so i new to piano, i learned some music theory from a course i take in college, but i didn't practice alot, and i don't know what's the direction, could someone give me some advice. so far, i am practicing major/minor scale and chord, what's next?
i'd learn different chord shapes, i'd go pick up the jazz hanon book that has alot of different chord shapes and is really helping excel my theory on guitar and piano. and get a book of hymns and a book of classical music, that should do you pretty well.
What do you want to play? There are essentially two different paths of serious study you can take and that is either Jazz or Classical. (other popular forms don't require the effort of either of these, and the skills necessary are so fundamental that they are contained in both.)

If you want to be good at either you'll likely need a teacher and a specialized one at that. You should get any information you want from them, but if you insist on self teaching, here are some guidelines that might help.

Anyways, if it is classical that you wish to play, you need to begin sight-reading whatever you can right away. Also there is a general guideline that I use when deciding whether or not I have both the technical and musical knowledge to tackle a piece I want to refine and study in depth. This deciding factor is whether or not I'm able to read the piece in it's entirety and make musical sense of it at both at the wholelistic(a piece in it's entirety) and sectional(motive phrase relationship) levels. Never forget to periodically practice with the metronome, as most of your technical problems are the end result of minor unintentional rhythmic discrepancies (there is always room for rubato but it must be very intentional and in relationship to a strict pulse, aka the metronome). As far as music to start out goes, you'll probably want to look at the Chopin preludes op 28 no 4 and 20 to begin with. There is also some easier pieces from Scriabin's set of 24 preludes op 11 and Schumann's album for the young. As far as non-romantic/post-romantic music goes, the Bach inventions and sinfonias are important didactic pieces to learn, as well as some early Clementi Sonatinas and, when you are ready, the easy Beethoven sonatina's Op 49. That will keep you busy for quite some time.

Here is an article on practicing I think anyone can benefit from
http://www.music.sc.edu/ea/keyboard/ppf/1.2/1.2.PPFp.html (there are many articles from the piano pedagogy forum that are helpful, so you might want to browse around and read a number of the performance articles on there.)

As far as Jazz goes, I suggest you buy "The Real Book" for lead sheets and as a general guide (if you insist on not getting a teacher) to buy the Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine. It's not perfect, and in some respects not good at all (an opinion I've adopted from Bert Ligon as he considered it to get too advanced too fast, especially harmonically as I have observed. You might also should consider purchasing any of Bert's books.) but it still does offer a wealth of information, all of it worthwhile. As for general practicing, immediately learn to play a ii-V-I in every key, and then begin learning some tunes, both by fake book and by ear. I recommend you learn the piece first with melody and bass so you get a feel for the general harmonic outline, and then begin adding full chords. Also the poster above me mentioned buying a Hymn book, and that, although not very pianistic in it's original form, can be a great source of tunes that you can practice reharmonization on.

For jazz, this site ought to give you a clearer starting point. http://www.learnjazzpiano.com/

Anyways good luck.
thank you, another question, can i get sheet music for free on the internet?
Last edited by ilovemusic25 at Aug 16, 2008,
Quote by Erc
What do you want to play? There are essentially two different paths of serious study you can take and that is either Jazz or Classical. (other popular forms don't require the effort of either of these, and...

-Wall of Text-

...Anyways good luck.

Thanks for the links man! As a fellow piano student, I appreciate it.