So you have decided to learn how to play the piano? Here you will find plenty of ideas and articles with tips and inspiration on how to get started.
The piano can be played in almost any way and style you love. Jazz, Classical, Rock, Blues- you name it! You can learn how to play piano by ear, learn to improvise and how to play chords, or you can read sheet music to learn new repertoire. What are your favorite ways to play?
What is the “right way” to play? Can you play piano by ear, or do you have to learn to read notes to be able to play?
I still get these questions from time to time. There is no wrong way to play, and no, you do not have to read notes to play any instrument. It would be like asking if you could speak without reading from a book.
Playing music is a form of language. It is different in different countries, regions and also is expressed differently from person to person. Expressing yourself with music through an instrument is one of the most wonderful means of expression we humans possess.
Most of the music in the world is actually never written with notes. And many musical traditions of the world are based on rote-learning, which is learning from a master by watching and doing- not by reading notation.
But learning how to read music is also like learning to read written language. It is not necessary- but how limiting not being able to!
Imagine all the amazing “stories” or compositions by other composers, from different epochs and in styles you would never have access to otherwise! Traditionally, mostly the so called Western “Classical” music has been written with notation.
Today even jazz, blues and rock pieces can be found as sheet music, even though traditionally these styles are learned, taught and performed by ear and made personal by improvisation.
This is good news, because if you can read music you can also get a “taste” of many different styles of music you might otherwise not be able to try out!
Playing Chord Piano is a great tool to quickly learn how to play the piano in a useful and fun way.
The piano as well as the guitar are the ultimate instruments for chord playing. It is easy to learn, hardly requires any note reading and sounds great!
You can easily learn how to play chord piano and accompany songs or to improvise and make up your own pieces, you will also deepen your understanding of one of the largest building blocks of music- harmony, and this will in turn make it easier to read music!
Actually, you don't have to learn to improvise. Just play whatever you like and enjoy the sounds of the piano to your hearts content!
Improvising at the piano may sound fantastic or terrible. It doesn't really matter. In order to let loose and learn how to improvise, you first need to stop being careful and cautious.
There are no rights and wrongs when you improvise, you decide.
However, after experimenting on your own you may get some help from these beginner piano lessons with tips and ideas on how to use simple patterns as ostinatos, or ongoing "backgrounds" to your improvisations as well as some tricks on what harmonies and scales that sound good and are really easy to play.
Here are two beginners lessons on how to improvise: