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The Basics Of Learning To Play Piano
Is it difficult to play the piano?
Learning to play the piano is easier than you think. Really, the hardest part is the initial step is to go and sit behind your piano and be motivated to learn the basics. I have played the piano for many years, since my school days and if it wasn't for my parents buying me my first keyboard when I was ten (-I think it was ten, I do however stand corrected!)...I'm not sure if I ever would have learnt how to play. It sparked a fascination in me for music which led me to select music (-theory and practical) as one of my subjects at school.
This is where I then started to do my grades in music.
I've had people ask me to show them how to play but really without an instrument first and foremost, it's pretty pointless. I've sat down with a few friends and shared the basics with them...like showing them the keyboard, the location of the notes and encourage them to carefully listen to each note being played. Then it's onto showing them the 12 major chords: but I generally show them C, G and D for starters so as to familiarise them with the piano and on how to position their fingers and hands.
I believe that many people think that somehow their fingers will automatically know what to do without any effort on their part. And after running through these basics, I encourage them to go away and practice, taking the time to learn the chords and get their fingers used to playing...It's not guitar players alone who's fingers need to toughen up! I encourage them, once you have gotten used to those basics, come back and I will show you more...
It seems like a few weeks goes past, then I ask them, “I thought you were going to come back for more piano lessons...have you practised what I showed you?” The answer seems to always be the same, “No, it's too difficult, my fingers don't want to move into position properly and they ache after a while!”
Many of these people want to be the masters of incredible music right from the word 'Go', not realising that you have to get these basics in place. Once you learn the basic chords - A, B, C, D, E, F, G - moving forward from there is much easier, and you can start sounding like a real musician! It's getting yourself past the first step that seems to be the biggest challenge for many who desire to play the piano.
I encourage you, as I go through this series of articles on learning the basics of the piano, to keep at it. Don't stop just because you don't sound amazing in 10 minutes. Take the time to properly work at the basics, learning the basic chords for the piano. Practice them daily and get your fingers used to the movements and positioning. However if you cannot even learn a few basic piano chords, there is no point in learning your first song!
The starting point to you becoming a musician is to be willing to take the time to learn your first few initial chords. Practice and repeat, work at it and get your hands used to properly holding the chords so that you can clearly hear each note being played. I hope that this article starts you off with some motivation to learn the piano, next we will discuss your hand positioning and posture in playing your keyboard.
Happy learning :)
Articles to help you learn how to play piano
- Part 2: Piano: Hand Positioning
When you play the piano or keyboard it is very important to position your hands, fingers, wrist, arm and the whole rest of your body correctly. Following these simple suggestions on positioning...
- Part 3: Understanding Your Keyboard
In the previous article, we discussed some important principles that you, the new pianist, needs to keep in mind as you step out to learn the piano. In this article we will build upon those principles and...
- Part 4: Basic Piano Chords
The above piano shows which notes are being played for each key There are a huge amount of chords that are possible, but most of them are more complex, and many pianist may never even use these complex...
- Part 5: Basic Piano Chords Continue
The piano above shows which notes are being played for each key What we have seen so far This is the 5th article in a series on how to play piano. In the first article we went through some important things...
- Part 6: Piano: Minor Chords
In the previous two articles (Part 4 and Part 5) we discussed the major chords from A to G. Now you are ready to be introduced to the minor scales from A to G. As you start learning to play these, you...
- Part 7: Piano: Major Seventh Chords
Out of the major, minor and seventh chords, on the piano, the sevenths are probably a little harder to play, as it involves your fingers needing to stretch some, but easy to grasp as it will always be the...
- Part 8: Piano: Dominant Chords
As you go along and learn to play piano, you will take note that the keys/chords are getting a little more complicated in their own right. But then that is how many things in life work. On the piano,...