The best method to teach myself Keyboard?

Jchrisf

Member
Messages
2,136
I recently purchased the group buy that IK Multimedia was offering and got many keyboard simulators. I've never played keyboard/piano before and purchased a Nektar GX61 to use with the new software. I'm really interested in learning how play the keyboard properly. What is the best method to teach myself?

I've watched some YT videos so maybe I just need to follow this course. They seem to start off with finger exercises to get some independence.

I had bad guitar teachers when I was a kid and I think that handicapped me so I am afraid of teachers. Just want to make sure I get off on the right foot so I don't get handicapped again.

The keyboard seems like it might be a great help to my guitar playing because it seems to be an easier instrument to play and visualize. It is very easy to see the notes and play chords right away.
 

Tahitijack

Member
Messages
4,428
When I was looking for online courses I narrowed the field to a few after reading reviews and watching sample videos on YT. It eventually came down to Playground Sessions and Piano In A Flash. Although Piano In A Flash cost more Scott Houston's approach made more sense to me and he actually teaches the classes, while neither Harry Conick Jr or Quincy Jones teach. After a year I feel I made the right choice and can play a short set list of my favorites well enough to hear my wife say...I love how you play those songs. Scott has a great since of humor and often he seems to be right there in the room with you as you move from course to course and song to song.
 

Jr Deluxe

Member
Messages
3,536
No online course will ever be even half as effective as a good music teacher. If you get a bad music teacher, drop them after the first or second lesson and try again. You can be told bad info from an online course just as easy as from a bad teacher so that reason is not valid.

That all said I have only taken a couple of music lessons in my life and I'm considered a good guitar player in my area and I'm not far from playing some decent keyboards. But it's taken me 45 years to get there. I could have done it in 20 with the right teacher. BTW I'd pay good money for a good hammond b3 teacher. They just dont exist and online courses range from worthless to less than worthless. Some things can only be passed along in person.
 
Last edited:

TopJimmy5150

Member
Messages
2,087
There's a millions ways to learn..no one way is best for every person.

I learned by picking out the notes from guitar chords and replicating them with the keys...the opposite of how a lot of pianists learn guitar. I also had lessons in 9th grade for 3 months which taught same basics.

That said, any player with any kind of piano training can easily play rings around me, and I can't sight read.
 

IceTre

Member
Messages
894
Music teachers are like every other profession, there are good, bad and average. Don't give up just because the first one you had was bad. It's good to get instantaneous feedback on your technique, mistakes, etc. I learn any instrument-- guitar, voice, piano-- 10 times faster with a professional teacher. And a good teacher will be able to size up where you are now and know how to get you to the next level . They will give you exercises to practice between lessons to help you advance.
 

Johnny Cache

Member
Messages
570
I took up piano/keyboards at the start of this pandemic, for about a year and a half I've been working on it. I'm not great and will may never play keys in a Band but it's been great fun. 50+ years of guitar a dozen or so Bands and now I wish I'd taken up keyboard sooner, like 40 years ago.

I take songs I already know find piano charts and learn them. I'm up to about 30 songs and will continue to learn more. If my Band ever gets back together (I'm beginning to think it won't), I'll have one more skill I can use, if not, I'll just keep playing.
 

MKB

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,141
I just started on keys about two months ago after over 40 years of playing guitar. I tried taking lessons a few decades ago but it didn't stick. For some reason now it is, and I'm having a ball with it, and very happy with the progress and being able to actually make music with the thing.

There are some great tutorials on youtube, my favorites are from Pianote and some of the beginners boogie woogie piano lessons (making good progress with this). But since the OP has played guitar awhile, he probably does not need to learn music but just how to get what he knows out of the new machinery. That makes it a lot easier, and changes the lesson plan to an extent (many beginner lessons try to teach theory, which a long time guitarist probably already has). Another thing that has helped is to just start playing songs from tutorials on youtube. My first two was the intro to Strawberry Fields, and Jump. Both simple, but it was such a blast to hear those tunes coming out of my fingers. I have also done some recording and picked out bass lines on keys, that was easy to do as well.

The hardest thing I am finding is the left/right hand coordination, similar to trying to get the opposing thumb going when learning to fingerpick. Runs and scales and arpeggios are very simple with each hand individually, but putting them together at the same time is a challenge. I clearly remember when the finger independence clicked on fingerpicked acoustic years ago, and the left/right hand conundrum on keys feels identical. I'm sure it will hit soon.

I am extremely glad I started on guitar, as it seems to be much harder than keys. Keys are very logical, and most music theory seems to be geared towards the keyboard (especially sheet music). Arpeggios on keys are SO easy. And note how many of the keyboard tunes played by lead guitarists are in C... If a song is in C and you avoid the black keys, you literally cannot hit a wrong note. There was a gigging keyboard player around here years ago that literally played every song in C and simply hit the transpose button on his keyboard.

The only other thing is make sure your keyboard has at the very least 49 keys if you want to practice parts with both hands at the same time. 88 keys are much better, and a real piano action is a plus. I asked Santa Claus for a tiny 49 key controller for just sitting on the sofa and doodling while watching TV. There was a big box that arrived a week or so ago, so maybe I've been a good enough boy.
 

FusionRock

Member
Messages
655
I used Alfred's Basic Adult All-In-One Course in Jr. College where I actually took a semester of class piano. It's pretty good. Get the one with a CD (or if they don't come with CDs anymore, it probably has online access to the audio files.)

Just pay attention to proper hand position and fingerings.
 

InkStained

Member
Messages
4,144
I used the Alfred adult basic books for a while before I found a good local teacher, who taught via zoom and in-person -- very convenient. That's when I started to make real progress.

There are a lot of apps out there that can help with sight-reading -- Notes Trainer, Notes Teacher, Music Tutor, etc. iReal Pro is fun when you're ready to improvise.
 

MajorLedhead

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,974
All of the previous suggestions are great and you will have to weigh out what works best for you.
On the other hand, If you already have a good ear, don’t be shy about putting on a backing track and feeling around to what fits.
Something in D minor will put most of the white keys in play. A song in E flat will put most of the black keys in harmony.

Look up some chord shapes and get familiar with their inversions. Even just playing a octave with your left hand as a base note while noodling with your right will get to brain thinking to help with coordination.
 

DGDGBD

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,561
I'm in the process of teaching myself, after playing guitar for 45 years. About six months in so far, and its coming along pretty well. Just practicing a set amount of time every day, taking the time to go slow at first, and the repetition to build up muscle memory, pays off to no end. Songs that at first seemed impossible are now coming together. I am concentrating on easier pop songs and early rock n roll piano. I can get through whole songs now, will hit a few clams but its getting better.

One difficult part I had was the need to build up hand muscle strength in my left hand for the wide streches you need to play octaves throughout a song. I had to take a break for several days at one point as i was developing tendonitis in my left hand. The youtube tutorials have been helpful. I bought the Beatles complete score to try learn keys/piano for some of their songs. I would like to take some lesson to get basic pointers and eliminate any bad habits. I took some time to set up my keyboard so that i could practice standing up (sitting is hard on my back, and if i ever played live, i would prefer to stand) and having it at the right height for arm-comfort.
 

Angstwulf

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,488
I'm in the process of teaching myself, after playing guitar for 45 years. About six months in so far, and its coming along pretty well. Just practicing a set amount of time every day, taking the time to go slow at first, and the repetition to build up muscle memory, pays off to no end. Songs that at first seemed impossible are now coming together. I am concentrating on easier pop songs and early rock n roll piano. I can get through whole songs now, will hit a few clams but its getting better.

One difficult part I had was the need to build up hand muscle strength in my left hand for the wide streches you need to play octaves throughout a song. I had to take a break for several days at one point as i was developing tendonitis in my left hand. The youtube tutorials have been helpful. I bought the Beatles complete score to try learn keys/piano for some of their songs. I would like to take some lesson to get basic pointers and eliminate any bad habits. I took some time to set up my keyboard so that i could practice standing up (sitting is hard on my back, and if i ever played live, i would prefer to stand) and having it at the right height for arm-comfort.

My level of keyboard playing is literally banging out chords and trying to come up with something that sounds like an arpeggio or melody if you were listening from inside an MRI.

It's good enough that if we are goofing around with songs, not trying to play like the recording, that I can fill in a lot of keyboard parts. Nothing more.

But, every time I step away from a long session on a piano I find my guitar playing is more fluid and I am so much better at soloing. It's both a mental improvement (I'll break away from "box" position scales and 1-5 chords) and physical (my left hand strains less and my right hand seems to play rhythm with more comfort and accuracy)

I'll never be a "good" player and I doubt I'll find time to take lessons but I am musically all the better even with my lackluster efforts.
 

pc131

Member
Messages
77
I started with keyboard (accordion precisely) and it was very easy to understand and visualize music, because the keys are in order and repeat themselves. Chords are easy and learning music theory was also easy. I think any keys should go before the guitar, as it's easier to understand music on keyboard.
 

motowntom

Member
Messages
150
Just like learning guitar. Learn the basic chords C-C , they're pretty easy, then just go from there. I presume your a guitar player? If you learned guitar you can easily learn keys. Pianos are chromatic, everything just repeats.
Cheers
 
Last edited:

ctreitzell

Member
Messages
4,423
I took keyboard class as a 16 year old in 1980 at high school. The keyboard class was a requirement for music theory students. We sat in a classroom at a bunch of 60 key keyboards with headphones. We were told to learn every major scale with two hands over 2 octaves. The fingerings are important so you don't get tangled up moving through the octaves. Eventually, it was required to blow through the scales on piano for the music theory teacher.

Then we were tasked to learn all three minor scales: natural, harmonic and melodic. We also were required to play triads the same way. We never really worked on four note chords. And the final exam was to play them all on piano for the music theory teacher. I didn't know anything before I started...did not have a piano at home.

I still use that keyboard grinding in my scalar thought processes today.

There's much more to it than that, but that's how I learned.
 
Last edited:
Messages
2
I took keyboard class as a 16 year old in 1980 at high school. The keyboard class was a requirement for music theory students. We sat in a classroom at a bunch of 60 key keyboards with headphones. We were told to learn every major scale with two hands over 2 octaves. The fingerings are important so you don't get tangled up moving through the octaves. Eventually, it was required to blow through the scales on piano for the music theory teacher.

Then we were tasked to learn all three minor scales: natural, harmonic and melodic. We also were required to play triads the same way. We never really worked on four note chords. And the final exam was to play them all on piano for the music theory teacher. I didn't know anything before I started...did not have a piano at home.

I still use Proctoredu in my scalar thought processes today.

There's much more to it than that, but that's how I learned.
Hi there :wave
Thanks for sharing! Great method, gives me hope to learn keyboard myself eventually :)
 
Last edited:

joesnewmatch

Music Is My Soul Food
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,676
Another vote for Pianote, although I've used various resources, including digital books. It's incredibly logical and not difficult to grasp, the problem is muscle memory. Remember how hard it was to learn new chords and move them quickly in songs? It's like that, but two handed. But like all things, there are easier songs and harder songs and it's what you make it. If you love it, go for it. Me, I grew up with synth music in the 80s and always wanted to be able to do that. It was less about piano recitals and more finding my inner new wave hero. Enjoy.
 

ned7flat5

Member
Messages
4,847
I’m convinced that with online instructional resources you can go a long way quickly on your own.

A while back now I had only just joined an originals band fronted by a singer/guitar player who played Keef-style exclusively (in open G).

At the first break one from that day’s inaugural rehearsal, I was in the darkened studio’s bar and noticed there was a guy in the corner playing “Easy” on the upright piano. I sidled over and stood behind him watching, listening and thinking “nice playing”. A few moments elapsed before I realised it was my band’s frontman!

He explained he’d only been playing piano a couple of weeks learning melodic songs off YouTube that took his fancy - by just following the demonstrators’ hands (at that time he had no idea of most of the chord voicings’ names) and it was darned impressive. He also could play (and sing) a very creditable version of the Stones’ “Girl With The Faraway Eyes”.

Interestingly, over the next couple of weeks, he learned a couple of Elton John and Paul McCartney tunes to “wine bar standard” and, based on his own progress, bought a pro-level stage piano. Thereafter, his priority for the band quickly dissolved as his piano prowess (and musical direction) accelerated.

It was probably the most extraordinary transformation I’ve ever witnessed.

Yet it got me thinking that it would be “do-able” for any motivated person with access to a decent keyboard, an internet connection and the discipline to stick with learning stuff that they can accomplish.
 




Trending Topics

Top Bottom