learn to read the sheet music and where the keys are for those notes. used to play paino in high school band back when evanescence was big and the ladies loved it!!! goodluck!!!
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buy one of those "teach yourself piano" books
Also, learning some basic theory and scales would help too.
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it only really gets hard when you start bringing in the second hand, I only have it figured up to there myself

I assume some kind of teacher would be best (because apparently, there a bunch of bad habits you could get into)
otherwise just go with a book (search amazon.com for "piano beginners" or "learn piano" and read the reviews until you find something people like. I've got this one somewhere around here and it seems to be pretty good, I didn't manage to pursue it really far since I've only got a little kiddies keyboard thing )
1 Hand playing should be nailed fairly easily. Of course there is reading sheet music. After that, I suggest going the fake book route, this way you learn more about theory along the way. I recommend "How to play from a fake book" and "The Easy Fake Book" for the songs. I found guitar easier (and importantly, more fun!) than piano though so I've kind of switched instrument.
I think that the only tihng you can do is get a teacher. I taught myself piano for a little while and I basically got nowhere, but after I got a teacher I'm good enough to BS to non-musical people. You can get a little bit going for yourself by practicing without a teacher for a little while if money or finding a teacher is a problem. I'd recommend getting a begginer's book that shows how to finger scales and sutff like that so you you won't get started into the bad habbits that were already mentioned. I recommend the Bastien Piano Library's Sight Reading Level 1 and Piano Literature Volume 1 as starting books. They're the books my professor, who's been teaching piano for 30+ years used for my class.
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How serious are you? Do you want to one day sight read piano sonatinas and be able to improvise in a Jazz trio? Or do you just want to play some pop piano style?

If you're serious about it, get a teacher for half an hour a week. Go for private lessons instead of music store lessons as they tend to be much better. However, if you just want to play pop piano then just buying a few books should teach you just fine.
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what are "Fake Books" I keep seeing those

a "fake book" is a book that has a collection of jazz/pop/rock/blues/whatever standards written in lead sheet format (i.e. just the main melody in standard notation with the chords written above it, possibly lyrics too...I donno since I've spent my time looking just at the jazz stuff)
they're mainly popular amongst jazz musicians, were improvisation is common, as there are no details about the actual arrangement of the song, thats up to the musican(s) to decide. Or cover bands which may get a request for song and such.
Last edited by seljer at Aug 15, 2007,
Step 1. Get a piano.

Step 2. Learn to read music.

Step 3. Get easy to read sheet music. You'll probably want something with "Beginner" or "Easy" in it.

Step 4. Read this http://www.sinerj.org/~loyer/PianoBook/

Step 5. Get a teacher.

And finally, piano is a far more established instrument than guitar and there are pieces that stretch physical boundaries. Don't expect to able to play Scriabin or Prokofiev overnight. Luckily though, if you only want to play something like Coldplay you'll probably be able to learn it within your first or second week.
A teacher is the best bet. Piano is not like guitar, and cant simply be learned by using stuff on the computer. Its a lot different from guitar, so a teacher is the way to go.
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I've been playing piano for a bit longer than guitar, around 5 years now for each instrument.
I'm Grade 4 standard on piano, and Grade 8 on guitar. Piano is just nowhere near as fun/satisfying to play for me. I guess it just never clicked, but then again, I barely practice it.

However, piano can do wonders for your theory and music reading, seriously. That really helped me out, so I say you go for it, but don't expect to be playing it as much as the guitar.
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ok so basicly fake books are only good if you can read notation?


and if you now how to improvise and build chords (as the name implies, you get by by "faking" the rest of the song)