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I've not gotten myself a tutor. I have not bought any books as of yet. I do not know where to start. Should I begin with gaining the technical know-how of the workings & keys of the keyboard, or should I simply dip my fingers in the water by playing any fairly easy song? I wish to be a fast learner. Please, help & thank you!

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    The fastest way to learn is weekly lessons and daily practice. – Todd Wilcox Oct 4 '19 at 21:06
  • It depends on how much you know already. Can you read music? Do you play any other instrument? Getting a tutor should be a priority. Better to start learning good habits now rather than having to break bad ones later. – Jomiddnz Oct 4 '19 at 22:11
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    I recommend not waiting for answers before doing something. Start playing now. Turn on the keyboard and press down a key so that sound comes out. Why are you still reading this. – piiperi Reinstate Monica Oct 5 '19 at 9:18
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I wish to be a fast learner.

Why? you will have the time of your life.

I've not gotten myself a tutor.

This can depend of the money or the place where one lives. To start a music career as pianist it is important to have a piano teacher!

But learning piano just for a hobby today this is possible with all the information you can get from the web, wiki, forums like this here and especially from Youtube tutorials. Even piano rolls can be useful to play a song you like.

I have not bought any books as of yet. You don't need to buy books, just search for a piece and look up images, there is millions of sheet music available from Pop music and Classic music: https://imslp.org/

Should I begin with gaining the technical know-how of the workings & keys of the keyboard, or should I simply dip my fingers in the water by playing any fairly easy song?

Both! 1. It is always for benefit just playing a song by ear to get orientated at the keyboard, to enjoy that you found out a tune by yourself (this is the best way for ear training and to keep you motivated).

  1. It is very helpful to learn the basics of harmony: the triads, the scales and the circle of fifths.

  2. There is sheet music with notated easy chords or also only the lyrics with chord symbols. Try to practice both and notate yourself some chords, lead-sheets and also music in a staff system. There are many useful advice given here: Look up the tags and questions mentioned above.

  3. If you like to play classic music start with Sonatinas, (Clementi, Kuhnau, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven) or the Little Preludes and Two-Part-Inventions by Bach. (You could even start with the C-major Prelude of the WTC). I still pretend this would be the best introduction to keyboard reading and playing - of course not without other exercises (learning clefs, studying chords and harmony functions).

    Would it benefit a beginner pianist to start by learning Bach's Prelude in C? There are very helpful answers and comments there. I still haven't answered myself as I'm planning an entire introduction for beginners - stage and sequence - and analysis of this piece ...)

Like this you can acquire the basics to play Pop songs, Blues, with a group or to accompany another instrument - or yourself when singing. A good approach to music is also writing your own songs: the melody of your heart.

But as said (like Tim): If you want to reach more (Classic or Jazz) you need a professional teacher.

  • This 'find professionl teacher' is something we all preach. Thinking about it - I had several professional teachers over my teens years, and they pretty well all nearly killed any enthusiasm for 'proper piano playing'. True, they got me through grade VIII, but then I (thankfully at the time) went on to other instruments only playing piano when it was needed in some schools. Rather a double edged sword, this! Refer to a question about how does one know if a teacher is good? It has some interesting answers. But, from my experience, a glib 'find a teacher' (pro or not) is just that - glib. – Tim Oct 5 '19 at 10:11
  • Tim, I agree with you: My teachers have been concerned of fingering and phrasing but didn't tell me anything about the composition, the harmony, the chord reduction, or reading bass clefs - all things that would be helpful and short cuts for learning and understanding! I've found out that also professional teachers today who had studied harmony are not able to link this knowledge with the music they are playing. But in one point it is different today: We had just our 2 or 3 albums and couldn't take other information any where, also the chord symbols weren't known ore used in sheet music. – Albrecht Hügli Oct 5 '19 at 10:21
  • Just dug out some old sheet music from the 50s/60s. 2s > 2/6d each! All the chords seem to be marked in for guitarists to use. Those were the days! – Tim Oct 5 '19 at 14:44
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Always a difficult one. Some people need a structured approach, learning with music, and being told what to do by what the music says. Others will be better served by 'messing about' with the black and white bits (keys, which is confusing!) until they make p some music of their own and find which notes go with which others.

Learning music is in two parts at least. One is the music itself, the other is the instrument itself. While the two are obviously related, they are in need of two different things.

On piano, it's pretty obvious that the keys have to be pressed in order to make it sound. The keys are set out in an orderly fashion, with an easily understandable pattern.

The music itself (if you want to go that way), is set out in a similar way to most music, except that it uses two staves, one for right, one for left hand. Quite complicated initially (and the same for ever..!).

I favour getting to know the instrument first, otherwise two separate skill sets have to be tackled simultaneously. Just mess about with the keys, and listen to what happens. Maybe stick to white keys and try to pick out some tunes you know. See how you can play things in different octaves. Learn what the notes are called - 'D'always lives between the two black keys, etc.

As we always say, a teacher is your best bet - but different teachers have different ways, and finding an appropriate one for you won't be an easy task.

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Get someone to show you the basic techniques - hand (arm, body) position, independent finger movement, effecient fingerings for a run, a chord...

If you really have no alternative, get this from video instruction. But it's easy to misunderstand.

Then decide what music you want to play. When we know, we can suggest a strategy. If you're aiming to perform Chopin in concert, it pretty well HAS to involve a teacher. If you want to play tunes over the auto-accompaniment feature of a home keyboard, perhaps you can do it by yourself.

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I very much recommend a good teacher. It's worth the search to find one. Lessons each week or two can really pay off.

I also recommend book 1 of Alfred's Piano Method, until you find one, as you are obviously keen to get started.

And listen to good piano players lots as well.

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