Got a piano sitting in the corner of your grandma’s living room, or a keyboard in the music room at school that you sit at and wish you could play? Maybe you’ve watched those talent shows or have heard a song on the radio that you think “gosh I wish I could play that!”
Here’s the good news! There’s no reason why you can’t.
It may be daunting looking at the keys. Lots and lots of keys! Don’t worry though, because all you need to work out is 8 of them to start with and then you’re all good for the rest. Ever noticed the patterns on a keyboard that the black keys and the white keys create? There’s 2 black keys closely placed together, and then there’s 3 black keys closely placed together. Use these as your references in working out where your notes are.
Lets begin finding our notes:
The musical alphabet goes from ‘A’ to ‘G’, so it’s easy to remember that one and there’s the white keys for you.
The most common scale used in music is ‘C’ so let’s use the ‘C’ note as your starting point. Anywhere along the keyboard is good as there’s lots of C’s! Using your new knowledge of the patterns I spoke about earlier, C is placed just before the first 2 black keys.
Now, since you know the alphabet, find D (hint: it has to be after C, duh!) and so on.
What fingers do i use?
We need to number the fingers so we know which ones we’re talking about. Let’s just use the right hand today and we can get to the left hand when you come in for a lesson.
The thumb is the 1st finger, index 2nd, middle 3rd, ring 4th and don’t forget that pinky is the 5th! Now you know which note is the ‘C’ note start with the thumb (1st), D is 2nd and E is 3rd. Then comes the tricky part as you then hook your thumb underneath the 3rd finger to play the F note with your 1st (thumb). Easy sailing now as it’s G with the 2nd, A is 3rd, B is 4th and finally the C is 5th. Come back down (C, B, A, G, F, E, D & C) using the same fingers as you went up with. The only trick on the way down when you get to the F is to come over the thumb and play the E with the 3rd.
Use the diagram below to help you visually identify the notes with the finger numbers and their placement within this pattern. Good luck! Once you get these down you’re ready for putting notes together to create melodies for your favourite songs and constructing some chords!
All the best with your first piano lesson getting to know the keys,