“I Want To Play The Piano!” – The Very Best Way To Learn

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“I Want To Play The Piano!” – The Very Best Way To Learn

Good morning. This is Duane, and If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: “I want to learn to play the piano.” People have told me that many, many times down over the years. Usually, it’s by adults, but sometimes children as well. If children ask or if parents ask for their children, I always, without exception, say, “You need a piano teacher,” because a child needs a warm body right alongside them to help with their fingering and their reading and so on, and they need to work through a series of books and learn theory and so on. That’s the way I learned, and that’s the way most kids learn.
If, on the other hand, and it’s an adult, and they don’t have much time to practice, then I recommend that they learn chords and learn to play from a lead sheet or fake book. I have a lot of doctors and professional people that I’ve worked with over the years, and that’s how I teach them so they can play what they enjoy and do it without taking years and years. They can get to where they sound pretty decent in a relatively short period of time, but if it’s a child, I always recommend they get a piano teacher, and they’ll learn typically out of a book like this. This is Level 1 of a Piano Student book, and you’ve probably seen this sort of thing. They’ll learn how to read music, the staff and the clefs and so on, and they’ll learn how to do this, and they’ll gradually get better and better until they can learn to read music.

If it’s an adult, however, then I always show them how to play by way of chords, and we learn chords first of all, and then once they’ve learned chords, then they can play out of a big fake book like this and play the songs they want to play.

I’m just going to illustrate how that would work. They’ll need to learn to read the music a little bit, the melody. Either that, or they need to have a pretty good ear to be able to pick out the melody by ear, and a lot of people can do that. You can learn to pick out the melody by ear, but if you can’t do that, then you’ll need to learn how to read the melody like this. I’m playing the first song in this fake book. Fake book, by the way, has hundreds of songs. Some have a thousand. This has 650, so you’ve got a huge variety of pieces to learn.

A typical adult student will start out like this, learning the melody like that and then putting the chords with it in the left hand and then just holding the chords like that, which is not very exciting, but it’s a start, and they can play a melody that they like that way.

Then, the next step is to teach them some arranging styles, what to do with those chords, in other words. In due time, by playing with chords, they can add styles like this and so on, like so. So there’s two distinct ways of learning to play the piano when somebody wants to learn how to play the piano.
However, the very best way, and the way that I recommend if a person has his druthers, and I realize that not everybody has their druthers because of economics or time or whatever, but the very best way is to learn how to read music through a traditional method like that, but also learn a lot about music theory and about chords, so that you’ll learn what to do, and you’re not limited to the sheet music. In other words, let’s say you have a piece of sheet music in front of you, and the wind blows the music off the stand. What do you do? Well, if you don’t know chords and you don’t know chord progressions, you’re really up a creek. You have to lean down and pick up the sheet music and so on and put it back on the stand, but if you know chords, then of course, you can play those chords and chord progressions without reference to the music. That’s the very best way, if a person wants to learn piano. If you’re one of those thousands of people that says, “I want to learn how to play the piano,” then I recommend that that would be the way to go.

I have lots of courses that teach both ways. I have a course for adults called, “The Crash Course.” It’s a year-long, 52-lesson course that teaches both of these ways. It teaches how to read music. You learn music theory, and you learn chord playing and arranging. If you’re not interested in that, then you can take a shorter course. I have a course called, “How to Play Chord Piano,” but there’s lots of people that have good courses available, so I’m not trying to sell you a course, but that’s just how it works.

If you enjoy these tips, come on over to Play Piano and sign up for my free newsletters on chords and chord progressions, and you’ll get a video or an instructional manuscript of some sort most every day by email.

That’s it for today, so thanks for being with me, and I’ll see you again tomorrow. Bye bye for now.

Here is the video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VsaSyrnxRs&feature=youtu.be

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