Introduction: Learn How to Play Piano in 5 Steps

About: Hey there! I'm Gabe and I loved learning how to play piano. Now, as an expert, I love teaching piano. I create Instructables regularly so you can learn to play the piano super fast!

If improvising on the fly (see above) isn't inspiration enough for learning how to play piano, I'm not sure what could be.

Learning to play piano doesn't have to be intimidating. If you have two hands and the drive to learn, you're halfway there.

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Music is something we hear every day in commercials, on the radio and on the street.

Today, you'll learn to make music yourself when you learn to play the piano in five simple steps--plus practice!

Learn to play piano online with me in these 5 steps that are each integral to the best way to learn piano.

First, we will address learning music notes, followed by learning piano basics like the keys and fingerings.

Once you master these, you can work on note lengths and playing piano by song, not just random notes.

Finally, it will be up to you to practice what you’ve learned and use piano to impress all of your friends and family!

You asked how to play piano, and I’ve got the answer if you keep reading.

Step 1: Learning Music Notes

In learning music notes, remember the first seven letters of the alphabet. Using A, B, C, D, E, F, G, you'll start to grasp the cadence of notes and how they sound on a piano.

Reading music is detrimental to becoming a successful, well-versed musician; however, it is possible to simply play piano by ear.

The easiest way to remember how these notes, or letters, sound is by singing The Sound of Music like this: Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do.

At your piano or keyboard, find the middle note C and sing as you play the do re mi piano melody while moving your fingers to the right on the keys, then back down the scale to the left.

The best way to learn to play piano is by practicing small groups of notes and scales over and over and working your way up to playing piano on your own.

Take it a step further in learning notes: Look at this music and find the C in the middle of the staff, or group of five horizontal lines with notes on and in between them.

The note C on a piano is always the first white key to the left of two black keys grouped together. White piano notes, or keys, are a full step between notes, while black keys are only half steps between notes.

These are denoted as flat ♭ (half step down) or sharp # (half step up) when playing piano, or really any musical instrument.

For now, we will stick to piano basics and practice the C scale, which takes whole steps between the so-called do re mi piano notes.

For additional learning on the C Scale, go here:

Step 2: Piano Basics: Learn Piano Keys

Let's recall Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do again.

Yes, do re mi piano notes are a show tune, but it's also the C Scale, or most basic scale of easy piano keys to know in music.

Maybe you used just your index finger to play that scale in step one, or maybe you tried using all of your fingers.

What's the right way?

In any beginner piano lessons, you’ll learn to start with your thumb on C and make sure to end your eighth note (“C”) on your pinky.

This is how to learn piano on your own.

Eventually you will be able to move onto other scales with sharp notes and flat notes, and eventually, teach others how to learn piano too.

There are 88 keys on a piano, meaning you have a lot of freedom to learn piano songs of all genres.

Step 3: Learn Note Lengths

Music comes in all shapes, sizes and sounds. Part of what makes this possible is the length of each note.

Learning to play the piano is both creative and math-based. But don't worry, it's simple math!

See the example above to understand the difference between a whole, half, quarter and eighth note. A whole note is four beats long, or a full bar.

A half is exactly half a whole note, or two beats. Keep splitting the notes to get shorter notes within a bar of music or song. So, a quarter ♩ note is 1/4 of a whole note, or 1/2 of a half note.

An eighth ♪ note is half of that or 1/8 of a whole note.

In learning piano, you always take the beat into consideration.

When you read music, you will use the beat to understand how the notes fit into each bar on the staff and how quickly you play each piano note.

Piano notes are important, but so are the rests in between. The same lengths for piano notes are true for rests in a piece of music.

You can learn how to play piano by learning how to read music like a pro. I recommend reading music on your train commute to work or on your lunch break.

Even better, picture the piano in front of you as you read the music and try to remember the fingerings as you read through the piano notes.

Step 4: Piano for Beginners: Play Hot Cross Buns

Now, take the common tune Hot Cross Buns and try playing it.

These three notes will help learning piano stay simple while you get the feel for piano basics like key location, reading music and note length.

Keep practicing it until you can remember which note coincides with your fingerings. This repetition is how to learn piano notes quickly and naturally.

One of the reasons I wanted to learn piano was to practice creativity and discipline in one activity.

Plus, getting the basics perfected makes learning the piano much easier. Play the piano wherever you go by downloading an app on your tablet or phone.

This will help you teach yourself piano wherever you are. Again, learn to play piano on the go by playing these games or just reading the sheet music to play the piano later.

Step 5: Best Way to Learn Piano: Practice!

As Malcolm Gladwell says, 10,000 hours of anything and you can reach the tipping point of success.

Even without that many hours, you can still become a piano pro in no time by mastering the C Scale, hot cross buns and these other beginner-friendly songs for piano: Itsy Bitsy Spider, Jingle Bells, Old McDonald Had a Farm.

Practice is absolutely the best way to learn to play piano. After playing a melody like do re mi enough times, it’s second-nature.

Learning piano for beginners can be frustrating, but each of these steps will help you feel confident in your ability to create music for you and others to enjoy.

See more video tutorials here:

Soon enough, Schroeder won't be the only pianist drawing a crowd. Happy playing!