Five Important Skills for Piano Beginners

Posted by Yoke Wong on 1/6/2012 to Learn To Play Piano

Learning to play the piano is a bit like learning to read. A beginner piano student must master several skills before moving on to more advanced techniques. These skills may not come intuitively at first, but require repetition and practice. Stick with it, though, and spend the time to develop a solid foundation. The time you take as a beginning student will pay off later in greater fluency. Here are the top five skills you need to master initially:

  1. Posture - When sitting at the piano, your arms should hang freely from your shoulders, with your forearms extended comfortably on the keys in a vertical position. If the bench is too high or too low, your arms and wrists will suffer strain. They should be positioned loosely and naturally on the keyboard.
  2. Learn correct piano fingering - Place your hands on the piano so the wrist is vertical, neither arched or reclining. Bend your fingers gently. Learning to smoothly navigate the keyboard takes time and practice, but in general, don’t use the thumb to play black keys. Cross the second finger over the thumb to reach keys that are a few steps lower. Move the entire hand if a key is out of reach.
  3. Basic notes of the scale - One of the first things your piano teacher will instruct you in is how to “read” the basic notes of the scale. Once you recognize the basic notes you can pick out simple songs.
  4. Identify the keys of the piano - In addition to learning to recognize written notes, you must also know where those notes are on the piano. Additionally, being able to recognize a note when you hear it is a huge advantage.
  5. Time - Before you can play a piece, you must understand the basics of time and rhythm. Recognizing a quarter note compared to a half note or an eighth note is critical to your success as a pianist.

We highly recommend our Learn to Play Piano and Improvisation in 7 Days Easy Beginner Piano Course.



Louis from Houston
Date: 1/16/2012 11:03:28 PM
Thank you for the tips on beginner piano lessons. I have been following your piano lessons blog and learn a lot from it. Would you share more on how to play and learn piano chords in the future?
Date: 1/21/2012 6:48:14 AM
Hi Louis, you could try these piano chord lessons:
Date: 1/21/2012 6:50:15 AM
These piano tips are sure helpful. Thanks for sharing them. I've been playing piano for many years now and I'm going to try to teach piano lessons to kids. I will surely use your piano tips.
Date: 9/26/2012 1:58:43 PM
Dear Yoko, I took piano for about 1/12 years I play the right hand with an octive with the melody. My left hand is chords. I wanted to play fast that is why I went with the chords. How would your lessons help me. Eileen Hickey 410-931 4591. [email protected]
Ruth Martin
Date: 4/3/2013
A very useful and informative post for beginners! I particularly enjoyed reading your tips on posture and finger positions. Easy to understand and very helpful.

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