Has anyone learned to play an instrument as an adult? Is it realistic to do that without hiring a tutor? To be more specific, I want to learn to play the piano. I have never played a musical instrument before.

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It's useful to realize that "learn to play" is not a thing. It's not a concrete goal.

Do you want to learn a particular song? That's not only doable, but easy. You just get the sheet music, figure out music notation sufficiently to break the sheet music into tiny sections, and practice until you can play the song.

I always find learning a particular song to be a good starting point with any new instrument. Even if that song is "hard". It just needs to be something that you really want to learn to play. If you love Moonlight Sonata, start ... (read more)

3[anonymous]4yI learned piano as a kid (10+ years training) but started on the mandolin and banjo as an adult (shortly before turning 30). I started learning mandolin on my own, using online tutorials and other teaching materials. In retrospect I tried to advance too quickly and didn't drill enough on the basics, reaching a local maximum and getting frustrated about my inability to improve further. Even a small amount of early interactive tutorial would have helped me a great deal in correcting problems of hand positioning before they became habitual. I also found that I was terrible at playing with others even though I felt like I was doing just fine playing along with online tracks - lack of awareness was a significant hurdle. I started to learn the banjo a year later and took lessons from the start - learned some things at the very start that improved my mandolin playing even though the mechanics are very different (at least on the "picking" hand).
2Cariyaga4y22 years old here, so not entirely adult-brained yet. I am in the process (well, while recovering from a surgery I'm taking a break, but...) of learning to play piano myself. It's slow going but pretty fun. If you have prior musical experience (for instance, in choir) it will be much easier. I've mostly been having difficulty finding appropriate (and interesting) sheet music myself. I mostly have been playing video game tunes, and many of those aren't particularly easy for beginners.

Open Thread, Dec. 28 - Jan. 3, 2016

by [anonymous] 1 min read27th Dec 2015145 comments


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