I recently bought a synthesizer and my dream is to play "Scotland the Brave". What is the quickest way to achieve this goal? (e.g. should I just learn to play the keys and not the chords, is there a simpler song that you recommend I learn first, etc.)

I consider myself as having no musical background.


In case you do want more specific info about my background and goals, here is my situation (note I'm now 32 years old):

  1. I know how to read basic sheet music (from 5th grade at school)
  2. I have negligible experience playing the piano/synthesizer etc. The closest I got were a few weeks of lessons as a 9 year old.
  3. I played a recorder or violin for one school year (5th grade) approximately once a week. But I do not consider myself a musician.
  4. I don't want to get sidetracked into playing classical or religious music as a way of learning (it will alter my long term goal in a way I don't want). I want to learn newer, exciting songs that others will enjoy hearing like patriotic marches or popular music. For example:
    • Happy birthday to You
    • America the Beautiful
    • No awa tae bide awa
    • Take on Me
    • 100 Years
    • Final Countdown
  • I would remove all of point 4 as it just detracts from the question.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 19:36

1 Answer 1


Scotland the Brave is relatively simple, but if you find it tricky to play both hands, starting with simpler music is a good idea.

Generally you would start with single hand practice, left and right, learning simple scales individually, then together, and working up to more complex figures.

Once you have note placement, chords can come later.

This is best approached with a teacher, who can help you get finger, wrist and arm placement correct, and make sure you don't end up with bad habits.

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