I was quite bored in high school, especially the last two years. On a school field trip to Disneyland (yes, there was such a thing!) I saw a man named Rod Miller at Disneyland who taught himself to play the piano by slowing down piano rolls, working out the fingering and practicing 4-6 hours a day for two years. After two years he was good enough to get a job playing in a pizza parlor.
I thought that sounded like fun so believe it or not I bought a player piano ($450.00 for a 1910 Aeolian Grand Upright - paid 1/2 by my Mom and 1/2 from my paper route money) and taught myself to play.
I learned by watching Rod play (watching his fingers upside down and backwards, as I looked over the top of the piano), and by slowing down and listening to player piano rolls, and by practicing several hours a day for two years.
Here's my version, highly derivative of Rod's version:
Stars and Stripes Forever / God Bless America on SoundCloud
It's maybe half the speed that Rod plays it.
Happy Fourth of July!
© 2006 Stephen Clarke-Willson - All Rights Reserved.