I'm considering learning to play the piano by reading resources instead of taking up piano lessons. It would allow me to just a buy the piano and learn it by myself. What good books or other resources would you recommend?

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    What kind of music are you trying to learn? Classical music differs greatly from pop or jazz. Do you already know how to read sheet music, or will you need to learn that, too? – Babu Sep 17 '11 at 14:07
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    We need a lot more information on your background and, as noted, your goals. Please see if the answer to this question answers yours. – Matthew Read Sep 17 '11 at 15:48

John Thompson Piano Courses are the old standards and have been used successfully by gazillions of people. But in case there is something newer and better, you could go by a piano store and ask them for a good beginning piano book.

  • The Thompson books are excellent to support a tutor based learning, but they're not geared to self learning. They are still of great value to a self learning student, e.g. as a way of testing progress, train sight reading, providing a sound reference for fingerings or just as an alternative source for the beginner's reportoire. But there resources, like indicated in other answers, the provide a more guided approach to the standalone beginner. – José David Apr 20 '16 at 13:58

If you're going to be teaching yourself, I recommend the "Alfred Adult Piano Method." Supplement it with a good video on piano technique such as Barbara Lister Sink's "freeing the caged bird."


I'd recommend L&M Piano. http://www.learnandmaster.com/piano/

It actually DVDs with video instruction that goes with the written material. Still it's great for the beginner.


Get a Transcription of whatever you want. Then get the recording. Just remember, no matter who plays it, It's always an interpretation of what is written down.


I would recommend faber piano adventures book. they have explained it a good way so that even a naive user would pick it. important is consistency. You must practice it, with book or with lessons. Also there are multiple aspects of playing piano like being able to play any tune/ playing by ears/ sight reading/ hand independence. One thing is for sure that it takes years and years of dedicated practice to be able to play piano decently.


I just saw this post ("An Ingenious Way to Learn Piano & Keyboard") and actually was reading about this same topic the other day. I did some searching around and stumbled onto this cool article… I thought it was helpful… check it out…. http://www.dld.bz/topremedyforacne

  • We call 'em DOTS, not SPOTS. – Tim Apr 20 '16 at 11:50

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