Scales Aren't Just a Fish Thing School

Overall view of Piano Procedures

How to sit at a piano

Sitting properly at the piano is essential for maintaining good posture, comfort, and effective technique. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to sit properly at a piano:

  1. Position: Sit on the center of the piano bench with your body facing the piano. Ensure that your feet comfortably reach the floor, flat or with a slight downward angle. If your feet don't reach the floor, use a footrest or an adjustable bench to achieve the correct height.
  2. Posture: Sit with an upright and relaxed posture. Keep your back straight but not rigid or tense. Avoid slouching or leaning forward excessively. The shoulders should be relaxed, and the arms and wrists should be free of tension.
  3. Distance from the Piano: Sit at a comfortable distance from the piano. The distance will depend on your arm length and the depth of the keyboard. Generally, you should be able to comfortably reach the keys without straining or stretching your arms.
  4. Height and Distance of Bench: Adjust the bench height to ensure that your forearms are parallel to the floor when your hands rest on the keys. This helps maintain a natural hand position and promotes efficient finger movement. The bench should be positioned close enough to the keyboard that your arms don't have to reach forward excessively.
  5. Hand and Arm Position: Place your hands on the keys with your wrists level and relaxed. Your hands should be slightly rounded, with the fingertips gently curved and resting on the keys. Keep your arms relaxed, and avoid tension in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists.
  6. Balance and Stability: Maintain a balanced and stable position on the bench. Distribute your weight evenly between both sides of your body, with the center of gravity aligned with your spine. Avoid leaning excessively to one side or favoring one hand over the other.
  7. Chair and Bench Height: If using a chair instead of a piano bench, ensure that it provides proper support and stability. Adjust the chair height so that your arms and wrists maintain a comfortable and level position when playing.
  8. Adjustments for Reach: If you need to reach the upper or lower ends of the keyboard, pivot your body at the hips rather than leaning or stretching excessively. This allows you to maintain a stable posture and balanced hand position.

Remember, practicing proper sitting posture at the piano is important for avoiding discomfort, preventing injuries, and facilitating effective technique. Regularly check and adjust your sitting position as needed to maintain good posture and comfort during your piano practice sessions.

How to hit the keys of the piano with your fingers

Playing the piano with proper finger technique is crucial for accuracy, control, and expression. Here's a guide on how to hit the keys of the piano with your fingers effectively:

  1. Hand Position: Start with a relaxed hand position. Your hands should be slightly rounded with gently curved fingers. Avoid tension or stiffness in the hands, fingers, and wrists.
  2. Finger Placement: Each finger has a designated range of keys it naturally falls on. The thumb (finger 1) typically plays keys positioned closer to the center of the keyboard, while the pinky (finger 5) plays keys at the outer edges. Place your fingers on the keys, allowing the fingertips to make contact.
  3. Finger Movement: Focus on using finger movements rather than excessive wrist or arm movements. Isolate the finger joints and practice independent control of each finger. This will help with precision and dexterity.
  4. Finger Action: Use a combination of finger action and weight transfer to strike the keys. Apply a controlled downward motion to the key using the weight of your arms and fingers. Avoid forcefully hitting or slamming the keys, as this can lead to tension and diminished control.
  5. Key Release: After striking a key, allow it to rebound back up naturally. Avoid keeping the finger pressed down unnecessarily. This helps with agility and responsiveness while playing.
  6. Finger Independence: Develop finger independence by practicing exercises and scales that involve different patterns and finger combinations. This will enhance your ability to play complex passages and chords smoothly.
  7. Finger Strength and Stamina: Build finger strength and endurance through regular practice. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your practice sessions to develop finger stamina.
  8. Dynamics and Expression: Adjust the amount of finger pressure and speed of the key strike to achieve different dynamics and tonal qualities. Lighter touches produce softer sounds, while firmer strikes generate louder sounds. Experiment with various articulations and expressions to add musicality to your playing.
  9. Finger Relaxation: Cultivate a habit of releasing tension in your fingers and hands during breaks or rests in the music. Shake out your hands and fingers gently to promote relaxation and prevent muscle fatigue.

Remember, effective finger technique on the piano comes with practice and attentive listening. Regular exercises, proper hand positioning, and relaxed finger movements are key elements in developing a strong and controlled piano technique. If possible, seek guidance from a qualified piano teacher who can provide personalized instruction and help you refine your finger technique.

Songs to start your Piano adventure

There are numerous piano songs suitable for beginners that can help you develop your skills and enjoy playing the instrument. Here are a few popular and relatively easy piano songs to get you started:

  1. "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" - This nursery rhyme is often one of the first songs beginners learn on the piano due to its simple melody and repetitive structure.
  2. "Ode to Joy" - The famous melody from Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 is widely recognized and can be played using basic hand positions and fingerings.
  3. "Für Elise" (Introductory Section) - The well-known introductory section of Beethoven's "Für Elise" is a great piece for beginners to explore. It features a memorable melody and straightforward hand movements.
  4. "Jingle Bells" - This classic holiday song is catchy and fun to play. It's a great way to practice playing with both hands and introduces simple chords.
  5. "Happy Birthday" - Everyone loves a good rendition of "Happy Birthday." The melody is straightforward, making it an ideal choice for beginners.
  6. "Can't Help Falling in Love" (Intro) - The beautiful introductory section of Elvis Presley's song is relatively simple to learn and provides an opportunity to practice playing chords and melody together.
  7. "Love Me Tender" - Elvis Presley's ballad "Love Me Tender" has a simple melody and chords, making it accessible for beginners.
  8. "Prelude in C Major" (by Bach) - The Prelude in C Major from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier is a great introduction to playing Baroque music. It consists of arpeggios and simple hand movements.
  9. "All of Me" (Intro) - The introduction of John Legend's hit song "All of Me" is recognizable and can be learned by beginners. It involves playing chords and melody together.
  10. "Clocks" (Intro) - The introductory section of Coldplay's "Clocks" is based on a repeating pattern and can be a great way to practice coordination between the hands.

Remember, these songs are just a starting point. As you progress, you can explore a wide range of beginner-level sheet music, piano method books, and online tutorials to further expand your repertoire. Enjoy the process of learning and don't be afraid to challenge yourself with new songs as your skills improve.