Teach Yourself Piano: Books, How-Tos, and More

teachyourselfpianoThe piano is an amazing instrument, and the sound it produces can evoke many different emotions. If you’ve always wanted to learn the piano, now you can. You can teach yourself with a variety of resources that will be explored. There are classes, books, how-tos posted online, and videos you can watch. Each option will be explored to help you make the right decision for your learning style.

Start Off Your Piano Lessons on the Right Note! Take Music Theory!


Some of you might prefer to learn the piano completely on your own with just a book in front of you. You don’t want a teacher sitting next to you moving your hands to different positions or guiding you through a song, and you certainly don’t have time to be watching a video when you could have your hands on the piano today with music in front of you to practice. If you have knowledge of music theory and know the notes of sheet music, having a book could be the best option for you. Here you will find a list of books in varying prices. Remember to check the link for the current price as the listing might have changed.

Know How to Play, but Want to Play Your Own Music? Learn Piano Improvisation!

1. Teach Yourself to Play Piano by Willard A. Palmer

Available Formats: Audio CD, Paperback, Kindle

Current Amazon Rating: 4.5/5 stars

When you take a look inside the book, it is actually suggested that you use this book along with the audio CD. The CD contains audio of each piece within the book so that you will know exactly how the songs should sound before you play them. It also allows you to play the songs with recorded accompaniments.

This book is great for people who have never touched a piano and for those who have in the past. It teaches you posture, the numbering for your fingers, and it even gives warm-up exercises for your hands. If you haven’t taken a music theory course yet, this book will cover everything you need to know to read and understand music.

2. Teach Yourself to Play Piano: A Quick and Easy Introduction for Beginners

Available Formats: Kindle, Paperback

Current Amazon Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Like the book above, this book gives the basics on hand position and good posture when sitting at a piano. It also gives you a brief introduction to the keys and the keyboard. It has over 75 lessons, starting you with just one hand before moving on to playing with both hands.


You might not have a lot of money to spend on piano lessons, especially with most piano teachers charging anywhere from $25-$100 per session. If you can’t learn just from a book, there are many ways to find classes that will fit your budget. Here’s a brief list of just a few offered. Be sure to click the links to check prices.

1. Learn to Play the Piano Using Pop, R&B, and Gospel Chords

Length of Course: However long it takes you! You can continue to review the information in the course for as long as you want!

Current Rating: 5/5 stars

This class is a great option for those that want to learn from a book yet want a teacher to guide them. Each of the lessons has a video, and the teacher gives you three PDF books to use along with audio clips. These books and audio clips enhance the lessons taught in the videos by teaching you information that connects with the material learned while adding to it with extra information.

Cut up into eight sections, there are fourteen lessons in total. If you were to pay a teacher to come to your house physically and teach you to play piano, you’d be paying that teacher for each of those fourteen lessons. Plus, if you wanted a refresher on previous material, you’d have to pay for extra sessions.

2. Learn Piano Today

Length of Course: However long it takes you! You can continue to review the information in the course for as long as you want!

Current Rating: 4.9/5 stars

You will notice that this class is twenty dollars more than the class before it. However, it’s worth it. Where the class before had fourteen sessions, this class has forty. Like the class before it, the sessions have been cut up into eight different sections, and you can access the material for as long as you like. You pay one flat fee and gain access to the course forever.

This class also offers supplemental materials, and the teacher even guarantees that if he updates the course, you’ll have access to the new information free of charge. Could you imagine if you asked a piano teacher in your area to do that? If you want a book, you would have to buy your own, and if you wanted to refresh yourself on past information, you would have to pay for extra sessions. You can pay a small fee and still learn to play the piano without shelling out hundreds of dollars.

Online How-To Guides

If you’re really a do-it-yourself kind of person but prefer not to have a large book to lug around to and from the piano, you might want to try an online how-to guide. You can easily print the pages if you want to or just read them off of your web browser.

1. How to Play the Piano

This particular guide is a great resource because like the books above, it teaches you proper posture and hand position. It also gives you a basic idea of the notes and where they lie among the many piano keys. The guide gives you a little bit on music theory and also suggests finding your own sheet music to practice with.

*This price does not include any books or equipment the guide may suggest you purchase

Free Resources: Videos, Books, and Classes

Is there, honestly, any price better than free? The list below contains free resources that you can use to teach yourself the piano. If you want to dive right in with a free book or sheet music, this is the place to find it. You can also check out the list of free videos, and there are even a few free classes available.

1. Making Music Fun!

This resource is great for free books and sheet music. They even have a free book to teach children how to play the piano. Once you get to know the basics, you can start browsing the free sheet music and picking the ones you’d like to learn. Each selection comes with an audio clip that is created from the actual arrangement. You won’t have to listen to an expert playing Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Instead, you can just listen to the piece you would play if you were sitting at the piano with the basic sheet music offered to you.

2. Easy Piano Basics

This website has a few free resources. One of those resources is a free piano lesson trial. They also offer written posts about piano basics and free lessons online. The only unfortunate thing about this resource is the lack of attractiveness in the website and the repetition in the links on the side menu.

“Piano Basics” and “Learn Piano Online” both lead you to the same webpage. “Piano Lesson #1” and “Piano Lesson #2” can also be accessed by scrolling through the table of contents on “Piano Basics” or “Learn Piano Online”. However, if you’re a beginner, it’s still a great free resource.

3. YouTube Videos

With the introduction of YouTube to the world, you can teach yourself anything just with a quick search on the website. There are hundreds of free videos available in varying lengths and with different people. You can feel free to explore them at your leisure and even use them as supplemental material to another resource available.

4. Virtual Piano Lessons: A New Way to Learn Piano

Length of Course: However long it takes you! You can continue to review the information in the course for as long as you want!

Current Rating: 3/5 stars

Just like the other two paid online classes, you can access the information in this course for free forever. However, this class has fewer sections and fewer sessions. One great thing about this free course is that it does help you learn how to play the piano even with using a piano program on your computer. Unless you have a USB piano keyboard for your computer, however, your hand position may be off until you practice on a real piano.

5. A New Approach to Piano and Playing Songs for Beginners

Length of Course: However long it takes you! You can continue to review the information in the course for as long as you want!

Current Rating: 5/5 stars

Again, like all the classes listed here – except the free trial from Easy Piano Basics – you have access to the sessions forever. Best of all, you don’t have to pay for these ones! This class offers many more sessions than the class above it, and while it does give you some basics to playing the piano, the focus is more on playing a specific song. This class wants to take you from beginner to performer in twenty-six sessions.

Final Note

Every person learns differently. What works for one individual might not work for another. If you like having a teacher, consider an online course or shelling out more money for a face-to-face lesson. If you prefer learning from a book or an online guide, you might just save yourself a lot of cash that you can then put into your instrument. Did you teach yourself how to play the piano? Leave your tips or feedback below in the comments.