Help Me Learn to Play Piano - (Complete Beginner)

What's Hot
Have had my midi-keyboard a few months now & have it hooked up and working with my DAW of choice Reaper.

To start with I wanted to try and learn how to construct/play chords & alongside it try to improve my very limited music reading knowledge....which atm stops when the notes leave the Stave.

So with that said, are there any Books or YouTube links you would recommend that helped you to learn?


0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Comments

  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 19328
    Go and have lessons.

    Piano is a different class of instrument for a beginner- just major scale fingerings are a major job because they are different for each key, where with guitar you just slide up and down the fretboard and play the same pattern.

    And the fingering are (slightly) different for the left and right hand.
    6 months of lessons with a good teacher will give you a grounding with all of this and then, assuming you work at it, you can go off on your own.
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • duotoneduotone Frets: 297
    Cheers Octatonic, tbh it’s not something I’m willing to spend much money on atm, so I will forego lessons for now.  Although if there is no improvement or I’m struggling myself further down the line, then I might have to give in & sign up for lessons.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • goldtopgoldtop Frets: 919
    Ask yourself why you want to be able to play the piano:
    1. to play classical/jazz standards without error and well enough to be convincing
    2. to playalonga pop music
    3. to write music of your own
    4. to do sound design on synths
    Only #1 absolutely requires formal tuition and significant practice. Getting your pinky to play as loud a note as your index finger and properly independent R and L hands is bl**dy hard work.

    If you've got a reasonably good ear (e.g. for working stuff out on guitar without tab), #2 is not that hard. Plenty of YT tutorials for many classic songs. And it's very rewarding to play them, even if trickier keys tie your fingers up in knots (hint: use Transpose - it's 'cheating' but the equivalent of moving a pattern up or down a few frets to change key).

    For #3, anyone can get results (many pop and rock writers did it before you) and you can fix anything in a DAW. A very large number of synth/EP/etc players fall into this category. A large amount of pop music is written by people with these skills.

    For #4, it doesn't matter.

    Octatonic is right, but there's a LOT of piano/synth fun to be had without formal training, and I'd hate people to be put off. It's like not bothering to go jogging because you'll never run a 2-hour marathon.IMHO. YMMV.

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 2reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • RockerRocker Frets: 2837
    +1 to Everything that @goldtop wrote above.

    There are lots of online videos that are useful to learn chords. I play the chord with my right hand and the root note two octaves down with my left hand. Using one finger per bass note, chord changes are a matter of using the 'correct'' finger to match the chord being played. Feels strange at first but muscle memory gets built up over time.  Not very accomplished but it works.

    Start simple, play along with songs and stick with it. If playing chords is the limit of your requirements, fine. You need lessons to further your playing skills. Much the same with guitar really.
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • duotoneduotone Frets: 297
    =) goldtop said:
    Ask yourself why you want to be able to play the piano:
    1. to play classical/jazz standards without error and well enough to be convincing
    2. to playalonga pop music
    3. to write music of your own
    4. to do sound design on synths
    Only #1 absolutely requires formal tuition and significant practice. Getting your pinky to play as loud a note as your index finger and properly independent R and L hands is bl**dy hard work.

    If you've got a reasonably good ear (e.g. for working stuff out on guitar without tab), #2 is not that hard. Plenty of YT tutorials for many classic songs. And it's very rewarding to play them, even if trickier keys tie your fingers up in knots (hint: use Transpose - it's 'cheating' but the equivalent of moving a pattern up or down a few frets to change key).

    For #3, anyone can get results (many pop and rock writers did it before you) and you can fix anything in a DAW. A very large number of synth/EP/etc players fall into this category. A large amount of pop music is written by people with these skills.

    For #4, it doesn't matter.

    Octatonic is right, but there's a LOT of piano/synth fun to be had without formal training, and I'd hate people to be put off. It's like not bothering to go jogging because you'll never run a 2-hour marathon.IMHO. YMMV.
    Thanks @goldtop ;

    #2 & #3 is what I would like to achieve.  Will have a more thorough look on YouTube & see what they have starting from rock bottom  =)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3481
    goldtop said:
    3. to write music of your own
    4. to do sound design on synths
    Dat me. Self taught ... and it shows! I can play mono synth lead. I can play mono synth bass riffs. I can lean on chords. Dr. John has nothing to fear from my piano stylings.
    goldtop said:
    For #3, anyone can get results (many pop and rock writers did it before you) and you can fix anything in a DAW. A very large number of synth/EP/etc players fall into this category. A large amount of pop music is written by people with these skills.

    For #4, it doesn't matter.
    I would like to add activity #5 - arranging.

    For this, sounding all of the required notes for an entire piece, all the way through, in real time, is the opposite of the task at hand. All that is necessary is access to eighty eight keys. Then, decisions can be made about how the notes should be distributed between the instruments of the ensemble that will eventually perform the piece(s).
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 7383
    Back on MR we had someone who was a piano teacher and he recommended the Kenneth Baker books. When MrsTheWeary had lessons her chap also recommended them. There are a few different versions but something by him that takes your fancy.

    As far as I got with them it started two hand coordination, simple reading and learning chord inversions that go together using simple pop tunes. 
    Dum dum dum, dum dum de dum, dum dum dum, dum dummmm.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • FreebirdFreebird Frets: 1041
    edited October 3
    Stay on the white keys and learn every chord in C Major & A Minor, and then use the transpose button to play in other keys.

    It also helps to think in relative notation terms, i.e. I ii iii IV V vi viiº & 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8.

    (If you really want to take it any further after learning the fundamentals, then you can learn to play the other keys in their natural positions.)

    Using this method I can play fairly complex pieces in any key, and I can compose new song outlines in minutes.

    Good luck!
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • pintspillerpintspiller Frets: 576
    In theory, if you are able to picture the black keys not being set back or white, it works like a guitar. 


    But I can't 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • duotoneduotone Frets: 297
    Thanks for your help all, I appreciate it.

    Back on MR we had someone who was a piano teacher and he recommended the Kenneth Baker books. When MrsTheWeary had lessons her chap also recommended them. There are a few different versions but something by him that takes your fancy.

    As far as I got with them it started two hand coordination, simple reading and learning chord inversions that go together using simple pop tunes. 
    I've ordered these & will let you know how I get on:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Keyboard-Player-Picture-Chords/dp/0711930414
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Piano-Player-Book-Bk/dp/0711904316

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 19328
    goldtop said:
    Ask yourself why you want to be able to play the piano:
    1. to play classical/jazz standards without error and well enough to be convincing
    2. to playalonga pop music
    3. to write music of your own
    4. to do sound design on synths
    Only #1 absolutely requires formal tuition and significant practice. Getting your pinky to play as loud a note as your index finger and properly independent R and L hands is bl**dy hard work.

    If you've got a reasonably good ear (e.g. for working stuff out on guitar without tab), #2 is not that hard. Plenty of YT tutorials for many classic songs. And it's very rewarding to play them, even if trickier keys tie your fingers up in knots (hint: use Transpose - it's 'cheating' but the equivalent of moving a pattern up or down a few frets to change key).

    For #3, anyone can get results (many pop and rock writers did it before you) and you can fix anything in a DAW. A very large number of synth/EP/etc players fall into this category. A large amount of pop music is written by people with these skills.

    For #4, it doesn't matter.

    Octatonic is right, but there's a LOT of piano/synth fun to be had without formal training, and I'd hate people to be put off. It's like not bothering to go jogging because you'll never run a 2-hour marathon.IMHO. YMMV.
    Fair point and I agree.
    The OP said he wanted to learn chord construction and reading and it is much harder to do that alone than having a few conversations with someone who knows the correct way to approach it.

    It can be done alone though- I've taught myself piano from method books but could already harmonise the major scale and could already read music.

    Doing it without those two skills is a bit like trying to grow your own food in order to make dinner.
    Lessons is at least giving you the recipe (or is it the ingredients... I think my analogy has run out of road).

    But you are right- there is a lot you can do without having lessons.

    @Duotone- some useful things about chord construction and inversions.

    Play a C major chord (notes C E G).
    To play the first inversion take the root note up an octave- E G C
    The play the second invasion, take the E up an octave from there: G C E.



    Work this out for all the chords of C major: C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, Bm b5 with all their inversions and you will have harmonised the major scale.
    Then do this with 7th chords.

    Then start taking that through keys through the circle of 5ths.
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • RockerRocker Frets: 2837
    I consider this a good learning site:

    https://pianowithjonny.com/

    Sign up and you will get emails with embedded videos showing how to play everything from Blues to .............
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • lukedlblukedlb Frets: 187
    I’ve just begun a dummy’s guide to playing piano. I’ve been teaching myself Tipitina. If I could find a dedicated online teaching course for New Orleans style or blues style, I’d be happy to follow it. Does anyone know of one? I have the dr John DVDs though they’re way beyond me. 
    I figure if I can play Tipitina, I can play most professor longhair and other styles as an extension. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • duotoneduotone Frets: 297
    edited October 9
  • fobfob Frets: 455

    I believe that the Alfred's books are the self-tuition books to get - I'm sure there are forums dedicated to people progressing with them.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Adult-All-One-Course-Technique/dp/0882848186/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • I'm teaching myself, and can't read music rich is a pita, having said that I could construct chords from theory already, and played more synth styles for ages so knew my way around a board.

    Scale fingering and some L/R hand independence has been my main focus, and I'm getting there, but unlike a stuck now (9 months in) as I need to start playing actual songs.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • mixolydmixolyd Frets: 346
    https://www.youtube.com/user/MangoldProject

    There are are a bunch of great piano based YouTube tuition channels, this is one of them.  Piano is great for applying music theory in instantly gratifying ways. If you have a basic grounding from guitar and can follow along with some chords you can get to feel like a wizard within minutes.

    For example:

    “Harmony Crash Course: how to make boring chord progressions sound better”
    https://youtu.be/J0xz0DrvZ9A


    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • duotoneduotone Frets: 297
    Cheers @mixolyd ;

    Will check out that channel.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • TedTed Frets: 10
    I started off as a complete beginner a few months ago - then I found this great book called 'How to Play Piano' by Roger Evans. I am still not Liberace but I found the tone and content of the book is almost like having a teacher with you, it builds up layers of skill and is very easy to understand.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • paulmapp8306paulmapp8306 Frets: 486
    edited November 20
    Ive just been watching YouTube videos - there are LOADs out there from absolute novice, to fairly complex - and in any style you want. 
    Just search piano tutorial.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Sign In or Register to comment.