1. Search Youtube:
The first thing to do is select a song that appeals to you. If it is new or you are unfamiliar with it, listen to it and see if you like it. Do a search on youtube videos and check out the Piano or instrumental versions.
For example, lets say you want to learn to play the song "How Did You Know" Go on Youtube search
How did you know piano and quite a few videos will come up for you to check out.
Watch how the player perform the song, get the timing , watch the fingering, the phrasing and see how the player put feelings into the song. There is a a lot one can gain from watching the player. Just like having a teacher showing you how its done. Plus you have the added ability to replay as many times as you need and when it suits you.
2. Buy the CD and or MP3 music and put it in your MP3 Player.
When I'm working on a song, I listen to the song as often as possible. Listen to the song when you are walking, driving, waiting in line at the bank or post office and even before going to sleep. By listening to it, you will pick up the rhythm, the phrasing and the feel of the song. It makes playing the song so much easier and more importantly, you let your subconscious mind get into it.
Print Music are readily available Online and Music Instruments stores keep a comprehensive range of popular Sheet Music . Print Music gives you the exact notation, timing and chord sequence . It's like reading a map or a recipe to get from A to B and makes it so much easier to learn the song.
Did you say you can not read sheet music ? There are many ways to develop the art of sight reading.
There are DVD tutorials that you can invest in to give your sight reading a helping hand.. I would thoroughly recommend you learn to sight read because it just opens up a lot of possibilities.
It does take a lot of time writing the music out. It is so much easier just to order it online. Just a click, pay by paypal and you've got it instantly. I have purchased music from online stores and from music retailers as I believe in supporting the artists and the people in the music industry.
I will only write out the music if it is not available. These days there are Computer Software that will do the Notation for you. However i will stress that it still is quite time consuming and you do need to have the skills required to make an arrangement.
4. Playing By Ear:
There are people who have the gift or have developed incredible hearing that they can work out the song by ear. Having said that, I have also come across people who say they play by ear, only to butcher the song with chords that the song writer did not have in mind. Let's just say it was interesting but can be excruciatingly painful for some listeners.
From personal experience playing by ear, can be developed with practice and through having played lots of different music styles. It still is much easier, if you have the Print Music, as you have precise notation and timing.
5. Get a Good Teacher
Music lessons from a great teacher can make a huge difference. The teacher can put you in the right direction straight away, develop good techniques and work on areas that need improvement, ie sight reading,
Someone did ask me if they can use a book to learn how to play. Of course course you can, however just think about your experience when someone showed you how to use an electronic device, you picked it up so much faster than just reading the manual.
A great teacher is like a coach who make lessons fun and interesting. The teacher can be a mentor to keep you motivated and monitor your progress. It takes discipline to practice and when you know you have a lesson coming up, that will be enough reason for you to practice. Hopefully you would be so motivated that you can't wait to get to your next lesson. Take an exam to test your understanding and build a good music foundation to the next level.
Today there are Ebooks, interactive keyboard programs, DVD and video lessons. They are all great to be used in conjunction with a teacher.
6. Enjoy the learning process
Music is meant to be fun. Play along with your CD or Mp3 on your PC , Ipod , mp3 player or laptop.
Have a lot of fun learning to play new songs. Before you know it, it all click into place. Share your playing ability with friends and family. You can entertain and be the life of the party. All the best with your music.