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Accompanying or Melodies: How do you want to play piano?

By Ben Camp

Okay you want to learn to play piano as an adult. There are many different ways to learn piano, with different goals of learning. So, we ask you what do you want do? Do you want to learn to read music and play melodies or do you want to accompany and jam with other musicians? Or maybe it is both. But doesn’t learning piano just take too long?

Learning to play piano as an adult may seem daunting and take forever to get there. But don’t let that stop you. Learning anything always has that moment, when do I get to use this? When do I get to have fun? Learning things always starts with the basics and you do need these pieces of knowledge. However, in learning to play the piano, especially as a busy adult there are two ways you can go. One way can get you playing with your friends faster than you think.

Learning to play charts

Let’s start with Charts. What is a piano chart? This is usually the lyrics of a song with the chords inserted over the lyric lines area indicating where you should play the chord. Charts are used mostly for musicians to accompany each other in playing a song. There are charts for every type of instruments, Chord charts for guitar and piano, rhythm charts for percussion and so on. But the timing on the chart is not always that precise. There are a lot of available charts online some are correct and some, well who knows who put those together.

At we teach you how to learn to read and play off of a chart. A proper chart will be as precise instruction on playing and accompanying a song as sheet music is.

Here is an example of a chart that you would get on


Playing and accompanying with charts does require some level of understanding and learning some basics. On the site the whole of level one is what you would need to grasp how to play charts. You need to know the note names, you will need to know chords, how they are built, from simple triads to complex major and minor seventh chords. You will need to know the basics of timing and rhythm and most importantly you will need to know what the Circle of Fifths is and how it is used in chord progressions. We go into great detail around the Circle of Fifths.

Once you have mastered these basic skills you can begin to learn how to accompany other musicians on songs. Any song can be charted, there is no limit to what you will be able to play along with.

We will be adding charts to our library in and soon will have many to choose from. These are free downloads to anyone who has a membership.

Playing Melodies with Sheet Music

This of course is the traditional way to learn and play the piano and it does take time to master this skill set. Melodies can start with simple songs and can be graduated to very complex. On almost every lesson on we offer a downloadable sheet music for that particular lesson or song.

Here is an example of sheet music


We believe strongly that you always will need to have the skill to read music and even if you do like to play charts, you should continue to learn and grow in your ability to read and play music. With, you’ll find that learning to read music and play piano by reading music is not as hard or time consuming as you thought. Learning piano can be fast and fun, and we can get you to the point where you can comfortably play piano.

On we have a section devoted to the Music Index. This will show you completely all the elements in how music is expressed on paper. The staffs, the notes, the timing and rhythms. Then each lesson will show how a melody is played with a sheet music.

Playing melodies is the critical path to learn to play the piano. And we would suggest that you explore both paths, because the most important thing about learning to play piano is to have fun.

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Beginner's Handbook
Do you want to learn to play piano, but don't know where to start? That is why we have put together our Beginner's Handbook. This book helps to answer all your questions about what you need to get started with online piano learning.