31st December 2017 David Magyel

I am an absolute beginner, where should I start?

– you have never touched the piano before
– your goal is to read, improvise 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.

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. Since you are an absolute beginner, I want you to start with the core lessons.

Core Lessons

I. Sight Reading and Coordination Exercises
(Lesson 1 – 10)

The Piano Keyboard
Posture at the piano and fingering
Sight Reading Exercises – Part 1
Sight Reading Exercises – Part 2
Sight Reading Exercises – Part 3
Sight Reading Exercises – Part 4 
Sight Reading Exercises – Part 5
Sight Reading Exercises – Part 6 
Sight Reading Exercises – Part 7
Sight Reading Exercises – Part 8

II. Rhythm workout
(Lesson 11 – 14)
Rhythm Exercises – Part 1
Rhythm Exercises – Part 2
Rhythm Exercises – Part 3
Rhythm Exercises – Part 4

III. Easy Etudes
(Lesson 15 – 18)
Easy Etudes and Variations (revisited)
Easy Etudes and Variations – Part 1
Easy Etudes and Variations – Part 2
Easy Etudes and Variations – Part 3
Easy Etudes and Variations – Part 4

IV. Extras
(Lesson 26 – 19)
Basic Right Hand Exercises
Basic Left Hand Exercises
Whole Notes with Whole notes
Half notes with Half Notes

And that is it. You are done. This is the routine I do with my absolute beginner private students. When I am working with kids, this routine takes more than a month to complete. As your private piano teacher, I would show you the first 3 or 4 exercises, just like I do in the videos. However, since I want you to learn to read music, I would let you figure out the rest of the exercises by yourself. I would only interfere if you made a mistake. Therefore I want you to work primarily with the music sheet, and use the video to doublecheck your progress, or if something does not make sense to you.

“I am an absolute beginner, but I managed to complete all this in a week.”

Very good. You are ready to move to the next section.

Additional Exercises for Motivated Absolute Beginners

I. Improvisation
Five-Finger Scale Exercises (Easy)
Five-Finger Improvisation Exercises (A minor)

II. Chords
Major Triad Etudes (Root Position)
Major Triad Etude (Arpeggios)

III. Composition
Making Music with the Core Lessons (Easy)
Smooth Voice Leading

When you open a lesson, you will see the video on the top and under that, you will find a practice plan that belongs to that lesson. It helps you to get the best out of the lesson. Here is an example:

This plan will make you busy for several months. If you are not able to complete it, no worries. Your focus should be on Core Lessons, make the best out of it.
If you managed to complete all the Core Lesson and the Additional Exercises for Motivated Beginners in a week, well, you are reading the wrong article my friend, you are not an absolute beginner.
You place is here:  I am an experienced beginner, where should I start?

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.