A while back I discovered that my digital piano has a record feature. So I began to use it, because it turns out that hearing what you’ve played AFTER you’ve played it can be really useful. I find myself noticing things I wouldn’t have while I was playing, like if I’m too heavy on the keys or not holding a not long enough. Stuff like this. How much I’ve actually improved thanks to this I’m not so sure, but it’s still a neat feature to discover years after buying the piano.
The issue was that I never really had a way to get my recordings onto a computer. The piano is supposed to be able to save recordings onto a USB stick, but for some reason after many attempts the piano just would not interact with a USB stick. And after reading into it, I found out that many pianos just save the MIDI file, which doesn’t save the exact sound, but only the notes that were played. Or so I’ve read. I don’t know for sure, I’m no audiophile. It’s not like I can test this out.
Anyways recently I came across a digital recorder. The microphone on it is broken, so it was cheap, but it still records if you plug directly into it, which is perfect for my situation. So I now have a way to record the recorded songs on my digital piano, and move them to a computer. It’s sort of a janky setup, but it works.
And this means that I can share some of the anime piano songs I’ve learned on here!
I’ve decided to start with the first complete song I ever learned and retained in my memory on the piano, Unjust Life from Angel Beats. I’ve actually learned a few songs from Angel Beats, and Unjust Life was the first. I hope the volume is okay.
So here it is:
I’ll give a little backstory of my experience with the piano. I actually played guitar all throughout highschool. I enjoyed it. I played in a “band” for a little while, although really we just messed around. But once the “band” (me and two other guys) broke up so to speak, I was left playing guitar alone. It was around then that I became drawn to the piano.
The piano is just an excellent standalone instrument. I could pick any song I wanted and know I’d be able to find a solo piano version that sometimes sounded even more beautiful than the original. Considering I loved video game music (I hadn’t started watching anime at the time), that aspect is what convinced me to start playing piano. My family had one of those cheap $80 keyboards that isn’t even a full 88 keys that I used.
Just like guitar, I had no formal education. The beauty of learning piano through YouTube is that you can simply search song name + synthesia and get guitar hero style piano tabs for that song. So that’s what I did. Of course I couldn’t actually play any of the songs I wanted to, so I ended up just learning bits and pieces of various songs like the Final Fantasy 7 theme or To Zanarkand from Final Fantasy X. After several years of playing piano here and there, learning songs (or pieces of them) and forgetting them, I had noticeably improved.
This all mostly took place while I was attending university. I also started watching anime during this time. After I graduated university, I was on the hunt for full time work. It ended up taking 3 months to find my first full time job. And during this time I learned this song: Unjust Life from Angel Beats. I guess its sad tone just sort of resonated with me. Sitting around at home, applying to dozens of postings online, going to interviews, not knowing when I’d actually get a job. I learned Unjust Life around October 2015, and ended up getting my first full time job out of school in November 2015.
Unjust Life was the first song I learned that made me realize that I was actually getting pretty good at piano. Most intermediate level songs were within my capabilities. I also realized I should stop forgetting songs and actually devote more energy to remembering and practicing songs I’ve learned. So Unjust Life was the first song that I held onto in my repertoire of piano songs.
I don’t have a set schedule with piano, sometimes I go weeks without playing, and sometimes I play for hours everyday. But it’s been around 5 years since I first started messing around on the piano. I guess this is just a message to anyone out there who might have an interest in something like this: it’s a lot easier than you think. If you want to learn the piano to play anime songs, you definitely can. You too can play your favourite anime songs in time, on any instrument, at your own pace.
The most important thing that I’ve learned through the piano is this: The first time you play a song will be worse than the tenth time, which will be worse than the hundredth time, which will be worse than the thousandth time. You may not realize you are improving with each individual attempt, but those attempts add up and before you know it you’ll be looking back surprised at how much you’ve improved.
That was my experience with piano anyways. I’m not trying to brag or anything, because I’m far from a skilled pianist. I can’t read music, and I can’t improvise very well. But I can play the anime songs that I love, and that’s all I ever wanted to do in the first place. I just hope that any of you reading this who may be on the fence on learning an instrument can maybe understand just a little bit better how rewarding it can be.
Even if you just mess around, the experience you get from that adds up, and next thing you know you can play songs you never thought you’d be able to. That’s how it worked out for me.
So that’s my piano story. I hope you enjoyed the song, and I will likely be posting more songs in the future like this. I thought about posting multiple songs in one post, but I figured I shouldn’t take too much of everyone’s time. What this means is that there are more Angel Beats piano songs to come!
Until next time!
Thanks for reading.