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Thread: Is learning how to play the piano crucial to music production?

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    Question Is learning how to play the piano crucial to music production?

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    So should i learn how to use a piano completely? because i hear people say "oh you don't need to learn how to use one, just learn chords" but i'm doubtful on that, what do you guys think? and is their a website that can teach me to play the piano or should i hit the library and look for books that can teach me how to play one?

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    Advanced level piano isn't essential for music production, it does help having basic keyboard knowledge, being able to tinker will speed up writing chords and melodies a lot.

    As someone who's spent a few years learning piano, it's worth it for it's own thing; playing a physical instrument is very satisfying if you can stick with it.

    A proper piano teacher is the best option if you're serious, although they do often cost a lot of money. If you just want to know a few chords you can do on youtube and look up 'how to play piano chords' or similar

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    This is a tough topic to talk about for me. I've learned to play piano when I was very young and went off on my own. I love playing the piano just on my own for fun. I also get excited when I go somewhere and I see a grand piano cuz I just wanna jump on it. I'm not the best, but I can handle my own and improvise and I understand music theory pretty well. I've studied classical and jazz piano.

    I always thought if you do music you should know an instrument, but as time went by I realized its different now. When I went to my university for my music technology degree, I realized only like a couple people knew how to play an instrument and the rest didn't know at all. I've seen people who made sick music but can't play an instrument if their life depended on it.

    I think learning how to play a piano well is not necessary. It's a personal preference, but if you do decide you want to, it sure will be a bonus. You can get by just understanding music theory, chords, and scales without the instrument. But I will tell you this, once you get pretty good at the piano, you'll be able to come up with melodies and experiment with chords on the fly. No need to fiddle around penciling in notes in your DAW and moving notes around to check things. This is actually a huge advantage, but not necessary.

    I recommend taking a class or lessons from a piano teacher enough to read notes and play songs. Know how to play scales and know the keys by their letters without thinking. You don't have to spend too long with the classes, just the basics then go off on your own and practice playing other songs from different eras, including any modern songs you like. I only took one year of piano class and played what I wanted for many many years and I loved it. I started when I was like 8 years old so I would hurry and try to learn as soon as you can.
    Last edited by Arvoplex; 03-23-2017 at 01:38 AM.

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    I don't think it's really necessary. Does it help? Yes. But what I do most of the time is just plug in the notes I want into my piano roll and just use trial and error to figure out what sounds the best, so as long as you have ears and your desired melody in your head you can do without the piano lessons.

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    Very important. you'll go beyond limitations of not knowing theory.

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    Piano specifically, no. An instrument, yes. Personally, I believe that instruments act as a wonderful structure for understanding theory. Being able to perceive C Major as a chord on a guitar, banjo, ukulele, xylophone (3 arms), or ANYTHING will give you the step up on where to go from there. Not necessarily piano, but learn an instrument so that you have a tool to experiment theory with. Good luck in your quest friend!

    •Producer• Engineer • Artist

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    Just my 2 cents:

    The best part about learning piano is that once you understand theory, you can pretty much pick up any instrument and play decent. The easiest way to learn music theory is to learn piano.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Norge N/A View Post
    So should i learn how to use a piano completely? because i hear people say "oh you don't need to learn how to use one, just learn chords" but i'm doubtful on that, what do you guys think? and is their a website that can teach me to play the piano or should i hit the library and look for books that can teach me how to play one?
    Yes, knowing how to play on the piano is important, if you can afford invest in piano music lessons with a teacher, will worth it for sure.
    Check out my works:
    www.nenadprokopiev.com

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    If you're serious about producing music and not just beats, then it's crucial to know how music functions, and why. It will give you a much vaster range of tools to use in your production.

    I would also say it's equally important to learn how your DAW works with all it's technicalities. (which will take you lots of hours of studying).

    there are guides on youtube for both of these, and you can educate yourself for free. it just depends on how willing you are to learn and how much time you wanna invest. Many people start from scratch with no knowledge and make crazy improvements. It just takes time.

    shout out from a fellow norwegian

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  11. #10
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    Like many ppl have said already, learning an instrument and music theory will definitely help you when it comes to chords, melodies, arrangements, etc. It also depends on the type of music you produce. For the longest time of me producing music, I've only stuck to boom bap sampled beats. I didn't really need to learn an instrument as I was just using samples. Although I didn't know much theory, I relied on my ears to tell me what sounded good and what didn't. At the end of the day, that's all that matters, and you could be a theory expert, but if you can't trust your ears, I feel like you would get stuck in some kind of box. I mean a lot of genres like jazz or neo soul for exemple stepped outside the box of "classical" music theory, but it sounded good so they became very popular.

    If your producing original music, learning the piano and basic theory is a good tool which will help you lay down more easily the ideas that you have in your head. It will also give you a good foundation on which you can build your own thing. When I make a beat, I just play a bunch of chords until I find a progression that I like without worrying much about key or scale. than when it comes to melodies, I do the same process, but try to somewhat stick to the notes that the underlying chord is playing (not always tho). Again, at the end of the day, your ears are the final judges so don't be afraid to try different things.

    Just to add a lil something more on the topic. When I make a beat, I usually come at it from the perspective of a composer and not necessarily and instrument player. It's all about arrangements and what sounds good with what imo.
    Last edited by M.G.Y.B.; 09-30-2018 at 09:43 AM.
    Listen to some of my music here: https://soundcloud.com/mgyb

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