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  • Writer's pictureAmy Taylor

Playing Piano Just For Fun

Becoming a concert pianist is not on everyone’s to-do list. Playing piano, for most adults, is something they do simply for their own enjoyment. Is piano your hobby?

Here are some tips and tricks to get you started on the road to having fun and relaxing while you play.

What Makes Playing Piano Fun For You?

If you identify what brings you joy in the process of playing piano, it will be easier to repeat.

What part of playing piano attracts you? Is it the nostalgia of songs that you’ve always loved? Is it the excitement of playing music from your favorite film? Does the pop music you listen to in your car inspire you to play? Or have you always enjoyed classical music and wanted to play like the masters?

If you remember what inspired you in the beginning and go back to that inspiration, this can help keep your momentum going.

Popular music can be either very easy or very difficult depending on the composer of the piece, the same applies to classical or jazz music.

You may want to play one style, you may want to play them all. If you are unsure, spend some time listening to piano music in various genres and pick something that appeals to you and start there.

There are usually two versions of music for each song, one for beginners and one for advanced pianists. The difficulty level of the sheet music you are using might be making it too difficult to enjoy. Try asking your teacher for a simpler version of the song.

Identify What Takes The Fun Away

The pressure of playing in public can take the fun away. Don’t feel pressured to play in public. Playing for fun can mean sitting down and playing for your own enjoyment, or maybe for the enjoyment of family and friends, but not in recitals.

Are you being too hard on yourself? Practice positive self-talk. Sometimes we don’t enjoy something because we are too hard on ourselves. Remind yourself that you are a beginner and be patient with yourself in the process. You are allowed to make mistakes, it’s how we grow.

Music’s Great Secret

Let’s say you want to play a song by your favorite band. You might learn how to play the melody (tune) with your right hand, but if you want to make it more fun, adding chords underneath is a great way to do that. The chords can be played by the left hand and can make the music sound more interesting...aka more fun!

Nearly every song uses notes that can be grouped together in a set of notes called a ‘scale’. If you stack a set of three notes on top of each other, that creates a chord.

There are three magic chords that can be used to accompany nearly every song. If you are using the C scale to play a song, your three magic chords are C (CEG) F (FAC), and G (GBD).

When you play these chords with your left hand and play the tune in the right hand, listen for which chord sounds best with the melody.

It may take a bit of trial and error, but it’s a great place to get started. After this, you can learn more complicated chords to make your melody sound more interesting.

A Starting Place For Learning The Keys

First, if you are a beginner, you will need to familiarize yourself with the names of the piano keys. The names of the piano keys are here:

Playing Piano

The white keys have one name and the black keys have two.

How To Memorize The Names Of Keys

I recommend picking a note at random, say G for example. Then play all the G’s up the whole piano. Then pick another note at random.

It’s important not to go in order because you’ll be accidentally training yourself into the bad habit of having to count “A B C D E F G” in order to get to the note you want.

Why Do The Black Keys Have Two Names?

As you’ve noticed from the picture, the black keys have two names. If you move from F up to the closest note, that becomes f-sharp (F#) whereas if you are on G and you go down to the closest note, that becomes G-flat (Gb). It’s a little more complicated than this, but those are the basics.

A Fun Fun Piano Teacher

Learning by yourself can be very difficult because it involves a lot of guesswork. It’s too easy to make mistakes without a teacher guiding you. Learning on your own can be a very slow process, but a teacher would speed that up a lot.

A teacher can also provide moral support when things get tough (which they will). Teachers are the best way to prevent bad habits. A good teacher will watch how you hold your hands to make sure you don’t get carpal tunnel or other physical problems down the line.

Teachers can also know how to pace you. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with difficult music, but a teacher can break a piece of music down into reasonable sections for you to master.

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