Whether it’s for enjoyment or a career choice, playing the piano can be very rewarding — not just for you — but for your audience as well– if you’re good, that is.
One thing that all musicians, including piano players, should know is how to read music. It is necessary if you ever want to play with other musicians in a band, to write a song, or to be able to play anything just by reading it off sheet music. Learning to read music is not hard to do. In fact, it is just like reading a book, once you understand the concept, and the more you practice reading sheet music, the easier it will be. Thus, there are a plethora of resources online to assist you with learning how to read music. If you are really serious about playing the piano, you should go all the way to learn your craft.
Playing by Ear
Moreover, it is also of equal importance to know how to play by ear, which is being able to play a song just by hearing it. Playing by ear is not always easy to do, as you must be able to interpret the chords being played so that your version of the song can be recognized. For years people have been saying you have to be born with an ear for music to be able to play by ear, but that is not true. Anyone can learn to play by ear with enough effort and dedication to learning.
What if you are Tone Deaf?
Unfortunately, numerous individuals are tone deaf, meaning they can’t distinguish between sounds. However, just because you are not able to perceive tones now, doesn’t mean you have to give up your dream to become a musician– you can learn how to identify tones. First, take the tone-deaf test to find out if you really are tone deaf. This test was created by professional musician-educators with many years of experience in the music industry based on scientific research in tone deafness. You might be surprised to find that you are not completely tone deaf.
If you pass, great! However, even if you fail, you’re still not out of the Ballpark, there are many online resources to help you learn how to distinguish and recognize tones; Musical U is one of them. And don’t forget there is still one thing that can help you to be a great musician even if you are tone deaf and that’s “memory.” Playing by memory, put into another perspective, is a way that you can fake it until you learn to play by ear. It’s what you can do when all else fails, but you should continue to work on recognizing tones while playing by memory.
The following is a list that contains 5 easy songs that beginners can learn to play on the piano. You should recognize them as I chose these songs in particular not only because they are easy to learn, but they are also popular as well. It is easier to learn how to play a song that you have heard before. Just don’t be too hasty and don’t get discouraged. Contrary to what others may say, nobody, can sit down and play the piano great without first learning and practicing. Therefore, don’t expect too much when you are just starting out. It takes time even to play decent, but with a little effort, you can do it… anyone can, you just have to apply yourself.
What kind of a music teacher would I be if I didn’t suggest that students learn Chopsticks when it is the one song people — who are not even musicians — know how to play? It’s simple to learn, and easy to play with just two fingers.
In case you haven’t already noticed, these two songs are basically the same but with more or fewer notes. Therefore, if you learn one, you will also know the other. I know these are little kids songs, but learning them helps you to know the basics, so, these are great songs to start you off on your musical journey. It’s very easy to learn, and it’s probably already stamped in your head.
I know you know this one, everybody does. This is another song that is very easy to learn and play. Besides that, it will make you the life of the party when it comes time to sing “Happy Birthday,” and you play it on the piano while everyone sings along.
Many first time piano players start out with this song. It can also be played as a duel where two players sit side by side at the piano; one will play the chords (C-Amin-F-G) while the other contributes to the melody. To be honest, the chords I use to play this song are slightly different as I replace the F with D major: (C-Amin-D-G).
This is always a fun song to learn and play. What I like most about playing this song is that, once you learn it and — can play it well — you can add in more notes to make it sound better and better as you grow.
Although it may not seem so, this piece is also easy to learn using this specific tutorial. Remember to start easy and take your time. You don’t have to learn the whole song in one day. Even if it takes you all week, it will be worth it, when you are able to “awe” your friends while showing off your new piano-playing skills. The best way to learn a song with these tutorials is by taking it one part at a time. For example, watch and listen to the first few notes, then pause it, learn it, practice it, then learn the next part and repeat the process until you have learned the whole song. Take time out during the day to go over what you learned so you won’t forget.
The Importance of Scales
One thing that every great piano player has in common is regularly practicing scales. We can think of scales as finger exercises that are of the utmost importance to all piano players for multiple reasons…
Here is a simple scale to start you off. Place your left pinky on the C note and your right thumb on the C note that is one-step higher. After hitting the C notes together, use your next fingers on both hands to hit the notes to the right, and keep going until you end up with your left thumb hitting the G note, and your right pinky hitting the higher G note, then go backward.
Once you have learned all of the above songs, picking up other songs will be a piece of cake. Don’t forget to keep practicing your scales at least an hour a day. And you don’t have to stop there. Start building your own style by adding your own notes and chords to songs you learn. Don’t be afraid to try different things, it can’t hurt, besides you will never know how it will sound until you try it and if it sounds good, play it!