Kobe Bryant Learned to Play Beethoven's 'Moonlight Sonata' for Vanessa by Ear

Katie Richcreek@BookstoreKatieFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2016

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 13:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers and his wife Vanessa Bryant walk onto the court after the game against the Utah Jazz on April 13, 2016 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

Kobe Bryant is not one to take the easy road.

Even when it comes to learning to play the piano—which he did by ear. No formal lessons.

Why? Well, he wanted to play "something nice" for his wife, Vanessa.

Mr. and Mrs. Mamba have faced their fair share of tests in their 15 years of marriage, the series of trials well-documented by ESPN's Ramona Shelburne in her recent piece "Mamba Out."

Below is an excerpt from The Undefeated's story, which details Bryant's devotion to learning Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" on piano for Vanessa in perhaps the most unconventional (yet completely logical) way:

"Sitting down and taking lessons would be too easy," he says. "So I taught myself by ear." ...

Taking lessons wasn't enough. Anybody can do that. Kobe had to be exceptional. So he'd put headphones on, listen to "Moonlight Sonata" on loop, and try to figure out the music on the keyboard in front of him.

"If you just sit down and say, 'I'm going to learn this thing until I do,'" he says, "there's not really much out there that you can't figure out eventually."

It didn't turn out half bad, either:

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 13:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers and his wife Vanessa Bryant walk onto the court after the game against the Utah Jazz on April 13, 2016 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknow
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

[YouTube, h/t Complex Sports]

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