« Back To i Play Piano Lessons Guide

Learn To Play Piano

There are many ways to learn how to play a piano – you can find a teacher, look for instructional DVDs or online lessons, or try to teach yourself by learning by ear. Any way you choose, your piano playing education will need to follow a set path, as you would with any musical instrument. Piano playing lessons include proper hand positioning, proper posture, music reading, learning the musical alphabet and how scales, tones and chords work, and how to sight read music. All of these are critical and essential parts of any music education, especially the piano. The piano is a rather precise instrument, given how it’s constructed, so it takes a long time to really become proficient at it. 

When you first start learning to play piano, the keys may look confusing. They’re simple to learn though, if hard to master. The white keys are normal notes, and the black keys are accidentals in between the normal notes. Unless a piece calls for it, you won’t use the black keys a lot. Before you really start to learn the methods of playing, you first need to become comfortable with the piano. Learn proper posture first – you can lean slightly into the piano – and learn proper hand positioning. The best hand position is the natural one when all your muscles are relaxed. Curl your thumbs slightly inward toward the palm to make them parallel to the rest of your fingers – this will allow you to play notes with the thumb should they be needed. 

Next, you’ll need to learn basic scales. Starting on a white key immediately before two black ones, play up the white keys with your right thumb, right index, right middle, and then repeat the next five notes in the same way, going back down in a mirror image. To transition your hand, or ‘walk’ as pianists call it, move your thumb underneath your middle finger. 
This is a simple way to play a scale with one hand. If you want to learn how to play the piano, it’s also best to start out without sheet music. Try learning themes to your favourite TV shows and so forth – if you know one note, you can generally go with trial and error to figure out the rest, as in the proper intervals. This is good practice for learning by ear.
To learn a song by ear, first try setting its first note at C. It may not be the actual note of the song, but the point for now is to learn the proper intervals. Go with trial and error, and when you learn the song, then you can look for the first note of the song and transpose the intervals accordingly. 

Later on, you’ll need to learn how to read sheet music. This is a little intimidating at first, but it quickly becomes second nature. Once you start learning sheet music, you’re well on your way to becoming more proficient in playing the piano. The next step is learning to coordinate reading music with playing.

Next Lesson: Play Jazz PIano