Intro to Piano and Keyboard

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Are you considering learning piano and you’re not sure where to start?

Here’s a primer to get you started!

You can watch the whole video, or scroll down for some questions and answers!

Acoustic pianos are great! But they aren’t for everyone.

I you’re considering buying a digital piano, look for a keyboard, or digital piano with 88 full-size keys with weighted action. This will set you up for success and enable you to advance through the intermediate level and possibly beyond, if you’ve invested well!

The keyboard is a repeating pattern of 2 black keys, followed by 3 black keys. Around these 5 keys there are 7 white keys.

The pattern helps us to identify each pitch uniquely.

The notes that sound ‘high’ are found to the right-hand side of your piano keyboard. Listen to those notes, can you relate the sound to something like a bird high in the sky?

The notes that sound ‘low’ are found to the left-hand side of your piano keyboard. Listen to these notes, can you relate them to the sound of something low like a whale under the ocean?

The white keys are named for the musical alphabet which is the first 7 letters of the alphabet ABCDEFG. They cycle over and over, 7 in a row,

Between the 2 black keys, you’ll find the white key D – think of a Dog in his house (the 2 black keys are the walls of the house. The notes to the left and right of D are the neighboring letters of the alphabet. C-D-E

Inside the group of 3 black keys you’ll find the Grandma and the Aunt. G and A. The notes on the outsides of the 3-black-key group are the letters before G and after A in the alphabet. F-G-A-B. You can think of F as the Front Door, Grandma is proper and likes to come in the house through the front door, Auntie is a little less formal so she comes in the house through the Back door.

Say and play all of the D’s on your keyboard,

Say and play all of the C’s, all of the E’s, all of the G’s all of the A’s all of the F’s and all of the B’s

If you only have one pedal, it’s likely a ‘damper pedal’ – the pedal which allows the notes to keep ringing after you lift the key.

The pedal to the left is the ‘una corda’ pedal and it softens to tone of the music.

The pedal in the middle is the ‘sostenuto’ pedal and it acts like a damper pedal for only the notes that are being played when you press the pedal. It’s most commonly found on a grand piano.

Sit far enough away that your knees are just under the white keys, not fully under the black keys. Make sure that your bench is not too low or too high – your elbows should be slightly above the white keys.

Your fingers should be in a relaxed curved position.

The thumbs of each hand are finger number 1

The next finger (pointer) is finger 2

Middle finger is number 3

Ring finger is number 4

Pinkie is finger 5.

Yes. They are flats and sharps and are named according to the notes that are nearby. G flat is the black key below G, G sharp is the black key above G.

Yes! Let’s learn Mary Had a Little Lamb!

You’re ready for Unit 1 here at Piano Video Lessons, where we’ll learn to play piano while reading music!

Let’s do it! – Lesson 1

Ready for a complete beginner piano course?

My Year 1 Complete Beginner Piano Course is 96 video lessons and the accompanying printed materials. All of the videos can be watched here on the website for free, or you can also watch them on youtube! The e-books are available for purchase so you can print the lesson materials and practice as you learn!