The best way to start to learn to play piano is learning where to place your fingers on the keyboard. Looking at the center of the keyboard there are a group of keys that we will be referred to as the Home Keys. You will rest your fingers on nine keys as you get ready to play. Following these instructions will help you to teach yourself to play the piano.
I bet you are asking why only nine home keys. The simple answer is that both of your thumbs will be resting on middle C. The importance of middle C is that it will become your reference point. As you learn to play piano and study the piano you will be referred to it over and over again.
Let’s find middle C
Looking at the center of the piano keyboard you will see a pattern of white and black keys. Find the two white keys that are not separated by a black key and notice the keyboard pattern.
Looking at the figure you will see middle C marked with a C. This is where you place both of your thumbs. The keys marked with two are where you place the index fingers of your left and right hand. The keys marked with three are where you place your middle fingers. The keys marked with four are where you place your ring fingers. The keys marked five are where you place your little fingers.
With your hands positioned on the Home Keys you can play songs. Thinks of a simple song and try to pick out the keys for the song. For example, try playing Mary Had a Little Lamb with the right thumb in the Home Key position. Using your memory pick out the right keys that plays the sounds for the song. (Hint: start with the middle finger of your right hand.)
Using the Home Key as your reference point, place your thumbs on the Home Key and your other fingers on the keys as in the figure above. Look to the right of the keyboard looking for the next pattern of keys. Place your thumbs on C and your other fingers on their respective keys. Look to the right for the next pattern or the next octave.
Using the Home Key as your reference point, look to the left of the keyboard and find the next pattern of keys. Then the next pattern to the left is the next octave.
This is the method you will use to find your place on the keyboard while playing.
The first thing you need to do when you sit down at the keyboard to play is to look long at the keyboard to find the home keys. After locating the Home Keys your can start playing any song from the Home Keys as your reference point. After learning more about the keys and songs you will be able to find the Home Keys and know where to place your other fingers as you move up and down the keyboard.
Now It’s Time To Learn The Key Names
The keys are named A through G. Finding middle C should be easy based on learning the Home Keys position above. Now starting with two white keys to the left of middle C you be at A with the next key to the right being B. Each white key to the right of Middle C goes up the alphabet one letter until you reach the G key.
As you continue to move to the right of the keyboard you will start over at key A and move through key G. So the middle finger of the left hand will rest on the A key when you are in the Home Keys position. When you move to the right, the little finger of the right hand will reach the key G.
Take a look at the figure to see how the keys repeat A through G with middle C as the Home Keys position.
By now you are asking why are there black keys and what are they for? You will learn they are just as important as the white keys but provide a different sound. What they represent are the sharps and flats sounds. Each black key can be either a sharp or flat note.
Here is a simple way to remember whether the black key is a sharp of flat. The black key is a sharp when you go up from a white key. The black key is flat when you go down from a white key.
Here is an example for C sharp and D flat which is amazingly the same black key. Let’s start at middle C. Now move up to the black key right of middle C. This black key represents C sharp. Let’s now move one white key to the right. This will be the index finger on the right hand. This note is D. Now move to the left black key. This is D flat. See, C sharp and D flat are the same black key on the piano keyboard.
You will learn that both the white keys and black keys are equally important when playing music on the piano or any other instrument. You will also learn latter that the black keys are predominant in the scale being played.
Next Step: Find Out More…
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