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You can play this.

And you’ll sound impressive, I guarantee. That’s because this little riff is as beautiful as it is simple.

How simple? There are only 5 notes that you need to know, and you don’t have to know any note names or anything. Here are all the notes you’ll need to create this beautiful sound:

As you can see we’ll be playing 4 of the black keys and only 1 white key (the B).

To find that B note anywhere on the piano, just find any group of 3 black keys and the B will be the white key immediately to the right of them!

And you can use ANY of these 5 notes anywhere on the piano. High or low, it doesn’t matter. You can experiment to find out what you like the best.

Ok, let’s get to the riffs.

Simple patterns are the key

To make these beautiful riffs we are going to be using simple patterns in both hands that just repeat over and over again.

For the right, I demonstrate 3 different patterns that are suitable for any skill level. Find the one that you like the best and start there. You don’t have to learn all 3, but if you want to that’s great!

There is only ONE pattern for the left hand. We’ll simply be walking up from the bottom black note in a group of 3. So we’ll play the 3 black notes and then the B note on top. That’s all we’ll be doing for the left hand even when we change right-hand patterns!

Make it more beautiful

I often say the key to sounding like a “great” piano player is having control of your dynamics (or volume).

That’s certainly the case here. Try playing louder and softer, and see how that changes the emotion of the piece.

And these patterns are just starting points. You can change the rhythm and even the order of the notes to create your own beautiful melodies.

If you do, I’d love to hear them. Just comment below.

Good luck, and play some beautiful piano!

Lisa Witt

Lisa Witt has been teaching piano for 18 years and in that time has helped hundreds of students learn to play the songs they love. Lisa received classical piano training through the Royal Conservatory of Music, but she has since embraced popular music and playing by ear in order to accompany herself and others.