7 steps on how to learn to play piano

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If you want to learn how to learn to play the piano you are in the right place. This site is quite literally, as the name suggests, all about piano lessons.

Below we have quickly outlined the 7 steps you need to take to learn how to play the piano:

7 steps to learning how to play the piano

If you are a complete beginner, just follow these steps

Learn the piano keyboard

The first step is to familiarize yourself with your instrument. This is the case whether you are learning to play a saxophone, a trumpet or the keyboard. To play well you need to be familiar with the parts of your instrument that you interact with to produce the sound.

The keyboard of a piano repeats its notes from right to left, and runs from low to high. Each group of notes forms a complete octave.

You need to learn where each octave starts and ends to be able to take the first step to learning how to play the piano. After all if you do not know where the keys are, how can you produce the notes and chords?

Don’t feel overwhelmed by the fact there are 88 keys, on the keyboard. You in fact only need to be able to identify where each group of 12 keys that make up an octave are located.

That means you only have to learn 7 key positions to know where each sound, or set of musical notes, is located on the keyboard. Actually it is 9 positions. For some reason there are 4 extra keys that are split into two groups.

Regardless, you get the picture to learn the piano keyboard you do not need to learn all 88 keys. Your initial learning task can be distilled into learning the 9 key groupings (octaves).

Play simple notes on the piano

Play the piano for simple notesThe second step in learning to play the piano is to learn some simple, but commonly played notes. Start with the following exercise:

Locate the ‘C’ key, and press it gently. Now press it harder and gradually get faster. Doing this gets you used to the sound the C makes and helps you to start to understand the fact that how hard you hit the key affects the sound. You also get used to the fact that the playing speed impacts on how the sound of each press of the note blends with the next.

Repeat this process with the other notes. Mix things up for each note by using the black keys in the octave.

We know this sounds boring, but getting used to the keys and the way they sound will help you with the next stage.

Listen to the piano scales

The next step is to learn the scales. We are not going to explain how to do this here, because we would be here all day, if we did. Your piano teacher, or online classes will show you exactly how to learn the scales on the piano.

However, what we would say is don’t be tempted to skip this stage. If you do not learn the scales you will really struggle later when it is time to learn the chords.

Again, learning the chords sounds complex, but once someone shows you how to do it you should be able to learn the basics within a few hours. It is a boring, but essential step in learning to play the piano.

Move on to learning some simple harmonies

In order to play harmony music, you have to use the fingers on both the left and right hand. The method of playing more than one key at the same time is referred to as the harmony. Practicing some simple harmonies will really help with hand co-ordination.

Learn the basics of reading sheet music

For most people learning how to read sheet music notation is quite a struggle. But, by getting a proper guide from an expert piano teacher, you can easily study the basics within a week.

Try not to be daunted by the task. Sure you are dealing with symbols that you are not familiar with, but it is basically just a new alphabet.

Learning the individual notes is not that hard, but you need to be realistic about learning to read music. This is going to take time. It is important not to get frustrated, this part takes as long as it takes. Remember that getting frustrated will only slow down the learning process.

If you are not keen on learning to read sheet music you can push learning this skill down the list. Just try learning to play by ear, instead. Again, this is not a skill that you will learn in five minutes, but it is a way of playing that you may find easier than learning to sight read music.

You do not have to be able to read sheet music to learn the piano.

Learn basics of Sheet musicPractice using your hands independently

Most piano music requires you to play one rhythm with your left hand, and another with your right hand.Getting the two to work together can be tricky for a beginner. In everyday life we rarely do two different complex things at once with our hands.

Therefore, a lot of students find that breaking the piece into small sections and learning what the left hand has to do first makes things easier. They then practice what the right hand has to do, then play that section of the piece with both hands. However, be warned this technique can confuse some people, and actually end up making the learning process a lot harder in the long term. So, use this technique with caution.

The best approach is to follow the advice of your piano tutor or the instructor in your video or online course. It is the best way to master playing different keys with each hand.

Practice more

“Practice makes a man perfect”

As with so many things in life. Practice is what you need to perfect your new found skills.

Fortunately, playing the piano is a joy, so you will enjoy most of the time you spend practicing. Just tough it out and power on if you find something difficult to master. It will just click and in no time you will be playing the piano like a master.

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