Techniques in Learning Piano

There are several techniques in piano playing and understanding them is the key in practicing correct methods. The proper piano lessons can be found on books, classes and the internet. However, these lessons will not be placed in great use without applying them during practice or training. Beginners will be able to speed up the progress of their learning through knowing and using techniques used by expert pianists.

These techniques contain basic information about the piano lessons as well as the methods that can make learning easy and understandable. Check out what these techniques are and how they can significantly help you improve your piano playing skills.

piano keyboard

Learn about the Keyboard

White and Black Keys. Playing the keys of the piano is not like dealing with the strings in a guitar. One of the best ways to play them is to learn about the white and black keys. The equipment only has two colors namely black and white. It normally has 88 white and black keys and the latter is raised above the former. Every key represents a particular musical note. These notes are named alphabetically, which is from letter A to G.

The black keys come in two and three groups. The white key on the left of the two black keys is called the note C while the left of the three black keys is called the note F. This means that from C players should name the next white keys D, E, F, G and once they reach G, they can start counting from letter A, which is the key following G. The A-B-C-D-E-F-G note names are all on the white keys and this pattern is repeated again and again in octave groupings. The black keys such as one to the right of the white key is called the “Sharp” while the one to the left of a white key is called “Flat.”

All Keyboards. Refer to the image above to learn about reading the black keys. Read the keyboard notes according to the following examples below:

The first black in the group, which starts from the white keys C to G, is called C sharp and D flat.
The second is D sharp and E flat
The third is F sharp and G flat
The fourth is G sharp and A flat
The fifth is A sharp and B flat

Bear in mind that in order to locate the note of a black key, look for the white key before it and use a sharp sign and the white key after it and use a flat sign. The middle C note can be found in octave 4.

Play Some Notes

Before playing some notes, aspiring pianists should remind themselves to identify the piano notes on the keyboard. It is similarly important to remember that there are 12 keys and they are repeated many times in octaves. There are five black keys and seven white keys that makes these 12 keys. These seven white keys are alphabetically named A, B, C, D, E, F, and G.

playing some notes

Start playing with Middle C by gently and firmly pushing down a key. Push slower, faster, softer and harder until you gain control over the force you exert and the sound the piano makes. Play the ten notes under your fingers including the black keys.

Simple notes are very ideal for beginners. Check out the sample songs such as “Mary Had a Little Lamb”and “London Bridge”.

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Ma-ry had a lit-tle lamb
Ma|E| – ry|D| had|C| a|D| lit|E|- tle|E| lamb|E|

Lit-tle lamb, lit-tle lamb
Lit|D|-tle|D| lamb|D|, lit|E|-tle|E| lamb|E|

Ma-ry had a lit-tle lamb
Ma|E| – ry|D| had|C| a|D| lit|E|- tle|E| lamb|E|

Its fleece was white as snow
Its |E| fleece |D| was |D| white |E| as |D| snow |C|

London Bridge

London Bridge is falling down
Lon|G| don|A| Bridge|G| is|F| fal|E| ling||F down|G|

Falling down, falling down
Fal|D| ling|E| down|F| , fal|E| ling|F| down|G|

London Bridge is falling down
Lon|G| don|A| Bridge|G| is|F| fal|E| ling|F| down|G|

My fair lady!
My|D| fair |G| lady!|EC|

These are among the easiest notes to practice on. Beginners just need to be familiar with the notes and practice. They will be able to play fluently and progress to the next level.

Play Scales

Learning the piano scales is the foundation of a beginner’s understanding of music and keyboard skills. Many students take pleasure in playing scales, and they do this by keeping their fingers and mind on the keys. There are 12 major scales and 36 minor scales that aspiring pianists can explore and play.

Major Scales. One of the techniques is to master the major scales in one octave scales and then extend every scale to two octaves. After the first octave, it is best to stop and then continue with a second octave. The seven flat-key major scales plus the C major are C major, F major, B-flat major, E-flat major, A-flat major, D-Flat major, G-flat major, and C-flat major. The seven sharp ley Major Scales are G major, D major, A major, E major, B major, F-sharp major, and C-sharp major.

Here are some of the 12 major scales:

C Major Scale
G Major Scale
D Major Scale
A Major Scale
E Major Scale
B Major Scale
F# Major Scale
C# Major Scale
Ab Major Scale
Db Major Scale
F Major Scale
Gb Major Scale

Minor Scales. There are many things to learn about the minor scales that are essential in piano playing. The minor scales can be played in the natural minor scale, the melodic minor scale, and the harmonic minor scale. The following are the minor scales.

The A Minor Scales The B-flat Minor Scales The B Minor Scales The C Minor Scales
The C-sharp Minor Scales The D Minor Scales The E-flat Minor Scales The D-sharp Minor Scales The E Minor Scales The F Minor Scales The F-sharp Minor Scales The G Minor Scales The G-sharp Minor Scales

Aspiring pianists can try playing a variety of scales. They should use black keys in adjusting their notes. They can learn scales from books or a teacher but it is important to experiment as this can help speed up the progress of learning.

man playing piano

Learn about Harmony

Unlocking the piano’s potential can require learning to play several notes at once with the use of all fingers and hands. Beginners need to understand the way that harmony works before they can achieve a great sound with multiple notes. Albeit they can not find harmony in playing adjacent notes, advanced compositions can make it possible.

According to expert pianists, increasing the space between notes can create harmony. This space is called an interval and the most common intervals are the fourths, thirds, and fifths. Beginners can obtain a sample of this by playing C and G. These intervals can go up al the way to fourteenth interval, which is known a a compound interval due to the fact that it crosses two or more octaves. It is called “unison” harmony if the same note is played at two different octaves.

Study Sheet Music

Studying the music sheet is one of the most important things that beginners need to learn in playing piano. Albeit the sheet music notation can seem difficult to read, starting with the basics can significantly help speed up a person’s learning progress. Reading sheet music can open doors to a world of compositions that beginners can learn and practice.

Music Notes. These are represented by heads otherwise known as empty oval marks or filled-in. It is important to remember that various note styles represent different lengths. A whole note refers to a hollow head that doesn’t have a stem. Notes are positioned in a chronological order from left to right and high to low. If notes are positioned in the same vertical line then it should be played together.

Notes are usually divided into bars to add regularity and structure. Every bar is also played in a similar length of time.

Practice Moving your Hands Independently

There are various compositions that require players to work on two different rhythms with their hands. The left hand plays low, backing notes and the other on a higher melody. This technique can be challenging but constant practice will allow beginners to play a melody on the right hand and whole note harmonies on the left. It is also important to practice proper posture and hand positioning and this includes sitting at a right distance from the bench. Speaking of piano benches, it can be of great advantage to choose an adjustable piano bench.

It is imperative that beginners take time in practicing some hand movements. They can start by playing drills with octave lower or higher than normal. They can play something simple such as a an arpeggio or scale from a higher position than usual and then continue through a second octave. If they start with their left hand, they need to let it cross over their right lightly. They may then hold the position before continuing with the second octave.

Learn to Use the Pedals

Modern pianos normally have two or three pedals and each of them has important functions. The soft pedal situated on the left can soften the note’s volume and tone color. It is used widely in Beethoven’s compositions. The sustaining pedal is one that on the right and it works by allowing notes to resonate, ring and blend easily. The third is the central pedal, which can be found on a grand piano.

Play by Ear

This is one of the most powerful techniques in piano playing. The phrase “playing by ear” comes from musicians who are able to play piano without memorizing music. They play in accordance with what they hear or remember. This method allows musicians to predict chords, rhythm and melody that takes places in the next few seconds of the song they are playing.

This technique is practicing mainly because it is considered as a very natural way for musicians to express themselves through music. The logic is that children are taught to talk first than read, and in this technique beginners are made to play first before reading.

listening to piano recordings

One of the techniques in playing by ear is to knowing the scales. The 8 notes in the scale starts and ends in the same note. Beginners can memorize the whole/half step formula in every scale:

Whole Step
Whole Step
Half Step
Whole Step
Whole Step
Whole Step
Half Step
The last step will differ

The next step is to select a song that fits to one’s skill levels. If the song is challenging, beginners can simplify it just as long as it won’t end up sounding bad. They can check whether or not the song will sound good through Youtube or the internet. They can listen to the song and learn playing it using its first note. They can learn playing the first few bars and practice on a regular basis. They can go through different sections of the song and identify the sections that are easier to learn.

Aspiring musicians don’t only need a decent piano but also knowledge and training. Having a high-quality music training can significantly help beginners develop their skills and acquire advanced knowledge in piano playing.