I was one of those people who always dreamed of playing the piano but never thought I could. At least I was until I came across some short, simple lessons on the basics of piano playing. I decided to give it a try, and I have been practicing ever since.
When I started, I knew what a piano looked like, but I had not really taken notice of how the white and black keys make a pattern. That was the first little bit of instruction that helped me to realize that the piano might be decipherable after all. Since the keyboard could be broken down into sections, I had something to guide me in finding each individual key.
I began with the lessons that were in the material I had. After each section, I had to try out the concepts I had found out about. I had to try to play the notes, write the notes, clap the rhythms, or play lines of melody. In awhile, I began to test myself. I went back over the lessons and tried each concept. I did this several times, always getting better and better.
I developed my own practice schedule, finding time between my work and daily chores. It was satisfying to accomplish so much so quickly. The slow pace of formal lessons may be good for children, but as an adult, I appreciated the ability to go at my own pace.
There came a time when I wanted to play music that was easy for me – music that I recognized rather than what I was writing out in my exercises. So, I went to the music store and bought two books. I chose an Easy Piano Book and a Fake Book, just as the lessons had suggested.
I went through the Easy Piano Book, learning to sight read without too much difficulty. That was when I began playing songs I had heard all my life. This particular Easy Piano Book was based on Broadway musicals. I knew most of the songs already, so it was great to be able to play them.
The Fake Book, on the other hand, was full of modern pop songs. I had read through the lessons and found out how to use a Fake Book, so I quickly began. I did not know all the chords, so I looked up the new ones before I tried to play each song.
Soon I was playing songs that I had heard on the radio. This was just as fun as the Broadway songs, and my friends seemed to like it even better. It was a lot of fun for everyone, me included.
I am so glad that I took the time to devote myself to learning piano basics. I am not a pro by any means. It does not matter to me. I never wanted to take the world by storm. I just wanted to learn something that would make me personally a little happier. And that is just what I did.