommend cheap laptops for my family, because a $400 Dell from target could never cover my needs. We're all guilty of this sometimes: because we've invested so much time and effort into something that our expectations are far higher and we can find it difficult to recognise that others don't have very advanced requirements.

On the other hand, there is a clear minimum level (touch sensitive keys) below which many strongly feel that you are no longer playing the Piano, but are instead using a basic synthesiser with the notes arranged in the same way as the piano. I think we all agree that a basic Casio keyboard doesn't allow you to learn how to play staccato, or even to understand the difference between playing piano and forte. Therefore, there is a basic requirement that isn't covered by cheap keyboards.

It's not that people are being elitist in saying "Look, if you want to be able to learn on this keyboard and then transfer the skills to a piano, you really need weighted, hammer action (or at least touch sensitive) keys", it's that.... well, they're right. If you play a keyboard without touch sensitive keys, at an absolute minimum, you can't learn many of the skills that go beyond plinking out a basic melody.

It's a tricky one, balancing the two, and I feel the FAQ definitely strikes the wrong balance. It aims too much for "assuming you can already play and are happy to invest heavily", rather than "You've got an interest and want something that you can learn on from scratch"

Particularly with this line, which definitely lends itself to the "snobby and elitist" thing. The line in question is linked to <$500 keyboards

> Keyboards in this price range are more toys than they are instruments.

So the first thing I'd ask here is that if <$500 gets you a toy rather than an instrument, we have two things to ask.

  1. What is the true minimum needed?
  2. How much is the cheapest instrument that reasonably covers the above.

    While we see lots of "You need midi", "You need voices" nonsense banded around, I think we can sensibly limit the "needed" down to:

  • Touch sensitive keys: Mandatory
  • 88 keys: debatable
  • Semi-weighted or weighted keys: debatable

    Personally I'd say that for a true beginner on a tight budget, weighted keys are a nice to have, but not a deal breaker. 88 keys, similarly, is nice... but how many beginner or even intermediate level songs use the 1st and 7th octaves? Anything over 60 keys, if we're honest, is enough to cover the 5 octaves used in most music.

    So we're looking at 60+ keys and touch sensitivity, as being the "true minimum". With 88 keys, weighted or hammer action etc being "nice to have". So how much is one of those?

    Here's one for $300 that's got graded, hammer action keys. So we're already at 60% of the $500 mark in my first search, hitting both my "necessary" and ll three of my "nice to have" measures.

    Is it an incredible piano? No idea, I've never tried it. But it certainly looks good enough to learn on, as far as I can see.

    And here's one for $180 that lacks the hammer action and fully weighted keys, but still has 88 keys, and is touch sensitive and semi-weighted. Would anyone say that a beginner couldn't genuinely start to learn with this instrument?

    I do see the point that there's an element of "buy right or buy twice" here, that buying a $700 instrument that will last you well until you're proficient, rather than a $300 beginner instrument and upgrading later, will actually save you money in the long run... but we have to remember that this sub has a confirmation bias. By being here, you instantly belong to the "didn't give up on Piano" club. For everyone in this sub, there are others who wasted $300, never mind $700.

    So yeah, I'd say that we really just need to re-define the "minimum" and "recommended" levels, find the right instrument for those levels, and then discuss them sensibly

    There's nothing wrong with saying "This is the basic piano that's worth having at $180" (or whatever) "And here's a better one for $300 that will last you beyond beginner, and a $600 one that's good enough for anybody to keep at home" or whatever.

    It's just the re-adjustment at the bottom end that's needed. Just because I've got a $1400 Yamaha Arius that's practically an Acoustic replacement, doesn't mean that's suitable for a beginner on a budget. Let's try to give the best advice we can, regardless of situation.

    Of course, I accept that others may think that those pianos I've linked aren't worth learning on: I'd welcome any responses justifying that (not in a "Defend yourself!" way, but for genuine discussion)
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/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 (, 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 (

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/Keselo · 3 pointsr/piano

>But for all other pieces that can't be played prima vista, how are you supposed to learn without memorising it? No matter how you use the sheet, past the first few playthroughs of a piece (or section of a piece), you will develop muscle memory for that piece (or section).

Muscle memory is not an inherently bad thing. It's bad if it's the only thing you have to rely on, which is the case by memorizing something by just repeating it over and over and over again until it sticks. What happens when you learn while keeping your eyes on the sheet, however, is that you link this muscle memory that you build to visual cues. The muscle memory is triggered by you reading a certain shape or passage on the page. This is much more reliable than is the case with rote memorization, when the muscle memory is triggered by the last notes that you played.

Not only is it much more reliable to create these visual cues, it's also very beneficial in how it allows for future growth. The next time you'll come across a shape or passage on a page of music, the muscle memory that you linked to that visual cue gets triggered, and you can either play it instantly without thinking, or you refresh that which you've learned earlier, which allows you to execute it with very little additional practice required.

See this as building a (piano playing) vocabulary. This is what will eventually allow you to prima vista sightread. You can't expect yourself to just do something if you never learned how to do it.

>So even if you're looking at the sheet the whole time, you're not actually sight reading it, in the prima vista sense, but simply using the sheet as a reference whilst your muscle memory does the work.

Yes and no. You are relying on the muscle memory that you built over your last days of practice, but that doesn't mean you aren't reading. You're not identifying everything like you would when you're prima vista sight-reading, but you're still reliant on the sheet to play the correct notes. That's enough to gain future benefit out of it.

>Yet when I learn pieces, I generally look at the sheet whilst playing. I just inevitably find that, past a point, I stop reading the sheet and just use the general shape of the sheet as a sort of visual cue for my muscle memory.

Welp, that perfectly summarizes what I just said. This is good! This is what you want! It's like when you're reading a book, as you get better you stop reading individual words and instead start (automatically) grouping certain words, or reading while being mindful of the general context of the text.

>I'm under the impression that this is a bad way to learn.

I understand that you think this, but I think you needn't worry. For a bit of personal context, I've been playing for 1 year and 9 months now, and only yesterday started practicing my prima vista sight reading. This has been the first time I've ever focused on playing something first time, in tempo, without preparation, and without pausing for mistakes. I learned my pieces (and still learn) in a way which is similar to the way you describe. For my prima vista sight reading, I use this book (which is often recommended here), and I could play the first 40 pieces effortlessly. That's material that would've taken me at least a few days to get down a year ago.

Even though I'm just two days in, I dare conclude from this that the method that you describe works splendidly for improving both your reading and for preparing you for prima vista sightreading. You might be trying to sightread material that's too hard, or you might simply be starting on it too soon. From what I've gathered from some teachers online (whose opinions I greatly respect), prima vista sightreading is something which you should start after 1 or 2 years of study. You've still got plenty of time to get more comfortable with reading, which will automatically happen as long as you keep learning while keeping your eyes on the sheet.

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] ( 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] (, [Dennis Alexander] (, [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] ( 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/frajen · 3 pointsr/piano

Mark Levine's Jazz Piano book super comprehensive (maybe overkill for you)

IMO the theoretical way to approach "embellishment" (i'll call it "improv" from here) is to use harmony and learn what notes sound good over the harmonies you are playing. For beginners it's easy to match scales with certain chords/chord progressions.

Since you already seem to have listening skills I'll get right to it. For any given song, what harmonies are you playing (usually left-hand)? What are the relationships between the chords?

For example, let's say your arrangement has a chord progression Cm-Ab-Eb-Fm.

Do you recognize this immediately as a i-IV-III-iv in C minor? The Ab in particular suggests I can play any melody over this 4 chord progression using the C minor natural scale (C-D-Eb-F-G-Ab-Bb)

The next part is learning how to simply play melodies within a scale. If you are already OK with just improvising freely then this should be easy. If you find it hard to "let go" then I suggest practicing scales endlessly. That is, start on any note in a scale, move in any direction (up or down the piano), then reverse direction at any time, and repeat this until a "scale" exists not in an octave-to-octave sense but as a harmonic idea across the whole keyboard.

For a completely different example, let's say you're doing something like Bb-Gb-Eb (Nirvana, "In Bloom")

There's not an easy "scale" that fits over all of these. In the Bb bar, I could play something in Bb major, and over the Gb bar I could play something in Gb major.

It might be interesting to note that Bb and Gb major share a Bb, Eb, and F, and you could use these notes as easy "pivot" points to transition from one scale to another.

I'm kind of rambling now but anyways. Overall, you need to know the harmony of your music, and what melody notes will sound "good" over the harmony that you are playing. To go beyond that, transcribing what you think sounds nice is always an excellent way to practice the feel of improvising (and if you plan on improvising a lot in the future, you should transcribe EVERYTHING)

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/CrownStarr · 8 pointsr/piano

Thing is, that sort of thinking doesn't really work too well in jazz - there isn't really "repertoire" in the same sense as in classical music. Some standards are more complex than others, sure, but the difficulty is really what you make of it. In jazz, you generally work from what are called "lead sheets", where all you have is the melody and the chords. Here's one for When I Fall in Love. Pretty simplistic, right? Here's Oscar Peterson playing it. The lead sheet is the basic framework for what he's playing, but all the embellishment and runs and extra chords and everything is just coming from him. So you can't really say whether When I Fall in Love is an "easy" standard or not.

As for how to learn, the single best way is to get a teacher. But if you just want to start dabbling, I would suggest getting some books of transcriptions of famous jazz pianists, just to start getting the feel and sound of it in your mind. Those books will have real performances transcribed note-for-note, so you don't need to know how to read lead sheets or improvise to play them. I would also check out Mark Levine's Jazz Piano Book to start learning the theory behind it all, and a Real Book to start practicing with. If you're good at teaching yourself things, the combination of those two books will give you years and years of material.

But I want to re-emphasize that getting some kind of teacher or mentor will help enormously. It's good for classical music, as you know, but jazz is even more like learning a foreign language, because it's improvised. If you just want to dabble for fun, that's fine, but if you get serious about jazz, find someone to guide you, even if it's just an hour a month.

u/jseego · 2 pointsr/piano

This book has solid overviews of the various playing styles, including for left hand

For improvisation, you are not going to sound good right away. What it sounds like you are doing is basically exercises, just running pentatonic scales over chords - that will sound very exercisey. "Okay, Cm7, playing C minor pent, okay, F7, playing F pent..." etc. What you want to do is look ahead to the notes in common and work on your ear training around that. So, instead, you might go: "Okay, Cm7, gonna play C - Eb - F - G, then the F7 comes up and you continue to A - C - D - F....

Basically, point is you can still play pentatonics, but try to create runs and melodies that move over and through the chords, not just shifting the scales once per chord.

It's not something you think about - you want to get used it and how it sounds so that you can focus on using a combination of ear and theory to make musical sounds and shapes that you want, and the fabled melting away of the notes and chords happens.

As rough as it is, you gotta do that kind of thing in all keys as well. It really opens up the piano and reveals secrets of how things work.

Also, listen a lot and try to play along with your favorite recordings. Take a class / find other improvisers who are at your level. It helps so much.

Final thing is, there is more to improvisation than getting the notes right. A solo with wrong notes and great rhythm and lot of passion is much more interesting and listenable than a solo with all the "correct" notes and no feeling and just running uninspired rhythms. Try soloing with just roots and fifths of the chords and see how much fun you can have. Try soloing with absolute abandon and let your hand just flop around and see what kind of interesting sounds you can make. Prepare your mind to forget about the notes...that's the eventual goal (even though you can still be strategic about scale degrees and chord tones and such).

Good luck and have fun!

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/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/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: . 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/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/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/IllTryToReadComments · 3 pointsr/piano

NOOooooooooooooo. DO NOT GET THE YAMAHA P45B, instead, consider the Yamaha P115. The reason is because the P45B comes with only 64 polyphonic voices while the P115 comes with 192 polyphonic voices. This makes a HUGE difference when playing piano! Especially when you get to more advance pieces.

I was in the same position as you last black friday as well and I choose the P45B at first because of it's price. It was pretty bad and some notes would just cut off at certain points (related to the polyphonic voices)! So I returned it and got the P115 and have been loving it ever since. The only thing I wish it had was a note display cause I started out as a beginner.

I took a look at the Kawai ES100 and it has 192 polyphonic voices as well, which is good, but it doesn't seem to have as much button settings as the Yamaha P115 does. I would suggest you look up the manuals for both to see all the settings both have. Some have hidden settings which use a combination of a function key + note key.

FINALLY. DO NOT MAKE YOUR DECISION OFF OF THE PEDAL. You can easily get a $20 pedal off of Amazon which is already better quality than both pedals you listed combined.

In conclusion, because I love my P115, I will recommend that over the Kawai. Hope this helps in your decision!

EDIT: Extra read up on polyphony.

EDIT 2: Me performing one of my favorite songs on the Yamaha P115.

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/dsk83 · 0 pointsr/piano

I'd go for a digital piano/keyboard. The primary thing you need to look for is that it has weighted keys so that it replicates the feel of an acoustic keyboard.

I was fortunate and stumbled across a used dp-105 for $300 on craigslist. I had been researching and shopping for a bit over a month. If I didn't end up finding the dp-105, I would probably have gone new with a dp-71. The dp-71 based on reviews is identical to yamaha's dp-45, which is their entry level weighted keyboard, and from my research the lowest I'd consider going. The dp-71 is an amazon exclusive partnership with yamaha and is $50 cheaper and comes with a sustain key, so seems to be a superior deal to the dp-45. You could go cheaper with williams brand I think they've got some semi-weighted keyboards for under $300, but if you really want a good experience learning piano I probably wouldn't do anything less than a dp-45.

If you buy used, make sure to bring headphones to test the audio output and test all the keys to make sure they sound ok. I'd also recommend going to a guitar center to feel out a few different keyboards, my local one had a dp-45 and it felt pretty good.

There was another reddit thread about searching for a new piano I found useful, I'll let you know if i find it again.

u/bmberlin · 2 pointsr/piano

I think a great choice would be a book with both piano music as well as chord charts. A fakebook is a huge advantage once you learn a few chords.

I have this book. It's pretty simple to either read the music on the staff or to "fakebook" it and just use the lead sheet and chords. The guitar chords are there to play together.

My wife plays flute and will play te melody of these while I play accompaniment from the same page.

New Life of the Christmas Party: Piano/Vocal/Chords

Or if you're looking for something similar but easy easy easy (songs all written in the key of C). Try this.

The Easy Christmas Fake Book: 100 Songs in the Key of C (Fake Books)

For other styles I would recommend something like this:

The Ultimate Fake Book (for C Instruments)

This book will include only chords and melody lines. Perfect for singalongs or jamming guitar and piano together.

For something similar but also very very easy, try the C version.

The Easy Fake Book

u/barryfandango · 2 pointsr/piano

/u/improvthismoment is right about how jazz is generally learned, but if you prefer to sight read insead of lifting from recordings, there are lots of great jazz transcriptions out there that can help develop your style and vocabulary. The World's Best Piano Arrangements has a generic sounding name but is a pretty dynamite book that has taught me a lot.

If you're interested in getting going with real jazz piano, The Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine is a classic that has kicked off many great jazz piano journeys. Good luck!

u/TheWardenShadowsong · 1 pointr/piano

Well, on a budget, I see three digital pianos that stand out. The Yamaha P-115, the Kawai ES100 and the Roland F-20. They have around the same specs. The differences are the number of voices, styles, speakers and polyphony and MIDI support and most importantly, Tone. They all support the three pedal assemblies sold separately and come with one. Also stay away from Casio. Their action and Tone are inferior.

Voices and Styles don't matter if you are playing the piano because a piano is not a keyboard.

As for Speakers, the Yamaha and Kawai have 2 7W speakers and the Roland has 2 6W speakers. This means the Yamaha and Kawai will probably be louder and will sound possibly better. I've only compared the higher end Yamahas and Kawais and not these particular models but i find their digital piano sound quite comparable. This will not matter if you practice with headphones or are planning to buy a separate keyboard amp which can go from an extra 100 to 300 dollars.

Polyphony in a nutshell is the number of keys you can press simultaneously that will be played through the speakers. The Kawai and the Yamaha are 192 while the Roland is at 128 but this shouldn't matter. 128 is for most people much more than needed.

The Kawai has a MIDI input and output port for digital recording as well as the usual headphone ports. The Roland has a USB port for digital recording and can connect to a computer. The Yamaha has just a USB to host connector which can record MIDI to your PC but no MIDI in unlike the other two. Here, I like the Rolands features the most and the Yamahas the least. None of this will matter if she records via AUX and MIDI does not matter to her.

Now Tone. I find Yamaha and Kawai to be very similar on tone and I prefer Roland to them. It sounds warmer to me which I like. Get your girlfriend to try one/any digital piano from each company to see which she prefers.

Overall, Id get the Roland because its more or less equal to the Kawai and the Yamaha but the 100 bucks more than the Yamaha gets me a tone I prefer. Then I'd get the Kawai because of MIDI IN/OUT. Else, I would have gotten the Yamaha. But the Yamaha is the cheapest and only loses features you possibly may not care about and has a very nice Tone too.

Here are the Kawai and the Yamaha with the furniture stand, the furniture bench and the three pedals in a combo. I recommend you get one of these.

And here are some good Keyboard amplifier to have a better and louder sound

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/Patrickann777 · 2 pointsr/piano

Well, if you're really interested in playing piano for the long run and not just starting and quitting, you should get something nice. Because if you get something cheap and want to go further you'll probably regret it.

On the cheaper side, there's the Yamaha P-45 or the P-71 (They're the same thing)

The keyboard that my teacher has at lessons is a P-105. It's pretty good, probably better than the 45, but a bit more expensive. It may be a little old though idk.

I've also seen a lot of people on here getting the P-115. It may be something you want to check out too. It looks exactly like the P-105... Strange

I haven't gotten to play on them, but I've also heard really good things about the Kawai CA-67 and the CA-97. These are quite a bit more than the Yamahas I showed you but are a lot better quality. The two models are the same but the 97 has a better sound quality. It actually has a acoustic soundboard. You may be able to get these online or maybe at a store nearby.

I think they just came out with newer models of these though. The CA-78 and the CA-98.

Anyway, here's some different options but definitely check out the FAQ on this subreddit. There's a whole page dedicated to this stuff.

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
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/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/Taome · 2 pointsr/piano

It is really best that he tries out the various possibilities before you plunk down the money for one. For example, the YPG-235 only has 76 keys (full size is 88). Can he really make do with that? Which one does he like the feel of the keys best? Which one sounds best to him? Does he really need/want the hundreds of extra voices on the YPG?

Alexis digital pianos are basically beginner pianos mostly meant for parents who don't want to spend a lot of money to see if their child will like playing piano. They are cheap and sound like it, tend to have quality issues, and definitely are not suitable for busking.

For your price range, my suggestion would be the Yamaha P-45 (or Amazon's "exclusive" version, the P-71 ). Keep in mind that you will have to spend another $30 or so for a stand (which should at minimum be double-X style, not a single-X which are wobbly).

I hope this helps a bit.

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/WienerCheney · 3 pointsr/piano

Try to find some used pianos.

and also your local craigslist/letgo/offerup

also on amazon:

u/bringy · 5 pointsr/piano

As others are saying, I think you're going to be hard-pressed to put together a solid audition in six weeks if you don't have any jazz experience. But you've got four years, right? There's no reason you can't go out your sophomore year. If you really want to get into jazz piano, I recommend checking out Mark Levine's Jazz Piano Book. Each chapter represents months, if not more, of practice, but you'll have a very strong foundation to build on if you keep with it.

I think going out for choir would actually be a great idea. Singing in harmony with others is one of the most satisfying musical experiences you can have, and it's GREAT ear training. Plus, there's no reason you can't continue playing solo repertoire, right? If you hang out in the music department a bunch, you might even be able to pop in on jam sessions or start a band with some like-minded musicians. Not to mention what's out there if your school is near a major metropolitan area.

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/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 Best of luck on your piano journey.

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/sexytimepiano · 1 pointr/piano

You can start by buying these two books and reading them cover to cover: Jazz Theory by Mark Levine and Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine That's a good first step. There's plenty of other books out there obviously, but I've had good success with these. Learning Jazz is all about becoming acquainted with a new musical language and internalizing it to the point where it becomes as natural and automatic as speaking. This takes a lot of practice. Good luck and be sure to listen to lots of jazz!

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/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:
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:

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

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/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/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] (

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 , 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/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] ( 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/npcee · 2 pointsr/piano

I highly recommend doing some keyboard practice by transposing! I'm currently going through this

There are 500ish examples that are quite easy I spend about 10 minutes on it everyday and I transpose the exercise i'm reading into all keys going up semitones. This forces you to read and feel hand positions and read in intervals rather than notes as you're transposing. Instead of thinking G > C> D in the original key of C you think I'm playing a perfect 4th and a major second after that and then you play it in every key from sight. I think it would be of much benefit to get into this kind of thing early.

u/scippie · 2 pointsr/piano

Several years ago, I was in your same position. I finished my classical training and wanted to learn to play exactly this same kind of music I had been hearing in my head for years. Sadly enough, it's not as easy as it sounds...

You already have a basic understanding of music. This is really the basics. When you are going to play jazz, you need to know a lot more: chords, scales, chord progressions, chord substitutions, fillers, rhythm (and playing out of rhythm while having an inner rhythm), ear training, ...

You can't learn that from sheet music or even books about jazz. Find a teacher! He will most likely talk about The Real Book that is filled with this kind of music. You will first learn to play exactly what's on the sheet, but then the important stuff starts, knowing how to change the sheet so that it becomes your own jazz piece with improvisation and things like that. It will take years to get there, believe me. But it's absolutely worth it.

Good luck with it! Don't waste your time (cos that's what you will do) and find a teacher!

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/woojoo666 · 2 pointsr/piano

just found this today, and fyi the Amazon exclusive Yamaha p71 is identical to the P45, but $50 cheaper and doesn't include the sustain pedal (which is worth $15).

I also tested the P45 at a guitar center yesterday, and it was my favorite piano in the <$700 range. It just felt way easier to play than most of the other pianos, sounded amazing too. Though I am a beginner at piano, so YMMV

u/brooklynperson · 3 pointsr/piano

When I was in college, I took jazz piano lessons on the side as an extra elective, even though classical was my main focus for my major. Also, I played in a few different jazz bands on campus, which really helped me to learn. I know your goal is to play solo, but it's much easier when you are starting out to play with a band who can keep time, a bassline, and the chord changes going for you while you ease in.

I've found it hard to learn on my own, and learned more from playing with others, but this book (The Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine) is a great resource to start to wrap your mind around the approach.

u/KeronCyst · 4 pointsr/piano

That depends on how good you want to get. Staying free, sadly, won't get you very far, because your hands are not like my hands, or the YouTube self-learn video creators' hands. We also do not know how you learn (whether you're tactile or something else). You would need a teacher to examine specifically how you learn, if even through video-chat.

The problem with the all-in-one adult books is that they don't prioritize hand posture: their stance is that as long as your fingers aren't splayed out all across the keys like a corpse's, then you're fine. That's totally false, though. The wrist needs to stay no higher than where the keys are (too many students keep their wrists too high which hampers reach and dynamic control), and the knuckles need to be typically the highest part of the hand, if examining the hand from a side view. Instead of sticking the knuckles up, too many students crush them down, which results in weak fingers that they can't lift up efficiently.

Many a great pianist has been lost in the vital beginner stages because of little heeding of proper, healthy posture. It also tends to be extremely difficult to teach yourself this (or goad yourself out of it if it's been a bad habit), and even more difficult to reinforce without repeated adjustment (at first) by a teacher who's physically present.

If you still insist, try but it would be best to save up, get a teacher, and factor in lessons like another monthly bill like your phone cost or utilities.

u/ThrustingMotions · 5 pointsr/piano

I don't think you can go wrong with a Yamaha P-115. It's gorgeous and sounds beautiful.

Amazon has a P71 which is "Amazon Exclusive" and a bit cheaper than the P45 but exactly the same keyboard.

I just got myself an MX-88 at Guitar Center yesterday for $1000 and she is a wonderful board with lots of fun features.^172488555108-device^c-plaid^260767648984-sku^1500000043688@ADL4GC-adType^PLA

Hope this helps you out!

u/larrieuxa · 1 pointr/piano

Yes but you should at least be following a guided curriculum starting at complete basics and progressing onward, just as you would be doing with a teacher. It sounds like you are just picking songs you like, and trying to play them? That is of course not going to work well. I would recommend to you to pick up the Adult Piano Adventures books. The two of them will take you from complete beginner to mid intermediate. There are plenty of youtube lessons for each exercise.

u/and_of_four · 5 pointsr/piano

Check out The Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine.

Jazz is less about learning pieces and more about knowing your theory and being able to improvise. Can you play a 12 bar blues? You can use simple voicings in your left hand using the 3rd and 7th of each chord and use your right hand to improvise. Or you can practice walking a bassline in your left hand while playing chords with your right hand.

I'm not a jazz musician, but I know some jazz theory and can play a little bit, it's not my thing though. Hopefully some jazz pianists will post here with more helpful advice.

u/pianoboy · 2 pointsr/piano

A) On page 46 of the Owner's manual here, it shows how you can save settings into a memory bank number, so that you can quickly re-load those settings. Though I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to save.

B) You have to buy a sustain pedal. Usually $10-$50. Something like this is decent.

C) It's a relatively cheap keyboard, so it's not going to feel as realistic as a real piano. You have to pay more money to get better key actions. Every keyboard manufacturer has different marketing terminology for their key actions. Yamahas, from worst to best, are: GHS (what you have), GH, GH3, and NW. You can read a bit about here. As a different example, Kawais actions are shown here. Of course, I can't tell if there's something else going on with your keyboard, like actual stickiness due to something that happened to it.

D) Yeah it's crazy in this day and age that keyboards built-in samples still suck. Even the high-end $3000+ models don't come close to a good VSTi. Most people can't tell the difference though, so I guess there's not enough demand to change their approach. There are lots of good VSTis with 8+ velocity layers. I think what might even be more important than lots of velocity layers is having long samples. Most keyboards only have a couple of seconds of a sample that loops and decays unnaturally, whereas a good VST might have a 30+ second recorded sample for the low bass notes. The "random" change in harmonics and slow, natural decay of a real recorded piano note is what really makes it sound much more realistic imo than what a keyboard does.

Edit: You should still notice a full range of velocities from your keyboard - e.g. midi velocity smoothly going from 0-127, so you should have no problem going from pp to p to mp, etc., up to ff. I assume you mean you're just noticing that the recorded sample only has 3 variations across all those gradual volume increases.

Anyway, check out these: VI Labs Ravenscroft, Synthogy Ivory II (not sure if still requires hardware iLOK dongle?), Galaxy Pianos - Vintage D, Sampletekk, Pianoteq (this is the only one that is modeled, not sampled), and there are many others.

u/Carlz23 · 2 pointsr/piano

The [Masterwork Classics] ( 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/scottious · 2 pointsr/piano

> How do you practice sight-reading?

Get a book like this and make your way through it slowly.

> Read it through, play it, and never sight-read it again?

Pretty much, yeah... playing through it too many times means you start to memorize what it should sound like.

> Is it okay to bring down the tempo than from the marking?


> What if I'm just making too many errors?

The goal is to choose something easy enough and play it slow enough that if you make an error you can continue playing the rest of it. Error recovery is it's own skill, and you need SUPER easy pieces to start out with. The book I linked to starts off very very simple.

u/Metroid413 · 3 pointsr/piano

I used the Alfred Adult All-in-One books myself, and after getting about halfway through the second I was able to transition to some easier classical music. I recommend going with Alfred as well, and you should also pick up this book as well for scales.

After a year or so of learning, you could get this book that I think has some good pieces that are easier and short. (Any intermediate or advanced people reading this response, this book is excellent for sight-reading).

As an aside, if you are self-taught, I strongly advise that you do not get the book of Hanon exercises that someone might recommend for a question like this. If you do those exercises with improper technique it can really cause bad habits at best and permanent injury at worst.

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 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
> G. Henle Verlag
> Some beginner/intermediate classical pieces graded by difficulty

u/Launchywiggin · 1 pointr/piano

Jazz scales, modal scales, arpeggios. Those have to be part of your "vocabulary" if you're gonna create "poetry" on the spot. A good starting place is to listen to LOTS of jazz and start noticing how they construct solos. It's not random. They tend to either use a rhythmic, melodic, or harmonic motive (or all 3) which gets treated like a small scale theme/variations. Also--it's ok to "compose" your solos ahead of time. It's a myth that great soloists pull the solo out of nowhere. If they do, it's a stringing-together of already pre-defined ideas like scales, arpeggios, and motives.

edited to add*
Jazz Piano bible: The Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine

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/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/d3cim8r · 1 pointr/piano

I'm in almost the same boat as you. I bought Mark Levine's Jazz Piano Book: it's totally brilliant and I don't think learning to sight read is mandatory if you want to get going, but it's probably advisable.

I'm trying to learn to sight read through Sight Reading Factory - you pay a fixed amount each year and get endless small bits of sheet music to go through. This addresses the big problem with learning to read - once you've heard the piece you're playing, you tend to focus less on the dots and more on the sounds, which is why a huge supply of new music is so worthwhile.

Good luck :)

u/BeowulfShaeffer · 1 pointr/piano

It would help if we knew more about your own level of knowledge too. For instance I could recommend Schoenberg's Theory of Harmony or Levine's Jazz Piano Book but those books expect a lot out of their readers, so you may be better off with simpler books.

One book I liked a lot was Carl Humphries The Piano Handbook. It doesn't assume you know much and goes over a lot of material without a lot of depth. It might be a good starting point. It has something to say about pretty much every musical style from 1400 to today.

EDIT: I just reread your post and see you already have the piano handbook.

As a six-month player you probably need to work on physical technique more than anything. And you'll need a teacher for that. :( Can you find one to even meet once a month for 30 minutes?

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: 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/nm1000 · 1 pointr/piano

Playing a cheap keyboard with an unweighted keyboard isn't anything like playing a piano. Amazon sells a rebranded Yamaha P45 that is on sale right now for $380 that is ten times better than any unweighted model.

The Yamaha P45 is on sale most places for $400 and Kraft has some nice P45 bundles.

[Edit] Just to be sure, I'm not trying to talk you out of the Roland. It would be better instrument in the long run. I just don't think a $280 keyboard is a good investment.

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/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/emerald447 · 1 pointr/piano

I'd recommend this book as a great starting point. I am 25 and my teacher and I have really made progress :)

u/spreadsheet_jockey · 2 pointsr/piano

If you played the cello for a bunch of years I'm guessing you already know how to read music and hear when you've screwed up a note, so that's gonna be a huge help.

I'm in my 30s and just started playing the piano again after a 20+ year hiatus. I took lessons for 2-3 years when I was in elementary school, and then dabbled in various instruments throughout high school, then just stopped. I decided to take up piano again like 2 months ago.

  1. Roland FP-30 is great, especially for entry level.

  2. Stand choice is really up to you. I don't think the KDP-70 pedal unit will work without the KSC-70 stand, though, since it attaches to the stand. If it's feasible financially and you don't need it to be portable I think the stand and pedal unit combo are a good choice. I have a cheap pedal that doesn't attach to the stand and definitely have issues with it trying to wander around my floor. The furniture-style stand and attached pedal are definitely more similar to an acoustic piano than my hacky setup. That said you can get cheaper stands and pedals that are adequate. I'd just warn you to stay away from cheap single X-stands because they're really wobbly. With your height I'd go for a Z stand or the furniture stand so you're not bashing your knees.

  3. I have a teacher. I would be a hot mess of bad habits without my teacher. It's not even that expensive, as things go. Totally find yourself a teacher if it is at all humanly possible.

    Also, don't feel like you have to practice a million hours a day. I practice 30-60 minutes a day and am advancing much faster than I expected. I suspect it's better to practice 30 minutes a day every day than to try to practice 2 hours a day and then get overwhelmed and busy and skip days all the time.
u/HutSutRawlson · 3 pointsr/piano

I'd recommend The Jazz Piano Book or The Jazz Theory Book, both by Mark Levine. There's a ton of great stuff in both, and they'll teach you how jazz musicians conceive of how they play—not to mention give you a foundation to play pretty much any popular style that strikes your fancy.