Best Ways To Learn To Play The Piano In 2020

Learning To Play The Piano Methods

Learning to play the piano in 2020 is completely different than learning to play the piano years ago. Today, we are going to be diving deep on the very best methods for learning to play the piano in today’s day and age.

If you’re reading this article, the chances are, you are looking to begin on a journey that could be one of the memorable experiences of your life; learning to play the piano.

One of the biggest things that you will near to learn to play piano is to have the motivation and passion for it. If you have these 2 things, I assure you, you will be able to do it.

I have played the piano for nearly 25 years now & I also spent 5 years playing in a rock band touring the country. The one thing that got me to where I wanted to be was desire.

When you are done reading this article, you will have a great understanding of which learning method you will choose & you will also be provided with the information needed to choose which path you will take.

Technological Advances

In case you were curious to why I said there are an abundance of new ways to learn to play the piano, the main reason is because of technological advances.

When I began lessons in 1997, I didn’t have a choice on how I wanted to learn. There were basically two options: you either went into the a phonebook and looked up a piano conservatory or you sought out piano instructors who work from their home or come to yours.

I also didn’t have any idea on which type of keyboard I should get as a beginner, so I ended up getting a very cheap Wal-Mart one.

The internet has made it far easier to grasp an understanding of what is needed before beginning any type of piano lessons.

While these are two great options still to this day, a lot has changed that has lead to many new ways.

For example, the internet has lead to making it far easier should you choose to learn to play the piano with an instructor. You can easily find piano lessons near you by doing a simple google search of, “piano lessons near me.”

This will bring up mostly local options in which you will be taking lessons in-person with an instructor.

In order to start learning to play the piano, you will need access to a piano of some sort. Let’s break down the best way to go about a keyboard before we get into the learning methods.

Which Instrument Should You Choose For Lessons?

acoustic and digital pianos
Acoustic upright piano & a digital upright piano
InstrumentPriceWeighted KeysOnline CoursesMaintenance/Tuning
Digital Piano$$YesYesNo
Acoustic Piano$$$YesSomeYes
While some keyboards can have weighted keys, I’m assuming a cheaper keyboard for this table.

When deciding between acoustic piano, a digital piano and a simple keyboard, the main thing that you want to consider is quality/price.

The good news is that digital pianos and keyboards have grown so much in the last 20 years.

Another thing to point out is that if you take piano lessons from an instructor, you will most likely be using their acoustic piano for lessons to develop finger strength.

With this being said, the answer to me is simple, the price difference between a very solid weighted keyboard with 88 keys and a keyboard isn’t much.

Because of this reason, I would suggest going with a digital piano that is on the cheaper end. Something like the Alesis Recital Pro would be perfect, & it also includes online lesson capability.

I’ve always looked at owning a piano as a reward for all of your time spent. I didn’t own a piano until nearly 6 years into my journey & it was nice knowing that if I practiced hard, I could play on a real acoustic piano.

The reality of the matter is that there isn’t much difference as long as your digital piano has weighted keys.

So now that you know which instrument to pick, let’s look at the best ways to learn piano in 2020.

Best Ways To Learn To Play Piano In 2020

Here are the current best options to learn piano:

  • DIY approach in which you aren’t reliant on a teacher
  • Traditional in-person lessons
  • Online Piano Lessons/courses
  • Hybrid Lessons in which you combine two of the above

Let’s take a look at each of these options below and what exactly they consist of.

Do It Yourself Approach

Teaching yourself the piano

Teaching yourself to play the piano has a ton of benefits that we will get to below. With this being said, it also does have it’s setbacks as well.

While it saves you a lot of money in the long run, you can also develop some bad habits from teaching yourself to play.

One of the major advantages for some when it comes to teaching themselves to play the piano is that you become your own boss. While this is great for some, for others it turns out to be the complete opposite.

So, how does one go about teaching themselves to play the piano? There are a few different options in which we will discuss below.

Following Standard Curriculum For Piano Books

Piano Adventures Series

The majority of piano instructors will most certainly have you follow some standard curriculum which is consists of picking a series of piano books & going through them.

The reason for this is that a series like the Alfred series is going to come with performance books, lesson books, and theory/scales books. These are going to challenge you as a student in different ways.

With A DIY approach, you would simply want to decide on a series of piano books & dive in. Below are a few solid options that I would definitely recommend checking out.

My first choice would be the Piano Adventures series. I have personally bought & studied from all of the following books over the years and I believe Piano Adventures and Alfred are the most dialed in books so far.

Alert: If you are going to go this route, make sure that you pick up a book on piano scales. Learning piano scales and the different key signatures will be vital in developing your piano skills.

It is important to follow the books in order and to remember to not skip ahead. By skipping ahead, you can miss some important lessons along the way.

Now that you have an understanding of what to do by following some curriculum, I would recommend the following for practice:

  • Work in the lesson books 20 minutes a day
  • Work in the performance books 20 minutes or more a day
  • Work in the scales books 10 minutes a day
  • Work in the music theory books 5 minutes a day

The above numbers are just meant to show you where your priorities should be. Make sure that you are keeping up with your lesson books and just going through the performance books. The lesson books really challenge you to grow as a pianist.

As far as purchasing the books, most of these books will be on the cheaper side of things.

One of the most important things that I recommend should you choose this approach is to be sure to use Youtube as much as you need it. A lot of questions you may have will likely be covered in a Youtube video or on a simple Google search. The internet is definitely your friend.

Youtube Tutorials & Learning By Ear


Youtube has come a long way in the last 10 or so years. The reason why I have chosen to combine learning to play the piano by ear & youtube is that this is the very way I learned to do so over 10 years ago.

This method is rather simple, but effective: think of songs that you really enjoy, pull them up on Youtube, and begin to learn to play them.

Now, if you have limited experience playing the piano, this will not be the easiest feat. This is why I would recommend watching tutorials of whichever songs you would like to learn.

As you start to slowly learn how to play songs, I would recommend trying to learn these songs by listening to them & not watching tutorials.

The way I taught myself how to do this was by listening to the melody and learning that with my right hand. I would then figure out the key of the song & figure out the chords with my left hand.

This is pretty much the approach all pianists take even at the highest levels of playing by ear.

If you don’t choose this approach, I still recommend that you dabble with this as part of your musical journey. It is a very fun approach to music and it is also very rewarding.

Music Theory

Wrapping Up

I hope this article has provided you with the the exact method you will use to learn to play the piano.

1 comment
  1. You say “ Let’s take a look at each of these options below” and then you cover only half of one option before the wrap up. Did some of this article get deleted?

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