Teach yourself to play piano

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rescuer | 23:32 Tue 01st Sep 2009 | Music
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Is it not too difficult to teach oneself to play the piano?

I read recently of a man who decided to teach himself to play. He was in his early 80s.


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Well I taught myself to knock out a half-way decent tune, although I never practiced as much as I should have done. I did have the advantage of being able to read music and play a bit of pipe organ, however.

One or two lessons to get you started is a good idea, but there's no reason you can't teach yourself if all you're going to do is play for your own pleasure (ie if you don't want to be a concert pianist and play at Festival Hall or whatever).
Maybe this can help you get started?
Piano lessons
Question Author
Gnawer and saxy__jag, thanks for prompt answers. Both very interesting. They may get me started.
Good luck!
Loads of musicians are self-taught.

The ease with which you leardn depends on the twin factors of desire to learn, coupled with basic ability. That's why some people can progress seriously easily, and others struggle for years and never get it.

I interviewed a delta blues player at a festival recently, he is fourteen, and his music teacher put him straight into Grade Four exam, wich he passed, then he did Grade Five, skipped Six and Seven, and passed Grade Eight.

Similarly, Cherisse Ossei who plays 'live' drums for Mika, was promised her kit of choice by her dad when she passed her Grade Eight, imagining she would have either given up, or be old enough to have left home by then! He had to honour his promise when she did pass - at the age of fiteen!

So, you can teach yourself and discover an inbuilt talent, but the essential part of learning any instrument is to have fun, so even if you only master Chopsticks, if it gives you pleasure, then that's really all you need.
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Andy-hughes -- thanks for you reply. It seems that therer is hope! I must give it a go this winter.
I've had a keyboard for over 20 years and, on and off have "dabbled" a bit, learning from books, reading music, basic theory etc.
My progress has been painfully slow, but I'm sure that that is all of my own making. My biggest problem was trying to run before I could walk (I wanted to play Fur Elise!) which I'm sure has slowed my learning down greatly.
I can now play Fur Elise to a standard I'm happy with, (fifteen years after first trying!) but it's only since I really committed myself to learning that I' ve started to see some real progress.
I'm now playing every day, (I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!) practising hard, doing scales and all the things I should have done years ago and now can get to grips with a tune within a reasonable timescale (depending on difficulty of course).
I now find that a really difficult passage can be "tamed" without too much angst and frustration, and my lovely wife has promised me a brand new digital piano once we've paid for our eldest daughter's wedding in April next year (can't wait!!!)
I've also found that now, at the level I'm at (which won't be very high I suppose) I'm sort of starting to "understand" why a passage "goes" a certain way.
I only want to play classical music for my own enjoyment but it is also increasing my level of listening to classical piano as well. Every night I lock myself away in the spare room upstairs and I'm there for two or three hours... time just flies by, and it is so encouraging when a family member says how nice it sounds, heck, the other night our second oldest daughter asked me if I would consider playing at HER wedding! (She's just back home after splitting with her long term ex so it should be a while yet!)
I would love to have lessons to help my progress and have recently contacted a friend of a friend who is a level 8 student so something may come of that.
But I would say yes, it is definitely possible to teach yourself and the satisfaction you get from playing your first tune never goes away, in fact it increases with every tune you master. It is now almost always on my mind and most days I can't wait to get home and tinkle my plastics. Go for it, I'm so glad I have!
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My words, gazzawazza you have persisted. It's pleasing to learn of your enthusiasm.
You've wetted my appetite. Thanks
Glad to be of service, (whetting your appetite!) but I must admit, I've had long, long periods (years in some cases) where I haven't played at all.
The way I feel now I can't see me ever stopping again! So...Go for it and stick at it, it's worth it in the end!
I too am trying to "teach myself" the piano, For years I've wanted to do it but either hadn't had the commitment or time to get the practice in. I've now bought a cheapy keyboard and a self teach pack from a well known store. Now looking forward to knocking a few of Ludovico Einaudi's classics out in the not too distant future.

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