Learn How to Play Keyboard and Piano –
An Introduction to the Keyboard
Learning how to play keyboard or piano can be a real challenge. When I first got my keyboard, I couldn't wait to begin playing my favorite songs. But, like many others, I was impatient with the early learning stages. It seemed to take FOREVER to learn proper finger placement, left-hand/right-hand playing together, and learning how to play with background music.
I will tell you this, I practiced playing keyboard almost everyday, even when I did not feel like it. There were days that went well, and days that I made many mistakes. The secret to succeeding is this: push through the days when nothing seems to go well. Eventually, it gets easier. I watched training videos online that shared playing tips and techniques, and read tips online that helped make learning how to play the keyboard much easier.
There are many reasons why individuals want to learn how to play keyboard or the piano. My main reason was that I have always loved music, and as a child, the only instrument I had was a harmonica. In my teen years I learned how to play the accordion. But I always admired and desired to play the electronic keyboard. After I got married and had two children, I FINALLY achieved my dream of having and playing a keyboard. What about you? Do you dream of learning how to play keyboard?
Below you will find an introduction to the piano keyboard,
and a bit of basic music theory:
While a piano keyboard boasts 88 keys, it only has 12 unique tones,
counting both white and black keys in one full scale:
The 12 tones in this group are known as an octave, which repeats 7 times on the keyboard.
Basic math will show that there are a few extra keys left over:
You will be able to tell the notes by following the distinct pattern of black and white keys. The sequence goes: 2 black keys, followed by 3 black keys, then 2 again, and so on. The white key that sits on the immediate left of the 2 black keys is called C. Being aware of where C resides will help you find the other notes.
The black keys can often be a little confusing to beginners, but the fact is they are really no different than the white. The black keys are shorter than the white so that all 12 tones are within reach of the average player. They have been colored to help draw the eye to the simple patterns. The low tones on the keyboard are produced by the keys located on the left side, with the high tones on the right. The C key falls roughly in the center, hence the name Middle C.
As mentioned earlier, the 12 tones repeat over and over. What that means is that each tone in an octave is the same as the tone in the corresponding octaves, no matter whether it is higher or lower. In short, a C will always be a C, regardless of whether it is high or low. If you look at the diagram above, you will see that each black key has a pair of names. The black key on the right of C is known as C# (C SHARP). Another example is Db (D FLAT).
These tones are referred to as being enharmonically equivalent, which is just another way of saying that they sound the same. That makes sense since they share the same key, but they are still considered two different tones. The correct name really depends on how it is used.
Not every piano has 88 keys. Many digital pianos come with 76 keys, while many electronic keyboards only have 61. Most pieces of music can be played on all keyboards, regardless of the number of keys. Back in the day of classical composers like Mozart and Bach, pianos had fewer keys than they do now.
What the pedals are for on a piano: Pianos have one or two foot pedals that are an integral part of the piano playing process. The more important of the two is the damper or sustain pedal. If a piano only has one pedal, you can be sure it will be the damper.
The damper is used on acoustic pianos to hold the strings in place by resting on the. When a key is depressed, the damper comes off the string, allowing it to vibrate and create sound. When the key is released, the damper rests on the on the string again, muffling the sound.
Pressing down the damper pedal removed the dampers from every single string. What that means is that the strings will continue to vibrate, even after the key has been released. This allows the piano player to sustain the sound made by the strings, which often means a much smoother sound. Being able to use the damper pedal is an essential part of learning to play.
Learn to Speak Musicians' Terminology
Here are a few terms commonly used by musicians:
Interval – This is the distance between two keys on a piano. Music is often spoken about in terms of intervals.
Half-step and whole-step – If you are being asked to go up a half-step, it means that you should move one key to the right. For example, a half-step up from C is the black C# key. To take a half-step down, go to the next key on the left, which would be from C to B.
A whole-step is made up of 2 halves, which means that you basically skip a key in either direction; for example moving from C to D, skipping the C# in between.
Chord – This is what you get when you play several tones at the same time. This doesn’t mean that you can hit any key combination, as there are rules that need to be followed to properly form chords.
Chords are used to create harmony in melodies. The additional tones used in chords can add a fuller sound to a melody. Every piece of music you hear, including classical, is based on chords.
Scale – Notes are often grouped into specific patterns that are referred to as scales. These are often used to create improvisations and melodies. Of all the different scales that are used, the major scale is considered to be the most important.
The C major scale runs from low to high in this fashion: C D E F G A B, using the white keys only. This is generally the first scale that beginners learn since it is easy to see and remember.
Key – You may have heard people refer to music being played in a certain key, such as C. That simply means that the melody and chords are created using the C major scale, o whichever key is specified.
All that the key of a piece does is determine which notes will be used in the playing. You will often hear people talk about how a key can be used to create a certain mood, but this is a purely subjective opinion.
It is not uncommon for composers to change keys in the middle of a musical piece. That method is known as “modulation,” whereas the entire piece played in a different key is referred to as “transposition.”
A Quick Explanation on How to Play Keyboard / Piano
While we cannot explain all you need to know about playing a keyboard or piano on this page, we do have much more information, resources, and tips throughout the rest of our blog. Basically, playing piano can be summarized as the melody being played by the right hand and the harmony (chords) by the left.
Since melody uses tones that are higher than the harmony, it tends to be a little more noticeable. Melody is the most important part in any piece, so having it stand out more is a good thing. The lowest, or bass, tones are next on the importance level, with everything else in between open to flexibility.
It’s not every piano player that plays melodies, though. Some pianists are simply asked to accompany other singers or instrumentalists, at which time they will play the harmony, using both hands.
Classical pianists will often play from memory or by using sheet music that allows them to “sight-read.” Modern music such as jazz or pop is often improvised and played “by ear.” That basically means that the pianist simply creates a melody or harmony as they play.
There is no single style of piano playing, with each different one having a very specific set of rules and techniques. That means you don’t have to be tied down to classical when learning to play, with many teachers now choosing to focus on modern music and its techniques.
"Life is like a piano; white keys = happy moments, black keys = sad moments.
But both keys must be played together to give the sweetest music."
"Love is like playing piano, first you must learn to play by the rules.
Then you forget the rules and play from your heart."
Many people find pianists as sophisticated individuals and if you want to become one of them, this is your chance. It doesn't matter if you're young or old, rich or poor. There are no rules that say only the rich and young can learn to play the keyboard or piano. No matter what your reason is for learning how to play keyboard, don't hesitate to begin learning today. A good place to start would be by taking advantage of our special offer below.
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