# How to play the piano

But don’t let all those keys intimidate you! Making sense of the keyboard is actually quite simple, you just have to know what to look out for.

#### Identifying Octaves

The first thing we’ll do is break the piano down into more manageable chunks. If you look closely at the keyboard, you’ll see that there is actually a pattern to how the keys are laid out. They’re laid out in such a way that after 12 keys the notes repeat themselves. We call this sequence of 12 keys an Octave. A traditional 88 key piano can be split up into just 7 octaves. Learning to identify this octave pattern is crucial for finding your way around the keyboard.

#### Finding Middle C

Now that you know how to split your piano up into discrete octaves, finding specific notes is easy! Let’s start with the most important note on the piano, Middle C. How do we find it? Take a look at the black keys of the piano, and notice how there’s a pattern of black keys across the whole keyboard, alternating between groupings of three black keys and two black keys.

To find any ‘C’ note, simply take that grouping of two black keys and play the white key just below the lowest black key. You can see this pattern across the whole keyboard, so if you want to find a ‘C’ note anywhere, all you have to do is find that grouping of two black keys!

Middle C is the fourth ‘C’ note from the bottom of the piano. Take special note of it as it’ll be your home base for learning the entire instrument.

#### Naming the Notes

Knowing middle C is one thing, but what about all those other notes in the octave? These notes are all given letters as well. For now, just focus on the white keys. Walking up from middle C, the note order is D, E, F, G, A, B, and then the octave pattern repeats with C again.

#### Number The Fingers

In order to play the piano to the best of our ability, you need to be sure to play with the proper fingerings. The first step to proper fingerings is to number the fingers themselves. For both hands the fingerings go from #1 for thumbs to #5 for the pinky finger.

#### Playing Scales

Now that you know the numbers for your fingers and the names of the notes, you can apply your knowledge to play a C major scale. The C major scale consists of eight notes from C to the C in the octave above. This means that you’ll need to learn some special finger techniques to get your five fingers to play an eight note sequence fluidly.

The fingering pattern in the right hand is 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Notice how there’s a fingering reset between the 3rd and 4th notes of the scale. In order to play this order of fingerings fluidly, you’ll need to master a technique called the thumbtuck. A thumbtuck involves curling your thumb under your hand in order to play reposition your hand and continue playing a phrase. Although it may seem simple, the thumbtuck is one of the most important skills in a pianist’s bag of tricks, so make sure you’re always aware of it during your practice sessions!

When playing scales in the left hand, all the same rules apply, except our hands are mirrored. This means the fingering pattern is 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 3, 2, 1. Keep an eye out for that fingertuck between notes 5 and 6. It’s a similar motion to the right hand, but this time your middle finger will cross over to continue playing the scale.

Practicing scales is just one of the many ways you’ll build confidence and musicality as a piano player. When you’re practicing them make sure you’ve got your technique and fingerings consistently solid. Prioritizing good technique in your early days as a piano player will pay off HUGELY moving forward!

## Learn To Play Piano

6 free video lessons to teach you chords so you can play popular songs!

Learning the piano, with or without a piano teacher, is a process that can be accomplished in any number of ways.

FTC Disclosure: If you make a purchase via a link on this site, I may receive a small commission on the transaction – at no added cost to you. Learn more.

However, in order to get the most results as early as possible, not learning things in the wrong way, and not having to relearn any aspect (horror!)- for all of us that want fast results .

. here is a plan on what steps you can take when you want to start learning the piano from scratch.

## The Process

Any learning process could be viewed as spiral. You’ll learn a certain amount of things on a basic level that will be repeated again and again as you progress on to more advanced levels.

The below “20 steps” could be seen as a first swirl around that spiral…!

With that said, I am not trying to present a one-solution-to-all progress; because that would be impossible.

Even though core elements in the process are the same in many ways of teaching and learning the piano, something that works for one person simply does not mean that it would automatically work for another.

So, here is just one way of looking at a step by step plan for learning the piano. Spend as much time as you need on each step and make sure to master each before moving to the next.

## 20 Steps to Learning the Piano

1. Immerse yourself in music. Listen, sing, watch others play. Do this daily. Acquaint yourself with the piano and all its parts and sounds. Learn about the strings, soundboard, pedals, and lid… all there is. Toy around and test everything!

2. Begin without note reading. Learn easy, simple improvisation and playing by ear. Use the pedal. Explore. Don’t be afraid, test drive your instrument; it is hard to break!

3. Learn how your body works and how to use it when playing. Learn about proper posture, hand position, weight balance and how to relax.

5. Pick a simple piece of music, with only a few notes and learn it by ear.

6. Observe how a melody moves; up and down in steps, skips and repeats. Learn to read a simple piece of music with notes in the same way. Practice to really listen to everything you play. Do this daily.

7. Play five finger patterns all over the keyboard, and in many different keys. Use a lot of black keys! First without notes to learn the geography of the keyboard, and then with notes using “landmark notes” to find your way.

8. Learn to identify and play simple harmonic and melodic intervals from unison to a fifth. Learn the difference between a half step and a whole step. This will help you with note reading a lot!

9. Practice to play loud (forte) and soft (piano) and anything in between.

10. Learn to play staccato and legato.

11. Master playing pieces with simple melodies where the hands take turn to play. (Not simultaneously yet).

12. Continue with simple pieces that use both hands at the same time. Always practice hands separately first.

13. Learn about basic chords and how to play them in root position.

14. Learn to play a C major scale in one octave first in each hand separately, and then in contrary motion. Do the same with the A minor (natural) scale.

15. Play simple pieces with the C major scale and chords.

16. Continue to learn to identify and play all intervals unison to an octave, melodic and harmonic.

17. Continue to learn all major and minor scales with the same fingering in one octave by ear, hands separately. Learn about the changes in harmonic and melodic minor.

18. Practice playing chords with only white keys: Also learn to play chord inversions . Play pieces using chords, blocked and broken. Make sure to use the correct fingering.

19. Learn simple pedal technique: How to use and change the pedal smoothly.

20. Take time to learn basic music theory.

## You might like these

### Learn to Play Piano

Are you looking for ways on how you can learn to play piano? Here are lessons, tips, and articles to help you get started.

### How to Play the Piano

So you have decided to learn how to play the piano? But how do you actually play the piano? Do you need to learn to read music to play, or are there other ways?

Too old for adult piano lessons? Of course not! You can start learning the piano as an adult, teenager or as a child – any age is fine.

Do you want to play the piano on your prom day? We are here for you.

Learning piano is not too much difficult under proper guidelines. Firstly, you have to learn the easiest scales and basics. Then try a little harder. There are many scales, but not all of them are easy. Beginners will find many of them hard. And this will make beginners thinking that it is hard to play the piano.

Therefore here we have come up with the easiest way for you to learn the piano. And also the order in which you should practice the scales. Moreover, we will give you some tactics too to make it easy.

## What Piano Scales Should I learn First?

To be a great pianist, it is vital to fingering rightly. But it is very hard to learn again once you have learned in the wrong way. So you have to practice in the right way from the very first time. It will help you to make a correct and strong base.

Later learning processes and scales will become easier for you. And keep in mind that it took much time and sweat to unlearn bad habits and relearn the best style. Instead, it is easy to learn the right way for the first time. Your first step in knowing how to play the piano is learning the scales.

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### Your first scale should be the C Major

You do not know to play the piano. So we will not push you in playing hard scales. We will suggest you start with Major scales because most learners find it easy to play. And among Major scales, C Major is the easiest scale, to begin with, because no sharp or flat is included in this Major scale.

This scale contains only white keys. Start with the middle C key and end on the next one. Play it with your right hand.

This scale is an octave. It has eight notes. The order starts with C. Then D, E, F, G, A, B come serially, and C is at last again. Moreover, all these are white keys, and they are placed serially. So, it is easy to play it. Just tap every white key starting from the middle C and stop on the next.

### Playing the C Major with the right hand

Know how to number your fingers first. Your thumb, index, middle, ring, and pinky fingers are numbered 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th, respectively. Now learn fingering the keys. You have to it in the right way.

Know how to number your fingers first. Your thumb, index, middle, ring, and pinky fingers are numbered 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th, respectively. Now learn fingering the keys. You have to it in the right way.

Step 1: At first, put your thumb on the middle C key on the board. Click it.

Step 2: Then put your index and middle finger, respectively on the D and E notes. And tap them down.

Step 3: Now pass your first finger under your second and third fingers and place the thumb on the next F note.

Step 4: Now, it is easy to play the next notes. Tap the G, H, A note with your index, middle, and ring finger.

Step 5: End it by pressing the C key by your pinky.

Step 6: Now play it reversely. Do not take off your pinky.

Step 7: Now press the B, A, G, and F keys by your 4 th , 3 rd , 2 nd , and 1 st finger.

Step 8: Now cross your middle and index fingers over your thumb. And tap the E and F notes by 3 rd and 2 nd fingers respectively.

Step 9: Now press the middle C by your thumb.

Congratulations! You have completed playing the C Major octave. Now practice it more and more.

### Now use the left hand to play the Major C

It is generally a little bit hard for left-handed peoples to play the scale with the left hand. But keep practising. After practising 5 or 6 times, it will become easier. Look, the numbering of your fingers are the same here as before.

Step 1: Put your pinky finger on the bottom C note first.

Step 2: Now play the next notes by the finger comes in serial. Scilicet, play D, E, F, and G by your ring, middle, index, and thumb fingers of your left hand

Step 3: Now cross your third finger over your thumb. Now play the A note with your middle finger.

Step 4: Then play the last two-note, B and C with your index and thumb.

Step 5: Now play the notes reversely. Do not take off your 1 st finger from the middle C note.

Step 6: Now tap B and A note by your 2 nd and 3 rd finer in order.

Step 7: This time, pass your first finger under the index and middle finger and tap the G note by it.

Step 8: Now just tap the F, E, D, and C notes by your second, third, fourth, and fifth fingers gradually.

Well done! You are finished. Now practice and play it in different paces.

### Play using your both hand together

You have played the C Major scale by both the last and right hand individually. Now play it using both hands simultaneously. Do not worry about anything. Just give it a try.

At first, put your pinky of the left hand and thumb of the right hand, respectively on the bottom and middle C notes. And then start playing the scale. While playing this scale by both hands, play the notes using the right finger. And each time, tap the two notes of two hands simultaneously. For the first time, do it slowly. Keep practising it and speed up gradually.

### Learning piano fast

There is no shortcut to learn. Exercise the learned scales more days in a week. Increase your practising time. Practice the scales you have learned and try new ones. Practice in the right way from first.

Build up a strong basic. It helps you to understand music and master piano techniques. Watch YouTube videos of pro pianist’s.

## Keep Going On

Practice the Major C scale first. Remember the fingering and apply it correctly. Keep practising really hard to be great. Besides, try to learn other notes. After you are done with the Major C, learn other scales.

If you want to go through the traditional method, learn G, D, A, E, B, F Majors then. Next, learn the F, C, A, D, G Sharp Major. Later you can move to Minors.

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First of all, you will learn how to sit at the piano (proper piano posture).

Where you put the piano bench and how you position yourself on the bench is a very important part of piano playing. By having the proper posture and position you will be able to reach the entire keyboard and be comfortable while practicing or playing.

Sit tall but not stiff. Your feet should be flat on the floor and your back straight. Your right foot may be slightly forward especially for using your piano pedals. Position yourself forward on the piano bench toward the piano but make sure you’re comfortable. You shouldn’t have too much thigh on the bench. Position yourself at the center of the piano.

Piano Posture – How to Sit at the Piano

Lean slightly forward. Let your arms hang loosely from your shoulders. Bench must face the keyboard squarely. The bench should be positioned so that your hands are resting over the keys. Elbows should be bent and slightly higher than the keys. Adjust the bench so that your forearms are parallel with the floor. Knees should be slightly under the piano keyboard.

Your fingers should be curved. Pretend you have a bubble in your hand. Be sure to keep your fingernails reasonably short as well.

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## Free Piano Lessons for Beginners – Piano Fingering

Piano Fingering – Guide to Piano Finger Placement

Learn Where Your Fingers Go on the Piano Keyboard

The graphic below illustrates the piano fingering number system. As can be seen, the thumb is the first finger of each hand.

It is very important to learn finger numbers because as part of your beginner piano lessons, you have to learn the proper fingering for scales, chords, arpeggios and musical passages. By using the correct fingers for the correct keys, playing the piano will be easier. You will be able to execute new techniques, master awkward positions, and exercise speed and flexibility. It is important to get this right from the start. There are too many piano players struggling with their playing because they use the wrong fingers for particular keys.

Right hand piano fingerings for Beethoven’s Ode To Joy.

Fingered piano music marks each note with a number that corresponds to one of the five fingers. The numbers 1-5 are written above or below the notes. These numbers tell you which finger to press for which key. Here’s an example below.

Piano fingering for both hands are as follows:

• Thumb: 1
• Index finger: 2
• Middle finger: 3
• Ring finger: 4
• Pinky finger: 5

Click here to learn about my top recommendation for learning to play piano. In our next beginner piano lesson, we will learn about the piano keyboard.

Watch this series of lesson:

## Virtual Piano enables you to play the piano on your computer keyboard, mobile, and tablet.

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Those who wish to experience the full range of the platform’s powerful features have the option of becoming a member. You don’t need to download or install anything. However, Virtual Piano offers a Web App for all mobile & tablet devices as an option. The best part is that you don’t even need to know how to read music notation. VirtualPiano.net’s music sheets use the plain English alphabet and simple semantics, so you can enjoy the experience of playing the piano in less than a minute.

Oh, and the music sheets are free too! Thousands of them. So, go find and play a song that moves you. Learn it, teach it and share it. Make a positive impact on the world around you. Amplify your imagination, creativity and a new love for music. Begin today.

Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. The subject today is about how to play smoothly on the piano. The answer: Avoid the impossible! What am I talking about? Playing smoothly on the piano is something you hear great artists do. The way they play is just so pristinely smooth. You wish you could achieve that same smoothness in your playing. But your playing sometimes can sound choppy. You don’t know how to achieve that smooth sound that you hear other people doing. You want it so badly, and you wonder, what can you do about it?

One of the most important aspects of learning to play smoothly on the piano is to practice incessantly without the pedal.

When you practice without the pedal you learn how to connect things with your fingers. That’s the secret, in a nutshell, of how to play smoothly. But there’s a bit more to it than that. Oftentimes there are things that are just not possible to play smoothly. So, what can you do about that? Do you just smear it all with the pedal? No. It will sound awful if you do that. You will hear the beginning of the second movement of Beethoven’s Pastoral Sonata as an example in the accompanying video. It’s really hard to connect those opening chords in the right hand. So how do you do it?

The secret is that you shouldn’t try to connect everything.

If you just try to connect everything, you can end up with a mess. There’s no way to bring out any lines. It comes out blocked and choppy. So sacrifice the things that are not as important to connect, for the things that are vitally important to connect, which is the melody! So, in your right hand, you sacrifice the lower notes so that you can connect the melody which is the top line. You can grab a certain amount of those chords on the pedal so it doesn’t sound quite so austere. You purposely let go of the bottom notes so you can connect the top notes. That’s what I mean when I say avoid the impossible. If you try to connect all the notes, you can’t do it. It’s impossible, so don’t even try. If you connect the melody really well, it sounds gorgeous.

## Introduction: How to Play the Piano With Both Hands

By Official LessonsOnTheWeb Online Piano Lesson Videos Follow

Learning how to play the piano with both hands together can seem like a bit of a puzzle to figure out!

Can you pat your tummy while you rub your head at the same time? Or do the reverse?

Maybe not the first time, but after a few tries, you can!

This is just what it is like when we start playing with both hands together on our piano keyboards. Each hand is doing its own thing but at the same time.

Playing with both hands together is one of the biggest challenges any new piano player faces. Once this technique is mastered, however, a whole new door of music and learning opens up and your piano playing will move into an exciting new level.

Let’s look at some important things to do when you’re first starting to play with both of your hands together on the piano.

## Step 1: Take One Hand at a Time

When we look at a piece of piano music, we see that the top and bottom lines have different notes in them.

• The top notes are the Treble Clef notes and these are played with our right hands.
• The bottom notes are the Bass Clef notes and these are played with our left hands.

Ultimately, we end up playing both the top and bottom lines of music at the same time.

In order to do this, though, we need to break down the music and learn one hand at a time.

Start with the top line which is the Treble Clef line and is played with your right hand.

• Make sure you know how many beats you are counting in each measure and what your key signature is.
• Read through your notes verbally at least once before you start playing them on the piano.
• Play through the Treble notes on your keyboard next and do this several times until you feel you know the music.

Next, do the same steps with the bottom line which is the Bass Clef and is played with your left hand.

TIP:Don’t try to play either line faster than you can correctly. This will have an effect on your ability to play both lines of music together. Remember, you can always speed up your tempo later on, after you’ve mastered this technique in a slower tempo.

Are you ready to try both hands together? Let’s see what you need to do first in the next step.

## Step 2: Take One Measure at a Time

Next, we’re going to break the music down a different way from how we did it to learn each line of music separately.

Take just the first measure. In this example, we have 4 quarter notes in the Treble Clef along with a whole note in the Bass Clef.

If you want to review each hand separately before trying them together that’s fine; do that as much as you need to.

Now, put your finger down on the Bass Clef C note at the same time you put your Middle C finger down in the Treble Clef and hold the Bass note while you play each note in the treble clef throughout the measure, for 4 counts.

• Notice that you don’t have to lift or move your left-hand note even though you do, in your right-hand notes.

Play this measure with both hands together as many times as you need to to get secure with the notes and rhythm.

See how much easier it is when you break it all down into smaller sections?

Now that you’ve gotten the first measure learned, move on to the second measure and do the same process.

Slow down your tempo if you’re having any difficulties.

When you’ve worked through the first 2 measures separately, try playing them together and keep doing that until you can play them as a group of measures comfortably.

Keep doing this throughout the entire piece until you are able to play all of the notes in both hands together.

TIP: Be aware of where rhythmic and note patterns change from measure to measure as this will help you play them all together smoothly and easily.

Now it’s time to put all of this together so you can be sure that you’re doing everything correctly! Come Practice With Me in the Final Step!

## Step 3: Come Practice With Me!

This quick video tutorial takes you through the steps we’ve gone over here using the same sample that is in the images and it will reinforce your learning as you play along with me and see just how easy it can be to play your piano with both hands together.

Once you’ve mastered this skill in easier music, you’ll be able to move on to playing both hands together faster and smoother with more difficult music, in no time.

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