How To Play Piano (for Beginners)

Mostly, it is not so important what type of keyboard instruments you will be learning on, but I prefer that you still decide your choice on the piano: synthesizers, although more compact, have a significant drawback - most of them have a reduced type, they are not full-bodied and will not feel "returns" and, plus everything, they are often limited to four sensual octaves.

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And yet, we warn you - for now, limit yourself to only this lesson of our Tutorial, do not forget that this is just a piano for beginners. Do not immediately try to embrace the immensity in a day - this will only bring harm.


It would even be better for you to repeat for several days only the material that you learn from here. And when you are ready, you will feel it yourself. Often, those people who can play the synthesizer quickly and fluently have trouble playing the same parts on the piano. But in the opposite direction, this rule will work accordingly: for those who played the piano, the synthesizer will seem much easier to perform. Adjust your piano bench and let's go!



Notes and keys

Blitz: quickly press the key with the note A!


I bet you didn't make it. The impression that since the piano keys are arranged in the order Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Si, then it is not worth the trouble to understand them is a profound delusion. About the black keys, I'm completely silent!



Look carefully and remember - these are the basics of the basics that you will need to know first. Play notes by naming them, over time you will be able to instantly determine the location of any note, in the future, when you start learning chords, you will thank me more than once for focusing your attention on such a seemingly lightness. If you are practicing on a piano, pick a proper piano lamp otherwise your eyes would be tired at the end of the practice session. Remember that piano light is a crucial part of every piano if you play by notes. We also have an article about Buying a Piano Lamp.


Do not be afraid, I have not forgotten about the black keys, but here you will need a little understanding of the theory, but you need to start somewhere, right?


At this stage, you already need to know the concept of interval. Intervals are the difference between two sounds of a particular pitch.



Accidentals - changes in the pitch of the sound

A semitone is the smallest unit in measuring intervals. On the piano, these are, for example, the keys Do and Do Sharp, in the absence of black keys, the adjacent sound will be a semitone, like Mi and Fa, for example. By the way, on stringed instruments, adjacent frets on one common string will be semitones.

No, # is not a tone dialing icon on the phone. Sharp (#) and flat (b) are the so-called accidentals, denoting the rise and fall of a certain note by a semitone. So, flats and sharps are not only notes on black keys:

  • Mi # = Fa
  • Fa b = Mi
  • C # = Do
  • Do b = C

As mentioned earlier, the rise and fall of the main notes is called alteration. There are five accidental signs: sharp, double-sharp, flat, double-flat and bekar. They are written like this:


The effect of alterations on the pitch of notes is as follows:


- Sharp - Raises the pitch of a note by a semitone.

- Flat - lowers by the same amount

- Double sharp - raises by a whole tone

- Double flat - lowers by the same amount

- Bekar - cancels the effect of the previous sign on the same ruler. The note becomes clear.


Accidentals can be of different range - "key" and "oncoming" or "random". The first are placed immediately by a whole group next to the key, to the right of it, each on its own ruler. Always in a certain order. 

Sharps in the key are written as follows:



The clef flats are written in the following order:

Flat on key



Key signs act on all notes in their line, which can occur throughout the work, and even regardless of the octave. For example, the key sharp “Fa” will raise all the notes of “Fa” without exception, in all octaves and throughout the entire length of the piece.

Oncoming signs are valid only on their line, only in their octave and only during ONE STROKE (as road signs are valid only up to the first intersection). For example, an oncoming backer can cancel the effect of even a key character, but only for the current measure and only on this ruler. Counter signs are placed to the left of the head of the note that needs to be altered. This can be seen in the following figure.

So, I hope you have a general idea of ​​accidental signs. It only remains to add that the tone is the next highest value after the semitone. Well, I think you already guessed about it! Tone \u003d 2 semitones. That is, a note one tone higher from Do will be Re, and a note one tone higher from Mi will be Fa #.

Remember the information given above - it is not very complicated, but will be needed everywhere. And we will use it immediately! I'll try to explain everything as clearly as possible.


If you think that it's too complicated and you need additional inspiration - check our article about Legendary Rock and Pop Music Piano Players.



Musical Scales: Playing the C Major Scale and Others

Harmony is a harmony of notes that is pleasing for our ears. Key is a set of certain notes subordinate to one main note.



The first thing you need to know, based on the knowledge gained, is the construction of major scales.


Scales are notes that are arranged in a certain order. The difference between major and minor is often explained to children as "happy" and "sad" scales, respectively, but this is not completely true - nothing prevents making sad songs in major and vice versa. These are their main signs:

  • Scales are built from 8 notes
  • First and Eighth, last, notes are the same in name, but different in height (pure octave)
  • Notes are played in strict order, the minimum distance between them is a semitone, and the maximum distance is a tone.


Remember carefully, with this simple formula you can play any major scale:


Tone - Tone - Semitone - Tone - Tone - Tone - Semitone


To make it easier:


2 Tone - Semitone - 3 Tone - Semitone


The C major scale is the easiest and most obvious to play - on all the white keys in a row from C to C (yes, there are too many Cs in this sentence, but c'est la vie!).


At the first stage, you will need to know 3 scales: C major, G major and F major.


Major scales are played with the following fingers: Thumb finger (1) → Index (2) → Middle (3) → (“tuck” thumb) → Thumb finger (1) → Index (2) → Middle (3) → Ring (4) → Little finger (5)


Then be sure to play the opposite direction in reverse order: Little finger (5) → Ring finger (4) → Middle (3) → Index (2) → Thumb finger (1) → (“throw” the middle (3) finger to the position in front of the thumb ( 1)) → Medium (3) → Index (2) → Large (1)


Musician's finger numbering


Important! It is highly desirable to play scales in 2 octaves, and it will look like this:


For the right hand (1) → (2) → (3) → (1) → (2) → (3) → (4) → (1) → (2) → (3) → (1) → (2) → (3) → (4) → (5) And then, respectively, in the opposite direction: (5) → (4) → (3) → (2) → (1) → (3) → (2) → ( 1) → (4) → (3) → (2) → (1) → (3) → (2) → (1)


For the left hand (5) →(4) → (3) → (2) → (1) → (3) → (2) → (1) → (4) → (3) →(2) → (1) → (3) → (2) → (1) Conversely, as I hope you have already understood and remembered, according to the same principle: (1) → (2) → (3) → (1) → (2) → ( 3) → (4) → (1) → (2) → (3) → (1) → (2) → (3) → (4) → (5)


Remember: there are exceptions to all rules!


In this case, everything will be so, but more on that later. The F major scale will be played differently. So that you don’t get completely confused, look at the pictures below - after them you definitely shouldn’t have any questions left!

Why piano has such a deep sound?  The Technical History Of The Piano.

C major (C major) - no accidentals


That's the exception to the rule! If you try to play this scale according to a given scheme, you yourself will understand how inconvenient it is. Especially for her, when playing with the right hand (only with the right, everything is played with the left as usual !!!) a different sequence of fingers is used:


For the right hand:


(1) → (2) → (3) → (4) → (1) → (2) → (3) → (1) → (2) → (3) → (4) → (1) → (2 ) → (3) → (4)


And then, respectively, in the opposite direction:


(4) → (3) → (2) → (1) → (4) → (3) → (2) → (1) → (3) → (2) → (1) → (4) → (3 ) → (2) → (1)


For the left hand: (5) →(4) → (3) → (2) → (1) → (3) → (2) → (1) → (4) → (3) →(2) → (1 ) → (3) → (2) → (1)


Vice versa, as you, I hope, have already understood and remembered, according to the same principle: (1) → (2) → (3) → (1) → (2) → (3) → (4) → (1) → ( 2) → (3) → (1) → (2) → (3) → (4) → (5)


First, hone and memorize well how these scales are played - the next lesson will be devoted to the basics of musical notation.



Do not try to play the scales very quickly right away - it is better to do it rhythmically, because the brain remembers information better if you learn to do anything at a slow speed. Subsequently, the speed will appear by itself, but first it is important to bring everything to automatism.


Playing scales, you will be able to direct your fingers just as freely, without hesitation, you will easily improvise with other musicians or compose your own melodies.


Good luck with this difficult first step in learning to play the piano for beginners! And don't forget to cover piano at the end, if you don't want to find it very dusty next time.


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