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First Piano Lesson

POSTED ON January 20, 2010

You’ve decided you want to play piano. You’ve chosen a teacher, have a lesson coming up and don’t want to go in cold. Or you’ve tried to learn with books and online tutorials, and decided you need some one on one instruction with a live person. for a beginner, the first lesson almost always entails these three things:

1) Find Middle C: On the piano, look at the black keys. There are 2 black keys, then there are 3 black keys, then there are 2 black keys then there are 3 black keys, and so on… Middle C can be found at the center of the piano, the first white key to the left of the 2 black keys.

2) Moving Your Fingers: With your RIGHT HAND, place your thumb on middle C. Move one finger at a time up to your pinky and back down. C-D-E-F-G ascending, G-F-E-D-C descending. Do this about 20 times. Then try the same thing with the Left Hand, but starting pinky on Middle C. FINGERING #’s: For either hand your teacher will explain Thumb is always the number 1. Pointer Finger = 2, Middle Finger = 3, Ring Finger =4, Pinky = 5. Now you have a handle on each hand moving seperately. The next step is to put BOTH THUMBS on Middle C. Your right hand and left hand fingering will match each other if you play at the same time from Middle C, 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1. Note: I call this the “C Scale.” The full C Major Scale probably comes in lesson 2, as you are still getting used to your hands in one position for now.

3) Play a Chord: A Chord is playing three notes or more all at once. An Arpeggio is playing a chord one note at a time. Go back to your first position of Right Hand thumb on Middle C. To Play a C Chord you will play C, E and G (all White Keys). To find this, play Middle C with your thumb, skip a note (and skip a finger) this is E, skip another note (and another finger) this is G. Your fingering for Right Hand should be 1 – 3 – 5 (C – E – G). Then try the same with your Left Hand pinky starting on Middle C. Your Left Hand fingering should be 5-3-1 (C – E -G). For now, practice playing your C Chord hands separate all at once (Chord), and as an arpeggio ascending and descending (1 – 3 – 5 – 3 – 1, or C – E – G – E – C).

So this should give you a head start, whether you want to jump in and practice before your first lesson, or if you just wanted to know what to expect at your first lesson. Fingerings are very important, especially in the beginning while you are first learning. If you have been trying to learn on your own, I’d recommend paying close attention to fingerings. The best thing you can do is get with a good piano teacher from the start, so you don’t start bad habits that you may not recognize on your own.

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