I can already play the piano accordion quite well (I had lessons for many years) and now I would like to learn playing the piano.

My right hand is - I assume - quite well prepared, however there are differences (like influencing the volume of the sound by how fast you press the keys at the piano). For sure my left hand needs special training. What else do I have to keep in mind?


  • what are the important differences between playing piano and piano accordion (right hand) and
  • how can I effectively learn playing the piano?


My son (primary schooler) is having piano lessons since some months and we have bought a digital piano now, which motivates me also to try playing it...

I don't have time/money for taking lessons myself at the moment, so I wonder if/how I can teach myself.

  • 2
    So get "Piano for Dummies" or equivalent, but be warned that failure to take lessons will almost certainly lead to improper posture/hand position/etc and sadness in the end. If you don't have time for lessons how do you have time to practice? Dec 25, 2014 at 12:52

4 Answers 4


Your right hand will not be quite well prepared. It's more like your key-finding head is somewhat prepared. The piano keyboard is not as much velocity-sensitive as it is momentum-sensitive: you need to transfer a certain momentum in order to arrive at a certain loudness (unweighted or "semi-weighted" velocity-sensitive keyboards are not really an adequate approximation).

So the next articulatory relative is rather a harmonium, followed by an organ. The difference between the two is the complete rather than partial loss of bellows control as well as a bunch of "real" mechanics attached to the keys giving somewhat more inertia to the keys.

As you change from wind instrument to momentum-controlled percussive instrument (the harpsichord is percussive but the attack strength is fixed and the key sounds once you pass its counterforce), the importance of the release timing of a key decreases while the importance of good momentum control comes into play. That's where the typical piano keyboard offers a better mechanical interface than a chromatic button accordion keyboard, at the price of taking up considerably more space and weight. It also means that the high importance of "legato fingerings" decreases and instead it becomes more important to find fingerings that give each finger sufficient movement freedom to strike with controlled force.

With an accordion, your finger action is basically self-contained and no significant amount of energy transfers permanently to the keys. With a piano keyboard, all of the produced sound energy comes from your playing fingers rather than an independent bellows.

Once you pass the threshold from merely sounding notes to actual articulated and expressive play, the piano and the accordion become significantly different.

So I'd focus on scales and stuff and try getting consistent articulation (staccato/leggiero/legato) and controlled crescendi/decrescendi, also when playing long runs with alternating hands.


Just get a piano method and start yourself. You should have already developed familiarity with piano board and fingering, and lots of visual and muscle coordination. Your left hand may need some time to get used to but it won't take long especially if you pick your exercises concentrated on left hand.

Since you play an acoustic instrument, learning how to express yourself is not a big deal. You will get it right pretty quickly. My only real advice can be to listen to a lot of piano music to make things faster.

For an instrument player it is already easy to learn a second instrument. For you it will be a lot easier staying in the same family.

Be confident it will be fast and easy:)


learn all Chopin etudes (or the most difficult ones) and Bachs WTC 2 books. Pratice a F Liszts books of exercises. Train your ears and hands without an instrument. I have learnt this way without teachers. No matter what instrument you play, its just love to music, hearing, attention, trained memory and proper hand coordination


I don't have time/money for taking lessons myself at the moment, so I wonder if/how I can teach myself. /thread

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