Posts Tagged ‘private’

Of the three main ways to play the piano, solo piano is probably the most difficult. The reason is because you only have two hands, but you need to play all 3 elements (melody, chords, and bass notes). There are many ways to do this, which can be mixed and matched.

The best way to approach solo piano is to become very proficient with all the basic tools of music; scales, arpeggios, chords, rhythms, reading, etc., and then practice making up arrangements from melody and chord symbols with:

1. R.H.melody L.H.chords and then 2. R.H.chords L.H.bass 3. Then you’ll be ready to work on solo piano.

If you’re a beginner, you should learn several solo piano pieces before trying to make up your own arrangements. There is a vast amount of sheet music available with full grand staff arrangements for piano which will give you ideas that you can use for your own arrangements.

The basic idea is have the melody in your right hand be the highest note, and fill in notes from the chords under that. The left hand would commonly play roots in octaves or roots & 5ths or broken chords (1-5-10) or roots and 7ths.  The left hand could also play walking bass or other bass parts, depending on the style of music.

It is common to practice one hand at a time and then both hands together.

Once you’ve got the basic tune, the next step would be to add fills and then practice improvising the melody line (take a solo).

The end goal is to be able to look at piece of music that has only the melody and chord symbols and be able to instantly make up an appropriate arrangement. Of course an arrangement can further develop over time.

For more information see my eBook “For Piano & Keyboard Players Only”

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that!

I’ve been a piano teacher for over 25 years and I’ve heard countless people say, “I love the piano, I wish I could play,” or “oh, you teach piano, I used to play piano,” or “we had a piano when I was a kid,” or “I wish my mother had forced me to practice,” or “I never learned to read music, I always memorized what my teacher played. When she found out, I was in trouble!”

Of course studying music is a wonderful activity for a child. Whether he/she goes on to a career in music or not, it is still highly recommended. Numerous studies have concluded that children who study music do better in school. In general the world needs more art and music and even if one wasn’t interested in becoming a professional musician or making a living at it, playing music is a good thing!

The main point is, however, you can learn how to play music anytime. You don’t have to be a child to learn. I’ve taught countless people to play who never played as a child. In fact, often adults learn faster than children!

One can get many hours of enjoyment from the music. It really doesn’t take that long to get some satisfaction. Anyone can learn to play a song fairly quickly. Anyone can even learn to improvise (play by ear)! Whether you like Classical or Jazz, Rock or Pop, you can learn to play.

It has been said that the piano is the most important of all musical instruments. It is certainly the most versatile. I do think that it is a good idea to learn some skills on a keyboard even if you play sax or you are a vocalist.

The main point here is that it has been proven to me countless times with firsthand experience that anyone can learn to play well enough to have fun making music.

Good News!

Bob Schlesinger (pro pianist & teacher in Dever) wrote on Facebook:
Hey Bill… loving your book. My students are getting a lot out of it – me too.

thanks, that’s great news-Bill

OK, so I’m guilty of using a play on words (you know the song “Teach Me Tonight”)

Anyway, in this blog category  I will talk about teaching, students, etc….


For questions related to my books, please use the Q&A blog category.