How to Learn Piano Online With a MIDI Keyboard

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A MIDI keyboard is a great alternative to buying a full-sized piano. Not only is it more portable, it is much cheaper as well. However, to use a MIDI keyboard, you must have access to a computer with software that can read MIDI data. Another advantage of the MIDI keyboard is that it can mimic other sounds instead of a piano. For instance, you can play a Rhodes piano or a Dulcimer with your keyboard. Once you understand how to set up MIDI keyboards, you can start playing piano.

Things You'll Need

  • Digital Audio Interface
  • MIDI Keyboard

Set up the MIDI Keyboard and Software

  • Purchase a MIDI keyboard. If you want to learn how to play the piano, I suggest getting a keyboard with at least 49 keys. Anything less than that will be extremely limiting.

  • Plug the MIDI keyboard into your computer. Most MIDI keyboards can connect to your computer via USB 2.0 or Firewire. MIDI keyboards are plug and play so there are no drivers you need to install.

  • Purchase a Digital Audio Workstation that is capable of reading MIDI notes. A good Digital Audio Workstation would be Ableton Live 8. (Reference 1)

  • Open up your Digital Audio Workstation and create a track with an instrument. Most Digital Audio Interfaces have a menu that allows you to select from many instrument presets. In Ableton Live 8, this menu is on the far left-hand side. You can drag the instrument preset into an empty track in order to create a track with a sound.

  • Play a key on your MIDI keyboard. You will now be able to hear the instrument preset you have selected. If you are not happy with the sound, you can select another preset from the instrument menu.

Learn Piano Online

  • After setting up your keyboard and Digital Audio Workstation, compile a list of songs that you would like to learn.

  • Start off with simple songs. Once you can play a song perfectly with your eyes closed, move on to the next song on your list. Having a list is a good visual aid and will encourage you to play more.

  • Be sure to practice for at least 30 minutes each day. If you do not practice, you will lose muscle memory. It is especially important that you stick to a strict regimen so you can train your fingers.

  • If you know how to read music, sheetmusicplus.com is a great resource for sheet music. Buy some sheet music books for beginners and learn how to play each song in the book.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are serious about learning piano, hire a teacher. Teachers will help you improve poor technique and posture. If you let bad habits persist, they will become even harder to correct in the future.

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References

  • Photo Credit keyboard image by salimar6 from Fotolia.com
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