Basic Notes of the Piano
What number are your thumbs when playing piano?
Hi, I’m Molly Wheeler from the wheelerpianostudio.com, here for About.com. Today I’ll be giving you an overview of the piano keyboard and tips on how to get started learning to play.Let’s start by taking a tour of the keyboard. On the acoustic piano there are 88 keys. You’ll notice the black keys are grouped in 2’s and 3’s. These groupings help us to locate where all of the white keys are. The white keys are the first seven letters of the musical alphabet. The lowest note, the farthest to the left, on the piano is A and each white key above this spell out the alphabet A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. After G is another A. Let’s figure out the white keys that surround the groups of 2’s and 3’s. Here is a group of 2 black keys. The note in the middle is D, the note to the left is C and the note to the right is E. Try finding all of the groups of CDE on the keyboard. Here is the group of 3 black keys. The notes in the middle are G and A. The note to the left is F and the note to the right is B. Try finding all of the groups of FGAB on the keyboard. The black keys are called sharps or flats and are notated in music by a # or b symbol. A sharp note is the black key directly to the right of that letter name. For example, let’s look at the group of 2 black keys. This one is to the right of C so it is called C#. This note is to the right of D so it is called D#. A flat note is the black key to left of that letter name. We are talking about the same keys on the keyboard but calling them by a different name. This one is to the left of D so it is called Db. This one is to the left of E is called Eb. In piano playing your fingers are numbered 12345 with the thumb being finger number one, index two, middle finger three, ringer finger four and pinkie five. Here is an example of some pre-staff music. The map shows you your hand placement and then you follow the finger numbers to play the song. A lot of beginning piano music is written in 5-finger positions or pentascales. C position is a great place to start because it uses all white keys. I put my RH thumb, finger number 1, on C and line up the rest of my fingers on the neighboring white keys- C, D, E, F, G. I place my LH 5 or pinkie on C, 4 on D, 3 on E, 2 on F and 1 on G. There are a lot of great piano method books out there that take you through the basics. Thanks for watching. For more information visit us on the web at About.com.