Piano Lesson 1 – Introduction
Piano Lesson 2 – Piano Notes
This lesson is going to teach you piano notes basic. The chart includes naturals (C, D, E, F, G, A, B), flats and sharps. (Double sharps and double flats have been omitted, since the chart would otherwise get too confusing and do more harm than good.) If you’re just getting started, you might wish to start with the Piano Notes Chart… but be sure to return here!
piano key chart
If you only learn one thing about the piano key chart, make sure it’s this: The keys are not the notes (see Layout of Piano Keys). You’ll notice that each key has two different note names in the chart. In fact, technically speaking there’s no limit to the number of notes that correspond to a given key on a piano. Hence, the first key in the chart could be C or B-sharp, or it could be D double flat or even A triple sharp!
The piano would be impossible to play if it had separate keys for all the flats, sharps, double flats and double sharps. Therefore, each possible note in Western music corresponds to one key on a piano, and in fact many different notes correspond to the same key. These notes (called enharmonic) are “close enough” in pitch that most people couldn’t detect any real difference anyway, so only a single piano key is used for all of them.
This doesn’t mean that they’re all created equal. The reason that all these different notes exist which are played by only one key on a piano is that it depends on how a composer uses them. Thus, F-sharp and G-flat might sound the same (on a piano at least), but they can have very different functions in actual music. For a very convincing demonstration, listen to the examples in the article Piano Theory.
If you’re just learning the piano keyboard, first learn the middle row of white keys (C, D, E…). These are the naturals, and they’ll serve to orient you.
Now, a sharp (which looks like a pound sign: #) means to play the next higher key. That next key can be either black or white. A flat (which looks like a lowercase ‘B’: b) means to play the next lower key.
Many beginners are confused by this point, as they think that a sharp or flat means a black key. Sharps and flats are not the black keys. All black keys are either a sharp or flat, but not all sharps and flats are black keys. Remember, an accidental (a sharp or flat) merely means to play the next higher or lower key on a piano, and that next key may be black or white.
Piano Lesson 3 – Major Chords
In this lesson 3 we are going to teach you how to play Major Chords on Piano.Major chords are usually the first type of chords one learns. Along with minor chords they are the most basic and easiest ones. They create a happy mood, unlike minor chords which are generally sad in nature.
They consist of three notes, a root, a major third and a perfect fifth (1 – 3 – 5). For instance, in the chord C major consists of the notes, C (the root), E (the major third), and G (the perfect fifth). To add another example, the chord F major consists of the notes F, A and C. The maj chord gets its name from the root note.
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The root is the note upon which the chord is based. For example, the root of G major is G, no matter what the inversion.
The major third is the third note in a major scale. Using the same note G, as an example, the major third is B. B is four half steps above the root note.
The perfect fifth is the fifth note in the major (or minor) scale. It is seven half steps above the root note. Using the note G again, the perfect fifth is D. D is three half steps above the major third.
Clearly, you can form this type of chord by using half steps. The formula is R + 4HS + 3 HS (root plus 4 half steps + 3 half steps).
Take a look at your piano keyboard. Play any key. To form a major chord corresponding to that key or note simply hold that note, then skip two keys and play the key to the right, then skip two keys and play the key to the right.
Piano Lesson 4 – Piano Minor Chords
In lesson 4 we are going to teach you to play Minor chords on Pinao.
When we spoke about the major chords we found out that every major chord was built out of a major third and a small third
The minor piano chords however, are built the other way around. The are formed by a minor 3rd and a major 3rd on top of it. So you basically switch the order of the intervals of the major chord.
Let’s take a C major piano chord for example. It contains the notes C,E, and G. In order to turn it to C Minor all we have to do is lower the E note in half a tone and press on E flat instead. At the end we stick with these notes (C-Eb-G).
The difference between Major chords and Minor Chords.
The minor third intervals in the minor piano chords which defines the chords as minor. sounds more mellow and melancholic in comparison with the major third of the major chord and that’s why the minor chords are being often interpreted in music as the sad, mellow ones.
Play a C minor chord, Listen to sound of the chord and try to identify and keep the mood of its sound in your ear.
Tip: If you’re having difficulties with finding a certain minor triad, seek for the major chord first and then lower the major third into a minor third.
Remember: Developing your musical ear is the key to success on the long run. That’s what we are aiming for.
When we’d like to state a minor chord, C minor for example we’ll write the root note in a big letter just as we did with the major chord and we’ll add a small m letter next to it.
C minor would be written as Cm for example.
So to conclude, in order to find a minor piano chord we should basically work intuitively and confirm our trial by checking out if we play the right notes according to the formula (A minor third and a major third on top of it.)
Work in Steps: First find the minor third (One and a half tone), then complete the chord with a major third. And other way around to do it is play the major chord and lower the middle note in half a tone.
Building an A Minor Chord.
Now that we know how to build minor piano chords on the theorotical level and we have an impression of how a minor chord should sound let’s try to built an A minor chord.
What we have to do is take the A key as the key note of the chord and count one and a half tones (a minor third) in order to reach the next note.
We end up with the C note. Now let’s count 2 tones from C to look for the major third. So A minor chord is made out of the notes A-C-E.