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Learning to Play the Piano or Keyboard
Learning to play the piano can be a fun and rewarding experience. Many well-loved pieces of music have been written for the piano, and pianos make an appearance in a wide variety of musical styles. From classical and popular to jazz and folk, the possibilities of piano-playing offer something for everyone.

The piano is a great instrument to learn at any age. Young children may begin to learn to play as soon as they possess the necessary hand-eye coordination. Even children who are not yet ready to read music can be taught short songs through repetition, though these must be simple since little fingers cannot yet reach very far. Older children can be introduced to the positioning of notes on the keyboard, and aspiring pianists of any age can take the opportunity to learn to read music as well as learning to play. Adults looking to take up an instrument later in life can also try their hand at the piano.

A standard piano has 88 keys. This may sound like a lot to keep track of, but most popular songs utilize only a fraction of this number. Those just staring out may want to begin with pieces that require a narrower scope of concentration until they feel more comfortable with the keyboard. Fortunately, the position of notes on a piano is not hard to learn. The division of black keys and white keys gives helpful visual clues as to where each note lies. Both beginners and those wishing to advance their piano-playing skills can use this layout as a foundation for developing greater control of the keyboard. A few simple lessons in playing scales can help reinforce this control.

The piano is a little more difficult to learn than other instruments. Since it often requires the use of two hands doing different things at the same time, a certain amount of coordination is necessary. Those who are serious about learning the piano must be able to master the ability to play separate parts of a piece with the left hand and right hand, as well as playing these parts at different volumes. On a scale of 1 to 10 for difficulty, learning the basics of piano playing ranks around a 3; while more advanced techniques may rank an 8.

Playing a keyboard requires the same techniques as piano playing, though keyboards have fewer keys than a standard piano. Keys may or may not be weighted; weighted keys offer a playing experience that is similar in feel to a piano. In addition, electric keyboards can have many options that pianos do not, including the ability to sound like other instruments, record and play back short loops or songs, and provide background music to the player.

Learning to play the piano or keyboard takes time and dedication. With a little effort, people of all ages can become skilled at this versatile instrument. Piano players can entertain themselves, family and friends, or even join a band. The ability to play the piano or keyboard offers years of enjoyment no matter what the player’s musical style.

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