How to Play Piano

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Learning how to play piano is a vital skill that will enable you to expand your musical horizons. As more practice goes in, your piano skills will only improve!

One of the simplest ways to learn piano is through beginning courses. Once you have mastered the fundamentals, more advanced music may come your way.


One of the key aspects of piano playing is understanding how its keys work – this is especially essential if you intend on learning chords or progressions.

Your piano contains 88 keys grouped in two sets of black keys and two groups of white keys, with each group bearing a name from the musical alphabet.

Example: the white key located between two black keys on the keyboard is known as C; its adjacent white key, D, is named accordingly.

C sharp is a black key located immediately to the right of C and one half step higher than C; it is one whole step lower than D and one half step lower than E sharp.

Knowing how they work is also critical when playing piano; for instance, the black key directly above and to the left of Middle C is either C sharp or D flat.

Once you understand how to identify black keys, the next step should be learning the names of all white keys – this can be accomplished by sitting in front of a piano and trying out each key individually.

You may have difficulty finding your black keys, so using stickers or tape with each key containing its note name could help. This will enable you to remember what notes reside on each key during practice sessions and be particularly beneficial.

Start by learning the fundamental scales for each key on your piano, which will provide a solid basis for creating chords and progressions yourself on the keyboard and easier transposing music from one key to the next.


Scales form the cornerstone of many piano pieces and can be an invaluable aid when learning new pieces. Additionally, scales help pianists understand chords and improvisation more readily.

Tradition holds that most piano students begin by studying the C major scale, comprised of all white keys known as natural keys. But there are other scales worth learning too!

A second key scale is the natural minor scale. This arrangement consists of notes starting on different pitches with no sharps or flats (see the circle of fifths for more details). Furthermore, natural minor raises the 7th scale degree – definitely something worth knowing more about!

When practicing scales, using a metronome can be invaluable in maintaining even notes across each measure and avoiding playing certain notes too fast or too slowly.

If you find that certain notes seem to blend together when playing blues scale, this could be because your fingers are going too quickly! Practice slow before gradually increasing the tempo.

Once you have mastered the fundamentals of each scale, it is time to add in some fun exercises that will make playing them even more enjoyable and break up monotonous piano practice sessions. These will add excitement and variety while simultaneously increasing proficiency.

Formula patterns, scales in thirds, pentatonic and blues scales are among the many exercises designed to develop fluidity and control in pianist’s technique while helping them understand chord formation better. Furthermore, these exercises can serve as fun ways of practicing improvisation.


Fingerings are essential when learning the piano; they help ensure you execute every musical passage as efficiently as possible and use the appropriate fingers for every note in the song.

Many piano books contain fingerings on their pages to assist those who are unfamiliar with how to finger notes correctly, thereby familiarizing your fingers with correct fingerings that will be easier for you to remember when practicing.

As you begin playing piano, most piano books provide you with basic fingerings of all major and minor scales to enable quick practice of them and get familiar with how they are played. This will enable you to gain proficiency quickly.

Most piano books will include diagrams demonstrating fingerings for both hands. This information is especially important since many scales differ for each side.

This practice technique is key, as it allows you to efficiently practice various piano scales and arpeggios without becoming confused. Furthermore, this will also enable you to learn chords corresponding to each scale.

Once you have chosen fingerings, it is critical that they stay consistent. Make any necessary changes only if there is good cause, such as for an unexpected situation.

Beginners often make the mistake of misplacing their fingerings when first learning piano, often due to peer influence or music education courses they have taken. As such, they end up using fingerings which do not suit them personally and become ineffective over time.

Fingerings may be difficult, but it’s essential that you remember they do not prevent you from reading notes; rather, they indicate which fingers to use at a given time in order to maximize their use and efficiency.


Rhythm is one of the primary elements of music, helping keep pieces moving forward while also giving them a sense of movement and groove, creating dramatic effects as needed. Furthermore, rhythm creates musical structures and allows for different rhythms within pieces.

Rhythm can be defined as an organized pattern of sound and silence in time that signifies when to play notes, their length and intensity – using notational values like whole, half, quarter eighth or sixteenth notes as needed.

As a beginner pianist, it’s crucial to master musical rhythm and count beats per measure. Once you can do so, feel how your pulse responds in your hands and recognize strong and weak beats, you can quickly read sheet music.

Once you understand the basic concepts of musical rhythm, practicing scales with various time signatures is a good way to build muscle memory and help your fingers find the right notes automatically.

One way of building hand control is adjusting your fingers as you play. For instance, whenever encountering ascending or descending notes use articulation, rests or phrasing to change hand position so you are prepared for the next section of the song.

Change of fingers or finger substitution are effective strategies for creating legato, the term used to refer to when notes connect smoothly without altering the musical line. You could also practice finger sliding wherein one note transitions smoothly into another with one finger, creating the overall impression of legato.


Beginner pianists should practice exercises designed to develop their music skills and musicianship as well as how to play the piano. Such exercises could include practicing scales, reading music notation and learning chord progressions among others.

Starting off as a pianist can be intimidating. Engaging with peers is a great way for beginner pianists to build confidence and speed up the learning process.

Beginners may benefit greatly from sight-reading, which involves playing through music they have never encountered before and learning it by sight alone. Sight-reading can help develop their rhythm, accuracy and tone skills significantly.

Start off by sight-reading through an easy piece of music several times; this will allow you to focus on the melody rather than any mistakes that arise during performance.

As you practice the piece, it is wise to do it slowly and applaud yourself when hitting a perfect note. This will enable your brain to easily recognize the main melody of a song and memorize it over time.

When playing this scale, be sure to roll your wrist in and out as you move up (C D E F G) or down (G F E D C). Keep fingers curved rather than collapsing when playing up or down the notes.

As your ability increases, try practicing two-octave scales – they can help strengthen fingerings while warming up before working with scales.