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Photo: stacksocial.com

Many people who want to learn to play the piano are put off by the idea of spending long, boring hours learning music notes. If you are serious about learning to play the piano, the first thing you will need to do is put those negative thoughts behind and start with an open mind. It does take time and yes, you have to learn the music notes, but it does not have to be boring, and it certainly does not have to take forever before you learn to play on your own. Follow these seven steps carefully, and you’ll be playing your first songs independently in a very short time, according to Instructables.

Step 1: Getting Familiar With Your Notes

Music notes may seem strange now. They are the ABC of music, and with constant practice you will learn to sight read them just like you are sight reading this information now. Here goes:

Let’s start you off with the popular show tune from “The Sound of Music” - Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do. You know it –right? Sing it out loud. Music notes are marked by the letters A B C D E F G. The show tune will be used to help you get the pitch of the notes as well as to learn the keys.

Look at music notes on the grand staff below. That note in the center of the staff is Middle C. Position yourself in the middle of your piano, and let’s find Middle C and learn the piano keys.

Step 2: Understanding Piano Octaves

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Photo: musikalessons.com

Once you know your keys, you can move on to piano octaves. An octave is just a set of 8 white keys, so this is a simple next step toward being competent on your piano. If you familiarize yourself with octaves, you can then begin to play bass notes – a simple yet powerful way to add depth to your sound. The next level up? Switching octaves as an improvisation tool, Pianoin21days suggested.

Step 3: 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.

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Photo: piano-keyboard-guide.com

Step 4: Everything about the beat

First take a closer look at the notation system. The five horizontal lines are called the “staff”. The symbol on the top staff is called the “treble clef”. This clef shows you what the right hand should play on the piano. The treble clef is indicated by the violin-like symbol on the left of the number 4/4.

The symbol on the lower staff is called the “bass clef” and show you what the left hand should play on the piano. The symbol for this clef looks like an inverted C with 2 dots on the side.

In the first bar, you will find the clef and the time signature. The time signature is always indicated at the beginning of the treble clef and bass clef alike. The graphic shows a 4/4 bar for both clefs (4 over 4). The upper number indicates the number of beats per bar, i.e. each bar is four beats long. The lower number gives you the “rhythmic name” (note value) of each of these beats in a bar. In a 4/4 bar, four quarter notes correspond to one bar. In other words, a bar is four quarter notes long, Music2me noted.

Step 5: 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.

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.

Step 6: Picking It Up a Bit

Now let’s jazz things up a bit and try playing another easy song – Jingle Bells. Study the diagram showing the keys and the music sheet. The 4/4 to the left of the clef means that each measure/bar requires four beats - 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. Go on to the next step to learn the count for each note on the music sheet.

Step 7: Practive everyday

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Photo: merriammusic.com
As a beginner piano player, you want to practice regularly and improve, right? The only way to get better at piano is to practice every day. In fact: It’s important to practice about 30 minutes a day with a structured routine. While advanced players will need longer practice times and have many elements to their routines, beginners can focus on three things according to Voicesinc.

Scales and chords, song preparation, and playing music. I’ve outlined an easy-peasy routine you’re sure to love, plus some great tools to keep you motivated. We’ll talk about setting goals, keeping track of progress, and staying engaged. Ready to get started? Read on!

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