At the age of 35 I've decided to learn a bit of playing piano. My music background is very poor but as a teenager I use to play a guitar (could play not bad a few well recognized songs) however I always wanted to learn some basics of piano as I love this instrument.

I know that it is quite late to start but also that nothing is impossible, and with appropriate effort I would be able to play 'something' before I get retired :)

I've tried to arrange some teacher for 1h a week to give me some idea what should I practice for whole week but it is impossible in my area. Mainly because either tutors are only considering children or it is impossible to arrange time when I am not working but I don't want to make it a reason that I would give up so early.

I know where the tunes are on the sheet and I can immediately press them on the keyboard (in tempo is a different story) and I've learned how to play a C major scale using both hands in parallel (always better than nothing :).

Is there something what you could recommend me for practice for the first three months? I know that often people hates to play the scales - I don't mind to practice them for three months if that's the best way to start. Furthermore, I've really liked that when something what appeared to be simply at the beginning gets quickly complicated when I've tried to use two hands at the same time :)

If you could guide me how should my first three month period look like it would be really helpful. To be clear - I'm not planning to be a concert pianist but rather to be able to play some simple songs after a significant time of training :)

I do have a Kawai KDP 110, around 2 hours a day for practice and high motivation.

  • 1
    What sort of music do you want to play? Do you want to play written music, or improvise from a chord chart? Of course, both is a good option, but having some direction when you start is critical. If you just want to play in a pop covers band, learning to play Für Elise perfectly is going to make you bored.
    – endorph
    Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 0:34
  • 1
    "it is impossible in my area". You may want to look into getting lessons over Skype.
    – user37496
    Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 0:38
  • @Kris - please read the posts in the Related sidebar to the right.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 0:52
  • maybe think about looking for an older teacher who is maybe retired and can fit around your work better. Kids' practice times are easy for teachers to fit into their own lives. Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 10:37

7 Answers 7


I have found this gentleman to be excellent. He also includes footage of his pedaling while playing unlike most Youtube resources. He gives commentary for a number of self-learning books geared to adults. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIeSnI-BmRMkxURGZ7nHtzQ


I am using this website : https://pianoteachersconnect.com/ to find piano teacher/lessons thru Skype. So it expands the pool of available teacher. I have been doing it since November 2017. The teacher quality and support is great!
Hope this helps.


One possibility might be to find a learning partner, either just starting out like you, or even a little more experienced, who is trying to expand and grow musically, then pick out a method book and work through it. After that, move on to the next grade, get together once a week and play together, teaching each other at the same time. There will be holes in your education for sure, but a lot of teachers only cover aspects of music that are important to themselves and their way of thinking anyway. a set-up like this might inspire further study on your own and if it does, you'll be on your way to becoming knowledgeable and experienced as a musician. Another possibility might be a class at community college in the evening.


I am in the same boat. I am 68 and just started learning the piano in February. I have started with the GarageBand app on my Mac computer. The first 10 lessons are free and I have found them to be an excellent place to begin. I have also paid $20.00 for PianoForAll via Udemy.com:

https://www.udemy.com/pianoforall-incredible-new-way-to-learn-piano-keyboard/ [I am new to this site and don't know how to add links, sorry]

PianoForAll is also very good so far, although there has been some duplication with the GarageBand app.

I am also teaching myself to play guitar and have used GarageBand and YouTube for this as well. I feel I am making good progress on both instruments, as well as finding inspiration via YouTube.

I will also add that I have found a great deal of free videos on YouTube. Some are excellent; others just ok but if you are willing to spend the time to sort through them all, I think you will find the effort worthwhile.


Your practice routine should be determined by your objectives. You can certainly get a method or practice book and work on the exercises sequentially or practice all kinds of scales for hours but it will be useful only as long as it aligns with your goals and helps you to get to them.

One good way to determine how you should organize your practice time (as suggested in this series of videos: part 1, part 2 and part 3) is to identify a piece of music that will work as your goal and use it to figure out the areas where you need to work on to perform it proficiently.

With your goal defined (the piece of music that you want to perform), you should try it out and use that exercise to identify the areas where you need to improve your skills the most in order to reach it. Then you can organize your practice time with exercises focused on improving those areas.


I recommend scales, for sure. That way you get accustomed to all the keys on the piano. From there, you might want to try some abridged versions of classics, because who doesn’t love a little Mozart? When you are a little more familiar with the keys, branch out and find music that you like!

  • You cannot climb a ladder without being able to walk, and in the same way you cannot realistically play well without knowing scales. Boring but necessary. Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 10:36

I am 23 and started self-teaching this year using this book "Adult All-In-One Course: Lesson-Theory-Technic: Level 1"

I've liked it thus far because it has exercises on things like adding the notes to some sheet music as well as exercises you practice with your hands on the piano.

I got it and my electronic piano at the beginning of May so I've been at it maybe 5 or 6 months on and off because sometimes it can be frustrating, and there was at least one month where I was completely busy traveling and doing all sorts of stuff.

I've not made it very far through the book perfectly yet, but I am at a point where I feel comfortable looking up scores on places like musescore and somewhat successfully practicing parts of songs like this https://musescore.com/user/3435661/scores/3510506

The hardest parts I'm experiencing are getting the timing down, even if I can see what whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, etc. are, I'm still missing some symbolic knowledge of what can appear in a piece of sheet music and what it means, and I don't have an instructor to teach me the correct fingerings for playing certain things, so I always have to try a few versions of hand placement before I get something that's working somewhat well.

I can't give you a great guide for what your first three months of training should look like, but I know that within my first week or two with that book, I was able to play Jingle Bells with both hands, which was very exciting. And there's several other simple one and two-handed songs in there which I think would help you feel very positive about your progress.

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