Lesson 3 – Notes on the keyboard.
Beginner’s guide to keyboards!
Let’s get right down to the most important part of your instrument – the keyboard.
As you can easily notice, there is a set of keys that repeats throughout the whole keyboard.
Let’s divide the pattern into 2 parts, and to do that, we’ll use the black keys. There are 2 rows of black keys in the pattern – first one has 2 black keys, the second one has 3 of them.
First part is marked with the green color. It starts right before the first row of black keys and ends right after it. The second part is marked with the pink color and contains the remaining 4 white keys. You can forget about the black keys for now. You can easily play a lot of melodies without using them.
We’ll start with the C, which is located right before the first row of black keys. If you play
CDEFGAB, that’s C Major scale. Stick to it for now. The C Major scale is very friendly for beginners as it has no black keys in it!
Now try playing the C Major scale using correct fingering. Start with your thumb, then index finger, then the middle one. Once you get to E, relocate your thumb your thumb from C to F and play the rest of the scale with consecutive fingers. If we assign numbers to our fingers starting with the thumb, the correct order to play C Major scale is 12312345.
Now, if you play CCGGAAG—FFEEDDC, you’ve just played the beginning of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. See? As you’re starting to learn the piano, you can avoid the black keys for now! There is a lot of popular songs that you can play on white keys. For example:
Lady Gaga – Bad Romance
Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven
The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face
We recommend googling the list of most popular songs in C Major.
We have a lot of them on our site, too! They will help you learn the piano!
So what about the black keys?
Although they seem a bit “intimidating”, they’re not hard to understand.
The C Major scale doesn’t include any black keys and neither does the A Minor scale. The remaining scales include at least one. Let’s take C Minor scale for example. Play C D D# F G G# A# C. This is the C Minor scale. It has 3 black keys in it, so whenever you’re playing a song in this scale, you have to play them as well.
For an exercise, try to focus on black keys only and do a little improvization. It’s not hard because black keys sound well together on their own. The problem occurs when you want to play both white and black keys. That’s where the scales come to play. It will take some time but eventually, you will know which keys to play in which scale.
Now let’s play a melody on white and black keys. It goes like this:
C F G# G F G# F G F C# D# C
Sounds familiar? It’s the beginning of the main theme from the Godfather movies!
As you can see, there are both white keys and black keys in the melody.
As you progress and learn more and more songs, you will be playing much more smoothly. It takes time, so all you have to do is practice, practice, practice. Make sure to keep up with our piano guides!