How you can teach yourself to play piano

You want to learn how to play the piano yourself? That’s amazing!

Read on for some good advice. Amongst others, you’ll learn about:

  • Why it is worth learning how to play the piano
  • How to learn the notes
  • How to stay motivated
How you can teach yourself to play piano

Making music is one of the most popular hobbies and most people start learning an instrument in childhood.

But as with many other things, the rule is: it’s never too late to start playing the piano.

Why is it worth learning to play the piano?

In adulthood, self-study is especially good because it has some advantages. One important point is that you develop a great knowledge as well as some understanding of music theory. When you teach yourself to play the piano, progress is usually seen more quickly. 

In addition, logical thinking, as well as coordination, are trained when both hands are brought together while playing. Another advantage of self-study is that you can spend your time freely. You can easily integrate your new hobby into your own everyday life and practice as much as you feel like and have time for.

Also, it is a lot of fun being able to play your favorite tunes. As soon as you can play some of them, you can visit the nearest piano bar and enjoy yourself and delight the staff and other visitors with some nice music.

Can you teach yourself to play the piano?

As has already become clear, the answer to this frequently asked question is yes. With the right exercises and techniques, as well as long-term motivation and practice, it is possible to teach yourself to play the piano. 

At a later stage, you can always consider starting professional lessons to train your skills more deeply. 

For starters, however, self-study is a great way to develop an understanding of the instrument and to extensively explore making music.

Finding the right instrument

Before you can begin with the self-study in piano playing, you need the right instrument. Which one is the right one can only be answered individually, because it depends on your own ideas and goals.

One point that should not be ignored, of course, is the price. But this should not be the decisive factor. If you feel that you have found the right instrument for you, then you should not shy away from the investment. 

Especially beginners should seek help in making the decision. The best way is a personal conversation with an employee in the music store. Here you can get an overview of the offers and try out the pianos. Testimonials on the Internet can also be helpful.

It is important that you know what your goal is. Do you want to play the piano professionally and maybe even earn money with it one day? Then you should definitely choose a high-quality piano or even a grand piano. 

If you just want to make music as a hobby, you can consider a less expensive electric piano or even a keyboard. Keyboards are good for beginners because their keys are usually easier to press and the keyboard is limited.

Learning the notes

An important part of self-study in piano playing is reading music. Often this is already taught in school, but many people unlearn it again if it is not needed in everyday life.

To begin, you should start with the treble clef, or G clef. This usually indicates which notes the right hand plays. Buy a music book and practice the C major scale for the beginning. 

Gradually add the so-called accidentals, which turn a white key into a black key on the piano. If you find your way around the staff, which consists of five lines, you can start reading the bass clef. 

This becomes crucial when it comes to the left hand, which is the accompaniment part in most cases. The real trick is to get both hands and clefs to work together later. This is quite complicated at the beginning and requires a lot of practice from you.

Learn to play the piano with books

Once you have learned the basics of reading music, you can finally start playing the piano. There are several ways to do this. You can learn very well with books. 

Here, with pictures and explanatory texts, the basics of piano playing are taught in an easily understandable way. Often the books also contain the first little songs, which can be rehearsed bit by bit.

On the Internet, you can exchange ideas with other musicians and get recommendations for good books.

Learn to play piano online

Another popular way to learn how to play the piano is through online courses and videos.

Learning with the help of the internet is very versatile. There are various course offerings where you get regular lessons with basics on music theory and playing the piano.

This is supported by videos that contain many helpful tips.

First the right then the left hand

When it comes to learning to play the piano, there is one very important rule that you should follow when studying on your own. 

Experienced pianists play with both hands at the same time, of course, and that’s probably your goal as well. But in the beginning you should start only with the right hand. 

This way, you can slowly get used to the piano keyboard and rehearse your first melodies. Only after a few weeks of regular practice should you add the left hand, which in most cases takes over the chords and accompaniments. 

Again, you should start slowly and begin with just a few notes and easy-to-grasp chords. There are helpful tips in the books and online videos on how to bring both hands together.

Stay motivated

An important tip if you want to teach yourself to play the piano is to stay motivated and disciplined. Of course, you don’t feel like practicing for a long time every day. 

Nor do you need to. If you force yourself to practice, you can quickly lose the fun of your new hobby. However, it is important to get into a certain routine of playing the piano. 

For example, you can choose two or three days per week on which you want to practice. For the beginning, one to two hours is suitable, so as not to strain your fingers.

Of course, you can’t be a perfect pianist from the beginning, but don’t let that put you off. If certain exercises don’t work right away and you can’t play some songs yet, that’s not a problem. 

Don’t let this unsettle you, but see small setbacks as an incentive to practice even more intensively.

A tip to stay motivated is to make a list of your favorite songs. Your goal can then be to eventually be able to play all of these songs on the piano.

Self-study experiences

Of course, teaching yourself to play the piano is a big challenge. But self-study is definitely promising. 

There are many people who taught themselves to play music and later took professional lessons. They developed quickly in music, having already acquired a wide knowledge through self-study.

Also, you can teach yourself a lot for years. Above all, it can be great fun to allocate your own practice time and learn the songs you’ve always wanted to play. 

You can start with a practice book and simple chords and eventually learn with numerous videos. But the rule here is that you have to develop the most suitable strategy for you in self-study.

Important advice

Finally, here are some more tips that will make your self-study in piano playing easier.

One important point is the place to practice.

If you still live at home, you can place your piano in your room or in another quiet place in the house. The important thing here is that you can play undisturbed and thus get the most out of your practice time.

Another tip is to have your work and process checked from time to time during your self-study. You can do this by asking acquaintances or friends who have experience in playing the piano. 

You can take this opportunity to check if your fingers are placed correctly on the keys and if your posture is good. If you practice a lot in an incorrect sitting position, you may experience back and shoulder pain. 

You can also ask general questions about playing the piano during the regular check-up.