There’s more than one way to skin a cat and also learning how to play the piano! The traditional approach of musical theory works for some and not for others. Remember that some of the very best pianists and composers couldn’t read music at all – like Paul McCartney, for example. The best piano lessons include all methods to make sure that students progress to playing the music they love quickly and joyfully:
How to Play Your Piano by Ear
Written By: Ashley Southam
Piano Lessons Harvard IL 60033. I often have people ask me about playing a piano “by ear”. What they are referring to of course is learning and being able to play songs just by listening to them.
I remember when I was young, and still learning the piano, watching a person listen to a song on the radio and then quickly walk over to the piano and play what was on the radio. I was very impressed and remember thinking how amazing that was. What I’ve learned since then is that if you spend time with music, listening to it, playing it, paying attention to it, that things begin to stick out. By this I mean certain chords start to become familiar, certain melodies that then go along with those chords. Probably one of the most important aspects of this is that chord progressions start to become apparent. These are the essential parts to being able to play by ear.
Something that happens very frequently when someone starts their piano education is they are often taught how to read music first, then to play using sheet music. So when it comes time to play something that isn’t actually written down they have great trouble. I know, as this was how it was for me in the beginning.
Piano Lessons Harvard IL 60033. To really learn how to play music by ear you need to have at least some basic knowledge about chords and chord progressions. Once you know a little more about chords (major and minor and what they sound like) you can begin learning to play by ear. What you can do first is find a song you really like and want to learn to play by ear. The second thing is to do is make sure it’s a relatively easy song. (You will most likely find out how difficult it is to play pretty quick!) If there are just too many different chord changes then it might be a good idea to pick another song. The thing about learning to play piano by ear, when you first start out, is that it will take a while and you will need to be patient. When I first started it took me quite some time and I had to work through quite a lot of frustrating moments but in the end it’s much more rewarding.
There are those who will be able to pick up music by ear much easier than others. Though annoying, this is just a fact of life. Some people’s ears are just more tuned to music than others. Quite often though, these people are the ones who listen to the most music.
The key is to experiment with playing along with music and give yourself time to learn to play by ear, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Piano Lessons Harvard IL 60033. You will find that the more you do that, the better at it you will become, and after a while it will come naturally and you too will be able to play with whatever is on the radio.
The following article looks at learning the piano from another point of view – what not to do:
5 Most Common Ways to Ruin Your Piano Lessons
No matter what method of learning the piano you choose, be sure NOT to make these common mistakes!
1. You never practice or put in the DVD course. If you are learning piano through DVD lessons at home, it is important that you have the self-discipline to make time every week for the lessons. If you are excited and determined to learn piano, then finding the time to do a lesson or two every week should not be a problem. However, if you have a very busy schedule, or are just not sure about learning the piano, then making time in your schedule to learn piano might be difficult.
2. You pay too much for lessons. If you are taking private lessons, you are wasting over $1,400 a year. The average piano lesson costs $30. For one lesson once a week, that’s $120 a month, or $1,440 a year. DVD piano courses cost anywhere from less than $100 to $150, as a one-time payment. That is like paying for just one month of private lessons! Also, online piano lessons cost even less than DVD courses, but DVD courses are recommended more.
3. You spend most of your lesson asking questions. If you are taking private piano lessons, the lessons are usually limited to 30-minute sessions. If you are just starting to learn the piano, you probably have a ton of questions. These questions can really limit the time you have on actually learning songs and making sure you are playing the songs correctly. For basic piano questions, it is better to look those up in a book or online. Your lesson should be spent mostly on learning songs, technique, and how to read the music.
4. There are a lot of distractions during your lesson. If you have the DVD courses, it is best to do your lessons in a private room where there aren’t a lot of distractions. Trying to learn piano in the main room of your house or somewhere with a lot of noise can really lessen the quality of your lesson. Find a quiet, private place where you can really give your full attention. You will get a lot more out of your lesson!
5. You only practice the song, not the techniques. It will be very hard to learn any song without first learning the proper piano techniques. Working on the correct hand positions and maintaining the “good posture” will help you to play songs quicker and smoother. Learning how to read music will help you when you don’t have a teacher right next to you telling you all the notes. You will be able to practice more efficiently on your own and will be able to double check the music. It is very important to learn, practice, and maintain proper technique so that you can play more advanced songs, and have them sound really good!