How long does it take to get good at piano?

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by rice&tennis, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. rice&tennis

    rice&tennis Rookie

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    I'm just curious, I'm currently 17years old and I'm wondering how long does it take to get "good" at piano?
    I'm not really good at piano, yet I'm not someone that doesn't know how to play. I used to be home taught by my mom when I was really young but lost interest.

    However, I want to learn how to play piano now, so I'm wondering how long it's going to take?

    for example how long will it take for me to learn the basics and be able to play http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPvxAO5IPX0.

    Big thanks to everyone.
     
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  2. coyfish

    coyfish Hall of Fame

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    Don't worry about how long it takes. That is not the right attitude. Just play to enjoy it and you will be more satisfied and progress faster. It just varies too much to tell. Depends on how much time you put in and your natural talent.

    The basics of piano are simple and take no time at all to learn. You need to practice reading notes and eventually scales, chords, and keys.

    6 months of good practice and you should be very happy. Don't think about it . . . just do it.

    I have been playing for 6 years and one thing that I hated was chords and scales. Let me tell you learning those will make you a much better player in the long run.
     
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  3. Fifth Set

    Fifth Set Professional

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    Two things that can help are:

    (1) some kind of regular commitment to the pursuit that is scheduled (this can be a class at a community college or a private lesson or some other activity, but the point is something that basically guarantees practice); and

    (2) a nice instrument to use that will make practicing fun (look at an affordable used synthesizer like the Roland SH-201, which can help you learn not just "piano" but simultaneously becoming a multi-talented all-around musician).

    Enjoy!
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010
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  4. OKUSA

    OKUSA Hall of Fame

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    I played everyday for about 6 months and was pretty decent at it, I could learn easier pieces like Fur Elise. Stopped playing because I got bored with it, thinking about taking it up again and trying to learn some Chopin since I really like his music but his stuff is really hard
     
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  5. Don S

    Don S Rookie

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    How long it takes is totally dependant on you. Just like every other instrument, you'll get out of it what you put into it. But it will be a rewarding journey I promise that.
     
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  6. dave333

    dave333 Hall of Fame

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    I guess it depends on your definition of good. Playing nice melodies from movies/popular songs, as well as some fairly classic piano tunes, it doesn't take too long.

    But if you wanna get into stuff like Chopin and develop a real ability with piano (like play a song by ear), it takes years and years.
     
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  7. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I started taking lessons as an adult. My teacher told me it would take 10 years to master the instrument.

    I quit after nine years. I got to the point where I could play classical music and do recitals and suchlike, but I never had any natural talent. And there is something about an old brain that makes everything more difficult. My kids could play better than I could without even practicing.

    I may pick it up again someday. I can still play bits and pieces of Chopin etc. from memory. And piano is much easier on the knees than tennis!
     
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  8. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    That's a pretty good accomplishment, Fur Elise is a grade 7 piece I believe. To the OP, my friend got to RCM Grade 8 in 3 or 4 years, but I guess it all depends on how much time you are willing to put into practicing.
     
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  9. OKUSA

    OKUSA Hall of Fame

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    I had a pretty bad knee injury skiing so I had to do something and I played piano almost everyday for a few hours
     
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  10. coyfish

    coyfish Hall of Fame

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    fur elise is a beginner piece . . .
     
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  11. OKUSA

    OKUSA Hall of Fame

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    I guess we must define "Beginner". Some Chopin could be a beginner piece to some Liszt piece heh
     
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  12. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    o_o didn't know that; I don't play piano, I play violin, but RCM grade 7 in violin would equate to at least intermediate and I assume the same for piano. I believe the full original Fur Elise is in the grade 7 repertoire for piano.

    My friend, who is done his ARTC in piano, still has trouble with Liszt's (Paganini's) La Campanella, but can play Black Keys perfectly. Obviously it depends on the amount of practice, but I find it a funny coincidence how you brought that up :).
     
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  13. Rippy

    Rippy Hall of Fame

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    No way it's grade 7. I think it's around grade 5. Getting there in 6 months is certainly very impressive though!
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010
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  14. coyfish

    coyfish Hall of Fame

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    You don't really have to define it. Just go by what is available for purchase. Pieces are categorized and fur elise is a middle beginner piece as are many chopin. Just go online and look at some so you can get a feel.
     
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  15. OKUSA

    OKUSA Hall of Fame

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    What would jingle bells classify as? Can't be beginner as anyone can probably learn it in a few days
     
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  16. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    Depends on what you mean by "good." If you just want to be able to play a simple pop song like that one and if you're fairly talented, a month at most. It sounds like you can already read music, which should help. Don't discount your prior experience. Doesn't matter whether you used to take lessons 5 or 10 years ago. You'll be amazed at how much you can recall without even knowing it when you start practicing.

    As for the "basics," there's actually not a whole lot you need to learn if you can already read music and hit the right notes with the right fingers. Now if you want to get serious and be able to play, say, the Chopin etudes, that's another matter. Then some knowledge of music theory is necessary, along with at least 2-3 hours of practice every day. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

    If you're pretty serious about this stuff, be sure to practice on an actual piano rather than one of those $100-300 electronic keyboards, 'cause you won't be able to develop your fingers with the latter. (Just for the record there are no muscles in the fingers. The "finger strength" actually comes from the muscles in the hand and the forearm.) And unless you're exceptionally gifted you do need formal lessons from a reputable instructor. I won't tell you which exercises to use or whether to use them because opinions on their effectiveness vary. Ask your instructor and do what works best for you. And don't just memorize the score, but instead try to sight-read it every time you start working on a new piece. Sight-reading is one of the key requirements for any serious pianist, and being a good sight-reader will eventually save you a lot of time.
     
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  17. Algo214

    Algo214 New User

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    all of your life if you think about getting better,
    I dropped piano for that, I didn't enjoy it at all,...if you do, you'll get better without noticing it (if you practice lol)
     
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  18. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    Oh, not grade 7 as in the English ABRSM levels, I meant the RCM one, from 1-10 + ARTC levels.
     
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  19. cucio

    cucio Legend

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    What is "playing Fur Elise", exactly?

    If you mean playing all the notes without mistakes to a metronome, that is fairly easy if you don't have any serious coordination problems and put some work on it. I don't recall exactly, but I don't think it took me more than one year to reach that level. I put a lot of effort, though, but at the beginning you progress very fast so it is very rewarding, until you start to hit plateaus.

    Now to give it an expressive phrasing, without sounding affected, carefully balancing dynamics, articulation and tempo flow... a crapload of years. And then some. But at this point in your education you won't probably be able to appreciate the difference between a masterful performance and that of your local teacher, so you will be inordinately pleased with just going through the notes in tempo.

    I heartily agree with the first answer by coyfish. Forget about the destination, and try to enjoy the trip. You will need to find a teacher that can adapt to your personality: if you are one for immediate rewards you will need different stuff than if you are disciplined and have a long term view.
     
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  20. rice&tennis

    rice&tennis Rookie

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    thanks guys
    i'll ask my parents about it.

    anyway, whats a chopin

    what i'm aiming for is to be able to read notes and be able to play songs, like the youtube clip i first posted
     
    #20
  21. coyfish

    coyfish Hall of Fame

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    Different people have very different skills when it comes to piano. Being able to sightread well is difficult and takes a lot of time. . . at least for me.

    being able to read notes and play can be done in an afternoon . . . You could be playing that piece you linked in a month if you wanted. Anyone can learn basically anything even if it is way above their level.

    Ignoring musicianship, what differentiates a beginner from an intermediate / advanced player is not the fact that they can / can't read notes. As you practice you begin to understand chords and key's. Instead of reading notes one by one you see things in groups / musically. That is what takes time and practice.
     
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  22. cucio

    cucio Legend

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    Chop-in is pianist slang for when you sit at the piano to work on your technical skills, aka "chops."

    So you can be at the cafeteria with your pals and say:

    "OK, dudes, that was a nice coffee but now I must chop in. Cheers!"

    :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frédéric_Chopin
     
    #22
  23. pmata814

    pmata814 Professional

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    Playing a song like the one in your clip shouldn't take very long at all if you practice. Reading music is another story though. Normally your technique will develop a lot faster than your reading skills.

    As an example: my brother performed Khachaturian in his second semester in college (he never studied piano before this but he was a drummer for several years) but if you asked him to sightread a piece for you he would struggle with the simplest of pieces. His technique was way ahead of his reading ability.

    Here is a link of the piece so you get an idea of the difficulty. THIS IS OBVIOUSLY NOT MY BROTHER. I JUST POSTED THE LINK SO YOU GET AN IDEA OF THE DIFFICULTY LEVEL OF THE PIECE.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bfo4-CnJZQQ
     
    #23

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