How To Play The Piano
This article was co-authored by Michael Noble, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Jennifer Mueller, JD. Michael Noble is a professional concert pianist who received his PhD in Piano Performance from the Yale School of Music. He is a previous contemporary music fellow of the Belgian American Educational Foundation and has performed at Carnegie Hall and at other venues across the United States, Europe, and Asia.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 13 testimonials and 82% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 2,124,625 times.
The piano is a classic, versatile instrument that anyone can learn how to play. You don’t have to be a particular age or gender to play the piano, nor do you need any musical background all you need is patience, determination, and motivation. If you have strong focus and self-discipline, you may be able to teach yourself how to play the piano. However, you’ll typically progress much faster if you have a teacher to help guide you and focus your learning.
Practicing With A Metronome
Practicing with a metronome is often the single difference between a successful and great sounding musician and one who is meddling, and plays poorly. You can use a metronome when you are first learning a song to help solidify the rhythm. The only thing to remember is consistency is the key. With Skoove, you can practice and consistently expand your skills as a pianist. With the new metronome feature, you can make sure that your rhythmic skills are advancing. Skoove has added a metronome feature to their iOS, Android and Mac app for users to practice with. The Skoove metronome allows users to adjust the tempo in their practice all inside the Skoove app.
Now you have the combination of hundreds of lessons on repertoire, theory and more with the added benefit of a metronome!
Playing With Proper Posture
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How To Read Music
Remember earlier when we were going over the alphabetical note names of the keys on your keyboard? How they go from AG, and repeat over and over?
Well, heres what that looks like on paper.
The first thing well look at are the staffs, and they look like this:
This is like the canvas of your song. Youll see the notes youre going to play somewhere on here, and well go over that next.
First, lets look at the top half of this picture.
This is the treble clef.
The treble clef will usually be notes you play with your right hand.
Now, looking at the bottom half of that first image, youll see this:
This is the bass clef.
The bass clef shows notes you will usually play with your left hand.
Notice that they all go in alphabetical order, alternating line, space, line, space, etc.
There are a few ways to help you memorize where these notes are, as when youre reading the sheet music of a song, you wont see the note name written there.
Name Your Inspiration: Why Do You Want To Learn Piano
Youre most likely here because youve been inspired already. Maybe it was a song or an artist, it could be that youre swept away by the vast musical possibilities of the instrument, or perhaps you simply love the sound.
Whatever it is, ask yourself, Why do I want to learn piano? and try to identify that inspiration, even if its a vague feeling in your gut.
Because without discouraging you learning piano will have its challenging moments. And when you run into frustrating and temporary hurdles, recalling these inspirations will help you zoom out and refocus on the bigger picture.
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Learn How To Quickly Find The Notes On The Keyboard
To quickly find the notes on the keyboard, you need to look at the keyboard and quickly make out these two groups:
The idea is actually quite simple. In Group 1 we have two black notes while in Group 2 we have three.
The note that shall always be under the first black note in Group 1 is Do , and under Group 2 it is Fa .
If you learn this simple information by heart, it will be easier for you to find the other notes. For example, if you want to find mi, you just need to count two white keys after do. If you want to find sol, then this shall be one white key after fa.
Another way of memorising the location of the notes is through songs. The following lesson is a good example of how this can be done in practice:
S To Learn How To Play Piano
Many people who want to learn to play the piano are put off by the idea of spending long, boring hours learning music notes. If you are serious about learning to play the piano, the first thing you will need to do is put those negative thoughts behind and start with an open mind. It does take time and yes, you have to learn the music notes, but it does not have to be boring, and it certainly does not have to take forever before you learn to play on your own. Follow these seven steps carefully, and youll be playing your first songs independently in a very short time.
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How To Play Piano
There are no affiliate links on this site whatsoever. Anything linking to Amazon is just to make it more convenient for you. Enjoy~
So, you want to learn how to play piano?
It is never too late to begin, and weve got you covered with everything you need to know about playing piano as a beginner right here!
In this guide, you will learn:
- Proper piano posture
- The keyboard and the musical alphabet
- Five finger scales / left and right hand
- How to read music
So, lets get started!
Who Is This Guide For
We wrote this guide for piano beginners. Ten chapters guide you all the way from zero knowledge to the point where you are sitting with your hands at the keyboard with all the understanding and resources you need. This guide cannot replace learning and practicing, but we can show you how to get the most out of your time. So even if you already have some playing experience, you can still find something valuable here.
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How To Learn To Play The Piano
This article was co-authored by Michael Noble, PhD. Michael Noble is a professional concert pianist who received his PhD in Piano Performance from the Yale School of Music. He is a previous contemporary music fellow of the Belgian American Educational Foundation and has performed at Carnegie Hall and at other venues across the United States, Europe, and Asia.There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 56,443 times.
Mastering the piano takes even talented musicians many years of study, but you can learn the basics of playing this instrument in a relatively short period of time. Once you have these under your belt, you’ll have to practice for these habits and techniques for them to become second nature. With a little time and effort, before you know it, you’ll be playing with proper posture, hand position, and you’ll be reading music, too.
Songs With Easy Piano Chords
The next step in learning how to play piano chords is to find songs with easy piano chords. Yes, these songs do exist. If you learn to play some easy, and maybe even popular, songs containing easy piano chords, youll feel like a more confident piano player.
One of the most popular songs with easy piano chords is Hey Jude by the Beatles. The first chord is an F major chord, consisting of F-A-C followed by a C major seventh chord and then a B major chord .
As discussed earlier in this article, the four chords most commonly seen in popular piano songs are C major, G major, A minor and F major. Many popular songs are based on this four-chord progression. If you learn this four-chord progression, youll be able to play countless popular and recognizable songs. Songs that incorporate these chords include Bob Marleys No Woman No Cry, Celine Dions My Heart Will Go On, and Forever Young by Alphaville.
Now that you have learned the basics of piano chords, its time to practice, practice, practice! Hal Leonard has published many sheet music books with easy chords, all of which are available at Amazon. Two of the most popular are the Christmas Songs with 3 Chords and Three Chord Songs Super Easy Songbook. If youre interested in a more comprehensive program, try Alfreds Teach Yourself Chords & Progressions at the Keyboard, which comes with a book and CD for easier instruction.
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What And How To Learn
Formal, in-person lessons arent the only option for learning how to play an instrument. There are many other options available across the internet.
You can find some free tutorials on YouTube. Remember that the qualities of these can vary. If youre willing to pay some more, there are many online lesson programs available.
Also, playing piano isnt just running your fingers through exercises. Learning music theory fundamentals can be very helpful. Consider researching these online to help you improve your playing.
I Want To Host A Caroling Party
We had a mom who took lessons just to be able to play Baby, Its Cold Outside for a Christmas party, says Lipson. She and the teacher sang it as a duet at the party, and it was amazing. For finding songs at an appropriate level for absolute beginners, Lipson recommends The Easy Christmas Songs Fake Book. The songs are all in the key of C, so once you sort that out, youre good to go.
Beginners should know they may need more time to get performance-ready than they think. People think it sounds simple, so they show up six months before, says Yedidia. But then they realize they lack all the beginner skills, like a basic reading ability or even simple finger coordination, and that simple song is at an intermediate level. He recommends starting lessons a year in advance of your event. This way, youre not stressed out there and making mistakes and suffering in the moment. You really want to enjoy the moment.
One Great Teacher:Kai Ono, independent and Natalia Huang Piano StudioOnos familiarity with arrangements and independent composers makes him an especially good choice to work with on a specific project, like performing at a friends wedding.
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How To Play Songs
The part you came here for, right?
Its finally time for you to play some songs!
Now, there are a few different ways to learn songs on piano. Ill give you a more casual way of learning songs later in the guide!
The first one is by learning to read music, which is the one Ill encourage every pianist to learn. You dont need to become Mozart if you dont want to get that deep into music theory, but it opens up the entire world of learning piano.
However, there are some people who just want to learn to play piano more casually, so Ill offer a few other options for those folks as well!
The Dream Vs The Reality
Most of us want to sit down at our pianos or keyboards and effortlessly whirl our way through our favorite tunes. Its easy, it sounds great, and its a great way to enjoy music in a creative way. Awesome!
Now heres the grim reality: Playing piano isnt like that for most people. Most people find it complicated and confusing. Many people find practice sessions boring and discouraging. And a lot of people who study this instrument arent happy with their results, even if they have a lot of time-consuming lessons and practice under their belts. Even easy songs to play on piano might take a lot of work to learn.
The dream versus the reality what a difference.
Personally, Im really bummed when I think about all the people who toil through lessons they hate for results they dont love. I was one of them for a long time. It sucks.
But I dont just relate to that frustrated feeling Ive moved past it. After giving up on learning to play piano for a while, I had the good fortune of meeting someone who introduced me to another method that worked better for me. Having information presented in a way that I could understand and easily apply made all the difference.
Knowledge is power. Knowing your needs plus your options is the best way to find the right approach for you. Lets look at what you need to learn to play piano. But before we continue with the rest of the article, heres a quick video I made showing you just how easy learning piano can be:
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Melody And Playing By Ear
Heres where things can get a bit more complicated. Learning melody and incorporating ear training take some extra work. But the payoff can be truly worthwhile.
Why do melody and playing by ear go hand in hand? Well, training yourself to hear changes in the music precisely is a good way to develop melodies without sheet music. When you can pick out melodies without needing to sight-read, you can spend a lot less time worrying about individual notes or mimicking the original song like a robot. Learning how to play piano by ear allows for more personality in your playing.
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What Is The Significance Of The Black Keys
A cool aspect of piano keyboards is something many beginners actually feel confused by: black keys. For some reason, a lot of people feel afraid of playing the black keys. But they are only placed and colored differently to make this easier for you!
Think about it, if your piano just had one long row of white keys, it would be super-confusing and hard to find your way around. Everything would look the same.
Something to note: The black keys also represent sharps and flats. I promise this is not hard to understand or learn once you have some basic music knowledge under your belt. Still with me?
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Apply The 80/20 Principle
The 80/20 principle has become popular in business and skill development. Its a simple principle when you take a look at it.
The idea is that 80% of your progress will come from 20% of the work you do. How does knowing this help though?
Dont put all your efforts into learning every piano skill you can. Only focus on the skills that once you master will make everything else you learn easier.
You can also use this principle to play the music you want to focus on. Chances are what you want to play only uses a subset of the types of playing out there. Focus on what you need to know to play the music you enjoy.
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Playing Chords In Different Inversions
While you dont really need to know about chord inversions in order to play sheet music, its good to learn as much as you can about chords to understand them thoroughly. There are many different possibilities in major chord inversions.
- A root position chord is the normal grouping of the chord for C major, for example, it would be C-E-G
- The first inversion of a chord is one in which the root is not its lowest note. For C major, for example, its first inversion would be E-G-C. Here, the root is shifted to the original third in the root position of the chord.
- The second inversion of a chord is one in which the root is the original fifth of the root position of the chord. For C major, for example, the second inversion is G-C-E.
Practicing playing the major chords in their different inversions can help you to feel more comfortable playing chords, understanding the notes and placing your fingers correctly on the piano.
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