A Guide To The Top Famous Self-Taught Musicians Who Play Piano

When a person thinks of famous musicians who play the piano, the first names that come to mind are Beethoven, Mozart and Bach. The reason why these musicians are so well-known is that their pieces are the most commonly used classical pieces taught to pianists when learning piano.

In fact, Beethoven’s Fur Elise is the common option played by Level 1 piano players as it presents with several different piano playing methods, while still being a simple piece. Of course, these individuals are not the only famous pianists to grace the musical world.

While these classical music legends have been self-taught, there are many other pianists who are self-taught playing in other musical genres. This article will discuss musicians from the jazz, gospel, and country musical styles.

1. Art Tatum

Art Tatum is a renowned jazz pianist born in 1909. Unfortunately, Tatum died in 1956 at the young age of 48; however, during his lifetime he gained popularity as one of the greatest jazz musicians in the 20th century. While his mother was a pianist, Tatum chose to teach himself to play the piano by ear as a young child instead of having his mother teach him. One of the reasons for this is because Tatum was completely blind, but he continued to influence a generation of jazz pianists as he aged.

2. Walter Wilhelm Gieseking

Walter Wilhelm Gieseking was a composer and self-taught pianist born in Germany in 1895. He began to play piano at age 4 and while he was not blind like Tatum, he did have a unique ability that influenced the way he played – he had a photographic memory. Using his photographic memory, Gieseking was able to learn new pieces when not at the piano merely by studying and memorizing the sheet music. Once he sat done to the piano, he was able to play the piece flawlessly without the need for sheet music. Gieseking died in 1956.

3. Floyd Cramer

Floyd Cramer was born in 1933 in a small town located in Arkansas, USA. The importance of this musician is his development of a piano playing style known as the “slip note style”. The “slip note style” involves a movement where one note slides into the next and is used often in the country music genre. Cramer began teaching himself to play the piano during his teenage years and he went on to have a successful recording career. After his death in 1997, Cramer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

4. Gene Harris

Gene Harris was a self-taught pianist born in 1933 in Michigan, USA. He is well-known for his influence in the jazz industry producing a style known as “soul jazz” – a style that combines blues and gospel. Harris played for audiences for over forty years and influenced many artists before dying in 2000 from kidney failure.

Final Words

These are only a few of the thousands of famous piano players who are self-taught. While some of the musicians had natural talent, it is still possible to learn with some dedication and will – that may be you!

Why Learn Music Online

If you have always wanted to learn to play a musical instrument, them why not give it a go? Even if you left school long ago, it is not too late to pick up an instrument and it could give you endless hours of entertainment.

Finding a good instructor for face to face tuition can be tricky if you are a busy working adult but it is possible to learn a lot without face to face tuition. Indeed, there are !any benefits to learning how to play an instrument by using online classes.

Let’s say for example, you want to¬†learn to play the piano online. There are a lot of sites that offer structured courses which will take you through the basic chords and finger placements and give you goals to work towards. These courses are cheap, or even free and are broken up into short videos that you can load up whenever you feel like it. This means that you can dip in and out whenever you have a few minutes. For someone who struggles go find the time for a full class this is the perfect way to stay motivated.

One thing that a lot of people fear is the lack of feedback when learning online. This is something that has improved a lot in recent years. Now, you can connect your instrument to the computer and record yourself playing. Some software based learning tools will tell you if you are playing correctly or if the pitch, tone or tempo are wrong. This may not be a total substitute for face to face tuition but it certainly helps a lot and will keep you on track.

In the ideal world you would use both face to face and independent resources. Online resources can teach you theory and can help a lot with keeping you focused when it comes to your practice. Even if you have a dedicated tutor, having access to more resources will help you to plan your practice sessions and keep things interesting. A beginner cannot just pick up an instrument and play their favorite song right away. They need to have some smaller milestone goals along the way. That is exactly what they can get from online courses.

Some courses have their own communities attached to them. These are great for helping people to stay motivated and also offer an online support network of peers. If someone is struggling with a scale or concept, they can ask for help.