How to Learn Piano for Music Production?


The piano is one of the most popular instruments to begin one’s journey into the world of learning music. Many people overlook the piano and think that they may not need to learn how to play it for success in musical production. One of the first restrictions numerous people face in music production is not having the ability to play complex chords, which can make the track sound more interesting.

When producing tracks of different genres, some may also find that they are unable to create the particular components of the composition that make it work as a whole. These issues can occur due to a lack of instrumental knowledge. Having experience playing the piano can expand your skill in musical production and has the potential to make the production process much easier.

If you are an aspiring music producer, you should know how to play live as well. This skill of being able to play music live can only be truly developed if you have previously learnt to play the piano to some level of proficiency. As a music producer, you will unquestionably be working with chords and melodies on a daily basis.

The most suitable way to learn chords and melodies is through an instrument like the piano. Learning the piano is quite straightforward and can make the production process much simpler compared to someone who has not learnt music theory, and only goes by their intuition. Having the skill to play and perform on the piano can assist you in creating tracks faster and more efficiently.

Beginning lessons with a competent piano teacher who can guide you through learning the basic chords and scales should be your first goal as a newbie. The starting point here will be focusing on how to dissect tracks and re-writing songs, so that you can move on from learning basic music theory. Once you have completed the groundwork of music theory, you can dabble in live performance.

Simply knowing that you need to learn the piano in order to produce genuinely good-sounding music is not enough. Learning how to play the piano the proper way will allow you to avoid making quite a few mistakes from the start. In this article, I will walk you through the various steps you need to take, which can pave the way to learning the piano in the proper way and assist you on your music production journey. Let’s get started shall we.

Why Should you Learn the Piano?

Piano as an instrument, is incredibly versatile. Once you have accomplished this skill, you can use it for multiple purposes. Credible scientific research has proven time and time again that the ability of being able play a musical instrument has the power to improve your general mood and functionality.

It helps you to increase your ability to think critically and can even allow you to avoid frustration when working on tough projects. When you are learning or playing the piano, you use your arms, legs, ears, and feet. This combination is favorable for cognitive functionality and increases brain activity.

The neural connections that are used for speech, language, memory, and attention are activated when you are learning or playing the piano. By understanding the different elements of beat, rhythm, measures, scales, and other unique musical concepts you can also improve your mathematical mind.

Studying music as a student teaches you phrasing, structure, form, and artistic analysis. Developing your musical skills can also improve academic achievements in math, science and can even help to increase your academic test scores.

Consistent piano practice can train a student’s fingers to be quick, agile, and precise. When you are playing the piano, both of your hands are functioning independently from each other. This can enhance a student’s dexterity. When it comes to reading sheet music, it can also assist in improving hand-eye coordination, as well as reaction time. When someone starts to learn the piano, this instrument engages the student’s visual, tactile, and aural skills.

Learning to play the piano can also increase the student’s future success through gaining critical thinking skills, improving time management, and increasing their attention to detail. Studying music allows the student to develop a higher level of patience, discipline, diligence, and dedication towards other aspects of their lives.

It permits the student to experience small successes, teaching them the valuable lesson of how hard work and practice can yield positive results in their life. Self-esteem is an aspect that the current generation is struggling with at the moment. They struggle to handle criticism, and playing the piano has the potential to help them accept both positive as well as negative criticism in life.

Playing the piano can help people by boosting their creativity, and it can also provide them with an emotional outlet to express themselves. Today, people can find it challenging to express their emotions, which can cause negative and long-lasting consequences. Playing the piano allows for emotional expression, in a creative way, that can release possible pent-up emotions.

This can transform these emotions into a form of art that helps one to relate to their emotions and touches other people’s hearts. Not to mention, it has also been scientifically proven that playing the piano can reduce one’s level of stress. Over and above this, it can also help to reduce both anxiety and depression.

Music is also an expression of culture, as every culture has something to offer in terms of its own musical background. For this reason, studying music can provide a gateway into understanding other contrasting cultures and backgrounds. Playing the piano can assist in learning about and relating to other people from different parts of the world. The piano also helps people to engage with various forms of history, to which they otherwise may not have been exposed.

How to Start Learning the Piano?

With all the information that is available on the internet, there are no shortages when it comes to  finding solutions for learning the piano. Still, there are certain things that a beginner piano player should keep in mind. Let’s look at these things one by one.

Choosing a piano to start learning is the first step in this process. There are a wide range of pianos currently available on the market. If you are purely looking for a piano to learn and use in music production, a small 49 key electronic piano is more than enough to get you started on your journey.

If you are someone who struggles with learning online, hiring a competent teacher who can sit with you, and personally assist you through the process is the best option. If you are someone who can concentrate for a long period of time without distraction, learning online would be a better solution.

Learning to play the piano with the proper technique is one of the main areas where most people struggle when they are getting started. Aspects such as how you sit at the piano, and how to correctly lay your fingers on the keys matter when it comes to cultivating the proper technique. This also affects the way the piano produces sound.

Let’s say you’ve just received your piano. You are sitting properly in front of the piano and your hands are positioned correctly on the keyboard. Just hitting one note is not going to permit you to play the piano perfectly right away. You need to concentrate working on practicing the piano by completing small exercises.

If you are learning the piano by yourself, the foundation you need to build is learning “how to read music”. Learning how to read sheet music as a music producer will allow you to communicate with other producers on the same level, not to mention live recording musicians.

You can own a top of the range piano and be taking lessons with the most qualified piano teacher available, but if you don’t practice frequently; your musical abilities with not improve. The more you repeat playing the required exercises on the piano, the more it will become second nature to you.

Repetition of practicing pieces and scales makes your experience of playing the piano smoother. If you do not repeat the exercises frequently, you can end up becoming stagnant in your learning process. Building your skills one by one, each day at a time is undoubtedly a difficult task when starting out. But with persistence, you begin to see the results and your level of self-motivation will increase along with your enjoyment.

When it comes to setting goals for learning to play the piano, you have to ensure you are being realistic with yourself. Sometimes, it’s easy to look at an advanced level pianist and feel like you will never be able to reach their standard. This is completely untrue, and you must not let this discourage you from putting in the needed effort.

Anyone with enough motivation and the available resources can achieve their unique goals in life. This is the same when it comes to playing the piano. You can achieve your goals very easily if you persevere and stick closely to the targets that you set for yourself.

Reading, timing, and dynamics are some of the things that can be a source of frustration for many piano players who are just starting out on their musical journey. It is important to concentrate on these aspects of learning music from the beginning, as this will speed up your progress in learning the piano in the long run.

When you visually examine different parts of the piano, you will find numerous pedals at the base. Don’t allow yourself to become confused,  you will not need them at all for the first three months of playing.

How does learning the Piano help with Music Production?

The piano has been an integral part of music composition for a considerable amount of time, and is the basic component of a majority of compositions in songs and films. It is continually noted as being the main structural component in how a song harmonizes with vocals.

The piano is so popular that finding a song without one is often a miracle, as an overwhelming number of songs incorporate it in one way or another in today’s world of music production. Piano as an instrument plays a major role in setting up the platform for the expression of other instruments in a composition.

Every music production project begins with a basic four-chord progression. This small chord progression is more often than not put together with the assistance of a piano. This is because music theory is a vital component in how the song sounds once it has been completed.

When you are adding instruments to a project, you have to make sure that you have the right things in place for a worthy result. This can only be checked properly with the backup of another instrument where you can not only play mono sounds but also play polyphonic chords.

There are many other reasons for this, which starts with chord theory. Dis-chord is a problem that you will more than likely face if you are not using a piano or any other instruments that can play polyphonic chords. This happens as a result of your chords not being located on the correct grid within the piano spectrum.

When you get to know the piano, you can play and record the chords as well as look at recordings and make sure that there are no dis-chords present in the track. This acts as a safety net for all harmonization in the songs, and ensures smoother sound.

If you have a deeper understanding of the piano, one of the skills that is learnt in music theory is  the use of time signatures. This knowledge will help to guarantee that the drum portions in the song are not offbeat, but perfectly in sync. This would not be possible without the foundational knowledge of music theory combined with a certain level of piano playing skills.

Ear training is a baseline requirement for a music producer and this skill needs to be developed early on in a piano players training. This is just another important reason why the ability to play the piano is an essential part of music production.

Without being able to understand music theory, you will struggle to flourish as a piano player. Learning music theory alongside learning to play an instrument will allow you to gain a better  understanding of music theory. When it comes to music production and audio production, music theory plays a huge role in the quality of the track at the end of production.

If you want to fully benefit from learning music theory for music production, the primary instrument to acquire a proficient skill in playing is the piano. This skill will not only help you to employ everything you learn and practice, but it will also support working on projects with the same abilities that you have developed.

Writing midi files and then adding sounds is currently a popular theme that is being followed in the music industry. If you are trying to lay ideas down, knowing how to play the piano is a huge lifesaver.

How the Piano is used in Music Production?

Piano in music production has not only been used in leads, but it has also been used in the layering of bass chords. Let’s examine the different ways the piano can be used in a project for music production. The first instance where you will find the piano is in classical songs which are played purely as instrumentals.

These are songs that are written and sometimes even used as meditation songs. A mild piano sound with less hardness is used in this scenario. You cannot make this same-sounding piano through a piano roll in audio production software. You certainly have to know how to play these songs to improvise and create another original piece from them.

The next way the piano is used in music production is by using them as a layer of a chord stack. These chord stacks are nothing but a group of sounds that are held together so that it sounds large and airy to the listener. These are used widely in songs from electronic dance music.

The best way to produce this sound is by starting with a four-chord loop with the piano and then extending it with the backup of other supplemental sounds that work together. Sometimes producers even eliminate the piano at the end of the production process, so that the other elements in the music can sound clearer to the listener.

In some songs, the piano is sometimes used as a rhythmic instrument. Piano chords are employed in such a way that they can drive the song. Usually, these songs are minimal in terms of several elements and are usually made to convey a particular message. Most emotional songs are created this way, with a single piano-guided rhythm, a guitar lead in the front, and the inclusion of a bass. These songs are extremely popular and are used widely as the background music for various films.

Another place where you can find a wealth of pianos are in orchestral music. The actual chord driver in these orchestral pieces more often than not comes from the piano. All the other elements just split the chords and play each note, or a set of notes completing the chord. This is where the piano truly shines as the guiding light of an entire song when it comes to musical value. When you add a melody on top of a beat, it changes from being just a beat to a complete, well-rounded song.

The piano is widely used in creating muted leads and is especially popular in muted guitar sounds that create a pathway to the muted piano sound as leads. These sounds are used in songs to create a jumping chords technique, in return, they produce an energetic dance-type rhythm.

This technique started to gain popularity in Latin music, where the guitar’s muted chords are used extensively in the construction of songs. Making use of the piano as a muted lead is not extremely difficult. Once you have played the normal four-bar chord, remove the tail of each chord and add more attack by using a compressor on the piano channel in the mixer. This will produce a completely different sound.

Where to Learn the Piano for Music Production?

Finding the perfect place to learn piano has been a constant struggle for a great deal of people. Even though there are numerous avenues available to learn piano, it can be difficult to find a place where one is comfortable and motivated enough to learn. Different avenues and methods of learning work for different people. This means that you have will have to self-access what would  work best for you personally.

If you are someone who can learn well on their own by making use of an online platform, then that’s the way you should go. Motivation and accountability are crucial factors when it comes to learning, which ever route you choose. If you don’t have enough motivation within yourself, then learning to play the piano will be a tough journey.

If you are truly self-motivated and can maintain a regular daily routine, you should go with an online platform. If you are not that self-motivated, then the best bet would be to find an offline teacher who can keep tabs on you. They can also help you reduce the mistakes that you make while you are learning. There are many advantages of attending classes with an offline teacher.

They can guide you in a way that is easy to understand, they can examine your progress and suggest alternative ways to learn the piano that works for you personally. This is not at all possible when you are learning online. Some people just want to take your money and you don’t want to be subject to a scam. Make sure to be vigilant and undertake thorough research when it comes choosing the perfect piano teacher for you.

If you are going the other route of learning the piano online, the options are endless in this section. Each corner you turn has a piano lesson on offer. The moment you open YouTube and type piano lessons, there are a wide range of people who want to sell you numerous courses to get you started. Spending money on courses to learn the piano is a good idea as it’s an investment in your skills.

But if these courses don’t provide you with the results that they promise, then it would be a waste of your time and money. This is the main reason why I continually recommend signing up with Udemy and Skillshare. Both of these platforms have a huge collection of creators, with years of experience who truly want to support your learning and lend you a helping hand to achieve your goals. These platforms will allow you to try out different courses and will help you figure out which course is most suited to you.

When it comes to Udemy, their structure allows you to purchase each one of their courses for a set amount of money. In the case of Skillshare, it’s more like Netflix, where you pay a certain amount each month for a subscription where you gain access to their full catalogue of courses. Generally, what people fail to grasp is that occasionally course instructors may publish the courses in both Udemy and Skillshare.

The only problem with online platforms is the lack of motivation and accountability that you may experience as result of not having an actual teacher who will hold you accountable. If you are hiring a teacher, you will be forced to be accountable, as you are paying them money and they will constantly access your progress. This is not the case when you are learning online. Choose what’s right for you and follow every instruction that you are provided so that you can obtain the maximum results.

How can I Learn to Play the Piano by myself?

Signing up for online courses is one of the most efficient ways to learn the piano on your own. If you try to learn through reading books or other trial and error methods, you will miss out on the finer details that could help you progress your skills quicker.

The piano is an instrument that needs focused guidance when you are first starting to play. If left unnoticed, beginner errors have the potential to follow you throughout your career, creating a bad habit. Having access to a proper piano course, or having a competent teacher by your side, will assist you with improving your skills at a faster pace.

Is Learning the Piano Easy?

Learning the piano is based on your personal mindset, so if you think it’s going to be easy, then yes, it’s going to be easy. If you think it’s going to be the hardest thing that you have ever tried to do in your life, it’s going to be tough. Just like all other instruments, the piano has a learning curve. You have to experience this learning curve if you want to be an elite piano player. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts that make learning to play the piano easier.

Are Pianos Hard to Learn?

No, learning to play the piano is not at all hard. Just like every other instrument, the piano has its own unique language. You have to gain understanding of this language and use it to play the instrument successfully. As I stated before, there is a learning curve to all instruments, it just depends on your willingness to learn and persevere. The time it takes to learn might be longer if you do not have enough personal motivation. Something to remember is that the way you look at learning a skill, has the potential to change the way you process different aspects of your life.

What is the Easiest way to Learn the Piano?

The easiest way to learn the piano is to first understand that there is no easier way to learn the piano other than putting in hard work and practice. This might be a hard pill to swallow. But taking the time to learn every intricate detail about the piano will make you a better player and reduce the difficulty of the learning curve. Repetition and practice are the two leading mantras when it comes to learning the piano. There are no other alternate choices that will allow you to play the piano on command.

Is Guitar Easier than the Piano?

It depends. If you have already learnt the piano, then it would be easier for you compared to a newbie who is just starting to learn the guitar. Learning the piano along with music theory, and then moving on to the guitar will make the learning process more fun and enjoyable. Stressing yourself out with how to learn will not yield anything positive in the long run.

What should I Learn First on the Piano?

Notes and scales are introductory elements that need to be learned when you first begin playing the piano. You should be able to play all the scales, both major and minor. Following this, you should then learn to play all seven chords for each scale with your left hand. Practicing these scales for the first few months of learning piano, and making sure they are flawless and precise are considered the basic foundations.

At some point on your learning journey, you may feel like you are not progressing at all with your piano playing skills. However, the more you push yourself forward, you will begin to understand that the muscle memory you have been creating with practicing scales will be indispensable when you realise you can begin to play complex songs with ease.

Conclusion

Learning an instrument can help you in your understanding of how music works in general. It has been proven in numerous scientific studies that just by learning an instrument, you can expand your ability to process other aspects of your life very differently.

Music has the potential to become a valuable form of therapy when you struggle to find peace in your life. At first, learning to play the piano might seem like a difficult task, but it’s actually not at all that complicated. If you are not too hard on yourself and take it one day at a time, you can learn the piano effortlessly and improve your abilities faster.

Just like mastering any other skill, if there is one thing that you have to be constantly aware of, it is repetition. If you are not practicing the required skills and exercises repeatedly, your brain’s ability to process the sounds and help you with music theory is not going to provide you with any favorable results. Starting your journey into the world of music, or learning the piano is like riding a bike for the first time, you first have to learn balance. Understand that it’s a process and be easy on yourself.

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