For a visually two-toned instrument, the piano can be a very colourful and complex instrument. I present to you, the Ultimate Guide to Playing Piano, overflowing with valuable resources for playing piano.
Music for Memory, a non-profit organization giving free iPods to seniors with Alzheimers, demonstrates the power of music in this video. Accidentals explained; what are sharps, flats, and naturals– and why should you care anyways? Everyone learns to read the piano keys differently; I share an easy trick for reading keys that not a lot of people use.
The complete guide to intervals: what they are, what you need to know about them, and a list of the intervals from tonic to leading note. An extensive database of examples illustrating music theory concepts visually and aurally, through existing pieces.
These videos teach you the fundamentals of piano with a small section dedicated to playing jazz. Learn specific pieces by watching the colours (which represent each note played) on the keyboard graphic in the videos. In this series of piano lesson videos, Joe Raciti teaches by individual chords and narrates throughout the process.
Same concept as the above piano tutorials, except you see the actual note names (and in some videos, the notes on the staff) above the keyboard animation on the bottom of the screen.
You can set your own speed, see the note names run as you play them, set letter names on the keys, and even transpose the piece so you can learn it in a different key if you want. No-nonsense, straight forward piano keys flashing colours while the music is playing to show you which notes to play. A thorough article on solving common pianist problems and a few suggestions for warming up cold hands. A list of great ideas from Jenny Boster to help you make the most out of your practicing time.
Albert Frantz discusses piano exercises for finger dexterity and technique, emphasizing that technique and musicality is insperable.
This article, by Alan Belkin, touches on technicality, musicality, and performing (briefly). Practice makes perfect– Erika Snipes shares two mantras that got her addicted to practicing. Create rhythm practice segments based on the time signature and level you pick, great because you get a new rhythm practice every time. Fergus Black shares tips from The Science and Psychology of Music Performance (Lehmann and Victoria McArthur, Oxford UP 2002) and gives solutions to some common sight reading problems. Paul Richardson gets to the root of the sight reading problem and offers solutions for each of the five common problems for sight reading.
You have a visual, aural and tactile memory for piano music; Albert Franz breaks up the memorization process and briefly explains each of them. A quick and friendly post by Bonnie Jack on the four main types of memorization you should be using for anything to be completely solid in your memory.
Brandy Kraemer explains the Dos and Don’ts for conditioning your hands to maintain your ability as a pianist.
You are what you eat (and drink)– prepare for your performance in more ways than one, away from the piano. Five of University of Chicago psychologist Sian Beilock’s best tips on performing under pressure or stress.
While Edward Weiss wrote these tips for New Age pianists and musicians, they apply to any type of improvisation.
Create your own ear training exercise (or use the default) for identifying scales, intervals, or chords; you can save and share it with an automatically generated URL.
A great set of instructions on how to maintain and repair your piano, complete with step-by-step photos.
Alright, tuning your own piano isn’t a must-know for most pianists, but you can definitely read up on tuning pianos.

From business tools to legal resources, composing help and more, we’ve got you covered here. Classic piano lesson myths busted by Howard Richman, a pianist and music teacher– the truth might surprise you in a few cases. Great tips to ensure that piano lessons go as smoothly as possible with a given teacher and possible questions you should ask prospective teachers. Grace authors a lifestyle blog about music, travel, self-improvement, and entrepreneurship.
I want to work with who I have available and most of the people I have available don’t necessarily have a lot of creative experience but have a heart to learn anything new to make things sound as good as they can.
Enjoy your blog and enjoy even more getting connected with other worship leaders to exchange these kind of ideas. A little late to the party here, but as a keyboard driven worship leader (for most of my career) I have some thoughts as well. And regardless of what some of the previous posts have said, you can’t teach anything at all without some form of emulation in the early stages. Teach them simple worship progressions… I IV I IV (etc) and have them just play those over and over learning how to use the best inversions as you teach them chords. Children on the other hand I typically take through 6 weeks of reading exercises to determine their potential and to decided whether to carry on or not. I did some experimenting in teaching group piano classes for adult beginner church musicians.
Ryan is a follower of Christ, husband, father of three, and Director of Worship & Creative Arts at Living Word Free Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I recently attended a seminar in which the clinician gave helpful hints on how to play background piano music during specific service elements, such as the invitation, or under someone speaking. Playing slowly is a little trickier, especially if you are used to taking a particular song at a faster speed. Maybe this is an obvious point as well, but it just makes sense that if you’re not the main event, try not to compete with the main event. If the pastor is describing the elements during a reflective communion service, play music about the blood or the cross, and make sure you do so slowly and thoughtfully. And if you are fortunate to have a pastor like I do who is passionate about the truth and about souls coming to Christ, you will have no greater joy than to provide the very best in background piano music. Can you help me understand why background music is theological or philosophically necessary?
I usually play a C2 chord or you could call it a C9 chord in the right hand starting with thumb on G, index on C, middle finger on D, ring finger on E, and then little finger on G.
Citing various studies, Tara Gaertner explains how music students are less stressed out, have boosted immune systems, and more.
Each video focuses on an individual skill, so that you can pick which skills you want to learn. Each book targets specific techniques, and uses different keys and meters so you can learn progressively. The range of categories is so wide that you can learn anything from r&b to folk and Classical. For 15 years, David Hahn endured the consequences (and a great deal of pain) from not warming up. Michael Furstner explains the action and how you can use your hand correctly, complete with photos and diagrams.
They’re not intended for performing piano specifically, but they definitely apply to performing piano.
Age 14 at the time, she talks about her creative process using flow (what is flow?) and improvises an entire piece based on five cards chosen by an audience member. The exercises are highly customizable to suit your level– you can even choose the instrument that plays your exercise. The exercises range in type and difficulty; you can choose different levels within each exercise.
In this article, Thomas Mark writes about movement retraining, and how it can help you prevent permanent injury.

I’m sitting next to our worship director teaching one of our youth guitar players music theory.
My band we do a lot of original songs and when we do other people’s songs we usually remix them into our style. But there are some exercises we do in our band practice to foster this and also I do as a test in auditions. As one formulates worship teams he could place chord playing piano players with strong lead guitarists, or conversely, select piano driven music with a piano player who reads and leads well.
Anything taught correctly utilizes imitation and emulation, while developing independent thought and creativity. Often times, I’ll have adult students who want to write simple worship songs and be able to worship at the house or in small groups.
Not every song is guitar driven, and as you say, if the piano is alone and chording, you have Wade Mobley leading worship from the keys- not so good. Although the majority of the piano playing in my church is covered by very capable and talented pianists, I usually play during the invitation time. Even if the song should be sung at a fast speed, if playing while someone is speaking, it will be distracting if you play it at a fast speed. When it comes to piano playing, the hymnal should merely be your reference point for melody and rhythm. So here’s your big chance! I almost entirely avoid runs and arpeggios (although, if done right, they arguably could work).
Kraemer explains what to look for in an electric keyboard, like touch sensitivity (which is often omitted even nowadays).
This is usually a problem for players who have never played in an original band where they are in some creative environment.
But if we can show them a few songs that they can go home and worship with or even wow their friends with they’ll come back for more. In addition to playing slowly, I often add extra measures following phrases, or even an extra beat following certain words. In fact, although I use various chord substitutions, I tend to keep the chords very simple. Simple, slow, steady and somewhat repetitive are all key words that will help the church pianist develop effective background music. All they’ve done is read music or played by ear and tried to emulate what someone else has done.
I say it’s all about developing what little or great potential within and really buckling down with the individual to find which avenue is the best bet for them. Break away from the mold of the often trite harmonies in the hymnal, and add different chords and chord progressions. I’ve even been known to leave out a few notes of the melody (heresy!) if it is very repetitious.
Then, when he switches to share a final thought with the congregation or a few announcements, I change the tone and the mood to match. I understand that this doesn’t mean someone can just sit down and play a song percussively, so as to lead it in a worship service setting. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. Greg Howlett, the clinician I referred to above, does an excellent job of explaining this concept in his very helpful site under Free Christian Piano Lessons. Once he dismisses the congregation, I usually segue again into a postlude song, keeping it in the same key and with similar improvisational elements used earlier.

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