Basic Piano Lessons 1 – A beginner’s guide

I have been taking piano lessons for last 3 months and I am really enjoying every bit of it. I have learnt to play some English and Hindi songs. Time flies by when I am on the keyboard. It is difficut to imagine that I started with no knowledge about music and have reached a stage where I can to an extent appreciate the nuances that go into composing a piece of melody.

I am sharing here what I learnt during the basic lessons of piano. I am hopeful you will find it useful.

So basically when it comes to western style of music, there are 7 natural notes – C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. Apart from that there are 5 sharp notes. But we will see them a little later.

If you see how a piano is arranged, the seven natural notes keep repeating. In the image below, the key on which the finger is rested denotes, the C-note. The next white key is D, the next white is E and so on till you reach B. After that the C-note for the next higher set starts. If I consider the notes from C to B and C from the higher set, together the 8 notes constitute what is called an octave. We will see more about octaves in next lesson.

The C-note on a piano
The C – note on a piano. The 8 notes of an octave repeat on both ends from the middle octave

Coming back to the sharp notes, each sharp note sort of lies half note in between two natural notes. So if you see from C to B in any set, there are 5 black keys. They are either called a sharp note if they are half note up, or a flat note if they are half a note lower. So we have C#(or D-flat), D#(or E-flat), F#(or G-flat), G#(or A-flat), and A#(or B-flat). Now if you notice there no sharp note between E and F, and also between B and the next higher C.

In the image below, I have rested my finger on C#, which you can see is half note above C, but half note below D. So it can also be called D-flat.

The C sharp or D flat note on a piano
The C# or D-flat note. Notes half note higher are called sharp notes. The same notes can also be called flat notes, it we consider them half note lower to a natural note. So C# can also be called D-flat.

Now an actual piano is a really costly affair, so beginner mostly practice on what is called a synthesizer or a keyboard. A synthesizer is nothing but an electronic device which can digitally synthesize sound of any musical instrument. The keyboard is used mostly for reproducing the sound of a piano, but most keyboard also can play sounds of other instruments.

When we first start playing keyboard or piano, the first practice exercise is to get comfortable playing keys using all yours fingers. So in the first lesson, we will see to use the right hand to play five notes – C, D, E , F, G. Later we will learn to use the left hand and then both hands together.

I will be first playing C-D-E-F-G, please observe my finger movement. Later I will play C-D-E-F-G and then I will return to C, something like this C-D-E-F-G-F-E-D-C. Observe that I did not play G twice when returning.

Recently, I posted two videos on YouTube. In one I played Game Of Thrones theme song and the other is Agar Tum Saath Ho, a beautiful song from the Bollywood movie Tamasha.



Keep visiting. I will be posting more lessons soon.


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