Why is there a general sentiment on this subreddit not to self learn?

  1. I have no issue with people who want to self-teach. Some people can't or just don't want lessons. The problem is that people think it's a shortcut to getting good.

  2. Agreed. Learning without a teacher isn't faster, is slower and filled with wonderful discoveries but horrifying foundational errors that will prevent the hard pieces from being played later.

  3. I agree with this in that teachers act as a catalyst for your improvement. That being said, there are lots of teachers on YouTube and other platforms that can teach you this, and you can make friends who have played since a young age who are more than happy to help out from my experience. I fixed my technique solely from YouTube videos and asking friends repeatedly for feedback. As a uni student I can't afford a teacher and I don't think anyone here "tries to play advanced classical music without knowing how hard it is". That is a really wierd assumption, most beginners would think it is hard just as much as anyone else, they aren't stupid, they also have common sense. Self teaching usually implies finding trained pianists on YouTube or other platforms.

  4. See all the posts from beginners asking about pains in their wrists & fingers. That's the opposite of fun & liberating. It's guaranteeing frustration & huge walls limiting progress.

  5. Couldn't said it better myself. Learning on my own for the first year I developed bad posture than my instructor immediately point out. It's SOOO MUCH easier to practice longer now.

  6. Yep, there is just no replacement for a good teacher. Especially at the very beginning, to teach you proper technique. Having a second, extremely experienced set of eyes on your posture, hand and wrist position, fingering, different fingers strength, etc is so helpful and elevates your playing and comfort. It also enables you to learn more difficult pieces because the higher level you go, the more technically sound your playing needs to be.....easier to build a proper foundation from the very start and build upon that vs. start "fooling around" on the piano and then having to relearn technique after months/years of playing incorrectly.

  7. I have a student who taught himself to play chords with fingers 2, 3, and 4. Now that he’s in lessons, it’s REALLY hard to break that habit and change to a healthy hand position using fingers 1, 3, and 5, especially because he’s a stubborn kid. He has pain all of the time, and can’t play anything other than major triads, so we can’t work on voice leading at all. It’s going to cost him years of work, when he could’ve just learned it correctly the first time.

  8. I have a new student that also taught himself to play chords with 2,3 and 4 who is also stubborn and really struggling to break the habit. Every time I correct it he says “but it’s more comfortable to play with 2,3 and 4”. Ok sure, but once you start learning more complex pieces, that’s not going to work… it’s so hard to explain to a kid why it’s not okay.

  9. 1, 2, and 4 is more comfortable and better in my opinion, never had any issues with it playing jazz piano for like 7 years

  10. Seems like something a YouTube video could teach you not to do in 3 seconds though. Just because some people fail at learning by themselves doesn't mean everyone will. Especially in such an extreme example as that.

  11. But if he'd gone on YouTube and typed in how to play chords on piano he'd have found plenty of videos telling him how to do it correctly. Having a teacher is not the only way. It's definitely the best way but if you can't afford it then don't let that put you off learning altogether - there are plenty of free resources out there.

  12. I just got this post recommended to me, but I don’t play piano (I play guitar). I was self-taught and I don’t see how anyone can spend years to fix a fingering mistake, each of mine was fixed in 50-80 hours of work, which is a few months at best. Unless piano is so much different from guitar that it muscle memory works differently, of course

  13. But don't you see how a simple post on an online forum would fix this? Something along the lines of "Which fingers should I use for basic triads?" The amount of resources out on the internet certainly does not guarantee that anyone can become a concert pianist without a teacher, but it's also not true that being self taught inherently means that you'll plateau at the early intermediate level.

  14. What are some more errors you found as a teacher? I haven't touched the piano for more than 15 years, reading the sheet to me feels like reading a paragraph with letters rather than words now, but when I sat down I still kept those 1-3-5 position.

  15. OP is not necessarily talking about kids, and anyone who’s got a bit of intelligence would not run into this problem, in the days of internet and YouTube university.

  16. Yep. Good teachers are ultimately there to autonomise creative capacity. People can do whatever they want, but just know your creative limitations and technical limitations and the fact that these are related to one another. Teachers (the people who usually create all those resources for free online) help creativity shine.

  17. There's so much more to the piano than learning and reciting classical repertoire. It's sad to see so many musicians fall into that trap. Thinking they need to learn to play correctly before they can be creative. Then half a lifetime passes and they find they've wired themselves to be a music box and the only music innovation left to them is making patchwork quilts of phrases from their repertoire.

  18. Beginners especially cannot grasp the implications of wrong technique, and how a bad habit will limit them in the long run.

  19. That's my point exactly. This notion of "wrong technique" stops people from even beginning in the first place. Here's an analogy for you, is there a wrong technique for when people are just learning how to paint or any other kind of visual art?

  20. This answer could not be better, for about the past 8 years I’ve had lessons once a week, during those lessons my teacher corrects almost all the technique mistakes I make. But I was sick for 2 weeks a bit ago, I was practicing a part in Rondo a capriccio wrong and now I’m spending like a month trying to correct it

  21. Bad habit gets in the way of trying to learn harder pieces. Speaking from personal experience, once you learn (or re-learn in my case) how to play without putting too much tension or making your arms tired, you never want to go back. Having a second pair of (qualified) eyes also helps you know REALLY quickly where the issues are and removes a lot of the guesswork.

  22. Because people are trying to play Chopin and Rachmaninoff when they’re still writing in the letters of the notes on their sheet music. Classical music takes time, consistency, and proper technique to learn, and there’s too many people here who want to skip past all of that.

  23. Who said anything about classical music? Has nobody here ever heard of wanting to jam out with people and create modern music of their own? Technical playing isn't everything. People love the blues and reggae, for instance. Most of this music is pretty simple in structure, but powerful none the less.

  24. It comes a point that for ANY instrument, music theory will make you understand the language you are interpreting/talking with your instrument. It's like learning to write and read once you know how to speak. Would you imagine a world where you don't read or write ?Do you want to be a musician or just a guy playing the same notes again and again on his keyboard ? Reading new music opens your mind so much quicker than whatever you can imagine yourself... kinda like reading a masterpiece book.

  25. I think that in principle you can self learn and can become quite a skilled amateur doing so. However, it takes a tremendous amount of discipline and self-awareness that quite frankly most people simply do not possess.

  26. This is the real answer imo. I have a teacher, but I see them maybe once a month (even less now after Covid) for a couple hours, just to talk about form, discuss music etc.

  27. I know more than a handful self-taught musicians and none of them have persisted over 1 year. Only those that took lessons did, and I also persisted, after being taught through conservatory, and became self taught, but not the other way around

  28. I think the majority of recommendations to get a teacher are well intentioned, because it really is undeniably much better to learn with a good teacher than going solo. That holds true for pretty much everything in life, not only piano.

  29. agree! as a violinist who is now trying to (mostly) self-teach piano, I've seen both sides of this. lessons (and honestly music for the matter) are a luxury, and I love and support this push to democratize music.

  30. I'll be dead honest. I love piano and I love music but this subreddit is one of the worst on reddit. It's the same post over and over and over and over. Every single question can be solved with a teacher... Even the cheapest piano teacher once a month would be better than the incessant beginner questioning posts that go on here.

  31. I took music all through school and have a good theory background. I know how to play a good assortment of instruments well and have been in competitions at a higher level. I tried to self teach myself piano and ran into problems. Once I started piano lessons I realized I have so many self taught bad habits. It's taken a long time to just break these and some things are still in muscle memory if I don't think about it. Just simple things like what fingers to use on what keys and why. Simple stuff that a teacher would have set straight the first couple months.

  32. The right teacher will teach you to play based upon anatomy, the laws of physics and ergonomics. If you dabble on your own you could train your brain to move improperly and muscle memory is forever. Ask any pianist who misses a day of practice then feels rusty or, someone who can play a scale perfectly then flub it up in performance or, you can't play the way you would like to. A good teacher will not only teach you properly but will also nip in the bud improper movement which will haunt you forever. It is possible to play very well but have improper movement buried deep in your technique which will one day surface as a so called repetitive stress injury but, surgeons need to eat, too.

  33. I've always had an intuitive understanding of this free vs instrumental categorization, but I didn't realize it was a serious subject of sociological inquiry/discussion. Very insightful, thanks!

  34. Golden post, this applies to almost all areas of life. I don't know how it couldn't actually. And personally I derive fun and meaning from progress. But each side is legit, except the guy that has unrealistic expectations as you pointed it out.

  35. I would say the reason ppl on this sub suggest getting a teacher is bc there are constantly questions on the sub that could easily be solved through google or a book or a YouTube video or some at home messing around, but the poster just posts to Reddit instead. I don’t think it’s gatekeeping necessarily, I think it’s more bafflement at the basic nature of some of these questions

  36. Even so, on this sub, most people do actually answer people's questions directly without appealing to teachers. I think this sub is actually pretty great at answering the simple, Google-able questions. The usual exceptions are:

  37. I'm old. Well, 40, but for the internet that's old, and I used to think like you do. It's logical on the surface.

  38. Preach fellow old man. This attitude in the original post is misguided because it frames technique as something that’s cold and unmusical, existing in a vacuum separate from those virtuous concepts like musicality and self expression. I view all of those concepts as so interconnected to the point where it almost doesn’t make sense to view them as separate things. I view musicality/self expression as a response, not something I initiate. I focus on technique which allows music to flow freely, and then I discover musicality/self expression in the moment. The musicality/self expression is a function of good technique, not the other way around.

  39. Mostly because the self taught people who post videos of themselves playing on this sub have terrible habits that will take a long time to correct.

  40. Because it is one of the most complex skills out there with an innumerable number of ways to cause injury which can even be irreversible at times to people who don't know better.

  41. When I learn a new instrument, I make sure to spend some time with a teacher because like everyone said it’s about picking up good habits from the start. It’s also a bit more structured and you can proceed much more quickly so you can have the freedom and creativity to learn what you want.

  42. Well ofc if you are only planning on plaiyng the most simple music, repeating the same 3-4 chords the whole time without anything else, there isnt that much that can go wrong. Yet I have seen people try to play chords with the fingers 2-3-4 which simply is incredibly harming... sometimes some people need teachers, its the sad truth

  43. These people greatly exaggerate this stuff, without citing any evidence. Piano teachers aren't doctors, and they have no way of knowing why one student might get injured vs another. Understanding biological mechanics would be a better way to assess that, and nobody here is qualified. But I would contend that it's mostly common sense. I see know reason why someone can't listen to a video and avoid repeating dangerous movements. And I seriously doubt that anyone wanting to jam out with modern music is going to injure themselves.

  44. Barring injury from poor technique that could be avoided with competent supervision, I don't see that a teacher is necessary to make pleasant music with the instrument and enjoy doing it. You will probably become more technically proficient at a faster pace with the aid of a good teacher, but really, that's probably the main benefit.

  45. Music teachers aren't doctors. They don't know what would cause an injury over the course of a decade. It's guesswork. This injury stuff is greatly exaggerated. It's not hard to look up what you can mechanically do to limmit the possibility of injury.

  46. Good point. It’s not like people are initiating conversations about taking lessons (maybe that happens sometimes, I’m not on here that often), but it seems to be mostly in response to people asking for advice.

  47. I have nothing against self-learners, however when you are talking about classical music and attempting to play the so-called "standard repertoire," it is just a fact that nobody is going to get far without a teacher. The problem is that we see self-learners diving straight into advanced classical music by the likes of Liszt, Chopin, and others, and frankly they have no idea what they're doing and there is actually some danger to it.

  48. Self-teaching can work IF you are very careful about learning relaxed technique and some good habits early on. However, many beginners here who ask for advice try to pick out the notes without taking the time to understand good technique. This is very limiting in the long run.

  49. You have misinterpreted what I said. I have learned the notes, the major scale, the minor scales, the formulas how to figure them out, how they relate to each other, the timings, chord structures, all of these basic musical theory things from videos, books, etc.

  50. Ultimately all pianists self teach. EVENTUALLY. like after years of having the massive amount of information taught to them about fundamentals and technique then you're equipped to self teach. Not from day 1 though, that's idiotic if not embarrassingly narcissistic

  51. Exactly. 6 years of weekly lessons put me in a great place to self teach for the past 22 years. It made it so I could teach myself instead of meander around for fun.

  52. Beginners don't understand their musical limits too, they all want to learn Chopin Etudes, and they all want to skip past all of the technical prep. before tackling one of those. I come onto this subreddit, and most beginners are like, "I want to learn Chopin's Revolutionary Etude after three months of playing the piano." I know I was also in the same boat when I began. Yes, dreams are good and could encourage improvement, but you can't just jump from Mary had a Little Lamb to that in less than a few months. A teacher would help the student to learn how to improve his technique so he can learn something of that size.

  53. I’m not sure that’s true. I see a fairly good number of people encouraging using free resources when a teacher is not an option. In reality it just depends on your long term goals. If you just want to play some pop music covers or easy/intermediate pieces, you can definitely get there on your own. If you wanna play a Prokofiev concerto… well, you might take lessons for a lifetime and still find it nearly impossible. Which I think is why many people don’t recommend being self-thought: they are thinking about their own repertoire and how difficult it is to master piano technique even with a good teacher. However, piano is also a very forgiving and rewarding instrument early on. So if you don’t have very ambitious goals, you’ll be just fine with any technique. Just expect to hit a wall at some point.

  54. Playing any instrument is not an ergonomical thing. Our bodies are not made to operate instruments. Its not the 'making music' part that is being 'gatekept'. You fail to understand the intricacies of playing instruments. Its like singing with a poor technique can ruin your voice. Playing piano with a poor technique makes the chances for carpal tunnel and arthritis much, much higher.

  55. Self-teaching is great, to a certain extent. But learning can be accelerated by appropriate feedback from a good teacher.

  56. A. Posture is hard to self teach. My old teacher would tell me to straighten my back and relax my shoulders before I started playing and by the third measure my posture would be bad again. I never would have been able to fix it without her constant reminders.

  57. There's a difference between exploring on your own and reinforcing bad habits. The piano obviously allows for endless creativity, but you have to at least establish a foundation to build on. Without learning the basics, it would be like trying to write a novel without knowing the alphabet. Sure you could "discover" it on your own, but it's not going to be fun or practical.

  58. Where I think you are wrong is seeing learning the piano as a form of 'art'. I won't deny there are a lot of bandwagoners who cannot even defend the argument for needing a teacher, so allow me enlighten you a bit.

  59. The thing about teachers is that they will be there to guide you and point out your mistakes -- something a youtube video or book wouldn't be able to do. When I was a beginner, my teacher was there to point out "more staccato!", "play forte!", or teach me the cantabile touch to the piano, which I would not have been able to learn just by watching YouTube videos.

  60. I mean, duh, anyone can have fun just going at their instrument. It is definitely true though that anyone will gain immensely more satisfaction from their playing after studying with a teacher. Truth is, if lessons never did it for you, you never found the right teacher for you.

  61. I think you're mis-informed. This subreddit wouldn't exist if the people here had some sort of anti-self-learning sentiment. People want to progress and not be stuck at their ability to teach themselves. This is often why you see recommending a piano teacher.

  62. These types of analogies are just weird. Who said anything about competitive piano playing? As if that's all anyone strives to do in music? Of course you should probably take lessons if all you want to be is a sight reading classical concert piano machine, or to write extremely technical music.

  63. This sub might be called ´piano´ but it really aims towards people interested in ´classical western European piano music of the 18th-20th century'. A lot that is being said in this sub makes no sense until you understand that. By now there simply is a fairly well established path to becoming a good classical musician, and it does involve teachers.

  64. To put it bluntly, I've never heard a self-taught player play a Chopin waltz or nocturne well, much less anything more difficult. I'm not exaggerating that there might be only a few hundred or thousand people, globally, who can even make a mediocre standard that were self-taught.

  65. I listen to chopin all the time but there's more to music and piano than playing Chopin. Honestly we have enough recordings that is silly for people to still be learning how to perform it. Play something new.

  66. I've known plenty that can jam out and improvise blues music though. Rigid classical music isn't the end all be all. In fact, it's a much smaller industry.

  67. I play for fun now. I started piano lessons when I was 7. For five years. Then in college, I picked it up again and majored in it. 5 more years of lessons. The best thing I learned in college was how to teach myself ( and this was long before the internet.), I just turned 70, I swithced to harpsichord 40 years ago, so I mainly play Bach, Couperin, Buxtehude and Scarlatti. I play at least an hour a day. Bach is always a great workout. I have worked on the Inventions, Toccatas, English and French Suites for many years and I enjoy seeing progress. Its a rewarding pastime. It should be encouraged any way it works.

  68. Yes but you majored in music and learned how to teach yourself after years of teachers giving your the proper foundation. This is not was OP is talking about - they are referring to complete beginners.

  69. That list doesn’t support he headline. I laughed at Elton John being on there, because he studied at the Royal Academy of Music! The write-up says he taught himself until the age of 7. Age 7-8 is the most typical time to start lessons.

  70. I can’t tell if you’re purposefully simplifying the repeated patterns of discourse that happen here or if you genuinely don’t see it. Self learning and learning with a teacher are not a dichotomous pair. There is no reason someone can’t do independent exploration while learning from a teacher, and many reasons independent exploration without guidance may lead people to go in circles for years before they discover concepts that are taught because they’re tried and true.

  71. Theres plenty of exploration and discovery with a teacher, especially if they let you choose the pieces you work on. It just comes with fewer bad habits and less potential injury.

  72. Because in general in life, I don't enjoy just messing around. I enjoy doing well. I enjoy accomplishment. I enjoy overcoming obstacles. Hitting random things on the piano can occasionally be fun, but most of the time it's boring and I don't enjoy myself. Maybe this world has ruined me.

  73. It’s incredibly hard and requires a staggering amount of focus and dedication to unlearn and re-learn body movements the brain has gotten used to.

  74. Tendons and muscles do not care if you feel creative. If you chronically stress your body because of poor technique, you will eventually injure yourself, whether you’re having fun or not all the while.

  75. First off, I totally feel you on this. I think pianists tend to blind to the privilege that comes from their experience and don't realize that a teacher is accessible to everyone.

  76. Dont see why it has to be either or.... I have always done my own thing on the piano but getting a teacher took my playing and composing to new levels

  77. valid point. but i have to admit, as someone who was self-taught, that i wish i had studied more seriously when i was younger.... I know i would be a much better player now and have much better overall musicianship if I had. I agree that you can't learn creativity or soul, but the more tools you have, the more you can do with your creativity and soul. Having said that, my favorite piano player is Erroll Garner and he is self-taught. i guess it's all good, whichever path you take, but i wouldn't be so critical of those who enjoy learning with a more formal structure.

  78. I self taught as a kid and I'm sure I developed some bad habits that I'll never shake. But my goal was never to be a concert pianist. My goal has always been to enjoy playing. I rarely learn entire songs. I learn the parts that I think sound cool or are the most fun to play. Working on something and then being able to play it expressively is so rewarding. I'll never forget when I finally was able to easily play the opening part of Bridge Over Troubled Water :) But playing Still D.R.E for friends is the easiest way to impress people :)

  79. I taught myself how to play saxophone as a kid. For years, I was not a good player. But I learned to play by ear. When I had the chance to play in Jazz band in HS... that's when things "took off." Sheet music (I thought) is lame. Sure I can read it... but... yuck. I still play (and sometimes make money doing it). So, caveats declared...

  80. Probably because a lot of us know the hard way that It's easier to learn than unlearn. Sure, you can watch YouTube videos and play stuff, but it really takes two sets of eyes to see how you are moving your hands and correct improper positioning etc. I know it costs money, but I'd recommend lessons for at least the first year to prevent bad habits from developing and learn some basic fingering techniques etc.

  81. There is no right way to play in terms of the actual music. PHYSICALLY, however, there is absolutely a right and wrong way. Playing incorrectly over time can cause permanent physical damage, which a teacher’s warnings could help you entirely avoid.

  82. In my opinion i feel a certain whenever my teachers shows me the “how to” to any problem. It’s easy, it’s logical, and i get amazed at how quickly the solution works. I don’t feel like it’s cheating because i an still discovering that way, i feel why it works and it helps me look for ways to better my self teaching as well. As much as I rely on my teacher for a lot of stuff, i still go out of my way to try stuff by myself though and I get op’s point fully. It’s just a tad exagerated. You cannot really feel the music if you are struggling with it.

  83. I think self learning is totally fine if you take it seriously! However, I feel like on this sub reddit specifically, the people saying they’re self taught are asking how to play Beethoven Moonlight Sonata after playing for 4 months with 0 technique 😭

  84. Because it sets you up for bad form. There are tons of self-taught players, but, they are very limited and usually don't actually know music.

  85. My opinion as teacher: Most people are not smart and intuitive enough to come up with an approach that actually works. That’s like saying, I want to become xyz on my own. It might work, but just good enough, and the result will be not effortless. Besides talent, it also comes down to mindset and most people have learned that you need to work “hard” in order to make improvements, which means they will figuratively hammer their head against a wall, get frustrated and then be surprised they have a concussion. I blame public education for that. In order to get better you first need to understand what you’re actively and passively doing; that’s difficult to do if you don’t know what you’re looking for. The work of a teacher is to diagnose and prescribe practicing methods that erase root core issues, such as a bad posture in your hands, shoulders and back, bad reading skills, bad perception of pitch, color, and articulation, lack of rhythmical pulse perception, no spatial awareness, etc. The teacher needs to attempt to fully understand the process that happens in the student’s mind, because only then will you be able to suggest actual changes. Everything else is pretty much the equivalent of palliative care. Most often, people use their real life problem solving skills at the piano and because we are rarely taught how to constructively deal with real life problems, people utilize the same behavior when they encounter a difficulty at the piano. In my experience that rarely works and then you’re in a bit of a dilemma because you need to first admit that you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s not a nice experience and then you need to bite your way through a difficulty. As already pointed out here, once you get used to bad habits, it takes a long time to change them. It’s also painful for the student, regardless of their age, because they have to “start over” which can be demotivating and discouraging. This is just my two cents worth, but often after that initial realization, that you need a thorough do-over comes the denial and then they just let it be, they give up or even blame you. Rarely do they start looking inward, self-reflect, and then actually do the work with patience, grace and self-love.

  86. There's a difference between wanting to learn to play and just playing for fun. When people come on this sub asking for advice, they're wanting to learn to play properly. It's that simple.

  87. I’ve been playing for 16 or so years. I was self taught for the first couple years and learned some bad habits as well as reached my glass ceiling - I couldn’t progress any farther/learn harder music because I was playing incorrectly. Started lessons and had to un learn those habits - I took a big step back but after a year or so finally was able to play better than I ever did prior. I wish I had started lessons sooner as I wasted time. You can still be creative while playing correctly.

  88. There's lots of stuff to self learn. Piano is not one of these things because the results of it, in the best case scenario, is to perform badly, and the works is to get seriously injured.

  89. It's just that piano technique is an old thing, and very well figured out. That means self learning is the slower way. If you don't mind taking 3 years to get to the same goals that someone with a teacher can hit in 3 months, then there's really no problem with self learning.

  90. Did someone from Olympia post this? Because goddamn this is the type of militantly amateur BS I remember dealing with there. “I don’t need no instructions to know how to rock!”

  91. I'm not a good self-learner. My first class is on this Saturday and I am buying my keyboard tomorrow. This is the only thing that is exciting for me right now in my life.

  92. It's only gatekeeping if you discourage people from trying to learn on their own. It's only gatekeeping if you think there's a singular correct way to learn or do something.

  93. Here's the thing, most of us who discourage self-learning, do so only because we spent years self-learning ourselves. And saw little to improvement or even worse developed bad habits that would take years to "unlearn."

  94. now that i re-read your thread i kinda cried .. lol it's just that to me, the piano is a way to escape from reality. i barely know how to read music even tho i'm studying from alfred's piano book and yet the little melodies i did learn make me feel so at ease. they eat away my stress, anxiety, it's all gone while i'm there and there's nothing left. it's so beautiful to me. i really need to get more time out of uni and my routine and play more.

  95. I'm not sure you can compare inventing the wheel to joy of discovery. Playing the piano is quite a well understood activity that it makes little sense to "reinvent the wheel" by learning it by yourself. There's a number of activities that I would consider complex enough not to learn alone, simply because the disadvantages/risks are too great.

  96. You could also explore and learn swimming on your own. You will get there, but getting hands on experience for a proper technique is well established for that case. The case that you will hurt and possibly seriously injure yourself for learning piano on your own is out there as a valid reason.

  97. That would be like driving without knowing how to actually do it. There is a reason why there is a right and wrong way to learn piano.

  98. Blind sight reading (oxymoron I know) is formulaic. Just take the time signature and use the MM marking with a metronome app or if you're like me, an analog metronome. If there's no MM marking then ask your instructor which one is the most widely used.

  99. I have learned under a teacher and I am grateful for that privilege. Hated it at the time but looking back, I wouldn't enjoy piano the way I do today.

  100. Like in music, is all about hierarchy. You can learn plenty of things, but that doesn't mean that there are better ways to learn. Just all.

  101. Self teaching the piano is definitely possible. I've been playing for a little under 2 years, and have not taken lessons. I've been able to play pretty much anything I want since I just play songs that I like, I don't play classical pieces on the piano really. If someone wanted to become a professional classical pianist, then they would almost certainly need a teacher. I agree with you though, most people just play as a hobby and want to just play songs for fun. There are people on here mentioning bad habits and physical pain. I watched a few YouTube videos for beginners, and posted some videos of my playing on a piano Discord to get feedback a few times, but other than that, that's it, and I've never had any physical pain from playing the piano. Like others mentioned, books and videos exist. I think piano is one of the most self teachable instruments. Some instruments truly do require a teacher, but I think depending on your goals with a piano, you probably don't need a teacher.

  102. From my study of music, there is basically 2 types of players. The one's who just sight read music and play other peoples songs, and people who improvise and compose music. Both are skills that you should work on to be a well rounded musician, and I believe choose which path to pursue based on what you value as a pianist.

  103. It seems like half the posts (or more -- actually, probably a lot more) in this sub are geared toward classical playing and repertoire, about a quarter to video game music and "River Flows in You", and a sliver that could be labeled "other." Given that classical -- music, technique, and pedagogy alike -- is pretty hidebound, it's not all that surprising to see that a community that leans pretty heavily on that form would be equally insistent on a certain set of traditions because "that's just how we've always done things."

  104. Because a lot of people on this forum are pretentiously focused on performance level technique over the general enjoyment that comes from playing an instrument. Pure and simple.

  105. Damn OP a lot of haters in this thread acting like if you're not playing to win competitions or learn the most difficult pieces you're lesser than. Music can be about different things for different people. The funny thing is, for the vast majority of piano players its just about fun. But I bet a sizeable chuk of the users on this sub wouldn't call those people "real" pianists. The gatekeeping is real and it sucks.

  106. I came here to say this. I’ve been playing daily, not a lot—less than an hour a day—for a couple of years, completely self taught. I’m not very good; I don’t expect to perform ever. But I cherish that daily time on the piano, and the music I’m learning to play, and how beautiful it sounds to me.

  107. I dont think they all are acting like its about to play to win at competitions... but even for easier music its still important to learn some technique. And thats simply not really doable without a teacher sadly. But ofc, if you only want to play easier pop music you dont really need a teacher. Many beginners here tho want to play complex pieces that actually take a decent level of skill and technique... this is just barely achiveable without proper guidance.

  108. It’s hilarious. The reason people get teachers is because they wanna be better than everyone else, period. I don’t buy the “ergonomics and habits” argument anymore, the piano population proves itself as an egotistical bunch who just wanna play Chopin and be the very best at la Campanella, living in a state of delusion about a supposed career (that we ALL want, by the way) that they will never have. Don’t you get it? Teaching IS the career. There’s no concert pianists…are you kidding? There’s like 7 of them lol. Out of like 8 billion people. This ain’t the 1850s anymore.. nobody cares. NOBODY cares about your piano playing when even GarageBand, the free version on your Mac, can outplay any human being that exists after you simply type in the notes from the score. This brutal way of looking at it is a way to check the ego, people. The reality is nobody cares, this style and instrument as a performance career is dying more every day. If you can’t do it for fun, if you can’t drop the ego, if you cant get over the fact that SHOCK, you might strain your wrists, then stop playing. Piano is the only instrument I’ve ever played that is treated like some time capsule and it’s annoying

  109. There is so much wrong with this comment but also some truth... there is indeed a very heavy competition and its crazy how people get shattered from other professional players. I have seen professional pianists telling beginners "What are you proud of? Every real pianist could sightread that" and its incredibly toxic... but sone stuff you said... maaaan no...

  110. That's great that you could learn those other athletic skills on your own. But to be honest, some skills are easier to self-teach than others. Piano/keyboard happens to be an instrument where a lot of self-teaching can take place in the beginning, because a piano is the most machine-like of all instruments. A piano almost plays itself - it's a box with lots of moving parts and a pianist does not have as much control over sound production as in other instruments. But there are lots of other instruments that require the finest of motor skills in order to play well, and which require a teacher in order to learn to any degree of proficiency, or even for safety from injury. I know we're talking about piano here, but my point is that teachers can be very helpful to teach proper technique which can help both proficiency and safety from injury.

  111. You put it very well, sometimes my friends will ask me how to learn piano, and I always reply, learn it the way you enjoyed it, not how people tell you to do it

  112. I’m all for self-learning. However, with the piano, especially if it’s your first instrument, there is a lot of specific technique involved, which, if you don’t learn it correctly, you’ll be working against yourself and that can be frustrating and lead to someone losing interest. It can be difficult (but not impossible) to learn good technique for runs/position changes/etc. without being taught. I personally have a student I only see once a month who does a lot of self-learning and she has reached quite a high degree of aptitude, but here’s the thing: she’s useless at figuring out fingerings. First of all, she’s not great at reading sheet music, and secondly, she uses god-awful fingerings that constantly impair her ability to play sections well. So the fact that she spent a long time learning on her own and, now that I’m her teacher, only sees me every once in awhile, has led to a situation where she wants to get to the next level, but in order to do so, now has to take like 5 steps back and actually learn good fundamentals if she wants to improve.

  113. My understanding is that there are plenty of pitfalls that you can land in if you self teach that often lead to injury or poor technique. Personally, I think that if you do enough research reading books like "Chopin: Pianist and Teacher: As Seen by his Pupils" (which covers Chopin's recommendation for technique) and learn from people like Paul Barton, Shijun Wang, as well as the ocassional Tonebase lecture, the number of pitfalls is dramatically reduced.

  114. I watched a YouTube video and although my hands are pretty damn small for how big I am I still can confidently say I learned to play the theme song from up. And can use the piano for learnings aspects in band

  115. Comments that contain personal attacks, hate speech, trolling, unnecessarily derogatory or inflammatory remarks or inappropriate remarks (e.g. commenting on someone's appearance), and the like, are not welcome and will be removed. See reddit's content policy for more examples of unwelcome content.

  116. I taught myself. Started at age 3. I can't read sheet music at all, but I can read chords and pick a lot out by ear. I don't regret never having learned properly, except for when I'm directing a musical and have to hire a musical director because I can't teach music for the life of me. Everyone at the theater pokes fun at me for being "so amazingly talented" but literally not be able to explain any part of music theory.

  117. If someone is very self-aware and in touch with their body, then there's absolutely no reason why they can't just teach themselves. Many of the greatest have done this, on many instruments. Just as much as anyone can develop stupid habits and techniques, they can also develop habits and techniques that are ergonomic for them. I've seen it go both ways.

  118. Well, I'm just me, but I tried to learn piano by just picking up a piano book and reading through it and reading through some sheet music, and I was never any good, and I never really enjoyed what I was doing because it seemed like so much effort.

  119. Self learning *anything* has it's issues. You pick up bad habits, you don't do enough of the boring grunt stuff. You don't do things in the right order. You have holes in your knowledge.

  120. You will waste a lot of time learning alone. I spent around 400 dollars on lessons and now im on a level where it is fun to learn new pieces alone.

  121. If you're going for old method (paper, pencil, analog metronome, zero digital tech, etc.) proper strict classical piano then yeah everything must be perfect and polished. And for the record, that's what I am. But anything other than our tiny niche community (and getting smaller by the hour), do whatever the hell your heart pleases. You're playing a musical instrument, not performing brain surgery. Nobody's putting a loaded gun to your head if your fingers aren't precisely rounded, your fingernails aren't super short, or if your back isn't straight as a board while playing. And if you're not learning pieces by the master composers of old then fingering numbers are merely suggestions, not set in stone. Feel free to ignore them. If you attempt classical though, fingerings are law or else you'll royally fuck yourself. Above all else, HAVE FUN AND ENJOYMENT. I can't emphasize that enough. I absolutely loathed my weekly piano lessons and daily practice all growing up (since age 5 and only skipped a lesson if I was deathly ill). But with the never ending (and forced) adherence, something broke mentally in my teens and my attitude did a 180 (with the same repertoire and schedule). But it definitely shouldn't have taken a decade for me to find coping skill enjoyment from playing the piano. And much longer for authentic enjoyment.

  122. I have been playing piano for 30 years without ever having a teacher. Mainly classical: Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin. It is doable, but much slower. For me, I don't intend to perform to anyone, just want to enjoy in my spare time. So slow learning is OK. I just don't want to commit myself to practice on a rigid schedule.

  123. A lot of people here are just stuck up. I don’t know what it is specifically, but some people clearly see it as a competition and it brings out the worst in them.

  124. Because the piano community is weird. It's dominated by rigid formal values, and a huge segment want to be able to achieve a hardcore technical repertoire, rather than jam out with people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may have missed