Ragtime is too hard for complete beginners, but is approachable by those who have been playing piano seriously for at least 2-3 years. Ragtime requires you to have a strong sense of rhythm and some technical proficiency to play it well.
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One of the most common questions I hear from beginning piano students is "can I learn to play Maple Leaf Rag?" Or, "Is The Entertainer approachable as a beginner?" Ragtime and stride piano are some of the most popular old-time piano styles. They are a lot of fun to play, and can really impress your friends. So, is ragtime hard to play? Ragtime is too hard for complete beginners, but is approachable by those who have been playing piano seriously for at least 2-3 years. Ragtime requires you to have a strong sense of rhythm and some technical proficiency to play it well. Composed ragtime, like the rags of Scott Joplin, are a great first step for classically trained pianists. These compositions, like The Entertainer, Maple Leaf Rag or Solace are fully written and can be learned note for note from the sheet music. As ragtime evolved over time, particularly through live performances in clubs during the 1920/30’s, it become more improvisatory and virtuosic. This ultimately created a new style similar to Ragtime, called Stride. Stride piano is one of the most difficult styles to master, due to its sheer technical nature.
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