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Want To Play The Piano? Try The Pentatonic Method

Have you ever wondered how an adult might learn to play the piano? What the different methods to learn this fascinating instrument might be? There are three ways a person might approach learning to play the piano ? the note reading method, the by-ear method, and the pentatonic method.

The first method would be to learn the language of music ? to learn to read music. This method is as exhaustive and as complete as learning any spoken language. A person must first learn to read notes or the symbols, which relate to the keys of the piano. Then one must translate those symbols into the movement of the hand and then learn more symbols that indicate just how those sounds are to be made. This method can be daunting for a person just starting on the journey of discovering the joy of playing the piano and unfortunately has thwarted the progress of many would-be pianists.

Another way of learning is the by-ear method where one simply learns to hear a progression of notes and imitate those by moving your fingers in a certain order. Again, highly developed skills and sensitivities are necessary in order to hear and correctly imitate and recreate what one has just heard. A learner using this method has to develop ?key sense? to be successful in their piano playing venture. For many learners, especially those who are visual in their learning method, this method can again be daunting and discouraging.

The third method for learning to play the piano involves what is known as the pentatonic scale or the five-note scale. These five notes just happen to correspond to the five black keys on the piano keyboard. Many melodies use only these five keys. In effect, what this method of learning to play the piano has done is cut out the necessity of learning note reading and has increased the probability of learning a piece by-ear.

Why? Because pieces using only five notes are a lot easier to discover or learn than pieces using the possibility of any of the existing twelve notes of the chromatic scale. In addition, without the necessity of learning to read notes, the learner can start working immediately on developing coordination and technique.

Thirdly, with only five notes involved, a learner can easily create accompaniment patterns to melodies, which allows a person to play real music, real songs, and real pieces in a very short time. The success rate for those starting with this method is very high because a learner can concentrate on learning how to move their fingers and use two hands at once at the piano instead of having to wade through the many layers of thought processes involved in note reading and/or by-ear playing.

The pentatonic method also meets the needs of all learners ? tactile, aural, and visual. Those who learn tactilely are successful because by moving their fingers on the keys freely they quickly discover the sounds needed to create melodies. The aural learner is at home with this method because they are given the opportunity to recreate the sounds they hear without being frustrated by an overload of visual materials. The visual learner, though, also easily learns with this method because the black keys create an explicit visual reference point for each melody and accompaniment created.

Which method would I suggest for an adult wanting to learn to play the piano? The pentatonic method.