Learn 5 Finger Scales In Every Key
I make a point to teach my students to play 5-finger scales in every key as soon as possible. As we move from key to key, we always name the notes in both directions while playing the scale. Students become very proficient at finding the correct starting key, then also naming the other keys within the scale.
When students are practicing this over and over, the key names will naturally click and identifying them will become second nature.
What Are Note Values
In sheet music, the notes we see on the staff give us important information. They tell us what notes to play on the keyboard. They also tell us something else: how long to sustain those notes, and what rhythm to play. There are four basic types of notes to learn first: eighth note, quarter note, half note, and whole note.
Every note has a specific value. The value refers to the number of beats that note is held within a measure of music. Whole notes are four beats, half notes get two beats, quarter notes get one beat, and eighth notes get half a beat.
Its not just notes that get counted in music though. Moments of silence get counted too. Luckily we have rests to tell us how long to stay silent, and rests have corresponding value to music notes: a whole rest gets four beats, a half rest gets two beats, a quarter rest gets one beat, and an eighth rest gets half a beat.
What Are Time Signatures
Sheet music is divided into measures, which are broken up by bar lines. Each measure contains a specific number of beats. The time signature tells you how many beats are contained in every measure. Every time signature has two numbers, stacked one on top of another. The top note signifies the number of beats contained in each measure. The bottom number signifies what kind of note is considered one beat, or in other words, what kind of note is given full value.
There are all kinds of different time signatures, but the most common are 4/4 , 3/4, 6/8, and 2/2.
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Tricks For Mastering White Piano Key Names
For Parents· Piano Basics· Practice Tips· Teach Piano
As I observe my piano student of all ages learning to play the piano, Ive noticed that its very common to have trouble remembering the names of the white piano keys. Both children and adults can have difficulty remembering which piano key is which.
Its not that its hard to name the white piano keys. Even the youngest students can keep track of A-B-C-D-E-F-G. But rather, when youre immersed in learning something at the piano, all of the keys start to look the same and its easy to mix them up.
The most common problems I run across are:
-Mixing up C and F. These 2 keys are the same shape because they are both located to the left of a set of black keys. Its very common for students to place their hand on an F when theyre really aiming for a C. Most beginning piano music is anchored around C, its easy to visually confuse C with F.
-Mixing up G and A. This happens almost daily in my piano studio and it makes sense. These are the 2 keys found in the middle of the group of 3 black keys. Its easy to flip-flop them. They are also the same shape, so once again, they do look really similar.
Here are my top 5 tricks for helping piano students keep the piano keys straight:
What Are Minor Piano Chords
Minor chords, like major chords, contain three basic keyboard notes, a root note, third, and fifth. To play a minor chord, select any root note, then count three half-steps up to the third. From the third, count two whole-steps to find the fifth.
Minor chords are also very common in rock and pop music. Comfortably Numb is an example of a rock song that begins with a minor chord. Most rock and pop songs use a mixture of major and minor piano chords.
The third interval in a minor chord is called a minor third. The fifth interval in a minor chord is the same as in a major chord, the interval of a perfect fifth.
Common minor piano chords include:
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What Are The Finger Numbers For Piano Players
When learning how to read sheet music, its important to remember that each of your fingers have numbers 1 5. Thumb is number 1, the pointer finger is number 2, middle finger is number 3, ring finger is number 4, and pinky is number 5. All piano players from beginner to advanced use finger numbers for reading sheet music.
Pro Tip: Now, as you read through new songs, write in the note names. Then, sing the note name or finger numbers while playing, which will help you memorize the names of numbers of the notes on a piano. Once youve practiced this, erase the letter names and test yourself to see if you still remember the playing pattern and tune of the song.
Digital Piano Weighted Keys
As Bach himself complained about the touch of his keyboards, most pianists today look for a touch that suits them. Acoustic pianos historically have the lightest and most favorable touch, responsive to the players style. Digital pianos, introduced in the 1980s, offered an electronic solution for traveling performers, for piano budgets, small spaces, and convenience. They didnt match the acoustic piano in sound or touch, so improvements kept being made to make digital pianos as close to an acoustic as possible. One of the ways this was done was with weighted keys to provide the right resistance to touch, and are more sensitive to speed, pressure and lightness for a range of soft and loud dynamics.
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Use The Computer Keyboard To Play The Virtual Piano Keyboard
Press keys on the computer keyboard or click on the keys of the piano keyboardto play this virtual online piano simulator.Each key on the piano keyboard from C3 to C5 can be played by pressing an associated key on the computer keyboard.For example, C3 is played by pressing Tab while C#3 is played by pressing 1 and D3 is played by pressing Q and so on.Note that B4 is played by pressing the backslash key, while the Enter key plays C5.
Black Piano Keys And Their Notes
So we now know the notes of the white keys. How about the black ones? Just like the white keys, the black keys are named after the first seven letters of the alphabet except for one thing. These black keys can be either sharp of flat. For example, the key to the left of D can be called D flat. But since it is to the right of C it can also be called C sharp. In simple terms, sharp means to go higher while flat means to go lower. Flat indicates moving to the left of your piano while, sharp indicates moving to the right. Sharps and flats are called accidentals.
The black keys in order are C sharp , D sharp , F sharp , G sharp or and A sharp . It’s really 5 black keys being repeated over and over again. When you think of it this way, it’s really simple.
What we have discussed so far is really a simplified approach to piano notes. As a beginner, this is all you really need as far as knowing your piano keyboard is concerned.
White keys also have enharmonic equivalents. The key that corresponds to the note C on your piano keyboard can also be called B sharp. E can be called F flat. B can be called C flat. And so on. As we said earlier, sharp simply means to go higher and flat means to go lower. All we’re doing is going higher or lower by a half step.
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Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Twinkle Twinkle is probably the first song anyone ever learns on the piano, especially younger students. Adults can benefit from learning this song at the beginning of their playing too. Get prepared to play by placing your right-hand thumb onto the middle C note. All of the notes you need for the song will now be sitting under your fingers apart from the highest note in the piece. This note is only one note above your pinky finger though so it wont take much stretching.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star
C C G G A A G
How I wonder what you are
F F E E D D C
Up above the world so high
G G F F E E D
Like a diamond in the sky
G G F F E E D
Twinkle, twinkle, little star
C C G G A A G
How I wonder what you are
F F E E D D C
In Order To Properly Perform This Strategy And Learn How To Read Sheet Music For Piano Follow These Three Simple Steps:
With music, there are many different strategies that can help you move quickly to a better understanding. Everyone approaches music differently. Some beginners intuitively grasp complex concepts, others need a little help along the way. Some may even find this strategy more confusing than the standard approach.
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Piano Keys Chart: The Keyboard
A full piano keyboard consists of 88 keys spanning seven octaves plus a minor third. While every pitch will sound different, the notes repeat in a series ranging from A-G. The distance between a note and the next time that note repeats on the keyboard is called an So, for example, C-C is an octave. On the piano keys chart above, weve pulled out a section of the keyboard and labeled all the keys with their letter names. Notice that there are five black keys, broken into a set of two and a set of three. On the full keyboard this pattern repeats seven times, hence the seven octaves. Once you know the note names for the 12 keys shown above youve learned the entire keyboard!
The Mental Flip Strategy: Reading Piano Notes For Beginners
You must flip the orientation of the sheet music in front of you mentally, so you can read the vertical orientation of the notes.
In order to begin to think about and practice this mental flip, there is an extremely helpful strategy you can use. You can actually turn the sheet music so you are reading the notes down the page. Doing so allows you to more easily understand the spacing between the notes and more intuitively grasp where your fingers should be placed on the keys. This technique is also helpful for visualizing the grand staff as a whole and where the octaves on the keyboard are located.
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How To Use The Virtual Piano Keyboard
Use your computer mouse or keyboard to play the virtual piano keyboard . You can view the corresponding computer keyboard letters by activating the “Real Keys” feature. For the entire keyboard spectrum, click it twice.
If you got the hang of it and are interested in playing your favorite songs using the virtual piano keyboard, use the OnlinePianist piano lessons or mobile app .
Real Keys Indicate the corresponding computer keys for the middle octaves & piano keys of a real piano.
Max KeysIndicate the corresponding computer keys for the entire spectrum of a piano keyboard. Simulates a piano’s sustain pedal. Use the sustaining feature to let the sounds freely continue until they naturally cease.Letter NotesUse the letter notes feature to display ABC or DoReMi letter notes on the piano keyboard keys. MetronomeThe Metronome feature enables you to play at a regular tempo. Use it to improve your timing. You can adjust the Metronome based on BPM or time signature. Zoom in / outSwitch between five octaves & 60 keyboard keys and a full piano keyboard display of 7 1/4 octaves & 88 keysFull Screen
How To Clean Piano Keys
Unless your piano is an antique with ivory keys, a little vinegar, water and a soft cloth are all you need to buff up dirty keys. Try not to use a colored cloth. Be careful not to drip water between the keys keep the moisture just damp on the cloth. And follow with a dry cloth to buff.
If you dont know what your keys are, plastic or ivory, the best method is to check the color and surface of the keys. Ivory keys usually have visible lines shaped like semi circles, which are the natural grains of the ivory. Plastic keys are uniformly white.
With ivory keys, know that they tend to yellow with age and that a typical cleaning will not restore them to white. Ivories should be cleaned with a soft cloth and a very mild solution of dishwashing detergent. It may be possible to whiten them placing them in the sun for a few hours. Before you go this route, be sure to speak with a piano technician who has experience with ivories. The main thing to remember is that piano keys should be cleaned regularly for health reasons. Little fingers are magnets for dirt and germs!
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Label Your Piano For The Starting Hand Position
Not interested in labeling all 88 keys on your piano? Thats okay. More isnt always better. You can begin with just a few notes and build out from there.
For starting hand position, you will rest your right thumb on middle C and your pinky on G. Your left thumb can also rest on middle C with your pinky on F in the bass clef.
Start labeling just the white keys until you know these notes by heart. Then, as you get comfortable, add in more notes.
The Logic Of The Starter Method
Starter methods like letters or numbers exist because kids have a very difficult time mastering reading music. Reading music is not a good starting platform for kids, having too many planes and dimensions. Their brains arent ready for such complexity. Thats why its better to start with a regime they already have some skill with, like letters or numbers.
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Play Any Chords With The Computer Keyboard
The keys from the row A,S,D and the row Z,X,C are programmed to play white key chords for rich melodies.Moreover, with advanced options you can assign any user-defined chord or single note to any key of the computer keyboard.Tick the CHORD checkbox to indicate a chord on the piano keyboard and then check it off to create a custom-made chord button.This button will play your chord but it can also be configured to be associated with a computer keyboard key.
Mother Of Pearl Antique Steinway Grand Piano Keyboard
The white keys were once darker with the sharps white, a custom said to have started in France to better show off the players hands. Many and varied materials were used to cover keys including bone, mother-of-pearl, porcelain, tortoise-shell, silver, boxwood, cedar, ebony, pear and other rare and polished woods.
At times the fronts of the naturals were beautifully carved.
In the latter 1700s Viennese keys were most often ivory. Silbermanns keys were very thick ivory. In efforts to make cheap lines of pianos, ivory was replaced with cellulose in 1862, simulating ivory, and has been used on the cheapest pianos since then.
Starting in 1959, acrylic plastic began to be used on keys, and in the sixties an embargo was put on ivory. Different countries making pianos had different standards but by the 1970s ivory in the US was off limits for key coverings.
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How To Read Piano Tabs
- 1. Read letters from top to the bottom of the page.
- 2. Middle C on the keyboard template can be red or blue & references where to start.
- 3. Rhythm count is located on the left column along with each measure number.
- 4. Notes played are colored blue and red which corresponds to left and right hand.
- 5. Fingering numbers are next to the note letters.
- 6. When two or more notes are played together it’s indicated by a dotted line.
- 7. A blue or red bold vertical line under a note letter represents a sustained count.