Why Take Piano Lessons
When it comes to being a musician the fallacy is that you are either able to play an instrument or you can’t. I often hear, “I would love to play music, but I don’t have the coordination”, or “I’m just not a creative person.” In most cases I find that this simply isn’t the case and that everyone can learn an instrument and even several. I have found that learning the piano alongside your primary instrument; guitar, drums, violin, etc. is a great way to round out your musical education and take your skills to the next level.
Learning bass and treble clef
When it comes to instruments like the guitar and violin you are usually reading using only the treble clef. With the guitar you use one hand to plug the strings with a pick or your fingers and the other to hold down the corresponding note on the fretboard. This has its one set of challenges, but it doesn’t show the full spectrum of what’s possible with music. Piano is played with both hands simultaneously and each hand is often playing different rhythms and notes on the treble and bass clef. I know, it seems impossible at first but learning how to do this on the piano makes everything else that much easier when playing an instrument like guitar or violin.
Piano is like a drum set
When answering the question, “why take piano lessons?” This is the most important part to consider, piano is a percussion instrument. When a key is pressed on the piano a hammer strikes a string within the piano that makes the note sound. In a way this is very much like playing a drum set but you don’t just have two sticks and a few drums and cymbals to worry about. On the piano you have ten fingers and eighty-eight keys that create an endless number of possible combinations. Furthermore, you are thinking about the harmony and how both hands sound when working together. If you can play the piano, even a little bit, it makes learning the drums far easier and will create an opportunity for you to explore even more interesting beats.
Tempo and rhythm
No one wants to play with a musician with a poor sense of tempo and rhythm. I find that guitars are often guilty of not practicing with a metronome (I’m a guitarist myself) and their playing can suffer for it. When it comes down to it, practicing with a metronome can be terribly boring and stifle motivation and creativity for new musicians. Learning how to play the piano is a good alternative to establishing solid rhythm because it forces you to pay attention to aligning the music you are playing with both hands while learning songs and note reading.
The answer to why take piano lessons is going to be different for everyone. If you want to learn how to play your favorite songs on piano and not learn any other instruments, it’s clear that taking lessons in piano is going to help you achieve that goal. I think it’s often overlooked by students who are established musicians in one instrument but feel stuck with their progress. Often it is not about putting in longer hours practicing or learning a new guitar solo, it’s about adding in another instrument to round out your musicianship and piano is the perfect opportunity to do that.
by Austin Netherton – Music Composer, Guitarist, Teacher and Contributor