How to Really Play the Piano: The Stuff Your Teacher Never Taught You by Bill Hilton

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"How To Really Play The Piano" is a book that teaches you learn new songs quickly, improvise, get started with jazz and blues, use lead sheets and chords, and much more. You’ll quickly learn how to read chord symbols, free your hands to improvise great solos, accompany singers and other musicians and all the stuff that formal piano lessons rarely include.

If you’ve ever had piano lessons, you’ll know most piano education is based on playing lots of classical music and lots of scales. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially if it’s your ambition to become a competent classical musician.

But the chances are your piano teacher never taught you a lot of the stuff you really wanted to learn. I was lucky: as well as having an outstanding classical teacher, I learned to improvise, play jazz and blues, pick up pop songs, play from chord charts, accompany singers and play in bands. I learned to play like Jools Holland, Elton John, Ben Folds and Jamie Cullum (though I wouldn’t claim to be as good as them). My friends, many of whom played the piano themselves, used to ask me how I did it. This book is an attempt to answer that question.

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Piano lessons

If you’ve ever had piano lessons, you’ll know most piano education is based on playing lots of classical music and lots of scales. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially if it’s your ambition to become a competent classical musician.

But the chances are your piano teacher never taught you a lot of the stuff you really wanted to learn. I was lucky: as well as having an outstanding classical teacher, I learned to improvise, play jazz and blues, pick up pop songs, play from chord charts, accompany singers and play in bands. I learned to play like Jools Holland, Elton John, Ben Folds and Jamie Cullum (though I wouldn’t claim to be as good as them). My friends, many of whom played the piano themselves, used to ask me how I did it. This book is an attempt to answer that question.

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