Piano is one of the easiest musical instruments for humans to produce sounds with; all it takes is pressing one key. However, learning this instrument is no simple task even with expert guidance from teachers.
Make it your mission to seek out music that challenges and exhilarates you; don’t rely on your teacher for assignments – this could severely restrict musical growth and independence. Master the piano one note at a time with our lessons as your guide – your journey towards music mastery starts here!
1. Master the piano one note at a time
Learning piano requires mastering pieces gradually and our lessons help you do this by breaking pieces down into manageable 1-2 bar segments that can be played at any tempo.
Interval recognition can be an extremely useful skill for beginners, as it enables them to look at a piece of music and understand where its notes sit on its staff. Knowing this allows for faster timing when looking ahead.
Scales are an invaluable way to expand your technique. Since many pieces of music utilize scale-like patterns, it’s essential that you get familiar with them early.
2. Learn to read music
Though some remarkable musicians may never learn how to read music, reading musical notation is essential for becoming a professional musician. Musical notation serves as a universal language that communicates pitch, length and rhythm using symbols as familiar as alphabet letters.
To read sheet music effectively, you must first become acquainted with different note values and time signatures. Furthermore, you must understand how sharps () and flats () work to alter pitch. Furthermore, learn to recognize when these adjustments have occurred on a staff or keyboard and learn to read these adjustments as sharps/flats/reduce/increase etc.
3. Learn to play chords
Once you’ve mastered basic chords on piano with one hand, try it with both. Make sure that when playing chords using both hands you use proper piano fingering; that means using thumb on root note, middle finger on major or minor third note and small finger on perfect fifth.
Chords form the core of most popular songs, rock music and classical music, so understanding piano chord progressions is integral to playing all your favorite songs – “Don’t Stop Believing” for instance is constructed around four chord progressions.
4. Learn to play scales
As with any journey, mastery of piano requires perseverance and guidance through challenging times – often provided by your piano teacher.
Step one on this journey should be learning scales. Scales are patterns of notes repeated at intervals of an octave; learning how they connect will help you better understand how different notes relate and provide a framework for improvising on them.
Start practicing scales slowly and steadily; don’t try to rapidly increase your speed as this may backfire on you.
5. Learn to play arpeggios
Arpeggios can add movement and sophistication to your playing. They can be used over any chord and help outline harmony without needing to play full chords.
Arpeggios differ from scales by using only the core notes of a chord (root, 3rd, and 5th) in broken form. You can play an arpeggio using three fingers of your right hand (1-2-3-5 fingers), five with your left hand (53-2-1 fingers), or all five simultaneously if using five hands simultaneously.
Start off slowly and build up to two-octave arpeggios as soon as you feel confident with one octave arpeggios, working on finger placement and timing before moving on to higher octaves.
6. Learn to play solos
An incredible backing player is essential, but an eye-catching solo can truly set your performance apart. Achieve this feat requires mastering improvisation skill, quick witted creativity and adding some flare.
To successfully learn a solo, begin by breaking it into sections and mastering each one individually – this will allow you to avoid making errors when performing it at song tempo. When all parts have been mastered individually, combine them and practice playing the entire solo at that speed.
Practicing is key and don’t get discouraged if mistakes arise; as with learning a foreign language, becoming fluent may take time and practice.
7. Learn to play chord progressions
Once you can master one, a chord progression will open up a world of songs for you to play!
The I – IV – V chord progression forms the backbone of much popular music, including songs by The Troggs (“Wild Thing” and Green Day’s (“Minority” among others.
As well as mastering basic piano chords, it is also worthwhile to master diminished chords for added texture to your music. These more challenging chords provide a distinct sound and can add excitement and originality.