• # First Step To Take While Getting Started With The Piano

Now that you’re getting started with the piano, welcome to your first lesson.

I’ll be taking you by the hand in this lesson and showing you step-by-step, from some basic terms you need to be familiar with, to all you need to know to be able to distinguish one note from the other.

Your first piano lesson is going to be loaded with important secrets, tools and tips, but, I’ve also done my best to present it in a simple style that anyone can learn from.

Without further ado, let’s jump at it.

## Preliminaries

The image below is a keyboard.

I really want to believe that this is not your first time of seeing the keyboard.

The keyboard is a cross section of black and white finger keys arranged from left to right (horizontally).

Here are a few things that are note-worthy:

Color. There are white and black notes on the keyboard.

Design. The black notes are shorter than white notes.

Pattern. Black notes are grouped in twos and threes.

I call them the physical properties of the keyboard because right before you learn about notes, scales, intervals, chords, and progressions, it is important that you have a knowledge of these properties.

“Can I Burst Your Bubble?”

Do you know that same way you can look at the computer keyboard and see alphabets, numbers, and symbols, you can look at the piano keyboard and also see alphabets, numbers and symbols.

## Alphabets

There are several finger keys on the piano.

This entire collection of notes may seem overwhelming. But can be broken down into sets of seven.

One 7-note set:

Two 7-note set:

Three 7-note set:

Four 7-note set:

This collection of notes (seven of them) can be named using seven alphabets.

A, B, C, D, E, F, and G:

For some reasons I don’t wish to disclose yet, this 7-note set usually starts with a C note. But it’s still okay because in the long run we’ll still have seven alphabets represented.

Pretty much, we’re starting on C, when the seventh alphabet is reached, we’ll get back to A, B, and then C.

C, D, E, F, G, A, and B:

As opposed to the computer keyboard where you have to struggle with 26 alphabets, it’s easier with the piano keyboard because you have JUST seven alphabets.

## Numbers

Yes! There are numbers on the piano too.

I think it’s appropriate to tell you the reason why the 7-note sets are arranged from C to B instead of A-G.

In the use of numbers, C is considered as the number one even though A is the first letter of the alphabets.

C is number 1:

D is number 2:

E is number 3:

F is number 4:

G is number 5:

A is number 6:

…and B is number 7:

I’m excited to share this with you because pretty soon, you’ll find yourself among musicians and will hear them use certain numeric codes like “two five one,” “seven three six” etc.

What is two five one?

Two five one has to do with D, G and C.

How did I get D, G and C?

D is number 2, G is number 5 and C is number 1.

Now that we’ve covered alphabets and numbers, let’s look at symbols.

## Symbols

In addition to alphabets and numbers, we have symbols on the piano.

There are fewer symbols in to look out for on the piano:

…as opposed to the computer keyboard where you have several symbols such as !, @, #, \$, %, ^, &, * etc.

Same way symbols have their respective names,

# is known as “hash”

& is pronounced as “and”

…these symbols also have their respective names:

is pronounced “flat”

is pronounced “sharp”

is pronounced “natural”

These symbols have their individual roles as follows:

Sharp: Raises a note by a semitone

Flat: Lowers a note by a semitone

Natural: Neutralizes the effect of sharps and flats.

Take note…

In music, there are two directions. Movement to the right is considered as ascending while movement to the left is considered as descending.

Raising a note is associated with a movement to the right while lowering a note is associated with a movement to the left.

Also, I’ll want you to see a semitone the distance between two adjacent finger keys whether white or black.

The distance between the following adjacent notes:

…is semitone.

Therefore, the sharp symbol will move a note to its adjacent note in the right direction while the flat symbol will move a note to its adjacent note in the left direction.

It take a sharp to raise…

Using the sharp symbol,

C:

…can be raised to:

…which is an adjacent note in the right direction.

It take a flat to lower…

Using the flat symbol,

C:

…can be lowered to:

…which is an adjacent note in the left direction.

Black notes derive their names basically from the relationship between alphabets and symbols. For example, C# (pronounced as C sharp):

…can be derived from C:

…by raising it by a semitone.

My time is probably up. But before you leave this page, let me introduce you to note identification.

As a beginner, If you follow the basic guide I’ll give you in this post, you’ll be able to find notes on the piano with the greatest ease.

Let’s get started!

### Finding C and E

Cs and Es are related when it comes to keyboard navigation. This is because they are on the left and right hand side of the set of two black notes on the keyboard.

C is the white note that is located on the left hand side of the group of two black notes. Here are all the Cs on the piano:

…immediately before every set of two black notes

E is located on the right hand side of the group of two black notes. Here are all the Es on the piano:

…immediately after every set of two black notes.

Check out these Cs and Es on the piano:

### Finding F and B

Fs and Bs are adjacent to every group of three black notes on the piano.

F is the white note that is located on the left hand side of the group of three black notes. Here are all the Fs on the piano:

…immediately before every set of three black notes.

B is located on the right hand side of the group of three black notes. Here are all the Bs on the piano:

…immediately after every set of three black notes.

Check out these Fs and Bs on the piano:

Now that you’re familiar with notes on the left and right of the groups of black notes in twos and threes, let’s look at the notes in-between.

### Filling-In The Blank Spaces

We all did some quantitative reasoning exercise in elementary school, where, you’ll be given C and E to find the alphabet in-between. It’s usually captioned “Fill in the blank spaces.”

Alright, let’s fill in the blank spaces.

In-between C and E:

…is a letter of the alphabet. If you guessed D:

…then you’re correct.

D:

…is in between C and E:

“In the same vein…”

The alphabet A:

…comes before B:

Therefore, you’ll find As before Bs:

…on the piano.

If you can remember the Bs:

…we covered a while ago, then you’re just an alphabet away from all the As:

“Finally…”

In alphabetic sequence, after G:

…is A:

Gs come after Fs:

…on the piano.

If you can remember the Fs:

…then you’re just an alphabet away from all the Gs:

## Final Words

On behalf of our president and founder – Jermaine Griggs, I want to say congratulations! I’m excited that you made it through your first piano lesson. This is not the end – we’re just getting started.

Who knows the reason why you finally decided to get started with piano playing, or how many times you’ve triad without success. But trust me, things will be different this time – take my word for it.

If you’ll want us to keep in touch with you and take you step by step henceforth, then you’ll have to subscribe below.

Thank you for your time!

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#### Chuku Onyemachi

Head of Education at HearandPlay Music Group
Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. Inspired by my role model Jermaine Griggs, I started teaching musicians in my neighborhood in April 2005. Today, I'm privileged to work as the head of education, music consultant, and chief content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with hundreds of thousands of musicians across the world.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 David

Thanks got all of that. Oh, I am a drummer, and I play some Steel pan. but I want to try the piano as there we don’t have our own keyboard at our church. I don’t read music, so this is very good for me at this time.

2 IVOR WORRELL

With your explanation on finding notes on the piano, soon & very soon I will be able to play the piano by feel rather than by sight, which will def. help me to become a great player. You guys are really erudite on piano theory/playing. God bless.

3 Jean

Thank you for this lesson I feel like the more teaching I get is the more I’m learning I’m just hoping that one day I will be a great player and will be able to pass on what I have leant to others God bless

4 Brian J Atkins

Thanks so much I will not give up this time, blessings