Lessons & Tutorials

There are countless piano tutorials out there, especially for beginners. Truthfully, many of them are more than decent to get started on the piano. In fact, in my tutorials I frequently borrow some other author’s tutorials (while giving them full credit of course). Because they do a better job explaining than me, it is silly for me to rewrite what they already wrote. However the value in reading this tutorial is that I have curated these for you, so that you can read them all in one place without any extraneous searching. Also, being a mostly self-taught pianist and composer for over 24+ years, I think I have some particular insights on the piano that many teachers do not have, and therefore worth sharing.


Before I begin, I’d like you to think about what kind of student you are, and read carefully my thoughts on each group:


  • Group A: You have never played any musical instruments in your life, nor have you studied any music theory. Your primary knowledge of music comes from singing along with Disney songs and playing guitar hero


  • Group B: You have learned piano either on your own or with a teacher for a few years. You know how to play a few simple pieces on the piano, or some pop song arrangements. 


  • Group C: You are experienced in playing another instrument (e.g. violin, guitar, etc). or have spent time producing music/orchestrating music, but this is your first foray into the piano.


  • Group D: You have learned piano for over 5 years, consider yourself an intermediate and are ready to take your piano performance to the advanced level.


  • Group E: You have been playing piano for over 10 years, consider yourself advanced with quite a few classical pieces in your repertoire (Beethoven sonatas, Chopin etudes, etc), but now you are interested in exploring the more creative aspects of piano playing (improvisation, harmonizing, composing, arranging, accompanying) to really explore artistry on the piano.


I believe 99% of the people reading this can be segmented into one of these groups. If you happen to be outside these groups, please contact me.


My tutorials are most suited for Groups B-E. For Group A, I highly recommend you get a piano teacher and use my tutorials as a supplement. The reason is because learning piano without music theory knowledge is like swimming in the dark. You simply will not get very far, even with the best guides on the internet. 


  • Group A: Start with Lesson 1a (Piano Basics) and read everything, preferably with the guide of a real teacher.

  • Group D: Lightly skim Lessons 1 and 2, jump into Lesson 3 (Practicing for a higher level)

  • Group E: Skip to Lesson 5 (Beyond Performing - expressing yourself on the piano)

Lesson Links

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©2020 Lionel Yu