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What are the best online resources self-learning from 0?
#2987209 06/02/20 10:31 PM
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Are there any good book/video course/internet course/youtube series to learn to skillfully play the piano as an instrument and compose melodies from 0?

A teacher is completely 100% NOT possible, so i have to rely on resources like those.

The bold parts are important.

Most courses in udemy make you remember and repeat certain songs of the public domain or songs from artists like ed sheeran or the beatles, and take advantage of that technicality to say you "learned" how to play the piano.

But in the end all you know how to do is play 3-4 songs and some rushed music theory, that's it.

That or skip theory and almost immediately start speaking of (for example) chords, without explaining WHAT makes a chord a chord.

My aim is to know how to play piano AND compose music.

I don't care about memorizing or repeatedly playing popular pop/rock songs, i am looking for LENGTHY theory explanations, LOTS of repetitive exercises that allow me dexterously play the piano after diligent practice, and be able to translate the melodies in my brain to a music sheet.



I have read of Hanon exercises, but they are both praised for giving players finger strength/proficiency and criticized for actually harming your fingers...so i do not know if they are good or not. Plus, i read you are supposed to start with these AFTER some time playing the piano, so they aren't exactly for beginners.

So are there any good book/CD course/internet course/youtube series to skillfully learn to play the piano as an instrument and compose melodies from the absolute 0?

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Re: What are the best online resources self-learning from 0?
Flonne #2987213 06/02/20 10:47 PM
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It doesn't sound like you want to follow a standard "classical piano" path:

. . . You want to learn to play piano, with an understanding of theory
. . . that will help you compose.

You say that in-person lessons are impossible, but you don't explicitly say that you can't spend any money. So:

. . . Take a look at the Berklee School of Music "Berklee Online" courses -- Google

. . . Berklee self-teaching

for a bunch of URL's and a few books (including one on song-writing).

It would also help if you said something about yourself -- your age, education (musical and otherwise), and other background.

As for Hanon:

. . . It is a very poor choice as something to start with;

. . . It is potentially dangerous, and best studied with a teacher (in-person, or online).

Last edited by Charles Cohen; 06/02/20 10:50 PM.

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Re: What are the best online resources self-learning from 0?
Flonne #2987215 06/02/20 10:55 PM
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You could dive into the Faber Adult Piano Adventures Course Book 1.

After that, take an inventory of where you’re at. Maybe go into Faber Adult Piano Adventures Course Book 2, or in a different direction.

Lots of good online material around those from Faber and others.

Last edited by UpNorth; 06/02/20 10:59 PM.
Re: What are the best online resources self-learning from 0?
Flonne #2987221 06/02/20 11:54 PM
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Learning to play piano is 1 skill, improvising and composing (inventing melodies out of your head) is something different. Going by a method book you learn to read notes and play pieces that other people wrote.

After that you'd focus on learning the different styles of music. What are the characteristics of each and regular beat patterns so you can create melodies based on certain styles. Back in my school days my music teacher got the class to compose a Calypso (Caribbean music). We listened to a few samples of what a Calypso sounds like and try to come up with original melodies.

In the beginning we all need to learn the basic techniques of playing piano. After that there are few guidelines on how to create original pieces by selecting a Key, coming up with a theme and repeating it in different ways, throw in an introduction and have some way to end the piece, etc. A lot of teachers teach people to follow sheet music and not develop their own ideas.

Re: What are the best online resources self-learning from 0?
Flonne #2987247 06/03/20 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Flonne
Are there any good book/video course/internet course/youtube series to learn to skillfully play the piano as an instrument and compose melodies from 0?

A teacher is completely 100% NOT possible, so i have to rely on resources like those.

The bold parts are important.

Most courses in udemy make you remember and repeat certain songs of the public domain or songs from artists like ed sheeran or the beatles, and take advantage of that technicality to say you "learned" how to play the piano.

But in the end all you know how to do is play 3-4 songs and some rushed music theory, that's it.

That or skip theory and almost immediately start speaking of (for example) chords, without explaining WHAT makes a chord a chord.

My aim is to know how to play piano AND compose music.

I don't care about memorizing or repeatedly playing popular pop/rock songs, i am looking for LENGTHY theory explanations, LOTS of repetitive exercises that allow me dexterously play the piano after diligent practice, and be able to translate the melodies in my brain to a music sheet.



I have read of Hanon exercises, but they are both praised for giving players finger strength/proficiency and criticized for actually harming your fingers...so i do not know if they are good or not. Plus, i read you are supposed to start with these AFTER some time playing the piano, so they aren't exactly for beginners.

So are there any good book/CD course/internet course/youtube series to skillfully learn to play the piano as an instrument and compose melodies from the absolute 0?


It depends a lot on what kind of music you want to make.

I love classical, but the only book I know that is a stand-alone course in the piano as instrument--here are the crayons now go color--is Tim Richard's Blues Improvisation book. If you have a midi USB connection to a laptop with your keyboard, check out Piano Marvel--lots of content for a good price.

Piano is way harder than guitar as an instrument. I found it easy to just *create* aimlessly with a guitar. Piano, because of the difficulty of being both singer and bassist and drummer in a more 'orchestral' instrument, hasn't been as easy to tame.


Only in men's imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life. -Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski
Re: What are the best online resources self-learning from 0?
Flonne #2987254 06/03/20 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Flonne
My aim is to know how to play piano AND compose music.

I don't care about memorizing or repeatedly playing popular pop/rock songs, i am looking for LENGTHY theory explanations, LOTS of repetitive exercises that allow me dexterously play the piano after diligent practice, and be able to translate the melodies in my brain to a music sheet.

Musicality and composition skills are not created ex nihilo out of pure theory knowledge. You also need to work on lots of examples of real music in order to put it all together. When I read theory books it was very dry and I had no idea where to start composing my own piece until one day I decided to pick existing pieces from known composers and wrote my own pieces based on them. At first I was mostly copying the same structure and only changing a few things; varying the rhythm, different melody, different key; but gradually I learned to write more freely based on my own ideas. But if I had no examples at all to start from I would still be stuck.

I don't know of any beginner book or course that is specifically for what you want. Maybe it's because composition is generally thought of as a more "advanced" skill that is learned after already having some musical training. It might sound a bit harsh but I would advise you to "suck it up" and learn the basics from a method book then once you have some foundation the more advanced music composition resources will start making more sense.

Re: What are the best online resources self-learning from 0?
Flonne #2987264 06/03/20 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Flonne
I don't care about memorizing or repeatedly playing popular pop/rock songs

Doing that is pretty much the definition of what you need to do to move from 0 to starting to get good at playing the piano (the music can be what was popular in any era that you like).

Exercises are only useful in the way that practicing shooting hoops is useful to learn to play basketball.


Yamaha U1. Yamaha P-45. Yamaha RD-250 (a long time ago). smile
Re: What are the best online resources self-learning from 0?
Flonne #2987284 06/03/20 06:33 AM
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Well, there is some confusion I think about what you expect to learn and how to do it.

You want to have:
- a very good piano technique
- a deep understanding of music theory
- learn how to compose

But you don't want to:
- learn how to play popular or rock songs


But most if not all professional musicians started by learning others' songs and memorize them so they could internalize their "features" and their techniques.

Songs are like a dictionary of techniques and composition patterns.


To take an example in another field, chess masters are so good because they studied lots of classical chess games.
Or in karate, you practice katas to learn techniques and build your own style from them.

In music, it is the same.


What kind of music do you want to compose?


Because in general, the instrumental technique has nothing to do with good composition skills.
We all see very good piano technicians who can't compose anything.
And not very good pianists who can create beautiful melodies.
Of course, if you plan to write piano pieces that require a high technical level, you will need to work on that!


By the way, you don't even need an instrument to compose melodies, you can use your voice and your ears wink


I should add that you don't need to understand the full depth of musical theory at all to compose music.
You don't need to know why chords are chords.
You need to know how to play them, know what kind of emotion, the tension they provoke, and how to play them together (chord progressions).
Learn how to harmonize a scale or a melody will be very helpful also.

And I could write a song without knowing anything about it. Like lots of musicians around!


So, I would suggest starting by finding a good online piano curriculum for your technique and learn songs.
And there are quite good youtube channels to learn from. I think both are complementary.

The good thing with online piano lessons is that you can have some sort of feedback or actual feedback from human teachers, get connected with a community of piano learners.
And it is much cheaper than a private piano teacher.

I listed what I think are the best on my blog if you want to check it but there are plenty of reviews (just check that they are honest of course).
And you will find good feedback on this forum as well for a few of them.
Maybe you would like to choose one with a good library of songs to learn, such as flowkey or pianomarvel.
Depending on your favorite music style, I can recommend you others.

Then, you have to find good resources to learn what you need for composing.
Actually, my aim is to create resources on this topic myself, but I am just getting started and it will take some time to get this out.

In the meantime, check out websites such as Musical-u.com or Soundfly.com, they seem to be quite good for composition!

But please don't lose your time and energy by learning irrelevant things.
Save this for creating amazing music that we will all pleased to listen to one day!

Love your motivation by the way smile


Your home to start playing the piano and keyboards:
https://www.guide2music.com
Re: What are the best online resources self-learning from 0?
Flonne #2987316 06/03/20 08:58 AM
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For beginner technique I often recommend this YouTube channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtT_GkgxBCbbLecptrRqSRg
and her site
https://www.pianocareer.com/beginner/

I don't have particular recommendation for music theory website, there are thousands of them. It will take just a few days to know how to translate the melodies in your mind to a music sheet.

Originally Posted by Flonne
I don't care about memorizing or repeatedly playing popular pop/rock songs, i am looking for LENGTHY theory explanations, LOTS of repetitive exercises that allow me dexterously play the piano after diligent practice, and be able to translate the melodies in my brain to a music sheet.
I hope you are aware how many years it takes to reach advanced piano level. Most adult beginners have unrealistic expectations in that regard.

Re: What are the best online resources self-learning from 0?
Flonne #2987337 06/03/20 10:05 AM
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Unless you just have a super talent, the 90+ percent of us takes years of practice for piano. Not trying to discourage you at all just stating the fact that learning the piano even at the intermediate level takes quite a few years.

I'm still learning theory after decades of on and off piano. If you happen to find a short-cut please share it here. I would love to know how to do it faster myself.

Peace


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
Re: What are the best online resources self-learning from 0?
scirocco #2987423 06/03/20 01:17 PM
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Thanks everyone for their answers...i guess i have to clarify some things.

The piano/keyboard is my favorite instrument so i want to learn to play it, not just to play 2-3 songs in the piano, which is what most internet courses offer before claim you "learned" to play the piano.

They all advertise themselves as "become a master of piano in a week!!" which is fairly unrealistic.


I know learn to play an instrument requires hard work and diligence, even more for composing...the problem is not that, the problem is that i don't know where to start.


I THINK the best way to learn to play the piano is with exercises aimed at absolute beginners (like me) to learn hand independence, speed and accuracy which is why i mentioned Hanon. I believe that knowing those will improve TREMENDOUSLY my ability to learn the piano.

Unluckily for me i can't find either the theory properly explained (no rushing important concepts!) nor the exercises for complete beginners that start from 0.

My logic is that learn the theory will be easier if you can actually put it in practice and play dexterously.

However, being a complete beginner, my logic may be wrong.





Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
As for Hanon:

. . . It is a very poor choice as something to start with;

. . . It is potentially dangerous, and best studied with a teacher (in-person, or online).

So, Hanon is not recommended.

That's disappointing, after seeing the "end" results being a dexterous piano playing and good sheet reading skills, i was thinking that going to be GREATLY useful.



Originally Posted by franke
But most if not all professional musicians started by learning others' songs and memorize them so they could internalize their "features" and their techniques.

Songs are like a dictionary of techniques and composition patterns.

Originally Posted by scirocco
Originally Posted by Flonne
I don't care about memorizing or repeatedly playing popular pop/rock songs

Doing that is pretty much the definition of what you need to do to move from 0 to starting to get good at playing the piano (the music can be what was popular in any era that you like).

Exercises are only useful in the way that practicing shooting hoops is useful to learn to play basketball.


My issue is not that i hate popular songs, but that many material end after telling you to memorize some songs, claiming "you already know how to play" since you technically know how to play some songs.

So my focus is to be able to play THE piano...not just SOME SONGS in the piano.


Originally Posted by hawgdriver
It depends a lot on what kind of music you want to make.

Originally Posted by franke
What kind of music do you want to compose?

That's...a difficult question, while i love music and piano, i would like to learn to compose music for videogames.

Unluckily for me, videogames have music of all genres like jazz/orchestral/rock...so i guess that will take...plenty of years.

If i had to give an straight answer...it would be those 3 genres...maybe...probably.

I am not as naive as to think i can become as good as the masters of videogame music like Nobuo Uematsu, but i would like to at least make a tune and properly translate it to a music sheet after diligent studying, as many beginner/rookie videogame makers have done in the past.

I don't think my goals are unrealistic in that department, i mean, small game developers often create tunes for their own games, like this:





Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
I hope you are aware how many years it takes to reach advanced piano level. Most adult beginners have unrealistic expectations in that regard.

Oh, definitely.

And i am looking for the material that will allow me to reach that level of skill after years of diligent training.

However, i am struggling to find said material.

Last edited by Flonne; 06/03/20 01:22 PM.
Re: What are the best online resources self-learning from 0?
Flonne #2987431 06/03/20 01:39 PM
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Hanon is not the route to go IMHO from the get go and especially without a teacher. Risk hurting your hands/fingers.

Dexterity is something that really takes time to learn in piano for most of us mortals. Yes there will always be the few folks that it clicks right from the get go. That is very rare. I would take Alfreds AIO adult and try that. Also have you looked at the PianoMarvel website?


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
Re: What are the best online resources self-learning from 0?
Flonne #2987456 06/03/20 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Flonne
Thanks everyone for their answers...i guess i have to clarify some things.

The piano/keyboard is my favorite instrument so i want to learn to play it, not just to play 2-3 songs in the piano, which is what most internet courses offer before claim you "learned" to play the piano.

They all advertise themselves as "become a master of piano in a week!!" which is fairly unrealistic.


I know learn to play an instrument requires hard work and diligence, even more for composing...the problem is not that, the problem is that i don't know where to start.


I THINK the best way to learn to play the piano is with exercises aimed at absolute beginners (like me) to learn hand independence, speed and accuracy which is why i mentioned Hanon. I believe that knowing those will improve TREMENDOUSLY my ability to learn the piano.
My advice - and I'm totally serious - is to start with this course:

https://www.amazon.com/John-Thompsons-Easiest-Piano-Course/dp/1423468228

.....which will take you from the basics of counting beats and note reading on the grand staff to playing simple tunes with both hands.

Don't worry about the fact that it's conceived for children. In fact, that's why it's so good, because it assumes no prior knowledge, and teaches everything - thoroughly - from scratch.

My friend started learning piano at 60 with this course (with a teacher) and is now playing Beethoven sonatas and Chopin nocturnes and waltzes.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: What are the best online resources self-learning from 0?
Flonne #2987468 06/03/20 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Flonne
... i am looking for the material that will allow me to reach that level of skill after years of diligent training.

However, i am struggling to find said material.

The truth is .... almost anything will work ... after years of diligent training.

Unless, you decide to work with things that are far outside the "normal" path.

Get a method book and go through it page by page ....

Purchase sheet music which appears to be within your skill level and play some of those.

Try course on DVD or an online course.

Without a teacher, it is a crap shoot .... there are no guarantees of success.

However, if you get some periodic direction here and there and select "normal" things, you will get better.

Will you get better faster than anyone else ever has ?

Probably not.

But the sooner you start, the sooner you will improve.

BTW .... you mentioned UDEMY.

That would be my specific suggestion.

I would go to udemy.com and search on BEGINNER PIANO.

You will find many options for courses to try.

I would purchase one of them and get started.

Good Luck

Last edited by dmd; 06/03/20 03:23 PM.

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Re: What are the best online resources self-learning from 0?
Flonne #2987539 06/03/20 05:46 PM
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Putting aside unrealistic marketing claims the approach of learning to play piano by studying pieces is not bad and it's actually what most method books do. But you have to realise that you will need to learn literally hundreds of pieces, each one introducing some new technique or concept or solidifying existing ones. That's pretty much how anyone who reached an advanced level did.

The approach of repeating exercises without working on actual music is not going to produce a good result. Listening to someone bang at the keys very fast is much less pleasing than listening to someone who understands the music and plays it with expression. Maybe you will impress a few people at parties but it's not going to be very musical.

From what you say it sounds like you just need to follow a normal classical training, which is what most method books do. As someone else said, it doesn't really matter which, anyone will do. After a few years you can branch out to a specific style or continue to more advanced classical pieces. If you follow the curriculum of one of the recognised institutions like ABRSM or RCM (google RCM piano syllabus) then you should have a solid foundation to go in any direction you like.

Re: What are the best online resources self-learning from 0?
Flonne #2987626 06/03/20 10:47 PM
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You seem to believe that you know a lot for a complete beginner. Good luck with that.

Re: What are the best online resources self-learning from 0?
Flonne #2987641 06/04/20 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by EPW
. . . I would take Alfreds AIO (All-in-One) Adult and try that. Also have you looked at the PianoMarvel website?

Those two are frequently recommended, here.

. . . Pick one, and get started.

Tim Richards' "Improvising Blues Piano" -- a good book on blues, and how to play them -- requires "intermediate-level skills" as a starting point.

Roughly speaking, that means you should be able to play a Mozart sonata:

. . . you have a long way to go, to get there.


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Re: What are the best online resources self-learning from 0?
Flonne #2987702 06/04/20 07:07 AM
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If your final goal is composing videogame music you can start right away. You don't need theory for that and you don't need advanced piano skills. Just your ears, a piano and a computer with MIDI editor. And a talent, of course. Many composers come from different instruments and have minimal piano skills.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_MIDI_editors_and_sequencers

Re: What are the best online resources self-learning from 0?
Flonne #2987727 06/04/20 08:38 AM
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OK, you want to compose video game music, that's interesting.

As you said, there are plenty of musical genres you can play with.

You have to consider a few things then.

1. Equipment:
As already mentioned, I would go for a MIDI master keyboard (but if you already have a digital piano, you can use the MIDI output probably) and a DAW (digital audio workstation). There are free ones, such as Garageband if you are on MacOs or iOs, or Studio One (also on Windows), LMMS....
Then, you will likely need some VST plugins to get more sounds. Check carefully if the DAW is compatible. For example Studio one prime isn't, you have to buy the full version if I am right.


2. Methods:
You are quite motivated by reaching a high level of piano skills. And I won't blame you for that. But is it really in line with your final goal?
As said by several people here, and yourself, mastering the piano as any other instruments, take years. In particular, if you want to be very good at it.

For composing, you don't need that level. At all.
What I would suggest is to go for a piano method which gives you at least basics in several styles. The Pianoforall method seems quite interesting for that purpose for example.
And its aim, like other digital piano methods, is not only to play a few songs.
I agree that a few of them have strong marketing claims that you can master the piano in a few days. Yes, they can teach you to play a few songs, but not much.
But others allows you to develop fully your piano skills. Choose wisely.

Once you have this basic skills on the piano and in a few different styles, you will likely be able to compose the music you want. Not overnight of course, but you will have all you need.
Get some good resources on composition, elements of music theory (not too much) and you're good to go.


I don't know what it is worth, but here is a specific course on the topic:
Udemy video game music composition

3. Collaborations:
Don't forget that you are not alone. Why not collaborate with other musicians to complement what you don't know, other instruments. I used for example Kompoz to create a few songs with other people, vocalists, lyrics writers, drummers etc.. Quite fun and it is a nice way to create original music.
The message here is that you don't need to master everything.
About the piano, if you need to include in your music a speedy-techy piano piece, why not ask someone else? You can also "hire" someone with Fivver for instance.
And it can bring an extra hint of creativity, because you will bring together different personalities, different visions.
Think of yourself as a conductor if you wish.


Your home to start playing the piano and keyboards:
https://www.guide2music.com
Re: What are the best online resources self-learning from 0?
Iaroslav Vasiliev #2987909 06/04/20 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
For beginner technique I often recommend this YouTube channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtT_GkgxBCbbLecptrRqSRg
and her site
https://www.pianocareer.com/beginner/

I also think this would be the resource that I would choose or Josh Wright https://www.joshwrightpiano.com/ if I were to learn piano without a teacher. I like how thorough piano career is- often have multiple videos on the same piece. But, I also value how succinct Josh Wright can be if I were learning a more simpler piece .


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