‘How to Play the Piano’ by James Rhodes

“If listening to music is soothing for the soul, then playing music is achieving enlightenment. It’s going from kicking a ball around with a few pals to playing alongside Ronaldo.”

—James Rhodes

If you’ve got two hands, a piano or an electric keyboard, and just 45 minutes a day, James Rhodes’ new book, How to Play the Piano, promises to teach you to play Bach’s Prelude No. 1 in C Major in 6 weeks, even if you know nothing about music and have never touched a piano before.

How often do we convince ourselves that it’s just too late – too late to learn how to ride a bike, too late to know how to meditate, too late to travel the world…As we get older and time slips through our fingers like water, we become resigned, almost defeatist, about abandoning our dreams. […]

This inspirational book gives us the means to [tap into our creativity] by breaking up Bach’s seminal Prelude No. 1 from the Well-Tempered Clavier into manageable segments, teaching us the basics of piano playing – how to read music, the difference between the treble and the bass clef, sharp and flat notes, how to practice etc. – and encouraging personal interpretation in a way that is guaranteed to soothe the mind, feed the soul and unleash creative powers we didn’t know we still had. All of this will culminate in an ability to perform one of Bach’s masterpieces.

This post by Frances Wilson of The Cross-Eyed Pianist gives a great overview of what’s in the book, and it’s mostly positive but she does also point out a couple of quibbles.

The book is available on Amazon in hardcover (from $8) and Kindle ($4) formats.