Learning How to Play the Piano: Greetings to you all from Bianca Te Tremelo. Here we go, our first little lesson on playing the piano. It won’t be hard. We are going to move through the basics slowly and methodically, and it is going to be just the greatest fun.
Lesson One -Learning to Play the Notes C,D, and E, and How to play an Octave
This first lesson is to teach you the notes on the piano. The first thing is to get familiar with the names of the notes and to learn where the notes are on the piano.
Today, we are going to learn about just three white notes. C, D, and E. We will see where these lie on the keyboard, and we will show you how these are notated on the stave, or how they look on a music sheet, in other words.
In this lesson, we are also going to learn how to play an OCTAVE, an eight note combination of the same letter name. More about this later down the track……….
You can see a picture of the piano on our header at the top, which will be helpful to you.
‘Middle C’ is the first note we will learn about. Middle C lies roughly in the center of your keyboard. It is a white note. This is easier to identify if you have a real, full length piano, and that is why middle C has gotten its name – because it lies at the center of the piano keyboard.
Here are two illustrations to show you how Middle C looks when it is written on the stave: The first diagram is of the Treble Clef, or G Clef- this Clef is usually used for the right hand of piano music, although, occasionally, the hands will cross over, and the right hand may use the left hand clef, or vice versa.
Here is Middle C written on the Treble Clef, or ‘G’ Clef:
And here is Middle C, written on the Bass Clef, or ‘F’ Clef:
So now – let’s find Middle C. It is a white note, remember, which lies directly to the left of the set of two black notes. Now, I want you to find middle C on your keyboard, on your own.
Play the Middle C note.
Now – Just look at the black notes on your piano- what do you see?
You see alternate groupings of two black notes. Then three black notes. Then two black notes. Then three black notes……and so on, up and down the piano.
Eazy Peazy – that means that the white note directly below, and just to the left of EVERY set of TWO black notes is a ‘C’. – Every time – a ‘C’
You can check on our diagram at the top of the page. Have a look to see where all the ‘C’ notes lie on the diagram.
So now – I want you to go to the very bottom of the keyboard, to the left end. Find the first grouping of two black notes. The lowest sounding ‘C’ will be on the left side of your piano; it will be the white note just to the left of that group of two black notes. Now -I want you to find every ‘C’ note on the piano. Play every ‘C’ note you can find. You will see that they lie eight notes apart, counting the ‘C’ you are starting on as ‘one’.
Once you have found them all, you can have fun playing two C;s together. Use the right hand to play a C above middle C, and use the left hand to play a C below middle C.
‘C’????? Already, you are actually playing the piano. Experiment. Play different C’s together. You might even be able to reach an OCTAVE with one hand: this is when you play the same note together, eight notes apart. An OCTAVE is ‘eight’ notes. See how they blend in with each other: because they are they same note, but on a different wave length.
Now, here is a diagragm of the notes C, D, and E notated on the stave. Again, the first diagragm is using the Treble clef, or G Clef, which is normally used for the right hand. The second diagragm is using the Bass Clef, or F Clef, which is normally used for the left hand.
Now, I want you to find all the ‘D’s. ‘D’ is a white note, and it lies BETWEEN those two black notes, every time. Same thing again- counting the first D you find as ‘ONE’, travel up eight notes to find the next D – and the next – always an octave, or eight notes apart, either way you go.
Play the OCTAVE on D. Use both hands to play different ‘D’s up and down the keyboard. You will know if you hit a note which is not a D, as it won’t blend nicely, which the octave always does on a well tuned instrument.
Next, we will look for and find all the ‘E’s on the keyboard, or piano. E lies directly to the RIGHT side of the group of two black notes. Do the same exercise as before. Find all the ‘E’s on the piano. Play the left hand on one E, play the right on another. Play them together. Find different ‘E’s. Play OCTAVES if you can.
Keep up your practice every day, playing octaves on C, D, and E.
Look at the stave of notes which follow, and name them. Play them on your piano or your keyboard. The more you get used to reading and understanding where these notes are on the keyboard, the quicker your sight reading will become.
(we will post the stave, with notes written on it, in this space here within the next week)