How to Play Piano- the Basics

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Introduction: How to Play Piano- the Basics

I will teach you the basics for learning piano. I will teach you which notes are which keys, I will teach you chords, I will give you a chart to learn to read music.

Step 1: Vocab

I will explain some things you might not understand, so I decided to write out a "dictionary" for the words.

Sharp: A black note on a piano. These keys are just like normal natural white keys, but raised a half step.

Flat: A black note on a piano. These keys are just like normal natural white keys, but lowered a half step.

Half Step: A note that isn't a full jump from one note to another. Most half steps are from a white key to a black key, unless you are to jump from B to C, or E to F.

Measure: A section in a staff in music. This includes notes that follow the rules of the specific time signature.

Time Signature: A "rule" in music that you follow to stay in tempo and not play offbeat.

Step 2: So... Which Keys Are Which Notes?

Here, I have a picture of a chunk of a piano. The only technique I have is to memorize the notes.

Nothing to say because everything is explained in the picture.

Step 3: Chord 1 - C Major

C major is one of the easiest chords you will learn.

Below I have used another chunk of piano. The colored keys are the keys you play. I added numbers. Here is the un-coder =

1 = Thumb
2 = Pointer
3 = Middle
4 = Ring
5 = Pinky

Yellow Keys = left hand
Blue Keys - Right hand

Step 4: Chord 2 - C Sharp Major

Dots are on the black keys
Full colors represent white keys

Below I have used another chunk of piano. The colored keys are the keys you play. I added numbers for fingering. Here is the un-coder:

1 = Thumb
2 = Pointer
3 = Middle
4 = Ring
5 = Pinky

Yellow Keys = left hand
Blue Keys - Right hand

Step 5: Chord 3 - D Major

Below I have used another chunk of piano. The colored keys are the keys you play. I added numbers. Here is the un-coder =

1 = Thumb
2 = Pointer
3 = Middle
4 = Ring
5 = Pinky

Yellow Keys = left hand
Blue Keys - Right hand

Step 6: Chord 4 - D Sharp Major

Below I have used another chunk of piano. The colored keys are the keys you play. I added numbers. Here is the un-coder =

1 = Thumb
2 = Pointer
3 = Middle
4 = Ring
5 = Pinky

Yellow Keys = left hand
Blue Keys - Right hand

Step 7: Chord 5 - E Major

Below I have used another chunk of piano. The colored keys are the keys you play. I added numbers. Here is the un-coder =

1 = Thumb
2 = Pointer
3 = Middle
4 = Ring
5 = Pinky

Yellow Keys = left hand
Blue Keys - Right hand

Step 8: Chord 6 - F Major

Below I have used another chunk of piano. The colored keys are the keys you play. I added numbers. Here is the un-coder =

1 = Thumb
2 = Pointer
3 = Middle
4 = Ring
5 = Pinky

Yellow Keys = left hand
Blue Keys - Right hand

Step 9: Chord 7 - F Sharp Major

Below I have used another chunk of piano. The colored keys are the keys you play. I added numbers. Here is the un-coder =

1 = Thumb
2 = Pointer
3 = Middle
4 = Ring
5 = Pinky

Yellow Keys = left hand
Blue Keys - Right hand

Step 10: Chord 8 - G Major

Below I have used another chunk of piano. The colored keys are the keys you play. I added numbers. Here is the un-coder =

1 = Thumb
2 = Pointer
3 = Middle
4 = Ring
5 = Pinky

Yellow Keys = left hand
Blue Keys - Right hand

Step 11: Chord 9 - G Sharp Major

Below I have used another chunk of piano. The colored keys are the keys you play. I added numbers. Here is the un-coder =

1 = Thumb
2 = Pointer
3 = Middle
4 = Ring
5 = Pinky

Yellow Keys = left hand
Blue Keys - Right hand

Step 12: Chord 10 - a Major

Below I have used another chunk of piano. The colored keys are the keys you play. I added numbers. Here is the un-coder =

1 = Thumb
2 = Pointer
3 = Middle
4 = Ring
5 = Pinky

Yellow Keys = left hand
Blue Keys - Right hand

Step 13: Chord 11 - a Sharp Major

Below I have used another chunk of piano. The colored keys are the keys you play. I added numbers. Here is the un-coder =

1 = Thumb
2 = Pointer
3 = Middle
4 = Ring
5 = Pinky

Yellow Keys = left hand
Blue Keys - Right hand

Step 14: Chord 12 - B Major

Below I have used another chunk of piano. The colored keys are the keys you play. I added numbers. Here is the un-coder =

1 = Thumb
2 = Pointer
3 = Middle
4 = Ring
5 = Pinky

Yellow Keys = left hand
Blue Keys - Right hand

Step 15: Scales!

Since you now know how to decode fingering and find keys on the piano, here I have enclosed this step with from simple to complicated scales.

C major - C D E F G A B C B A G F E D C
Left Hand Fingering  5 4 3 2 1 3 2 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5
Right Hand Fingering  1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 3 2 1

G major - G A B C D E F# G F# E D C B A G
Left Hand Fingering  5 4 3 2 1 3 2 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5
Right Hand Fingering  1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 3 2 1

D major - D E F# G A B C# D C# B A G F# E D
Left Hand Fingering  5 4 3 2 1 3 2 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5
Right Hand Fingering  1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 3 2 1

A major - A B C# D E F# G# A G# F# E D C# B A
Left Hand Fingering  5 4 3 2 1 3 2 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5
Right Hand Fingering  1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 3 2 1

E major - E F# G# A B C# D# E D# C# B A G# F# E
Left Hand Fingering  5 4 3 2 1 3 2 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5
Right Hand Fingering  1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 3 2 1

B major - B C# D# E F# G# A# B A# G# F# E D# C# B
Left Hand Fingering  4 3 2 1 4 3 2 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Right Hand Fingering  1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 3 2 1

C blues scale - C D# F F# G A# C A# G F# F D# C
Left Hand Fingering  5 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 5
Right Hand Fingering  1 3 1 3 1 3 4 3 1 3 1 3 1

F blues scale  F G# A# B C D# F D# C B A# G# F
Left Hand Fingering  5 4 3 2 1 3 1 3 1 2 3 4 5
Right Hand Fingering  1 2 3 1 2 3 5 3 2 1 3 2 1

G blues scale  G A# C C#D F G F D C# C A# G
Left Hand Fingering  5 4 3 2 1 3 1 3 1 2 3 4 5
Right Hand Fingering  1 3 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 3 1

C Chromatic Scale  C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C B A# A G# G F# F E D# D C# C
Left Hand Fingering - 1 3 1 3 1 2 3 1 3 1 3 1 2 1 3 1 3 1 3 2 1 3 1 3 1
Right Hand Fingering  1 3 1 3 1 2 3 1 3 1 3 1 2 1 3 1 3 1 3 2 1 3 1 3 1

A Harmonic Minor scale  A B C D E F G# A G# F E D C B A
Left Hand Fingering  5 4 3 2 1 3 2 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5
Right Hand Fingering  1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1 3 2 1

Step 16: Reading Right Hand in Music Pt.1 (Spaces)

The right hand is always on the top lines. The right hand line always has it's own symbol, this is called the "Treble Clef".
(Shown Below

Reading music is very very very (very) hard. I will start you off with remembering the spaces.

The second image tag below shows where the bottom is.
From the bottom up is:

F
A
C
E

I remember the spaces because it spells out face.

Step 17: Reading Right Hand in Music Pt.2 (Lines)

Okay, now there is a way I remember the lines from bottom to top. It is:

E
G
B
D
F

or my tecnique :

Every
Good
Boy
Does
Fine.

Sorry girls, looks like you can't play piano. Every good Boy. LOL jk.

Step 18: Reading Left Hand in Music Pt. 1 (Spaces)

The left hand is usually on the bottom. The symbol for this is called the bass cleft.

Of course left hand has it's own spelling and stuff just like the right hand. Everthing is moved down a line/space. So if you write a treble clef C, it's actually an E. Here are the Spaces from bottom to top :

A
C
E
G

or

All
Cows
Eat
Grass

or

All
Cars
Eat
Grass :D

Step 19: Reading Left Hand in Music Pt. 2 (Lines)

Another hand, another spelling.

The notes (bottom to top) :

G
B
D
F
A

The silly thingy:

Great
Big
Dogs
Fight
Always.

Step 20: Conclusion -

Please enjoy this Instructable because it took me a long time!

If you have any questions just ask. If you have anything I should add, then tell me and I might approve!

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20 Comments

Nice, I wish I still had the keyboard I had acquired (my wife sold it on eBay since she didn't think we'd ever learn to play it).

all cats explode giants :D

That stinks. Try getting a new one.

We had gotten it used and so it is unlikely I will have another for awhile. :-(

Oh...

and thanks for subbing!

Oh, ok. was wondering what I was subbing substitutingfor LOL

thats a crucial spelling mistake there. you put G instead of F.