How to play basic piano quick - please help! : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

Hi, I stumbled on this site and hope that you don't all stone me for being a "quick" fix pianist.

My partner has inherited her grandmothers piano and it means the world to her as they were very close. I have undertaken to learn to play some of her favourite songs - so the piano can "live" again. Sounds silly, but it means a load to her.

I have found how to work out the chords - so i do this with my right hand (is that correct) and then my left hand is just hanging around. Can you please correct \ guide me as I am putting in hours a day of one handed playing - but it sounds really bad and not at all like the nice gesture I'd hoped it would be!

Many thanks in advance.

-- James D (, March 14, 2005


Your playing probably doesn't sound right because usually chords are played in the lower notes with the left hand while the right hand plays the tune on top, and then as you get better the right hand can play chords on top too for a fuller sound but this takes a while to get used to. As a beginner you may want to invest in a book that helps you out or piano lessons to make sure you don't make mistakes.

-- Alison May (, March 14, 2005.

Thank you. So if your left and plays the chord - what does the right do? indeed it seems lessons (I have a book which is not brilliant!) may need to be an option - i was hoping to pick it up on my own though.

Many thanks!

-- James D (, March 14, 2005.

Well, some of the "pro-chord" methods out there work on the principle of playing a good, full-sounding chord, and using an appropriate rhythm pattern for the time signature (think of how many pop songs you know that have very familiar-sounding background rhythms). Essentially, you're not using the melody line at all unless you're singing it, or if someone else is playing or singing it.

If you're talking popular (i.e. anything other than classical for this discussion) music here, you probably want a book or course that will teach you how to play from a "fake book" (don't know what they call them in the UK, here they are books with lots of songs, chords for Piano and Guitar, and a melody line, with lyrics if the song has them).

Hope this helps.

-- GT (, March 14, 2005.

Your inquiry reminds me of a story told by my piano tuner. A fellow called him from up north and said he'd be in town for the weekend and could my friend teach him how to tune the piano?

He replied, "Why don't you stay a second weekend and learn brain surgery as well?"

Are you afraid you'll lose your partner if you don't act fast? Put the brakes on the piano, and work on getting married.

Greetings, Anita

-- Anita (, March 15, 2005.

Wow! Thanks GT - i'll look into that.

Anita, I missunderstood - i thought this was a friendly site where you could ask advice freely and get help where possible.

I am putting in the hours of playing and understand the piano is a wonderful instrument that takes time to master. I just want a good start down the road. As for my girlfriend I have no concerns - she just wonderful and I want to do this for her as I know it will mean a lot. People in love do thing like that for one another, I'm sorry that you do not understand that.

-- James D (, March 15, 2005.

Hi James,

This program is pricey, but pretty good as a chord method (no, I do not sell it). However, it is probably not available for overseas purchase, problem being that the tape/dvd players run on different systems here and abroad, which will be true of anything else as well. However, you could contact them and see. Make sure you click on the sidebars for the description of the program to see if that is the type of program you are interested in.

To me, a good chord program should include at least the amount of music training that one would need to play a band instrument (i.e. note-reading, key signatures, time signatures, etc.), especially if you intend to use this method for learning new music (as opposed to just playing music you already know) .

The trouble with using just a book is that unless it has tons of good pictures, it will not even come close to a good video/dvd method, or a good private teacher. Bear in mind that NO chord method will turn you into a classical concert pianist--these methods are aimed mostly at the recreational piano player. Also, NO method is truly "quick"--you still have to put in the practice time. The more practice time you put in daily, the faster you will become proficient.

The hard part is trying to find a good chord method. It is very difficult to find unbiased reviews of these methods because 1) many of these methods are not available through normal bookstore/music store channels, and 2) most classical piano teachers (which are most of your private piano teachers, come to think of it) tend to look down on chord methods in general.

However, for what you seem to want to do, a good chord method is probably what you're looking for. You might see if you and your girlfriend can learn together.

-- GT (, March 15, 2005.

Sorry to have offended you. Your original posting did not indicate that you understand the piano takes time to master nor that you were looking for a good start on the road to success. The urgent nature of the heading as well as your admission to being a quick-fix pianist led me to choose the words I did. I can only go by what you first wrote.

If you are truly in love as you say, you would probably welcome my marital advice as friendly since the best thing for two people in love such as yourselves is to get married. A lot of people want it all and they want it fast, and the nature of your letter led me to believe you were one of those people.

I wish you every success in piano.


-- Anita (, March 16, 2005.

Thanks again GT.

I have found a piano instructor who will guiide me in the ways of chord playing - which is helping already. The DVD option does sound very good and I am tempted to do both allongside each other.


I'm assuming you are an american - if not then ignore me - but we over here in Brit-land have a perception of the yanks as every one is a home-shrink. Yanks seem to want to look for a deeper meaning in everything. Sometimes the simplest gestures are the kindest, most heartfelt and powerful - and they should be seen as just that - nothing more and nothing less.

I may, or may not marry my girlfriend, what i will do though as I know it would mean so much to her, is i will learn how to play the piano as quickly as is possible and to the best of my ability.

Thank you all for your advice.

-- James D (, March 16, 2005.

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