Austin Anyone know of any good online trainings that are free or basically free? I'm a (broke) beginner!
I have tried about 10 different training courses online, I had 4 traditional in-person teachers and I tried about a dozen between books, DVDs, cassettes and other old style things. Results? I could play some stuff with incredibly great effort (sweat and blood I used to say) in a crappy way. Not what I wanted and not proportional results to invested time/money/effort.
That was until I found what for me is the solution. But before I tell you that, I have to ask an essential question. Sorry if I sound like a broken record (from the other message), but that's the root of the question which made me waste 40 years of my life wanting to learn to play and failing at it. WHY do you want to learn music, and particularly (given the forum where you are asking the question) piano?
This is not a frivolous question, this is the root of the issue. I can think of a million answer, but I will summarize them in two categories:
1) impress yourself (and perhaps others)
2) express yourself (and not caring about anything else)
In the category 1) you can put lots of "related things" like "keeping up with the Jones", make an impression on a person you are attracted to, put your videos online and make money on YT etc.
To explain the category 2) let me put in the words of Laurie Berkner, namely "I've a song in my tummy and it wants to come out". Or (equivalently but putting it in a philosophically and dignified way) in the words of Victor Hugo as quoted by Gerald Klickstein "Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that cannot remain silent". Emotions if you want, even though I find this definition a bit restrictive.
If your goals are in the category 1, I'm sorry I have nothing to offer, just stop reading this message (which I will continue writing for others who are interested in category 2).
Really are you still reading? With such goals everything I say below is totally useless, move on to somewhere else!
Okay, perhaps you are indeed interested in category 2 or do not really understand the difference. The difference is like night and day. Like eating because you have to survive (I have a relative who lost the sense of smell and taste who does that), you could well eat just mush provided it has what your body needs. Could even be IV and you would not care. Or, as the rest of us do, eating because you like it, at least a bit.
The difference is like being an adult labeling images for an AI, seeing a fire truck in an image and labeling it as such and becoming a child again, seeing a fire truck and starting to jump up and down in your stroller shouting with joy! Totally different, you see? In category two, you will have to look like an idiot to people, and don't care about it (or at least be boldface enough about it, and/or find the inner compassion with your embarrassment and carry on).
Okay, so why would you like to get yourself through this ordeal? Simple, for the reason Berkner and Hugo stated better than I can. But why in this so obscene way? Simple, because that's the only way in which human beings learn this sort of things. Think about it: learning to speak, or learning to talk. Extremely complicated activities which involve coordination of many muscles to be contracted at the right time in a very accurate way (sounds like playing the piano, doesn't it?) -- yet the kids do it naturally! Do they do it by studying grammar or being taught: contract the quadricepses pulling your leg in front of you while pushing on the calf to maintain your balance on one leg meanwhile (like if it were only that -- try maintaining your balance on your leg and see how all the muscles of your body are involved, arms, back, abs, etc). No, they way human beings learn these activities is to just start easy and do it, because it's fun. It's fun to chase that furry bear that your parent toss on the ground. It's fun to utter some sound imitating what your parents say and hearing them imitating you back. You do not care to sound silly! And you have something inside that wants to come out!
Now, people say only kids can learn that way, adults cannot. That is not true. What is true is that adults feel a sense of embarrassment, shame or stupidity when trying to do such things and therefore they don't do them, and therefore they don't learn that way. If you can overcome that sense of shame etc, they you can do the things and you do learn that way. I've done that by learning English and I am doing it again with music, as described below.
So if you are ready for that I've the answer for you: Phil Best. He has a website with some material you can purchase at
(with PDFs and neatly organized private videos) and he has plenty of free videos in which he explains (somewhat randomly and in a unorganized way) his philosophy and many other things. You can find the free videos at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChw5_uKK4gy-w8yzyTHLq1A
If you don't know where to start (given the somewhat unorganized way that his free channel is structured) a good one is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajOVr26O6DY
He also offer video lessons, at a reasonable price. I know you wrote you are broke, but if you find yourself attracted by his approach I recommend that you do sign up for individual lessons. It does make a huge difference. The good news is that he lets you record the lessons, and he gives tons of very useful coaching that you can extract from the recording by watching it over and over. You don't have to sign up for a regular schedule, you can ask "as needed" and it can be a couple of times per year as you work through the material yourself.
But all of this is useless if you are not ready to be all-out in category 2, so forget about it if your goal is to impress.
EDIT: see a quick summary in his own words on his own comment (go to youtube to see the highlighted comment) in another great free video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfb9CrCY80c&lc=Ugzz_1NKntv4MjgXAFl4AaABAg.9w6uAdbLRpF9w7woF6CDLp