Getting to know the Keyboard - Introduction to Chords

Robin Hall
A free video tutorial from Robin Hall
Piano Teacher (300,000 students online), Artist, Therapist,
4.7 instructor rating • 5 courses • 364,936 students

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English Step one, getting to know the keyboard. First of all make sure you’ve got where middle C is. [SOUND] So one this piano I’ve marked it with a red arrow. [SOUND] But actually the middle of the keyboard is here, so middle C is to the left. So it should be somewhere around the middle of your keyboard may be slightly to the left. Now notice how the pattern of the keys repeats itself. You got two and three, two and three, two and three. So actually these notes from [SOUND] here to here, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11, 12, they're repeated at various pitches. So those notes are the exactly the same as these notes, exactly the same as those, exactly the same as those, but at different pitches. So I'll show you what that means. So let's find a C note. That's the note before the two black keys. [SOUND] So before the two black keys that's another C note. [SOUND] [SOUND] And again [SOUND] and another C note [SOUND], and another C note [SOUND]. So they're all exactly the same note [SOUND] C, [SOUND], C, [SOUND] C, [SOUND] C, but at different pitches. What that means is you're singing the same note, but imagine Mickey Mouse singing this note. [MUSIC] And imaging Pavarotti some tenor opera singer singing [SOUND] that note, and then somebody else singing that one [SOUND] and that one. [SOUND] It's the same note but it's just at different pitches so, all these notes, [SOUND] one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve are exactly the same as these. [SOUND] One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, but just a different pitch. The white keys. These notes are represented by the first seven letters of the alphabet. [SOUND] A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C and so on. Don't worry about why it's only from A to G, just remember there's no H, there's no I, there's no J so it's A to G then it starts again. And don't worry about why it starts there and ends there. Play first ask questions later. It's very important that your able to name all the white notes so as you progress through the books you'll see various chords, notes ,rhythms, patterns, and you'll have go to a certain key on the piano to be able to play them. So you might have to play an E or an A or G or B so you'll need to know where they are. Okay it's not enough to just follow the keyboard diagram on the page because that'll take too much time, when you're playing C, [SOUND], you need to go to C. [SOUND]. Instantly. So important that you take time to learn where all the white notes are. You can use the black keys to help you. So for instance, we've already played C, the white key before the two black keys, [SOUND] C, C, C. Similarly you can use three black keys to find F, because [SOUND] C, D, E, F. F is before the three black keys. [SOUND] Then you can use those two notes to find other notes. So in the alphabet G is after F. So you know that that's F [SOUND] so that must be G. F, G. [MUSIC] F, G. [SOUND] F, G [SOUND] B is before C in the alphabet, so you know where C is now, [SOUND] so that must be B. [SOUND] C B, [SOUND] C B, [SOUND] C B. You know that D comes after C, so you know where C is, [SOUND] that must be D. [SOUND] After, well, you'll also memorize the spaces between the notes, so you'll memorize that D is in the middle of the two black keys. [SOUND] That helps you shift very quickly. So rather than A, B, C, D, you just think it's the key between the two black keys. [SOUND] G is the first gap of the three black keys. [SOUND] Okay, and so on. Using the black keys to guide you, see if you can find the notes at the bottom of the page, the G, B, A, D, C, and E. Just keep playing that until you know where all those keys are. The black keys. The black keys are known as either sharps or flats. Don't worry about why, just memorize it all for now. They are named using the white key nearest to them on their left or right. So let's look at this note. On the left is C. So that's C sharp. [SOUND] On the right is D. [SOUND] So it can be called D flat. [SOUND] Sharp is up. Flat is down. So think of sharp, it's up. It's point, sharp. Flat down. Down the piano, up the piano. So if you're on a white key, that's C, [SOUND] that must be C sharp. [SOUND] If you're on D, that must be D flat. [SOUND] If you're on D, that must be D sharp. [SOUND] And C, D, E, [SOUND] so that's E flat [SOUND] or D sharp. [SOUND] That's C sharp [SOUND] or D flat. [SOUND] Looks complicated, but don't worry. For now just know where all the white keys are. And then you'll be able to know how to make the black key, what to name it. The key to playing piano instantly, chords. A chord is simply three or more particular notes. So, a note is just. [SOUND] A melody line might be. [SOUND] A chord is three notes played together. [SOUND] Make a full overall sign. [SOUND] Three or more. [SOUND] Not single. [SOUND] And the fifth full sign is played rhythmically and various chords are used in a sequence. A nice background sound can be created for melodies or lyrics. Let's play a very basic chord, the chord of C. You know where C is now, middle C, before the two black keys, so that's your C. [SOUND] We're gonna add on two more notes. [SOUND] Skip one, and then I skip another one. [SOUND] Gonna play them all together at the same time. [MUSIC] So you kinda gotta make a claw with your hand. It's not easy to begin with. So if you're struggling with with this right now, don't worry. Everyone does to begin with. [SOUND] It gets easier. Just keep playing that. [SOUND] So now we're going to play a very familiar chord sequence using four simple chords. Again, don't worry about why a chord is the shape it is, why it's a major, why it's a minor, just play. Play first, ask questions later. Think about how people learn guitar. They learn the chords, they learn rhythms, they learn how to strum, they learn shapes. They don't worry about why it's a shape, why it's a certain string, or whatever, they just learn the shape, and then they strum and that's it, and they're playing guitar. The trick to piano to begin with. So the four chords are C, A minor, F and G. Remember, play the three notes of each chord together [SOUND] at the same time. [SOUND] So find C, [SOUND] and then jump over that one, jump over that one. [SOUND] One, three, five, with your hand like a claw. [SOUND] Then, lock your fingers. You could almost lift them up, [SOUND] and put them back down again. And move everything two notes left. [SOUND] That's down to A minor. [SOUND] All right, at alphabet C, B, A. [SOUND] All right, two left again. That's on to F. [SOUND] All right, [SOUND] A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C, remember [SOUND] and one up to G. [SOUND] So, it starts at C, [SOUND] two left, [SOUND] A minor, [SOUND] two left F, [SOUND] one up to G. [MUSIC] Just keep repeating that until you get used to it. So then, next we're gonna add left hand rhythm in, and you'll recognize. [MUSIC] I've heard kids playing. [MUSIC]