When most people decide to learn the piano, the first thing they do is to hire a teacher. But there are a number of reasons why learning on your own might be a good thing. There is a lot of information that can help you with this on the Internet for one.

It certainly is possible for you to learn the piano on your own, but you need to have a proper plan. Why? It’s challenging; that’s why. There will be times when you feel irritated and want to quit. But, if you are serious, you want to make sure the experience is productive and enjoyable.

man playing piano at the cafe
Image Courtesy of Flickr

Here, we are going to take a look at the tools you need and explore some tactics to help you develop your piano skills. If you would like to make progress, you need to understand the various challenges and how to deal with them.

Above everything else, you need to be realistic. It is a long journey for a beginner to become a pro. To avoid any frustration, you need to know how you are going to progress. If your main goal is to play your favorite sonata, what are the skills you need to reach this elevated plateau?

Music theory

Most methods would begin with you learning about notes, how they look, how they correspond to each key. While there are many excellent musicians who don’t know how to read music, being able to translate notes can make it easier for you to learn new pieces. This is also the foundation for music theory.

It’s all about patterns

You will have to learn the basic patterns before anything else. Find a splendid system which takes you through each pattern.

The first two patterns you should learn are the scale and arpeggio. This may be a little tedious for you to practice. But its importance shouldn’t be undermined and not neglected. The patterns are everywhere. The better you are at them, the easier it will be for you to master music.

man playing the piano
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

Smaller sections

You may be used to hearing music from the beginning to the end, but playing a piece repeatedly from the beginning to the end isn’t the best way of mastering it. Isolate the notes you have the most trouble with and practice them repeatedly. Practice using your hands separately can be a salient way to practice as well. Each keystroke needs to become second nature for you.

The music you enjoy

Technical skills are essential undoubtedly, but you should never lose sight of the music you want to play. Find easy arrangements with pieces you enjoy. This may still be challenging for you, but you should only be concerned with the melody in the beginning. Try listening to astounding performances of the songs you are trying to learn. You might find it easier to play a song after hearing someone else play it.

Have fun

Technically skills are certainly paramount, but playing the music you love is more critical. Don’t forget to explore and invent as part of your learning routine.

Set aside some time for experimenting too. Remember, the scales and arpeggios you have been practicing? Why not try using them? Use various rhythms, introduce new notes, and find sounds that interest you.

well known pianist and composer
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

A keyboard or piano

Of course, it isn’t just about the way you approach learning; it is also about having the proper tools. You will need to have an instrument. You should obtain a decent piano. If you can’t, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn. If you’re using an old piano, you should consider hiring a tuner.

Some might even be un-tunable. But you can play them. They just won’t sound as good. If you have a cheap synthesizer, the keys may not respond like they are supposed to. Try pressing them hard and then pressing them gently. You should hear a difference if the keyboard is weighted or semi-weighted

There may be limits on what you can play or how easily you can transfer your skills to a weighted keyboard. So try getting your hands on a weighted keyboard if you can, but if you can’t, don’t worry, all is not lost. It is better than nothing!

A partner

Practicing with another person is something that no app or book can help with. A strong and impressive teacher will motivate you and appreciate your work. But if you don’t have a teacher, get someone else to motivate you. A friend, a family member, anyone. Not only will they offer a fresh perspective, but they will also help you track your progress.

The best part about learning the piano on your own is that you are able to do it at your own pace. There are many method books and apps available nowadays which can help you with this. With the proper plan and the correct tools, learning the piano without a teacher is within anyone’s reach.

Featured Image: Image Credit

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