In this guide, we’re looking at the free piano lessons online. When you start to learn how to play the piano you have a lot of choices on how you are going to approach the hobby. Are free piano lessons suitable?
If there is so much free information available online, why would anyone pay for lessons or apps? There are plenty of reasons, as we explain in this guide, which goes deeper on the subject of free piano lessons, where to find them, and the pros and cons of learning to play the piano with a free approach.
How Much Are Piano Lessons (Normally)?
Before looking into free piano lessons online, let’s establish how much you might stand to save if you take the approach of getting lessons for free.
These are rough figures, due to the fact that it depends so much on where you live, and myriad other factors such as how quickly you learn and how many lessons you decide to have.
It’s not unusual for piano lessons to cost $50 every time. If you have one a week, you can quickly rack up bills of thousands of dollars. Over $2,500 a year for your lessons. If you take this approach, you would hope that you can gain knowledge pretty quickly to make up for your investment. We’ve covered a more detailed approach on the cost of piano lessons, too.
Online lessons and memberships can be significantly cheaper. A Pianu yearly membership works out at less than $10 per month. This provides full access to our online academy, taking you from beginner to intermediate. On top of that, you can get access to a full library of songs and interactive lessons,. Our system can show you where you are going wrong, and what you are doing well.
If you use Pianu you can save a lot of money compared to in-person lessons, even if it is not free of charge.
Free Piano Lessons Online – Pros and Cons
There are clearly good things and bad things about free piano lessons online. It’s not the right approach for everyone, but if you are on a budget then it can be a really great way to gain knowledge.
- You can save a huge amount of money. If you are spending thousands a year on piano lessons then the idea of getting free lessons can be very appealing.
- You can usually learn at your own pace. Piano lessons online will either be video lessons or sometimes interactive lessons. This means that you don’t have to book a specific time to take your lessons, you can fit your lessons in whenever you want to.
- You can always progress to paid lessons when you reach a certain level of ability.
- Most free methods of learning don’t give you any sort of feedback. This means that you will struggle to know if you are doing things right or making huge errors that could impact your playing for years to come.
- A lot of free lessons come with some sort of a catch; someone trying to get you to upgrade to a premium course or support them financially in some other way. This is fine, but just keep in mind that they probably won’t always give you all the information. Plenty will be withheld for premium subscribers. “Free” may actually be a “freemium” business model.
- You may not be able to find all the information in one source. This can be a really difficult aspect of learning. If you are constantly having to flit between different YouTube tutors, they may all have different methods and this can be hard to keep track of.
Free Piano Lessons For Beginners
One of the best uses of free piano lessons online is to familiarize yourself with some of the very basics before taking lessons elsewhere.
There are multiple ways to do this. A lot of free piano apps and platforms (including Pianu) offer free trials, so you can pick up this basic information before you have to worry about paying for the more advanced information. There is so much to learn when you just start out, and there’s nothing wrong with looking for some easy and free lessons.
When we talk about “beginners” in this respect, we’re talking about people who have no knowledge whatsoever (yet). We understand that people who are brand new to the hobby may not want to commit to spending money on monthly memberships or lessons, so searching around for free beginner lessons could be the answer.
Video Piano Lessons – The Best Way To Learn?
When someone says “free piano lessons” you might think of YouTube or other free video websites. It’s true that the vast majority of free content can be found uploaded to YouTube, and there are hundreds of potential tutors out there for you on YouTube.
It’s true that video lessons open up lots of possibilities as you can see and hear what a teacher is doing. If you don’t plan to learn to read music, video is almost essential. Video lessons can also introduce you to many new and interesting ideas and approaches, as demonstrated in the video below, turning aspects of learning into a game for kids.
Video piano lessons are definitely not the only option for people who want to get started with playing the piano. This wealth of video lessons is undeniably a great resource. However, a lot of people still like to learn using other methods. These include:
- eBooks. You probably won’t find physical books for free very often, but there are plenty of piano eBooks out there that can help you with the basics. If you are the sort of person who learns better by reading and looking at diagrams then this can be a very helpful way to approach playing the piano. You can combine this with videos, of course.
- Piano blogs. There are loads of blogs and tutorials out there on the internet. As you get more advanced then there is a good chance to follow other bloggers to pick up new techniques and opinions. Blogs are a fantastic free source of information.
Free Piano Lessons For Kids
Piano lessons for children are very popular. There are so many reasons for children to take up piano. It can boost their mental health and their cognitive development, so it’s not hard to see why people are looking for kids’ piano lessons.
Children are prone to taking up a hobby and quickly giving up. It’s not unusual at all, but plenty of parents get frustrated at this. Spending a lot of money on a teacher or on other forms of lessons and learning materials, only for a child to give up, is immensely frustrating. That’s one of the reasons why people look for free kids’ lessons.
So, are there good free piano lessons for kids out there?
Fortunately, there are many tutors on YouTube and elsewhere who focus their lessons at kids trying to offer something a little different. Very young children can even learn songs they love with free tutorials.
Today’s children are truly the “YouTube generation” and if you can get them to branch out from watching funny cat videos and memes to watching educational content like piano lessons, there is every chance they will soak up knowledge really quickly.
If you do plan to take advantage of the free lessons out there, you can see if your child latches on, and eventually, there is always the option of a paid course or even a teacher or tutor to provide more advanced knowledge.
Free Piano Apps – Do They Exist?
Another popular way of learning how to play the piano is to try and take advantage of apps. There are loads of piano apps on the market, which combine sheet music and video lessons with other informational content. Are they free?
A quick search for “free piano app” will bring you plenty of results, and the apps themselves can be downloaded for free. However, there is almost always some sort of a catch. The vast majority of the free content is trying to make you pay for something in the future.
Many of the free apps restrict your use to a few lessons or songs, and they try and get you to pay for a monthly membership or even pay to unlock specific features. It may well be worth doing this, but it doesn’t fit the remit of a “free” set of piano lessons.
It can be really frustrating downloading apps and starting to learn before being locked out or asked to pay for content hidden behind a paywall.
There are some apps that can be helpful. For instance, free apps that allow you to use your phone as a keyboard while you are out on the go, and practice your favorite songs.
A totally free app for learning piano is certainly a great idea, but we’re yet to find one that doesn’t have some paid features or require a paid membership. Be cautious when taking the “app” approach.
Where to Find Free Piano Lessons
If you do wish to pursue the free piano lesson route, there are multiple places you can go to find them!
Youtube Piano Lessons
We’ve already covered the fact that YouTube is a really good resource for information. Often, it is convoluted and hard to follow as there are a lot of tutors out there. The video playlist above is a decent option for people who aren’t quite sure where to start with YouTube piano lessons.
As well as offering plenty of free lessons, Pianu has a bank of songs that can be learned totally free of charge. These songs are all offered via an interactive platform, which means that you get feedback on your playing and you will know whether you are playing the right notes or not. This is something most free lessons cannot offer.
PianoNanny is a site that has been around for over 25 years, which is pretty impressive in the internet age. It has some good resources and a ton of free lessons to get you started.
Free Piano eBooks
Pianu also offers a free book about learning to play the piano. “PDFDrive” has a list of free piano PDFs that numerous instructors have made available. These can be useful for beginners and don’t cost a penny.
Cheap Piano Lessons – If You Want to Spend a Little More
If you are able to give yourself some budget for your piano lessons, even if it is not huge, you can definitely find that this opens up a world of options. Due to the internet, a lot of lessons are relatively inexpensive. Piano teachers don’t have to charge by the hour, they can create a course and charge by the download. This means cheaper learning for everyone.
Where can you find affordable piano lessons online?
The video above explains the Skillshare platform and what it does for the creative industries. It’s great to join Skillshare if you want to learn skills in other arts and industries, too. You can access a great deal on the platform.
The only real downside is the fact there isn’t a crazy amount of quality control, so some of the courses have slightly inaccurate information or even just slightly poor quality video, for example.
We’ve plugged Pianu in the free resource too, but if you pay for the yearly membership (remember, under $10 a month) then you can gain access to all of the information you need to become an established pianist. It doesn’t break the bank, and the fact it is interactive means that you can actually get feedback on your playing. Just plug in a MIDI-compatible keyboard and you’re good to go.
Udemy is another online learning platform and it lets users create and share courses. This is quite a hit and miss platform and some courses, frankly, aren’t worth bothering with. However, there is a really great reviews system, so you can see which piano courses offer some quality.
Udemy seems to always have some courses on offer. This means that you can pick up an affordable piano course, often under $30, to get you started. It’s not interactive, so it does have downsides.
This definitely depends on what the local community is like where you live. Some people might find that there are subsidized or affordable opportunities to take lessons in person. Often, these can be found in the form of:
- Community learning establishments.
- At schools, who may offer group learning or subsidized lessons for their students.
- Within music stores.
It’s definitely hit and miss, you won’t always find that there are lessons available or a cheap price tag, but it is worth checking.
Other Free Piano Resources
Free piano lessons online are just one part of the jigsaw for learning to play the piano. You can find loads of other resources that are incredibly useful, besides video or even written lessons.
Free Chord Charts for Piano
Though there aren’t that many “mainstream” chords used in the majority of pop songs, when you take variations into account there are thousands of piano chords. So, having charts to learn all of the chords is a fantastic option.
There are free printable PDF chord charts available here, but a simple Google search will bring you a number of results on the best chord charts for pianos, and you can specifically search for individual chords if you get stuck.
Free Piano Chords for Songs
Luckily, there is an ever-growing database of songs for you to learn in an interactive way here on Pianu.com.
You’re going to have to trust us when we recommend a resource called Ultimate Guitar for aspiring piano players! Ultimate Guitar is a wonderful platform for learning chords for songs, and tabs for guitarists (you don’t need to worry about this). They’ve recently introduced a specific “piano mode” on their songs, so you can see the chords in a way that is easy to understand for pianists.
The reason we recommend Ultimate Guitar is the fact that they have such a huge platform, and hundreds of thousands of songs. Even if you like music that is relatively obscure, there is every chance you will find chords on Ultimate Guitar.
Free Piano Worksheets
Piano worksheets are traditionally a resource for teachers, but there is no reason why you can’t download them for your own personal use and go through them as a way of picking up knowledge. There are some awesome free piano worksheets out there if you search for them. This collection is also great for beginners. They’re aimed mainly at children, and you do have to be something of a self-starter to go through them all, but the information is all there.
Self Teaching Piano – Is It Really An Option?
You may have noticed a pattern in our list of the best free piano lessons online. Most of them require quite a lot of self-teaching. You can get access to all of the information online, and there is plenty available for free, but that doesn’t mean everything will just fall into place.
In order to learn piano for free, you will have to put in a lot of work yourself, and be motivated to go out and find the information. You’re also going it alone in terms of feedback. Self-teaching needs to include a lot of reflection and you may even want to record or film yourself playing so you can look back at your playing and try and spot errors.
There are a number of pitfalls to going it completely free of charge. The best way is probably to get some form of feedback when you can.
The lack of structured learning, and the lack of feedback, are two of the most common reasons why people can fail when they try to learn how to play the piano.
These problems are both addressed by Pianu.com. You can get feedback by plugging in your piano or keyboard and even getting a “score” at the end of practice, showing how close you were to perfection and what areas you need to work on. Our academy is also designed to build your knowledge step by step, and can help you to avoid missing out on vital information.
Self-teaching only works if you have the right lessons and information to learn from, so take your time when choosing.
Conclusion – The Verdict on Free Piano Lessons Online
Although free piano lessons are rarely perfect, we’re glad they exist.
Often, you will eventually have to spend some money on a full course or a freemium product to get the full learning experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get started for free. Another catch when it comes to free content can be the quality, as a lot of it has a “homemade” feel to it. This is especially true if you are looking to get lessons from YouTube. Anyone can make a channel and start posting videos. This can be a good thing and a bad thing.
We’d advise trying to follow a simple structure to the learning, and this may mean investing in some sort of affordable course, or our very own Pianu academy!
Besides free courses and video lessons, there are many other resources you can take advantage of that cost you nothing, including the chords to your favorite songs and even worksheets and piano chord charts. Plus, if you have any questions about the piano, it’s amazing that you can take to google and find an answer in seconds. We live in the best possible time to learn new skills.
The bottom line? If you want to reach a high level of playing the piano then eventually, you’re probably going to have to part with some cash, but not having much to spend shouldn’t be a big obstacle if you are just getting started. Take advantage of whatever information you can get. The main thing is that you keep moving forward.