Piano Lessons For Beginners: Lesson Two
Welcome to your second piano lesson and more black key magic! Before moving on, make sure you understood everything in Lesson One and that you've played it enough to know what's what.
In this lesson we're going to stick with the three black keys and use them to play a whole song.
Numbers and Notes
On one level, playing the piano is easy. Music uses the numbers 1 to 5 and the letters A to G. So now let's take some numbers and put them with some musical notes.
You'll recall last time you played the first part of the song "Three Blind Mice" using fingers 2, 3, and 4. Here's what that looks like as a rhythm.
Pause means Rest
You'll notice that where I asked you to pause (in Lesson One) there's a squiggly line. That's called a rest (a one-beat rest or a quarter rest) and simply means don't play for that count. If you feel like it, take a minute to play through this piece again before continuing, one hand at a time.
[Hint: It’s the same as what you played in the “Your First Song” section of Lesson One.]
A New Challenge
So now you’re ready to play a complete song using only fingers 2, 3, and 4. All you have to do is follow the rhythm and use the fingers indicated above each note.
Try the exercise below, one hand at a time, and see if you can do it. Remember just to do ONE HAND AT A TIME at this stage. Place your three center fingers above the black notes on either side of middle C, just as you did in Lesson One, and follow the finger numbers. Play it a few times if you need to before moving on.
Get your Hands Set
How did you do? Hopefully you found it easy enough. So let's get down to business and attempt to play the song in full.
Below you'll see a picture of a keyboard showing middle C and two groups of black keys, one group on either side of middle C. Place your hands on your piano in the same way and play the keys to get used to what you're doing.
Share the Load
Good work! Now it's time to go for it.
In the picture below you'll see the rhythm for the whole song, "Merrily We Roll Along." It's been split between the two hands, so you can start with the right hand playing the first line, then move on and play the second line with your left hand.
Try each line on its own a few times until you get used to everything. Then, when you feel comfortable, have a go at playing the complete song all the way through from start to finish.
I hope you were able to play it easily enough. If you had any trouble at all, don’t worry! It takes time to get everything coordinated and working together, so be patient.
In the next lesson you're going to start reading music notation. That's a big step, so make sure you only move on when you're ready to do so.