31st December 2017 David Magyel

I am an experienced beginner, where should I start?

– you already played piano for a year or so,
– you have some basic reading skills,
– you have some experience with improvisation
– you have good control over major and minor triads
– your goal is to improvise freely and create music
– you want to understand and feel the music, express different kind of emotions through the piano
– you want to know everything about scales, chords, and rhythm, but the same time you don’t want to get overwhelmed with too many exercises at once.

…then the monthly beginner membership is for you.

Since you are an experienced beginner, you might find the core lessons easy (Lesson 1 – 18, 26 -29),
Therefore I recommend you to start your piano journey with this lesson:

If you had trouble completing the lesson above,  you should consider following the Absolute Beginner Curriculum for the next 3-6 months.
NOTE: The Experienced Beginner Practice Plan can be seen as the continuation of the Absolute Beginner Curriculum. 

If you are still here, that means you passed the test, and you are ready to dig deeper. In order to get the most out of each month, focus your attention on the current month without thinking too much about what’s coming next month.

I. Open Mindset

II. Jazz Routine

III: Theory/Basics

IV. Improvisation

V. Etudes

The Play and rest approach and Rhythmic Displacement are lessons you can work on until… let’s say… the rest of your life maybe? Even as a professional pianist.
It allows you to be creative and there is no limit how difficult or sophisticated you can play that exercise.

Therefore if you are working on that lesson, please upload a video to youtube – as an unlisted link is enough – and sent it to me.
I want to see how far you manage to push your limits. I will give you feedback and additional exercises to work on.

There are even more lessons in your first-month beginner membership, but If I were you, I would just stop here and make the best out of these routines and challenges. I would rather master one technique than to play all of them poorly. So if you managed to fall in love with one of the lessons, technique or routine, excellent, stick with it! Drop everything else… at least this is how I do it.

But I trust your judgment on this, and if you believe that you can handle more challenge, I am here to support you. If this is the case, you should consider transposing short melodic lines in all the keys. This skill will come very handy when you start the Jazz Beginner Curriculum.
Check this out:

Ear Training – Transposition – Composition
1. Month Jazz Beginner Approach (Ear Training – Transposition)
Lesson 5: Sight Reading (Video 3)
Lesson 6: Sight Reading (Video 4)
Lesson 7: Sight Reading (Video 5)
Lesson 8: Sight Reading (Video 6)
Lesson 9: Sight Reading (Video 7)
Lesson 10: Sight Reading (Video 8)
Easy Esplosivo Songs (revisited)

If you are still not sure where to start or how to approach these lessons, feel free to contact me. In order to give you good advice and guidance, I would need the following information from you:

  • Your name, age, and main motivation.
  • A link where I can see or hear you playing any of my exercises from this practice plan. (Unlisted youtube link, mp3 file, etc.) If you are not a member yet, please chose a lesson from my Youtube Channel. Play the entire exercise from the beginning to the end with a steady beat and let me know how long time did it take you to complete the lesson. If the recording is about improvisation, please improvise at least for 1 minute (with a steady beat).
  • How much time do you have for practice?
  • Are you working on the additional exercises too?
  • What lessons have you already completed or are still working on?
  • What is your next short-term goal? Is it ok if I tell you that you should change that goal?:) Most of the time you think that your problem will be solved if you learn more about theory, scales, and licks, but then I come and tell you that all you have to do first is to keep the rhythm.

Good Luck and keep in touch,