FAQ – Common Piano Questions

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TOP 3 Questions

Why is the DecPlay method a better way to learn piano than others I see on YouTube?

The DecPlay method is the ONLY method that is designed for learning piano later in life and enables beginners to play accompaniment and melody from song sheets, easily and quickly (often playing your first song within 1 day).

Other methods are restricted to using notation - which is slow and a barrier for many people; copycat methods - which don't build music skills; or playing by ear - which takes time to learn.

Can I do it?

Absolutely YES - you can do it! How do I know? Because I've witnessed the outstanding success of the DecPlay formula with over 3,000 people in 72 countries, with people from age 4 to 92, many with no previous musical experience. 

How do I get your free piano lessons? 

To get the free piano workshop video emailed to you, which shows you the secrets to learning piano incredibly quickly, without having to learn to read music, enter your details here or visit the free lessons page



Why Should I Choose DecPlay?

The DecPlay 5 Step Formula is a proven method that uses playing patterns and a step-by-step process to get straight to the fun of playing incredibly quickly.  

It also uses the patented PianoTabz style of song sheets, which translates the abstract language of notation into a language you can understand within MINUTES.  This means you avoid the frustration of years spent playing scales and exercises, and you avoid the need to ‘read music’.  It builds a foundation which enables you to develop professional skills and the ability to play by ear much faster than other methods.

The DecPlay method is the ONLY method that enables beginners to play accompaniment and melody from song sheets, within minutes. Other methods are restricted to using either notation (which is slow, and a barrier for many people); copycat methods (which don't build music skills); or playing by ear (which takes time to learn). 

DecPlay is NOT for people who want to play complex classical music; become a concert pianist; or spend years doing exercises and scales.  

For a taster of the DecPlay 5 Step Formula, sign up here to receive a free workshop video: https://decplay.com/free-senior-citizens-piano-lessons/

I Learnt Notation - Can I Still Take the Course??

Yes - the playing patterns which are taught in all the DecPlay courses apply equally, whether you are using PianoTabz (numbers) or traditional notation in the form of standard lead sheets. 

The Piano Bundle shows you how to play using both formats, and applies not only to beginners but also to advanced level players. It includes PianoTabz song libraries, and shows you how to access standard lead sheets on the internet.  

We've found that most students who already read notation prefer to use the numbers method.  However, if you prefer to play  using standard lead sheets, the Piano Bundle shows you how to do this.

Am I Too Old to Learn?

NO!  I know for CERTAIN that you will be able to play, because I've seen the results of the 5 Step Formula with people of all abilities, many of whom - in their 70s, 80s and even 90s - never thought they would be able to learn. 

Many of our students have eyesight and dexterity issues (and even profound hearing loss), which is why I have designed the course to overcome these issues (as far as possible). 

I think you will be surprised at what you can achieve and, with a 30-day money-back guarantee, you have nothing to lose by giving it a go!

What if I'm Left-Handed?

Being left-handed isn’t a problem & won’t hinder your progress with DecPlay.  Both hands are playing patterns at the same time and,whilst being right-handed might slightly speed up the process of learning the right hand part, being left-handed will have a similar benefit for the left hand part.

In the beginner’s style, chords are played in the left hand.  In more advanced styles (covered in the Piano Bundle), chords are played in the right hand (with or without the melody), while the left hand plays a ‘bass part’.

I Didn't Enjoy Piano Lessons When I Was Younger - Will DecPlay Feel Any Different?

In short - YES!  The ways in which you can make the process fun will vary for each individual and are only limited by your imagination. So knowing WHY you want to learn, and establishing a practice routine that suits you and is FUN are just some of the simple ways to help your motivation.

Answering these questions can help you find your motivation:-

  • WHAT would you love to achieve on piano (e.g. play a particular piece, perform to specific people, play a certain style of music, reach a level of relaxation and confidence with your playing, improvise, compose your own music etc…)
  • WHY do you want to do it? If you have a significant goal, there should be a strong feeling associated with achieving it. Imagine HOW it would feel to achieve your goal. If it doesn’t feel great, then perhaps re-examine your answer to question 1, and find something that you would really LOVE to achieve.

I Already Play a Little - Can I Still Do a DecPlay Course?

YES!  The DecPlay method reveals incredibly simple patterns, which make chords quick to learn.  It’s the way Paul McCartney & John Lennon played piano (and the way most professionals play).

Many students can already pick out a tune with their right hand when they enroll, but struggle with the left hand.  My course contains plenty of help for improving the left hand, and joining it together with the right hand.

As an example, Betty could pick out a tune quite well but didn't know what to do with her left hand. After joining the course, she was able to play songs like ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘Silent Night’ with both hands within days.  Another student- Eric - could read notation, but found it hard adding in his left hand.  Here's a video of what Betty & Eric had to say about the Beginners MasterClass: https://vimeo.com/492438998  


The DecPlay Method Sounds Simple - Is It Built on Proper Musical Theory?

In short, yes.  You don’t need to understand the theory behind the method, but for those who are interested, the DecPlay numbers method (PianoTabz) references 'relative' pitch for both melody (like tonic sol-fa) and chords (like jazz chord numbers / Nashville system and diatonic triad Roman numerals in classical music).

Using a lead sheet format (showing just the melody and chords), DecPlay enables absolute beginners to play popular songs on piano incredibly quickly. Changing the playing patterns by incremental steps and introducing improvisation techniques, enables professional styles to be played using the same lead sheet.

Beginners can start playing in C and, if required, can learn different scales later to enable transposition to other keys, still using the same lead sheet. 

By getting straight to the fun of playing, theory is learnt in a practical way through playing songs, and only by deeper analysis later, once the application of the further knowledge is required for a practical purpose. This way, the chord patterns used in popular music become clear, which makes it much easier to improvise, compose and play by ear. 

What Kind of Keyboard Do I Need?

There are 3 features that are important in a keyboard :

  1. That the keys are standard size (not small eg childrens size)
  2. That the keyboard has at least 61 keys (counting both black and white keys)
  3. That it is touch sensitive (ie plays louder when keys are pressed harder) 

We have a few students who are using keyboards that have fewer than 61 keys, or which is not touch sensitive and, while you can definitely make progress on the course with this type of keyboard, I suggest you upgrade to the recommended type of keyboard whenever you get the chance.

  • Low budget (very portable) - Roland GO:Piano
  • Medium budget (medium portability) - Yamaha Piaggero range eg NP-32
  • Medium-High budget (less portable) - Roland FP-30 or Yamaha P125
  • High budget (less portable) - any top end Roland, Yamaha, Kawai, Korg, Nord digital pianos

  • Here is a video I shot which compares electric keyboards with pianos - pros and cons; portability; playing style etc... (this was recorded pre-lockdown!) https://youtu.be/yPo6aV-DzcE


    What's the Difference Between The Piano Bundle & The Beginner's MasterClass?


    Comprises 5 x weekly lessons with:

    Please note - The MasterClass is called a ‘5-week MasterClass’ - however, this is only because the original lessons, which form the basis of the course, were recorded over a 5-week period, with the participants having one online lesson each week.  The course comprises those lessons plus additional materials.  You can take as long as you like to complete it.



    Includes the Beginner’s MasterClass plus a lot more in depth lessons and personal support:

    • FastPlay - Beginner’s course 
      • Rapid Results - learn to play first song in days 
      • Step by Step lessons to play songs on piano
      • Incredibly simple, yet effective 5 Step Formula
      • Beginner’s Workbook PDF
      • Tips to overcome common challenges
      • Fun experience, and easy to follow - suitable for all ages and abilities
      • Learn dozens of songs
    • SingPlay - Piano accompaniment for singing 
    • ProPlay - Intermediate & Advanced Skills 
    • Different Styles (Rock n Roll, Blues, Jazz, Ballads etc...)
    • Music Knowledge 
    • Music Performance 
    • Song Sheets - access huge free libraries & convert into PianoTabz


    • Priority email support
    • Updates to course lessons and new song sheets
    • Twice Monthly group live lessons (on Zoom)
    • Access to members’ community Facebook group

    How Are The Courses Delivered?

    Both courses (the MasterClass & the Piano Bundle) comprise video lessons together with PDF song sheets, and tutorials, which you can work through at your own pace. 

    There are also live group Zoom calls every 2 weeks, during which I answer questions and give tips.

    Do I Have to Start the Course When I Enroll?

    No - it's fine to enroll on the course now, and start it at a later date.  The course is online so, once you've enrolled, it will always be there.  You can start & complete it whenever suits you.

    What If My Computer is in a Different Room From My Keyboard?

    That’s no problem.  You can either download and print out the PDF documents then take them to the piano to try out the lessons, OR you can access the course on a portable device (such as a tablet or a smartphone) and watch the lessons at your keyboard.


    Piano Bundle

    The Piano Bundle includes over 50 song sheets.  

    In addition, the Piano Bundle course contains details of how to access a vast library of lead sheets as well as free chord sheets.   It also shows you how to convert any song from traditional notation (in the form of the standard lead sheet) into the numbers format.  This should enable you to play songs of your choosing further down the line.  

    Here is an example of a student who used the DecPlay course skills to learn a song which is not included within the course. https://vimeo.com/507958341/1907fe53b7

    Can I Play Classical Music With DecPlay?

    The DecPlay method is designed to make playing popular songs on piano quick & easy.  It utilises the simple patterns that exist in songs, and is NOT designed for complex classical music.   That said, it can enable simple classical music to be played, such as Beethoven's Fur Elise; Moonlight Sonata (the first part) or Pachelbel's Canon in D.


    How Much Does The Course Cost?

    Click on this link to watch a free video, which gives further details of the course content, together with information about the cost and any special offers which are currently available: https://decplay.com/free-senior-citizens-piano-lessons/


    What Methods of Payment Do You Accept?

    The preferred method of payment is debit/credit card. However, we can accept PayPal payments and Bank Transfers. Further details can be provided upon request.

    If you choose to pay for the Piano Bundle by Direct Debit, the Direct Debit will be set up at the time you enroll, and will be taken each month, for the next 6 months.

    Will My Card Payment Be Secure?

    Yes.  DecPlay does not store any payment card details.  We use Stripe to handle card payments.  Stripe is one of the leading card payment companies in the UK & Europe, and are certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1. This is the most stringent level of certification available in the payments industry.  

    More details regarding card security can be found here:  https://stripe.com/docs/security/stripe


    Where Is DecPlay Based?

    I (Declan) am originally from Manchester, where the DecPlay company is based, and I live in both the UK and Ireland. The DecPlay support team is also based in both the UK & Ireland.

    How Do I Know DecPlay Is Genuine?

    DecPlay is a trusted organisation of genuine team of people who are passionate about bringing more smiles to the world through music. Here's some more information on our achievements :-

    • Helped over 3,000 people in 72 countries achieve incredible results on piano
      (including many people who believed that they weren't musical at all) 
    • 'Excellent' status on independent review site TrustPilot https://www.trustpilot.com/review/decplay.com
    • Featured on BBC
    • So groundbreaking that the DecPlay system has been awarded a patent.
    • The testimonials speak for themselves - see https://decplay.com/testimonials/

    Our money back guarantee demonstrates our commitment to outstanding customer service.