This is for all you beginners out there! There are certain things beginner piano players should practice to see results fast and avoid frustration (and quitting).
When you start learning the piano, it can be really hard to know WHAT you’re supposed to practice, especially if you don’t have a teacher to help you.
This lesson will help guide you through 4 exercises you can start practicing RIGHT NOW to help you get comfortable at the keys and help your fingers connect to your brain.
Say “hi” to Kaitlyn — our resident beginner!
I hope you know Kaitlyn by now. She just started learning with Pianote and works on our support team. So if you’ve ever had to get in touch for help, there’s a good chance you’ve spoken with her 🙂
This lesson was filmed about a week after Kaitlyn’s first lesson, so she’s truly a beginner here.
The reason I’ve asked her to help demonstrate is to show you EXACTLY what it’s like for a beginner. You’ll be able to see some of the common issues and things beginners tend to do when they start learning.
And you’ll know that you can do all these exercises as well.
This is the first thing beginner piano players should practice. And what I mean by this is getting comfortable with the layout of the keys on the piano.
It can be daunting for beginners to see 88 keys in front of them, but it becomes less daunting when you realize that there’s a pattern that just repeats over and over.
For this exercise, play all the groups of 2 black keys (with your index and middle fingers). Use your left hand AND right hand.
Once you’ve played all the groups of 2 black keys, try playing the groups of 3. This time use your index, middle and ring fingers (on both hands).
This exercise is great because it helps you see the patterns and get comfortable with the size of the keyboard.
Remember, to the left of EVERY group of 2 black keys is the note C. To the left of EVERY group of 3 black keys is F. This way you can find every C and every F on the piano!
For this exercise, find C (remember how?). Then, place your thumb on C. Notice how nicely each finger rests above the notes.
Now play those 5 notes and up and down SLOWLY. Beginners like to rush things, but it’s important to play slowly and in control.
Try it with your right hand, and then move on to your left.
When you play with your left hand, you’ll start with your PINKY on the C and play up. If you watch the lesson ,you’ll see Kaitlyn needs some help with this one.
Once you can play both hands separately, try playing them together. GO SLOOOOW.
This exercise involves starting on C and playing a chord. For your right hand, that just means playing the notes C, E, and G with your thumb, middle finger, and pinky.
Once you’ve played the C chord, you’re simply going to play that same shape up the keys until the next C!
So you’ll play a C chord first, then bump up to the D, and E and so on.
One thing to remember here is not to press too hard. Let the weight of your arm push the keys down. You don’t want to be tense.
After the right hand, try it with your left.
But as Kaitlyn warns, the left-hand is “way harder.”
This exercise works better with two people, but you can do it alone as well. The idea is to have someone call out a random note, and then you have to play it on the piano as quickly as you can!
For example, if I called out “B!”, you’d have to find and play a B. It could be any B.
You can try to fool yourself, or you could make flashcards or write the notes on a piece of paper.
I know I said I had 4 tips, but this one is so great I had to include it 🙂
It’s exactly the same as Keyboard Familiarity, but instead of paying a single note, play a chord instead.
So those are the things beginner piano players should practice. Include these in your regular practice routine, and try to do a little each day.
Good luck, and have fun!
* FREE VIDEO SERIES *
Learning chords is a great way to improve your piano skills without any music theory. And Lisa Witt’s “Chord Hacks” series will show you how to play the most popular chords, so you can play many of your favorite songs on the piano!
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