I’m thinking about taking piano lessons. Currently I am able to practice my banjo and guitar about 15-60 minutes 5-6 days per week. I really don’t feel like I have much time to devote to it, but I would love to learn. I take my kids to piano every week so the lessons would be convenient. How much time per week in addition to the lesson do you think I should be prepared to devote to the piano? Is piano more or less of a challenge than a fretted instrument?
That would all be your choice.
Different instruments are a different challenge for different people.
I’d encourage trying anything, but you already know your own time limitations and have to make that choice on your own.
Just a guess, but I’d say you could make great progress with 20 minutes per day. Once you know your I, IV, V triads with the first and second inversions, in key of C, (which is much easier than it sounds), you’ll be able to play thousands of songs.
Those triads even with the inversions, can be played with all white keys.
One thing I really love about keyboards is that it’s all laid out in front of you in a straight line. It will be much easier to build chords and apply theory when you can look at it in that fashion. (that’s how it goes for me anyway).
Remember though, this is purely opinion.
Wish you well at it. It will be great fun!
Seriously speaking, if you really want to play the piano then you should expect to practice at least as much as your kids do.
If you just want to noodle around, that’s another thing, I mean you can have fun exploring the possibilities on your own time.
But if you’re going to take lessons, then you owe your teacher some respect for what they are trying to teach. You won’t learn as if by magic (unless you are specially talented, which you may be). It usually takes a lot of time and practice.
I learned the piano (classical piano though) when I was a kid. I started at 9. I practiced as little as I could but at least half an hour to an hour a day. When I was 14, I started to get the hang of it. If I had practiced more, it would have been quicker.
Real piano playing with two hands is not easy at all. But like I said, you can have fun exploring the instrument but if you take lessons, nothing deflates a teacher more than a student who doesn’t practice.
It will be stretching it for me to be able to fit in 30 minutes 5 days a week, I don’t want to sound like I think I’m the busiest man in the world but I’m just trying to rationalize this. Right now my wife is not on board with me trying to squeeze one more thing in so that may be the deciding factor.
I guess if I really had time to learn I would already be tinkering around on our piano. I may give up on this idea. Thanks for the feedback, and for an honest opinion!
Based on this I think there’s a lot I can learn on my own. Not that I’m trying to be cheap, but I sure don’t want to disappoint my teacher by not being prepared every week.
You can learn how to read music and learn how to make chords without a teacher. It’s the mechanics of actually making your fingers play the music you hear in your head that takes a lot, a lot of practice.
But there’s other stuff you can pick up with having to dedicate your life to it.
I have a piano, and play some, but have never had lessons. I wish I did have some early on. I play around quite a bit on it anyway, so I might as well have learned how to do it right. I think my bad mechanics will be tough to overcome if I do take lessons. My opinion… if you don’t already have bad mechanics, it might be worth the effort to get started on the right foot. However, if you don’t do that, it’s not the end of the world. You can still get plenty of enjoyment from piano, even with sub-optimal technique.
Brandon, those are along the lines that I was thinking. Though I don’ know you other than the forum, I gather that you have a family, a career, church activities, and other instruments that you play.
With all that, it’s rough to carve out extra time. Hence my suggestion that 20 minutes a day would be good.
Seriously speaking, I’m confident you can learn the I, IV, V very quickly. And, do a ton of stuff with it.
You don’t need to be the next Beethoven to play for yourself, family and maybe some friends some really enjoyable music. Give it a go if you still want to, and make some great memories with it.
I’m a keyboard player and like any instrument its about practice and learning the techniques involved
Learn the basic scales first with both hands and the correct fingering then play them with both hands together to build right and left independence
Learn the basic chords and there inversions
20-30 minutes a day getting started. You can do it! And it’s going to open up your other instruments’ progress as well!
I agree with Ben, and will add that music theory is much easier to grasp on piano
Thanks for the encouragement. I took the plunge and started three weeks ago and I’m enjoying it. So far I haven’t had a hard time finding time to practice. I just follow what my teacher tells me which is practice each exercise/song 8 X each/day When I finish my 8 x I find myself not ready to quit for the day. I have learned a few things I didn’t know about theory and have enjoyed the site reading portion of it. I do want to be able to site read and play by ear.