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If you want to learn to play the piano, you can go to a piano teacher or teach yourself. If you’re going to teach yourself how to play the piano then you have to decide whether to use piano software courses or tuition books. Whichever method you choose you should be aware that there is no magic solution to learning to play the piano, whether you choose piano software or tuition books there is going to be a certain amount of study and self-discipline on your part to succeed.
Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of both methods of teaching yourself to play the piano. Both methods will help you to learn to play the piano or keyboard. Both will provide you with songs to play on the piano and both will include the necessary music theory required to play the piano. So which method is best?
The benefits of tuition books
The obvious benefit of using tuition books is the cost. When you buy a beginners tuition book for example “The Complete Piano Player” or if you’re using a Yamaha keyboard “The Complete Keyboard Player”. They are normally sold as part of a series, for example, book 1 to book 4 and each book costs about six to ten pounds. You just buy the book you need, which means it’s incredibly cheap to get started. Each book contains about twelve songs and each song will introduce something new to learn.
When first starting to play a keyboard instrument its normal practice to learn a simple piece of music that just uses five notes, typically C, D, E, F, G. This is always a good start because it immediately teaches you to use all your fingers on your very first piece of music. Tuition books and software will use this method of teaching.
The drawbacks of tuition books
The main drawback of these books are not the books themselves but the fact that they are designed to be used with a piano teacher. If there is something you can’t quite grasp then a piano teacher would have many ways to explain things. Without that help, your task can become overwhelming and many people will give up within the first three months.
The other main drawback is that tuition books dont teach you what you need to know before you start using the books. That is, the basics, what the notes are called on a keyboard, what are the notes called on sheet music, time signatures and time values. These are the basics that apply to all musical instruments and you must learn this first.