Learn Piano Today: How to Play Piano Keyboard for Beginners
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- Transform from a complete beginner piano student to the level of an early intermediate standard pianist within only 30 days (assuming a personal committment to daily practice).
- Play confidently both hands together in a variety of styles, positions on the keyboard, key signatures, and genres of music.
- Learn and engage with a substantial repertoire of pieces you have known and loved your entire life, and be able to play these piano pieces to entertain your family and friends. Astound them with your newfound skills and abilities. You will be an action taker instead of a passive observer
- Speak the language of piano music, by learning it's common terms and expressions.
- Gain a working understanding of all Major and Minor scales, the 4 main Chord families (the essential building blocks of all musical composition) and how to play and utilize these in any inversion on the keyboard
- Access to a Piano or Keyboard musical instrument. Try to schedule for about 15-20 minutes of practice a day if you can.
- If you already know some music theory, or play another instrument, this knowledge may benefit you as the course progresses, but it is not necessary as all is fully explained in the course lectures and accompanying lesson descriptions
- Various Piano apps on the iPhone / iPad and Android platforms may also be suitable for initially learning many of the beginner introductory level lesson material
- Downloadable Pdf piano sheet music is included for all pieces in the Public Domain
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Course materials last updated on 1st November 2018.
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- An introduction to who I am, and a brief soundbite of my background, qualifications, and experience.
- Learning our finger numbers on each hand.
- Fast-Track 'V' Traditional approach - An explanation of why I teach the way I do, and why it's good news for you.
- Learning the musical alphabet - By the end of this lesson, you'll know it backwards!
- Hands at the keyboard - Position, Poise and Posture.
- Let's recap - A summary of what you've learned already.
Video Time Stamp
- 0:01 Welcome. Personal background and experience.
- 0:30 Learning finger numbers on both hands.
- 1:40 Fast-Track 'V' traditional approach - Methodology explained.
- 3:00 The Musical Alphabet - Exercises to practice.
- 5:00 Hand Positions - 'Shape' of the hands at the Piano - Poise and Posture.
- 6:38 Conclusion.
Remember: - You can pause, stop, and replay any of these video lessons at any stage.
Take as long as you need to complete each lesson before proceeding to the next one. If an individual lesson proves problematic, drop me a line explaining why in as much detail as possible, and move on - you can always come back to the piece at a later stage.
I recommend setting the video window to full-screen, and if you are using a laptop, placing it on top of your piano lid or keyboard - (a) to correspond with the piano keys below, and (b) for easy and immediate access during actual practice. This way, it is virtually like having a piano teacher next to you in a traditional face-to-face music lesson.
Best wishes, and please don't be shy to ask questions if you are unclear on any aspect of what is shown.
I'd also love to hear any suggestions you may have for additional lesson content - or anything else!
Thank you and Good Luck,
Learning the Keyboard - Finding the white notes.
- 0:01 Introduction Overview
- 0:40 Beginning with 'A'
- 0:45 Following the alphabet
- 1:18 Black Keys as reference points
- 1:40 The 2 Black key group
- 2:00 Finding 'C' notes
- 2:38 Finding 'F' notes - the 3 Black key group
- 3:20 Finding 'E' notes
- 3:33 Finding 'B' notes
- 3:50 Recap
- 4:00 Finding 'D' notes
- 4:15 Finding notes 'G' and 'A'
- 4:45 Suggested exercises to help learn notes
- 5:50 Touch, Sight, and Hearing
- 6:30 Teamwork - How to use our 3 senses effectively
- 8:30 How to find Middle 'C'
- 10:00 First Right hand position
- 11:10 First Left hand position
- 11:40 Story behind the term 'piano'
- 0:01 Right hand position shown and fingering revision
- 0:30 Finger numbers lesson
- 1:10 Note names lesson
- 1:40 Play though of entire piece - How it should sound once practiced and mastered.
Remember to play with the SIDE of the thumb, not the TOP. Shake out stiff or cramped fingers and try to maintain a light relaxed hand on the piano keyboard.
If you experience any physical pain, you are probably overdoing it, and should take a break until such pain, usually minor, subsides. Any persistent pain should be referred to your physician.
Do not be alarmed or frustrated if you should find finger number 4 on either hand involuntarily pulling down adjacent finger numbers 3 or 5 at any stage. This is quite normal, and will stop in time as you practice and each finger gains complete independence of movement.
- 0:01 Hand positioning
- 0:20 Finger numbers lesson
- 1:20 Second half of 'Jingle Bells' lesson
- 1:55 Note names lesson
- 2:47 Play through of entire piece - Performance speed
As these initial lessons progress, you will find that they follow a systematic pattern or ordered sequence of events - First we learn the song using our finger numbers only, and then we learn the song again learning/using the note names as a reinforcement aid.
This way, we are only concentrating on ONE thing at a time - either the note names, or the finger numbers. One reinforces the other - This is at the heart of this Fast Track approach.
This 'one thing at a time' method also allows you to focus on keeping your hands in position. As long as each finger is positioned on the correct note - remembering to take one note per finger - you will achieve success in a very short space of time.
Each piece is played at performance speed as a guide to how the piece should sound once practiced and mastered satisfactorily. You can also attempt to play along with this guide performance if you like.
Ode To Joy - Pt 1 of 3. by Ludwig van Beethoven - 3:39 - Middle C Position
Right Hand Only
- 0:01 Right hand position on piano
- 0:25 Finger numbers lesson - 1st half
- 1:08 Note names lesson - 1st half
- 1:45 Play through guide so far
- 2:10 Rhythm/Counting in 4/4 time lesson
- 3:00 Finger numbers lesson - 2nd half
Who hasn't heard of Beethoven? This piece 'Ode To Joy' is one of his best known and loved worldwide. The distinctive melody - based around the first five notes of the Major scale - is said to have taken him 30 years to compose and complete to his satisfaction. Beethoven was already old, in ill-health, and profoundly deaf, when his piece - a song of celebration - was first performed publicly.
This piece introduces the new note 'A' in the right hand (above 'G'), and is followed by a finger stretch exercise to help with developing and strengthening finger independence.
- 0:01 Hand positioning
- 0:34 Introducing note 'A' in the right hand - 2 ways to play 'A' illustrated.
- 1:10 Finger numbers lesson
- 3:28 Note names lesson
- 4:44 Finger independence stretch exercise
It is said that a young boy, whose name you may have heard of - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - wrote 'Twinkle Twinkle' when he was a mere 4 years of age. Whether true or not, this piece is instantly recognizable by children young and old the world over.
It also concludes our section of Right Hand only pieces.
Congratulations on getting this far already!
Twinkle Twinkle - 4:36 - Middle C position - Both Hands
Welcome to the Both Hands together session of lessons.
We are introducing the Left hand and Both hands together simultaneously, and beginning this section with the same piece we used to close the previous section.
What may be interesting to note is that a piece of music can be played in multiple different positions on the keyboard - known as "KEYS" - For example, we have the key of 'C' Major, but we also have the keys of 'A' Major, 'D' Major and so on... Indeed, there is a different Major key for every one of the 12 different individual white and black notes on the piano.
Can you think of any reason why we might want to learn a piece in different keys? - Answer at the bottom of the lesson.
- 0:01 New hand position - Note that the left hand thumb SHARES the Middle C note with the right hand thumb.
- 0:48 Left hand starts us off - Finger numbers lesson
- 2:00 Lesson repeated with finger numbers
- 3:00 Note names lesson
- 4:00 Play through of entire piece
Answer: - Well, one reason we may want to learn a song in different keys would be to suit the vocal range of different singers, depending on whether they are male or female, with a soprano, alto, tenor or bass range. Another good reason could be to suit the tunings of other instruments in an ensemble or band, - a good example of this would be Brass sections.
Whilst the entire course is presented in a chronological order, you may wish to vary your practice regime by combining pieces in a variety of different ways.
I have made some suggestions - such as grouping the festive pieces together - but I am sure you can and will think of alternatives yourself.
All the Best,
Happy Birthday - 2:00 - Middle C Position - Both hands together.
- 0:01 Play through entire piece
- 0:17 Hand positioning
- 0:33 Finger numbers lesson
- 1:20 Note names lesson
Congratulations! You are now already half way through the "hands together in Middle C position" section!
A well known Lullaby this time
- 0:01 Hand positioning
- 0:10 Play through entire piece
- 0:32 Finger numbers lesson
- 2:17 Note names lesson
- 0:01 Hand positioning and explanation of a Scale
- 0:39 Right hand pattern shown
- 0:46 Left hand pattern shown
- 0:56 Both hands together pattern shown
A scale is a sequence of notes played one after the other in a specific order notified by the quality of the scale name - For example: Major (as in this lesson), minor, pentatonic, chromatic.
The first five notes of the C Major scale match our first hand position - that is - C,D,E,F, and G.
To play in contrary motion indicates that the hands should play the notes of the scale in opposite (contrary) directions on the piano.
In other words, if the right hand is playing an ascending pattern of notes, then the left hand should be playing a descending pattern of notes. Both hands should begin from the same note.
The correct name for the C Major scale where the hands would both play in the same direction at the same time would be C Major in similar motion.
Another way to think of this is as follows:-
- In Contrary Motion scales, the finger numbers in each hand match at the same time, but the notes are different.
- In Similar motion scales, the finger numbers of each hand are different, but each hand plays the same notes at the same time.
I hope that hasn't confused you too much! All becomes clearer the more Scales you learn and practice.
Now that we have covered C Major in Contrary Motion, I would recommend beginning all future practice with this scale as a finger warm-up exercise - Much in the same way athletes employ warm-up exercises before a race
- 0:01 Hand positioning
- 0:10 Play through entire piece
- 0:40 Finger numbers lesson
- 1:56 Note names lesson
Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe one of this piece's many claims to fame is that it was the first piece of music ever played by an IBM computer.
By the way - WELL DONE!!! You have now completed the entire Both Hands in Middle C position section of the course.
Onwards and upwards....
- 0:01 Play through entire piece
- 0:38 Finger numbers lesson
- 2:58 Note names lesson
This piece revisits note 'A' in the Right hand, which we first encountered in 'Twinkle Twinkle'.
However, this time, we move our entire right hand position UP or RIGHT on the piano by one white key, so that out thumb is now on note 'D' rather than Middle 'C'. If you have forgotten note 'A', perhaps now is a good time to revisit the 'Twinkle Twinkle' right hand only lesson.
The second transitional new technique introduced in this piece is actually playing notes TOGETHER at the same time, in both the Right and Left hands. So far, we have alternated between playing a right hand note followed by a left hand note, or vice versa. This is the first piece to play notes in both hands simultaneously.
When we play two or more notes at the same time, the resulting combination of notes is known as a CHORD. We will be learning more about chords later in the course. A chord often contains a MELODIC note (the singing line, the actual 'tune' note - usually but not always the TOP note of the chord in the right hand) and HARMONIC notes. The function of harmonic notes is to support the melody, to 'flesh out' the music. In popular music terms, think of the MELODY as the Lead Singer of a band, and the HARMONY as the backing band/music.
Although we can play songs as pure MELODY (indeed, we have been doing this so far in the lessons), they will always take on new life and a fuller canvas of musical color and sound when we add HARMONY.
Please take as much time as necessary with this lesson, especially playing fingers 2 and 4 at the same time in the left hand. You may initially find other fingers sympathetically depressing adjacent keys.
Good luck with this. If you encounter any problems, please message me.
This piece introduces the Left Hand in a new position on the piano keyboard. This time, we place finger number 5 of the left hand on the 'C' note immediately BELOW Middle 'C', (left hand finger 5 will be on C3 counting from the bottom of the piano), and then place the remaining fingers on consecutive keys keys as follows - Finger 4 on D, 3 on E, 2 on F, 1 on G.
You will now see that both Right and Left hands are positioned on identically named notes, an OCTAVE apart. (For a complete explanation of Octaves, please visit the intermediate lesson description for 'Lady Madonna').
One thing to be aware of - Although both hands are on identically named notes, with the Left hand notes sounding LOWER than the right hand, the fingers playing these notes on each hand are NOT the same. For example, 'C' is played with finger 1 on the right hand - but finger 5 on the left hand.
Listen to the difference between first playing the right hand MELODY on it's own, and the difference in sound when you add the left hand HARMONY chords.
- 0:01 Play through entire piece
- 0:30 Right hand separately finger numbers lesson
- 0:57 Hand positions - including NEW left hand position
- 1:20 Left hand separately finger numbers lesson
- 2:07 Both hands together finger numbers lesson
- 3:18 Note names lesson
Remember to pause, stop, and/or replay any section of the video until you have mastered these new Left hand chords (groups of notes together).
Top Tip: Practice the left hand combinations of fingers 5,3 and 1; also 5, 2, and 1 AWAY from the piano at any time by pressing/tapping the tips of these fingers on any flat surface to hand - tabletop, arm of chair, etc.
- 0:01 Right hand position
- 0:15 Right hand separately finger number lesson
- 0:40 Right hand separately note names lesson
- 1:04 Right hand RHYTHM lesson
- 1:33 Left hand position
- 1:50 Left hand finger numbers - first line of piece (with right hand for illustration purposes only)
- 2:23 Left hand note names - first line of piece (with right hand played for illustration purposes only)
- 2:45 Piece play through so far at performance speed
- 2:57 Left hand finger numbers - second line of piece
- 3:15 Left hand note names - second line of piece
- 3:33 Left hand finger numbers - third line of piece
- 3:50 Left hand finger numbers - fourth and final line of piece
- 4:30 Play through of entire piece
This part two lesson is a direct follow-on from the 'Ode To Joy' (part one) lesson, and assumes you have already mastered the previous lesson, and the right hand played on it's own.
The lesson begins with a refresher look at the right hand melody again.
We are then briefly introduced to RHYTHM. When listening to music, we should notice that not all notes are sounded or held for equal lengths of time, or durations. Some notes are longer or shorter than others. In order to hold notes for the correct amount of time when practicing a piece of music, it is necessary to count the beats. The most popular count, or TIME SIGNATURE, in music is 4 beats to a bar - also known as COMMON TIME.
'Ode To Joy' is an example of a piece of music written in COMMON TIME, or 4/4 time. We count 4 beats to every bar, which means we count out loud when practicing - 1,2,3,4 | 1,2,3,4 | 1,2,3,4 and so on. Each vertical line '|' is known as a BAR LINE and separates one BAR from the next.
Listen to any piece of popular music. Can you hear the drum beat? For 95% of these songs, you should be able to count 1,2,3,4 repeatedly to the beat of the song. Most Rock, Dance, and Pop songs are written in 4/4 time. Reggae songs and Waltzes are typically written in 3/4 time, which would be THREE beats counted to each bar.
The first beat of a bar in most music is emphasized or ACCENTED, played slightly louder than the remaining beats of the bar. See if you can hear this accented beat in your favorite songs - try counting ONE, two, three, four | ONE, two three, four... or ONE, two, three | ONE, two, three ... See which fits best!
Although you will be able to play every piece on this course accurately by following my 'play through' examples - Eventually you will learn to count the rhythm of the pieces yourself. Please consider the Rhythm part of this lesson as an optional extra at this stage if you currently find it too difficult to follow.
I wanted to introduce the concept of RHYTHM to you as it is fundamental to all music.
- 0:01 Left hand finger numbers shown as in Lesson Two - (first half of the tune).
- 0:38 More elaborate/advanced Left Hand - CROSSING OVER and UNDER introduced, and playing BLACK KEYS for the first time.
- 1:10 Repeat of 0:38 section for enhanced illustration purposes
- 1:33 Play through at performance speed of this same section
- 1:41 Left hand isolated and shown separately for this same section
- 2:05 Same section shown hands together again
- 2:12 Final line - Left hand finger numbers and note names shown
- 3:48 Left hand isolated and shown separately for final line of piece (note names given)
- 4:10 Play through of final line at performance speed.
This third and final lesson for 'Ode To Joy' teaches an alternate and more advanced Left hand than in Lesson parts one and two. It also assumes you have mastered both lessons one and two already.
The first half of the piece plays an identical Left Hand as shown in the Part Two lesson.
At 0:38 of the video, we are introduced to two NEW developments in this course - playing BLACK KEYS for the first time - and - CROSSING OVER and UNDER our fingers.
The Black keys are nothing mysterious, you play them exactly as you would the White keys. However, I recommend SLIDING your finger/hand up the key as far as possible, (towards the piano lid), thus maximizing good key contact (maximum surface area), and ensuring your finger does not slip off to either side onto a white key.
If you have ever played the game of crossing your fingers or/and toes as a child to visually cement or reinforce keeping a promise to your friends, you already know how to CROSS OVER as it applies to the piano. Quite literally, you cross one finger OVER the top of the other. In this example, finger 2 crosses over the thumb (currently on note 'G') to play the Middle Black note in the group of 3.
What happens next is that the Thumb will have to slightly CROSS UNDER the 2nd finger (now on the middle Black key), to play the very next White note, which is 'A'. If you remember back to 'Twinkle Twinkle' and 'Away In A Manger', we have already played 'A' by changing position on the Right Hand.
You then drop your Middle finger on the Left Hand to play the BOTTOM black note in the group of 3, followed by Finger 2 now playing the note 'G' (which had previously been played by the Thumb).
If you are persistent with this section, you will have no difficulty mastering the final section where you descend from Middle C, via Finger 2 playing the TOP Black note in the group of 3, to the little finger playing note 'E' by stretching down ONE white note only. (You have already learned how to stretch UP one white note in the Right hand - now it is the Left hand's turn!)
Good luck with this one - Be patient!
- 0:01 Play through entire piece
- 0:19 NEW hand positions shown and NEW note 'B' flat introduced
- 0:58 Right hand finger numbers lesson
- 1:48 Left hand finger numbers lesson - More Chords practice
- 2:14 Both hands together finger numbers lesson
- 3:10 Both hands together note names lesson
We have already mastered 'Skip to my Lou' in the C Major hand position, now we will learn it in the 'F' Major key position.
This piece introduces the word FLAT. 'Flat' is one of three commonly used words in music collectively known as 'Accidentals' when 'accidentally' used to change the quality of a white key/note on the piano.
The other two words are NATURAL and SHARP. Let's take them each in turn. In this piece, we are asked to play the 'B' flat note - What happens next? - Well, instead of playing the White note 'B'; we play the BLACK note immediately BELOW 'B'.
KEY POINT: There is a popular misconception (even amongst seasoned musicians) that FLATS and SHARPS are the Black keys on the piano. This is NOT necessarily true.
(At the end of this lesson, if you have listened and read carefully, please find and play 'B' sharp, and 'F' flat. NOTE: Please don't message me to say there are no such notes!!)
I want you to think of traffic lights - Three colors signifying specific actions - RED = Stop, ORANGE/AMBER = Get Ready, GREEN = Go (in the UK anyhow - amend to local colors if necessary).
FLAT, NATURAL, and SHARP are just like these three traffic light directions in music - Flat just means to go down ONE note, to the immediate note BELOW the written note (either Black or White) - Natural means to always return to and play the White note, - and Sharp means to go UP by one note, to the immediate note ABOVE the written note. (either Black or White).
Summary: FLAT - Go down or left by one note (can be either Black or White); NATURAL - Stay where you are (play the white actual note); SHARP - Go up or right by one note(can be either Black or White)
Some examples - F Sharp is the Bottom, or first, black note in the group of 3. A Flat is the MIDDLE black note in the group of 3. G Sharp is ALSO the middle black note in the group of 3! - Remember, these are DIRECTIONS to DO SOMETHING, not actual notes! So, F sharp and G flat are the same note, E flat and D sharp are the same note - and just to confuse you if you have always thought of Sharps and Flats as BLACK keys only - the note 'B' and C Flat are the same note, as are E Sharp and 'F'.
The Flat sign looks very similar to the lower-case letter 'b' in written music.
The sharp sign looks as follows - # (same as the hash tag key)
The natural sign is a letter 'L' joined to an inverted 'L' - or the number '7' joined to an inverted '7'. See if you can find a natural sign in any sheet music you may have - or search for "the natural sign in written music" on Google.
Ode To Joy - 9:55 - Complete Lesson - A combination of parts 1, 2, and 3 as previously taught.
This is a comprehensive revisionary lesson, allowing you to practice the instructional material of all 3 parts of 'Ode To Joy' without the necessity of having to search for, and hop back and forward between separate videos.
- 0:01 Left hand positioning
- 0:15 Left hand finger numbers lesson
- 2:05 Left hand note names lesson
- 2:47 Both hands together - Finger numbers lesson
- 5:04 Play through entire piece
- 5:38 Alternate Left hand position on Low C
- 6:00 New Left hand finger numbers lesson
- 7:00 Both hands together in new position - Finger numbers lesson
- 8:57 Play through entire new version with both hands
This lesson shows two alternate versions, or ways of playing the Left hand - one based on Middle C position, and the other based around the Low C position. See which you prefer!
'Jingle Bells' Part 2 also introduces some F Sharp notes on the Left hand ( Do you remember the term 'Sharp' from the 'Skip to my Lou' in 'F' position lesson?)
Fantastic work! Award yourself 10 out of 10. You have now completed the transitional stage from beginner to early intermediate pianist. There has been a great deal of new material to take in, process, and remember in this section; and now might be a good time to revise what you have learned so far before moving on to 'Fur Elise' in the next section.
See you there!
- 0:01 Right hand positioning
- 0:16 Right hand - Combined finger numbers and note names lesson
- 0:35 Play through on Right hand - Opening phrase ('Riff') of 'Fur Elise'
- 0:42 Repeat right hand lesson - Finger numbers only
- 0:51 Right hand - new stretch positions - beginning with Middle C
- 1:22 Return to repeat of opening phrase - Right hand
- 1:48 Play through of entire Right hand so far - (Section 'A')
- 2:08 Section 'B' on Right Hand - Fingers and Note names combined
- 3:16 Return to repeat of Section 'A' on right hand
- 3:30 Left hand position and individual notes to be played - Finger numbers and Notes named.
- 4:04 Both hands together illustration - Section 'A'
- 4:35 Both hands together illustration - Section 'B'
- 5:14 Repeated 'A' section in Both Hands and closing phrase.
Poor Beethoven! This piece was originally named Fur Therese - but Beethoven's handwriting was so bad that his publisher misread the name as "Elise" and the rest is history. I wonder how he explained that one away to the lady in question?
As our first lesson piece in the Intermediate section of the course, this one is a timeless gem, and the overall favorite piece of many music listeners and performers alike.
Take care and time with the constantly changing hand positions - Aim to eventually change position smoothly and without breaks in the flow of the music. I suggest practicing the Left hand separately for this purpose.
Also note that you can be moving the Left hand to it's new position, anticipating coming in with the right hand again; AS the right hand is playing phrases of notes unaccompanied by the left hand.
- 0:01 Left hand position, fingers and notes. Pedalling and Rhythm also shown
- 2:30 Right hand position, fingering and all notes named. Cross-overs also shown.
- 3:10 Right hand shown again, finger numbers only
- 3:27 Second phrase on Right hand shown
- 4:06 Both hands performed together for illustration purposes
- 5:24 Second phrase performed - Illustrating finger overlaps
Another instantly recognizable timeless classic. This piece is in 3/4 time, counting three beats to a bar, and should be performed with very relaxed fingers - Imagine caressing silk.
In order to sustain notes, depress the furthest RIGHT pedal on your piano - This is known as the Sostenuto (or sustaining) Pedal. NOTE: Not the LOUD pedal, as some people think!
Depress the pedal along with the Left hand bass notes on count one, and keep this pedal depressed until count 3 - Lift off just after the left hand releases the top chordal notes following count three. Repeat this for every bar.
If you find your touch to be a shade heavy on the keys for this piece; try holding down the LEFT pedal, - or Una Corda pedal - for the duration of the piece. This will soften the overall tone by shifting the entire keyboard slightly to the right - thus diminishing the impact of the felt hammers striking the piano strings.
If you have experience of driving automobiles you have an advantage - use the piano pedals in much the same manner - Don't JUMP on the brakes or accelerator - just apply gentle pressure until you hear the notes sustaining, or notice the keyboard shift to the right (for the Una Corda pedal) - Keep the heel of each foot on the ground and gently depress each pedal as needed with the ball of each foot. Release the pedals in the same way - steadily firm movements - not jerky, hard, or abrupt. Experiment with the 'Biting' point of each pedal in much the same way as using automobile pedals for a hill start.
If you have not yet learned to drive an automobile - you are still at an advantage - By the time you come to do so, you will already have extensive experience of using pedals with both feet!
Spans 4 octaves in 'A' position.
- 0:01 Hand positions - Key - 4 octave range shown
- 0:23 Left hand bass - Verse lesson
- 1:00 Left hand play through - Verse shown complete.
- 1:15 Right hand - Verse - 'Blues' Roll (Acciacaturas) technique shown
- 3:10 Right hand play through so far
- 3:20 Hands together lesson
- 4:08 Verse first half - Illustrated play through at speed
- 4:20 Verse first half - Slow motion play through
- 4:33 Verse second half lesson
- 4:48 Entire verse play through
- 5:06 'Turnaround' Riff lesson
- 6:23 Entire 'Lady Madonna' lesson play through
New Terms from this lesson:-
Octaves - You will have heard me using this term before, and in the above lesson. An octave refers to the distance - measured in white keys on the piano keyboard - between one note, for example note 'A', and the next note of the same name, either ascending or descending the piano.
Try this for yourself - Count the white keys from 'A' to 'A', the inclusive distance is 8 white notes = an Octave.
An easy memory aid for remembering how many notes comprise an octave is to think of an Octopus - 8 arms, or Octagon - 8 sides.
'Blues' Roll (or Acciacatura) - In Blues-based Guitar music it is common to bend the minor third note of a scale up to the major third note - In C Major, this would correspond to note E flat bending up into note E. In fact, this flatted 3rd note is often referred to as a 'Blue' note.
The piano cannot bend notes, but we can mimic this effect by playing two adjacent notes- the note BEFORE the note we wish to play, and the ACTUAL note we wish to play - very quickly indeed, virtually together as shown in the 'Lady Madonna' lesson.
This effect is nothing new - 'Classical' and 'Romantic' composers such as Mozart and Chopin were doing the same thing centuries ago - In these genres of music the written accidental 'blues' note is known as an 'Acciacatura' - to be played as quickly as possible, on, or just before, the main written note.
- 0:01 Left Hand - Chordal descriptions and explanations
- 0:35 Memory aids
- 1:00 Left hand finger numbers and note names
- 2:00 Alternative fingering
- 2:10 Play through Left hand - fingering observation
- 2:40 Rhythm in 4/4 shown
- 3:15 Right hand - Melodic description and explanation
- 3:40 Right hand - finger numbers and note names
- 4:54 Right hand play through with Chordal names
- 5:10 Second section - Right hand - note names and chords
- 5:35 Second section on Right hand - Play through
A beautiful simple Right hand melody combined with a looping 4 chord finger pattern and sequence in the Left hand.
Left hand Chords in detail:- 'E' minor Root position notes (from bottom to top): E-G-B-E, played with fingers 5-4-2-1 (same fingering shown for all Left hand chords). 'G' Major 2nd inversion notes: D-G-B-D; 'B' minor 1st inversion notes: D-F#(sharp)-B-D; 'D' major Root position notes: D-F#-A-D.
Chord qualities explained - Root position, 1st inversion, 2nd inversion:
You will have heard me using these terms throughout the 'Amelie' video. When we play a Chord beginning on the KEY, or ROOT note of the scale, we say the Chord is in 'Root' position.
For example, the chord of 'C' major has three separate notes: C,E, and G. If we play the chord from bottom to top beginning on note 'C' - it is in ROOT position i.e. C-E-G-(C).
However, if we begin the chord from bottom to top beginning on note 'E', we would say it is a 1st (First) inversion chord: E-G-C-(E).
Likewise, if we begin the chord on note 'G' instead, we would say the chord is a 2nd(second) inversion chord shape: G-C-E-(G). Just to say, the notes in brackets are for a four note chord, whereas excluding the fourth note would give us a TRIAD, or three note chord.
If you are still unclear on this, please revisit the 'Let It Be' lecture for further clarification on Chords.
Try playing the following chords in the right hand, using fingers 1,2,3,5 (or whatever is most comfortable). If you find the four note chord too difficult to play at this stage, just play the TRIAD, (or first three notes), using fingers 1,3, and 5.
E minor: Root position (EGBE) 1st inversion (GBEG) 2nd inversion (BEGB)
G Major: Root position (GBDG) 1st inversion (BDGB) 2nd inversion (DGBD)
B minor: Root position (BDF#B) 1st inversion (DF#BD) 2nd inversion (F#BDF#)
D Major: Root position (DF#AD) 1st inversion (F#ADF#) 2nd inversion (F#ADF#)
You may also have noticed that I have named the Major chords with a capital letter 'M', and the minor chords with a lowercase letter 'm'. This is standard practice for naming chords.
- 0:01 Left hand finger positioning, note names, and rhythm pattern - F minor (Bar 1)
- 0:37 Right hand chordal finger positioning and note names - F minor
- 1:15 Both hands together - Rhythm shown - F minor
- 1:28 Pedaling - (Right 'sostenuto' pedal)
- 1:50 Left hand - E diminished (dim) chord - notes and fingering (Bar 2)
- 2:15 Right hand - Edim chord - notes and fingering
- 2:44 Both hands together - Edim - Rhythm and pedal
- 3:00 Right hand - D flat Major (Bar 3)
- 3:20 Left hand - D flat Major
- 3:40 Both hands together- D flat Major
- 4:05 Left hand - C Major (Bar 4)
- 4:30 Right hand - C Major
- 4:45 Both hands together - C Major
- 5:00 Alternate Right hand for C Major
- 5:40 Repeat of beginning sequence - (Bars 5 and 6)
- 6:00 New D flat Major melody on right hand and harmonic pattern on Left (Bar 7)
- 6:45 C Major in Both hands - (Bar 8)
This video shows you the entire Introduction section to Evanescence's atmospheric and ethereal worldwide hit 'Good Enough'.
New material: DIMINISHED Chord of 'E'. Diminished chords are often employed by songwriters and composers to introduce dramatic moments of suspense, or tension, to their music and songs.
A diminished chord is basically a minor chord that has been made minor again - a DOUBLE minor chord if you like. For example - 'C' Major chord has the notes - C,E, and G.
C minor chord has the notes - C, Eflat (b) and G.
C diminished ( or 'dim' for short) has the notes - C, Eb, and Gb (flat)
In 'Good Enough', the Edim chord comprises the following notes - E, G, Bb, Db, E.
Chords - An Introduction to Triads and Four note Chords in the Right Hand
'Let It Be' by The Beatles - A song example
- 0:01 An Introduction to Chords
- 0:20 Chord qualities
- 0:40 The Major chord - 'C' Major
- 1:00 Jingle Bells as an example
- 1:15 Chords formed on each note of the 'C' Major scale
- 1:25 The minor chord - 'D' minor
- 2:25 E minor Chord
- 2:30 F Major Chord
- 2:40 G Major Chord
- 2:45 A minor Chord
- 2:51 B diminished (minor) Chord
- 3:15 Pattern of Chords for any Major Scale
- 3:40 Special case of the Diminished (dim) chord
- 3:50 'Let It Be' by The Beatles - A case example in Triads (3 note chords)
- 4:50 Let It Be - Play through in Right Hand Triad chords
- 5:15 Let It Be - Extended/Expanded 4 note Chords in Root position (Right Hand)
- 6:15 Let It Be - 4 note extended chord play through
- 6:45 Let It Be - Quality (Major or minor) of all chords explained.
- 7:10 Let It Be - An alternate (and visually impressive) way of playing 4 notes together for beginners and smaller hands - Shared chords - (Hands crossing over).
A comprehensive introductory lecture on Chords - beginning with 3 note chords (Triads), expanding to 4 note chords, and ending with elaborate chordal sharing via hand crossovers. "Let It Be" by the Beatles employed as a case study.
Chords 101 - How to form any Major, Minor, Diminished, or Augmented Triad (three note chord) by counting only to 3 or 4.
Even if you have never practiced a scale in your life, or know absolutely no musical theory whatsoever, this lesson will show you an easy foolproof way of forming any common Root position chord, in all 12 possible keys, by counting either 3 or 4 note intervals.
An 'interval' has a similar meaning to an 'intermission' in a performance - it's the space between things - in this case, between chordal notes on the piano.
An interval of 4 notes - such as from 'C' to 'E' is known as a Major third. (Counting up from 'C' )
An interval of 3 notes ' such as from 'E' to 'G' is known as a minor third. (Counting up from 'E')
By learning how to count intervals of only 3 or 4 notes, you will have learned how to form every chord in the four main chordal 'families' - Major (symbol 'M'), minor ('m), Diminished ('dim' or 'o') and Augmented ('Aug' or '+').
Major +4+3 Minor +3+4 Diminished +3+3+3(+3.....) Augmented +4+4 (+4....)
What a Major Scale is, and how to form one from scratch - Using Steps and Half-Steps (Tones and Semitones).
Major Scale Formula (Works for all of the 12 possible piano keys):
'R' = Root, or Key, or starting note. (Named note for Major Scale. e.g. 'C' Major starts on 'C' as Root note)
Interval counting: R +2+2+1+2+2+2+1
(T)ones and (S)emitones: R,T,T,S,T,T,T,S
(S)teps and (H)alf-steps: R,S,S,H,S,S,S,H
Meeting the 'In-Laws': The Relative minor scale - (Keeping it in the family).
Same notes, just born on a different date (start on a different key on the piano).
C Major: C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C
A minor: A,B,C,D,E,F,G,A
Minor scales have to learn to know their place in the 'family' scheme of things - Major scales get a capital 'M', whilst 'junior' minors get a lowercase 'm'. Isn't that always the way with being 'junior'(minor)?
Sharp (symbol '#') - UP a single note (Half step or Semitone) - to the RIGHT on the piano - Black OR White note
Flat (symbol 'b') - DOWN a single note (Half step or Semitone) - to the LEFT on the piano - Black OR White note
Natural - Stay where you are, do not pass 'Go, do not collect 200. Seriously - just play the actual WHITE note - A natural sign in music cancels out a sharp or flat sign.
An 'Accidental' only lasts for one measure - or bar - in written music. Unlike a "key signature" - which lasts for the entire piece, or until a notified key change.
Harmonic minors SHARP(#) the 7th note of the scale - Both in the ascending (going 'up' left to right note pattern) and descending (right to left coming back 'down') note pattern.
How to always remember the 'harmonic' note?
Top Tip: The Harmonic (sharp# 7th) note is ALWAYS one letter (note name) alphabetically BELOW the actual scale name.
For example: A harmonic minor will have a G sharp. D harmonic minor has a C sharp. E harmonic minor has D as the sharp 7th note, and so on.
The Melodic minor scale adds Sharp (#) 6th and 7th notes on the ASCENT (way up) only. These notes revert to the original minor scale notes on the descent.
Therefore, a melodic minor scale will always have different ascending and descending note patterns. (It may be helpful to practice these two patterns separately at first).
Pièce pour le Vêtement du blessé - Composed 1915.
Page d'Album (or) Album Leaf L.133 by Claude Debussy.
A Both Hands together color coded arrangement for piano and keyboards; made with Synthesia piano software.
Congratulations and Very Well done! You have now completed the 'Learn Piano Today' course and should feel rightly proud of your achievements.
I hope you have enjoyed this series of lessons and they have enhanced your enjoyment of the piano and music overall.
Please remember that additional piano lessons and lectures added to this course will come to you at no additional cost, and please keep checking back for 'Live Sessions' and answers to other student's questions.
May I take this opportunity to thank you for choosing this course, and wish you every continued success at the piano.
All Best Wishes,