Learning the piano: learning the basics in 13 steps

To make sure it doesn’t stay theoretical, we’ve got you covered with plenty of Images, Notes to play, Exercises and various Quiz questions Up your sleeve.

Are you more the visual type? You might want to start with this video introduction to learning the piano in 8 minutes:

In our piano courses and videos for learning the piano you will find you will find everything you need to know! You’re not sure if it’s still worth learning piano as an adult? We help with tips from music theory and self-motivation!

Let’s go!

What you can learn here:

Step 1: Learn the keyboard with notes

At first glance at the keyboard, you might think there are quite a few notes to learn.

But it is easier than it seems:

In principle, you only need to learn 12 notes!

The grayed out area on the keyboard shows you the notes you should know.

The notes on this keyboard are in 6 groups of 12 notes grouped. Each group consists of 7 white keys and 5 black keys. Take a look at the graphic above – the group marked in gray is shown on the left and right a few times repeated. Each group starts with one "C" note (see marking), it is located To the left of two consecutive black keys.

Let’s take a closer look at the "C" notes. remember how to find them on the keyboard? Exactly, to the left of a pair of black keys. This is an important thing, because before each song you must first find the "C" on the keyboard.

Exercise: As small exercise, try all "C" notes on the keyboard.

Since it is a bit difficult to find the "C" notes at first, it is sufficient if you know the middle "C" at first. As the name suggests, it is located in the middle of the keyboard, right in front of you when you sit down in front of the piano. Have a look at the picture above. You see there lines, symbols and numbers. This is a line system. The middle "C" is in the middle there, too.

The line system is where the musical language is written down. music is a language like any other; it is based on rules, there are special signs and so on. This language expresses where to play what on the instrument. In the line system above, one note is shown – the middle "C". Let’s get to know some more notes in the line system and understand how they are related to the keyboard.

Here you can see more "C" notes and how they are mapped in the line system.

Recognize the middle "C" in the shaded area?

To the left and right are more "C" notes.

If you count the white and black keys on the keyboard, you can see that there are 12 keys (notes) between each "C" note. In the line system, however, there are 8 lines and spaces between each "C" note.

This sequence of notes (12 on the keyboard, 8 in the line system) is called an octave. In the picture above you see octaves on the keyboard and in the line system – from one "C" to the next. We will learn all the notes in an octave (1 group) – focusing on the octave with the middle "C".

Hint: Keyboard instruments can have different length keyboards, so don’t panic if you count more "C" notes than shown in the picture. Just look for a pair of black keys; the next white key to the left is always a "C" note.

Root tones

Now that you have learned the "C" notes it is time to learn the other root notes:

C – D – E – F – G – A – H

Originally as an alphabetical series a – b – c – d – e – f – g, originated in the 10. century the distinction of the b into a lower (b rotundum) and a higher note (b quadratum). The note sign of the higher b Had a square belly, from which the letter and note eventually emerge h was. The lower b kept its name. International music publishers use the English designations: b for h and b flat for b. This difference is especially important when playing by chord symbols.

Learning an instrument is always a bit of a challenge – no matter what age or musical background you have.

We at music2me want to help you find the best way to start playing the piano. Here you can learn, try and practice the basics in 13 easy steps.

Piano lessons show our piano teacher from your perspective. This is how you learn without having to rethink where to put your fingers (even without knowing all the notes).). Just try to learn piano with us!

We have tried to make this beginner’s tutorial for piano as simple as possible.

To follow the course and become familiar with the keyboard, you just need a small portable keyboard. It doesn’t necessarily require a real piano – a small Casio or Yamaha keyboard with built-in speakers is perfectly sufficient.

So – get to the keys and let’s go!

Step 2: Semitone steps on the keyboard

In the previous unit, you learned where the "C" notes are located on the keyboard and where the middle "C" is located. You also already know the other root notes on the white keys and are thus ready for the black keys.

The notes on the piano are written in "Half steps" subdivided. Look at the middle "C" on the keyboard – the step from here to the first black key on the right is a half step. The step from this black key to the "D" key is again a semitone step. The black Keys are therefore located in the Semitone spacing to the white keys.

Next, take a look at the "E" and "F" keys – the distance between them is also a semitone step. This may sound a bit confusing at first, since there is no black key between the keys. We don’t want to dive too deeply into music theory at this point, so just remember the following for starters: From one key to the next (including the black one) is always a semitone step. This insight is important to understand later the concept of raised and lowered notes.

Now you know the semitone steps and we can look at the raised notes turn to. A raised tone lies one semitone step above a root – to mark the character # (called cross) uses. Whenever you see the cross next to a note, the note is struck a semitone higher. The note name is followed by an "is" appended.

To illustrate this, look at the middle "C" on the above keyboard. If you raise it by a semitone, you will end up with the first black key on the right, which is also called "C#".

But how does this look in the line system?

Consider the middle "C" in the line system above. As you can see, it is accompanied by a cross and should be played one semitone above the middle "C". note played is called "C#" and corresponds to the first black key to the right of middle "C.

Now look at each note within an octave and find the raised notes on the keyboard. There are five in total – one for each black key. their names:

C sharpD sharpF#G#A sharp

For the lowered notes the following applies analogously same concept. You might already guess that each black key two namen has. Don’t let this confuse you – the reason will soon become clear to you.

So now we turn to the lowered notes. A lowered note is located a semitone step lower than the root– the sign "b" (pronounced like the letter B) is used to mark them. Whenever you see the "b" in front of a note, the note is played one semitone below the shown note. The note name is followed by a "it" attached.

For illustration look at the "D" on the keyboard above. If you lower the key by a semitone, you end up with the first black key to the left of the middle "D". The key is thus also called "D flat. So the black key is called "C#" and "D#" equally, depending on the direction from which you reach it. This feature is called enharmonic confusion.

Let’s look at this concept in the line system.

Consider the note "E" in the above line system. As you can see, it is notated with a "b", so it should be played a semitone below the "E. The played note is called "E-flat" and corresponds to the first black key to the left of the "E".

Now look at each note within an octave and find the lowered notes on the keyboard. There are five in total – one for each black key. Their names are:


From the note h is the lowered note b, As we have already addressed and explained in the first step of our tutorial.

Since the key used in the lowered a more correct note name aes in the pronunciation too high similarity with the it would have, the sound is instead referred to as as.

Between e and f as well as b and c there is no semitone step and therefore no black key. If one now increases or decreases one of these tones, interesting double assignments result. A raised e (# sign) is pronounced e-is and you play the same key as for the note f. A lowered (b-sign) f is pronounced fes and the same key is played as for the note e. The same principle applies to the notes h and c.

Congratulations, now you already know the concept of raised and lowered notes!


the sign "#" stands for raised and "b" for lowered.

"C sharp" is the same black key as "Of the".

" Dis" is the same black key as "E-flat".

"F sharp" is the same black key as "Ges".

" G sharp"is the same black key as "As".

" ais" is the same black key as " B".

It is best to practice 15 minutes a day before you start playing songs. It is useful if you pronounce the name of a note while playing and listen carefully to the sound of the note. However, don’t forget that the black keys (and some white keys) each have two names.

You can now test your knowledge in a little quiz.


Is "It" a white or black key?

a) white

b) black

Is "A" a white or black key?

a) white

b) black

Is "B" (in Germany) a white or black key?

a) white

b) black

Is "Fez" a white or black key?

a) white

b) black


Step 3: Learn note values on the piano

You have already made great progress in learning the piano and recognizing the language of music – a language that all people understand. It reaches to the inside of the human being and for everyone it carries its own special meaning. With the help of music you can relieve stress or express something for which you can’t find words. It is an art and a way of thinking. music is a form of mathematics and also a science. In making music together, you learn to work with others and creatively achieve a goal. Performing in front of an audience helps you to overcome inhibitions or even give a presentation to a group of people.

Now is the time to learn about the concepts of tone duration, root beat and meter. You are now familiar with all the means to name and play each note on the piano. Not true? You know the white and black notes – now let’s learn how long to play the notes and play music together!

To make music instead of just playing notes in random order, you need some kind of map that tells you which notes to play at what time and for what duration. Reading sheet music is similar to reading a hiking map. The hiking map shows the destination, the way to get there and where to rest and for how long to get there in time. In music, sequences of notes tell you the route to take; the beat and root tell you how fast or slow to play the notes.

You can see the waypoints of a piece of music in the line system. The staves are divided into small waypoints, which Measures are called. The bars, in turn, can be divided into even smaller elements, called Basic strokes (engl. = beats), to be subdivided.

This is where the mathematics behind the music begins, because the time signature looks like a mathematical fraction. The lower value indicates the basic rhythmic value (most often quarter, eighth or half notes), the upper value determines how many of these basic values are counted to a measure. The sum of all beats in a measure must be equal to the value of the chosen time signature. For illustration purposes, let’s assume a bar with the value 1 and four equal root beats – What is the value of each beat?? See questions and answers!

Note values exercises

Questions and answers

F: What is the value of 4 equal beats if they add up to 1??

A: Each 1/4… 4 quarter notes added together make one.

F: What is the value of 8 equal beats if they add up to 1??

A: Each 1/8… 8 eighth notes added together make one.

F: What is the value of 16 equal beats if they add up to 1?

A: Each 1/16… 16 sixteenth notes added together make one.

F: What is the value of 2 equal beats if they add up to 1?

A: Each 1/2… 2 halves added together make one.

F: What is the value of 1 beat if the sum is 1??

A: One!

Let’s summarize.

We have basic beats with the following values:



Quarter note

Eighth note


A note in the line system contains at least two pieces of information. The first is its "melodic name" (note name) – this is given by the vertical position of the note in the line system.

The second is their "rhythmic name" (note value) – this is determined by the type of note head and stem and expresses how long (or short) a note is to be played. Analogous to basic beats, note names include the following:

Whole note

Half note

Quarter note

Eighth note

Sixteenth note

As you can see in the graphic, notes can be filled or empty. You will also have noticed that some note heads have a note stem with or without a flag. The shape of the note shows you the note value. Here are a few examples:

The whole note has no stem and is not filled in.

The half note does not have a flag and is not filled in.

The quarter note has no flag and a filled notehead.

The eighth note has a simple flag and is filled in.

The sixteenth note has a double flag and is filled with.

Note the different notation of the eighth and sixteenth notes: some of them have a flag and some of them have a note name. Double flags, if there are more than one, connect the flags to a bar for better readability, resp. Double bar.

So we can have a note with the tone name "C" note and the tone duration quarter note, or an "A#" note which is a half note. Just remember that the description of a note in the line system always includes two pieces of information, and that all note values in the measure must add up to the value of the measure.

So, to summarize, notes can be described by at least three characteristics:

Note names

Note value

Raised or Decreases

Super! You are well on your way to reading notes and playing on the piano. Again, well done!

Here comes the Quiz:

A whole note is equal to ____ half notes together

a) Two

b) Four

c) Eight

The staves are divided into sections called ____.

a) Chords

b) Bars

c) Verses

Two eighth notes plus one quarter note equal one ____.

a) Half note

b) Whole note

c) Three eighth notes

Two quarter notes plus a half note equal ____.

a) One eighth note

b) A triple eighth note

c) A whole note





Since you have been so motivated so far, you may now take a well-deserved break. Watch the following video on the history of notes:

Step 4: All about the measure

Take a look at the quarter notes in the graphic. What can you already recognize with what you have learned so far?

Correct, you see three measures and eight "F" quarter notes. Four quarter notes together make a 4/4 measure, and in this lesson we’re going to learn more about measures.

But first, let’s take a closer look at the line system. On the far left you will find the Chord Bracket, a curved bracket used for instruments with a large range, including the piano.

To the right the two line systems begin, the upper one for the notes of the right hand and the lower one for the notes of the left hand . In the upper system you can see the Treble Clef or also called G clef, because its squiggle indicates the place of the G on the second line. In the lower system Bass clef which is also called F clef because its colons enclose the place of the F.

You will find the time signature at the beginning of the treble clef and bass clef as well. In the diagram, a 4/4 time signature is given for both clefs (4 over 4). The upper number indicates the number of beats per measure, d.h. each bar is four notes long here. The number below gives you the "rhythmic name" (note value) of each of these beats in a measure. In a 4/4 measure, four quarter notes correspond to one measure. In other words, a bar is four quarter notes long.

A bar can be any Combination of note values include (quarter, eighth, sixteenth, half) as long as they add up to the length of the bar. You can see how important math is for music; so now let’s brush up on our fractions a little more.

The fraction (4/4) you see next to the clefs is called the time signature (or time signature).

s gives many different time signatures, for example the 2/2-, 2/4-, 3/4- or 3/8-beat. The 4/4 time from the graphic corresponds to a fraction with length 1, because 4/4=1. Four quarters added together make 1, but there are many more possible combinations.

Measure in music – examples

Take a look at some examples of measures:

1 = 1 (1 whole note equals one measure)

1/2 + 1/2 = 1 (2 half notes together make a beat)

1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 = 1 (4 quarter notes together make one measure)

1/8 + 1/8 + 1/8 + 1/8 + 1/8 + 1/8 + 1/8 = 1 (8 eighth notes added together make one measure)

1/16 + 1/16 + 1/16 + 1/16 + 1/8 + 1/8 + 1/4 + 1/4 = 1 ( 4 sixteenth notes, 2 eighth notes and 2 quarter notes added together make one measure)

As you can see, in principle any combination of notes is possible, as long as they have a length of 1.

That’s it for this step. You can be proud of yourself because now you already know all the essential tools to read and play music.

In the next step we will therefore use these tools. In later lessons you will learn about the concept of "key" – which, along with the concept of "time signature", is essential for playing a piece. For now, let’s recall all the tools you’ve learned so far.


Note names (incl. raised and lowered) notes of the piano

note names (incl. Raised and lowered) of the notes in the line system

note values of the notes in the line system (whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth)

Time signature (the time signature)

Treble clef (to be played with the right hand)

bass clef (to be played with the left hand)

Step 5: Measure and tempo in practice

As you already know, the time signature specifies how many pulse or root beats of a note value belong together. Now you’re ready to learn the tempo, d.h. how fast or how slow a bar is to be played. Listen to the audio example.

Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 audio. Here is a link to the audio instead.

You are listening to the tempo of the piece shown:

Tempo is expressed in beats per minute – each click you hear represents a beat. It clicks once per second, d.h. the tempo of this song is 60 beats per minute or 60 BPM (beats per minute).

The time signature "4/4" tells you that each bar must be four quarter notes long. The tempo tells you how fast the quarter notes should be played one after the other. Listen to the audio example:

Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 audio. Here is a link to the audio instead.

Practice: follow the click sound carefully – each click corresponds to the attack of a quarter note. You can tap your thigh with your hand on each click note and move your eyes from one quarter note to the next – until the end. Then you can start again from the beginning.

Please repeat this exercise for at least 3 minutes to get a confident feel for the tempo of the beat.


Do you know what you have just done? You have just learned to read notes and translate them into music. So far you are only tapping the notes on your thighs, but soon you will be playing the first pieces on the piano!

Time to call your friends, parents or loved ones and tell them you learned to read music!

Step 6: Learn to play a melody on the piano

For the next lesson you will need your piano. Once you are ready, please play the audio sample for this:

Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 audio. Here is a link to the audio instead.

In the previous lessons you heard clicking sounds, now you hear the sound of a piano. Each keystroke on the piano corresponds to a "click" – you hear the note "F" above middle "C.

Remember how to find the "F? Starting from middle "C", it’s the fourth white key on the right hand. If you need a refresher, please watch lesson 1 again.

The human hand is slightly curved inwards in the resting position due to muscles and is in an optimal bend to play the piano. Put your right hand relaxed on the keyboard in front of you and make sure that the fingertips touch the keys. Find the middle "C" with your thumb and let the other fingers rest on the adjacent keys. When all fingers have found "their" key, the distribution is as follows:

little finger – "G

Practice: To tune in, play the "F" note a few times with your ring finger and then play along with the beat of the song. As you play, follow the "F" notes on the keyboard in the diagram above. Repeat this exercise until you feel confident, because this is how you practice your ability to read and play notes.

If you are unsure where to put your fingers, the following tool will help you learn the piano. With the following button you jump to the picture with the middle C. From there you can continue to orient yourself:

First look at the staves. What do you see? Right, two different quarter notes. The first is middle "C", as you can also see on the piano keyboard. It will be repeated twice. The second note, also repeated twice, is an "F". Now please play the second audio example:

Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 audio. Here is a link to the audio instead.

Now it’s your turn. Place the thumb of your right hand on the middle "C" of your piano. Now, place the ring finger of your right hand over on the "F" note, d.h. to the right of the middle "C. Play the middle "C" twice in a row with your thumb and then the "F" twice in a row with your ring finger. Repeat this exercise a few times and you will notice that you are playing the same melody as in the audio sample.

As before, you can read note by note on the staves at the same time. If you need more than three minutes, it doesn’t matter – just take the time you need. More importantly, practice until it feels natural to read and play notes at the same time.

The ability to read and play notes at the same time is necessary to play music from the sheet of music. You should also build up your sense of rhythm, so it is important that you play the notes at the same time as in the audio example. Repeat the exercise as long as you need to be in tune with the melody.

Congratulations! In the last lesson you started to read and play music at the same time and now you have already played your first duet. In a duet, two people (in this case you and the computer) play a piece together.

Your musical journey will gradually lead you to a better and better understanding and awareness of music. May your further journey bring you much joy.

More exercises on reading and playing music will follow in the following lessons. You should always proceed as follows:

look at the time signature

Determine the length of a bar

Play the audio sample

Read notes, at the tempo of the audio sample…

… and play

That’s it for this lesson, you did great!

Step 7: Fingering – Where to put all the fingers?

So that you don’t get your fingers in knots while playing, there are hints in the notes that show you which finger plays which note.

This will allow you to play pieces of music more easily and move your hands more fluidly and easily across the keyboard.

You don’t necessarily have to do the following exercise at the piano: Hold your hands outstretched in front of you – palms facing down – and spread your fingers apart. Each of the fingers is assigned a number:

Ring finger is = 4

Little finger is = 5

Learning the piano takes practice. In the beginning it is not easy to control each finger individually and to make your brain understand that only the muscles of one finger are to be used. But with a little practice this will come naturally and you won’t even have to think about it anymore.

Here you can see the numbering of both hands again at a glance:

As the last exercise in this lesson, let’s improve the movement of your fingers by typing on a keyboard.

Put your fingers on your keyboard and place the fingers of your left Put your hand on the keys as follows:

Finger #5 on the A

Finger 4 on the S

Finger 3 on the D

Finger 2 on the F

Finger #1 on the space bar

Exercise: Type the following letter combination for three minutes. The X represents a hit on the space bar with the thumb of the respective hand. Let’s go!


Now follows the same exercise for the right hand. Put your fingers of the right hand on the keys as follows:

Finger #5 on the a

Finger #4 on the o

Finger #3 on the L

finger #2 on the K

finger #1 on the space bar


If you add this lesson to your favorites and do the exercises daily, you will soon make progress. The point of this lesson is to teach your brain to control each finger individually and specifically. This won’t work overnight – but after about 90 days the nerve connections to your fingers have already improved significantly.

If you do this exercise several times a day for 5 days, you will strengthen your nerve connections and get a good start towards finger control.

Step 8: Play the piano two-handed

It’s Show Time!

In this lesson we put together everything we have learned so far. But don’t worry – we’ll carefully explain each step we go together.

Important for the success of practicing is the Simplification of the material:

Play your hands one by one

Divide into short sections

play without rhythm

playing rhythm only (clapping, talking…)

First of all, look at the staves. The notes for your right hand are shown in the upper system, those for your left hand in the lower one:

So, to simplify the piece, start with one hand and play slowly, note by note, only the first measure. Since the right hand very often plays the melody, you almost always start with the right hand. So place your relaxed right hand in the middle as described in section 6-c-position and press the keys for the c, d and e. You start with the thumb (fingering 1)on the c, the index finger plays the d and your middle finger the e. Did it work on the first try? Great, then repeat the passage three times in a row, if possible without any mistakes. Did you have difficulties and something did not fit yet?? Then think about what it was (hand position on the keyboard, fingering. ) and correct yourself. Then play the improved version correctly several times in a row.

Now we practice the left hand playing one octave lower than the right hand with the little finger (fingering 5) on the c begins and then d and e plays. Repeat this section several times correctly in a row. Great, now both hands know what to play and can try this measure together.

To do this, bring both hands into their known position and then play simultaneously first c, then d and e. Also practice this common section correctly three times in a row. Now you get an impression of what practicing and playing the piano feels like.

if you can play the first bar with both hands, it’s time to take a closer look at the rhythm.

Step 9: Stay in rhythm

In this lesson we work on rhythm and timing, because:

A right note at wrong time is wrong.

There are many methods to get the to memorize beats. A common method uses numbers. For the 4/4 time is followed, for example, by 1 to 4 counted, where each number represents a basic beat. When eighth notes occur in 4/4 time, they fall through the meshes of the "1-2-3-4 net". So you help yourself by saying "One and Two and Three and Four and One…" speaks. For sixteenth notes, add an "e" between each number and the "and". Spoken One-e-unth Two-e-unth 3-e-unth Four-e-unth.

It counts more playfully if you use the assign syllables or even words to note values, as the composer and music educator Zoltan Kodaly:

Half notes: ta-ja

Whole notes: ta-ja-ja-ja

sixteenth notes: tiri tiri

With enough experience you can also find your own words to the rhythms, as long as the syllables fit the rhythm. Very popular are names for this, for example Tan-ja for eighth notes or Ku-ni-gun-de for sixteenth notes.

To experience rhythm practically, we’ll use the short piece known from step 8, between the staves you’ll see the counting for the basic beat:

Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 audio. Here is a link to the audio instead.

Since bars 1 to 4 have the same rhythm, we can only consider bar 1 for now. Before you start playing, it’s best to count two measures out loud: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4. Then you have to c with the count of 1, the d with the 2 and the e play and count with the 3 at the same time. Count 4 is spoken only, the e as a half note continues to sound until beat 1 of the next bar. If you succeed several times in a row, you can play the other bars with the same rhythm. Measure 5 is a whole note: you strike this on the count of 1 and hold the note while continuing to count evenly. To check yourself, you can use the audio example.

You’ve gotten to this point in our crash course – you’ve got true motivation Learning to play the piano shown!

Learn piano even faster with our over 250 videos!

Step 10: Play rests

In this overview you can see each note and its corresponding rest. That means the Length of note and rest values are equal.

In other words:

The note value (or note length) of a quarter note is equal to that of a quarter rest

The note value of a half note is equal to that of a half rest

The note value of a whole note is equal to that of a whole rest

The note value of an eighth note is equal to that of an eighth rest

The note value of a sixteenth note is equal to that of a sixteenth rest

rests are used by composers to indicate where not to play. The basic beat continues, but no note is sounded during the pause. Before we look at a few examples, we would like to introduce some changes in the presentation, so that you become less dependent on aids.

As an introduction to the theory of rests, please listen to the audio example:

Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 audio. Here is a link to the audio instead.

Here sounds a typical example with quarter rests. Notice first that it is a 4/4 time signature. To give you a feeling of the tempo of the 4/4 time, let’s play at the beginning four click notes. This routine is also called "giving the beat". Every musician needs to know what tempo is appropriate to play a piece. In how many ways this can be done, you will read below.

Exercise: Please listen to the audio example again and play along with it. Repeat the exercise for 5 minutes. After that you should be able to play the song without the help of the example – again for 5 minutes.

Other expressions for "giving the beat" include:

One, Two, Three, Four… (bspw. Rock ‘n’ Roll)

Congratulations, you are well on your way to becoming a real piano player.

To give the lessons a final touch, you should consider going to the nearest music store and getting a music book with short, simple songs to get. Maybe you also know someone who can lend you a booklet. The songs should not be harder than the ones you will learn here.

It would be good if you practice 30 minutes a day you could, by playing a song from the booklet. With what you have learned so far, you can approach the task with confidence and poise.

You may want to make sure that the songs are in 4/4 time, but there may be some in 3/4, 2/4 and 6/8 time as well, since we will be learning these soon.

Step 11: Waltzes and other types of music

If you’ve been diligently playing songs from your new songbook so far, you’ll probably have learned other time signatures. Some of them can be seen in the picture above.

Each Time signature shows the Value of a bar, as you have already learned it with the 4/4 time signature. A 3/4 time says that each bar has the value of 3 quarter notes has. A 2/4 time indicates that each bar has the value of 2 quarter notes has. A 6/8 time again indicates that each bar has the value of 6 eighth notes features.

3/4 time is needed for a waltz.

A 2/4 time signature is used for a march or polka.

A 6/8 time signature is taken for a fast waltz.

Below you will find a library of time signatures and examples of how they are played. How about a bite of music to whet your appetite??

While the page with the time signatures is loading, feel free to listen to the song Take Five by Paul Desmond:

Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 audio. Here is a link to the audio instead.

The song is written in 5/4 time – so it consists of 5 quarter notes per measure. You also get a 5/4 time when you combine a 3/4 time with a 2/4 time. There are many pieces that combine different time signatures to create a unique arrangement of music.

Waltz – 3/4

Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 audio. Here is a link to the audio instead.

March – 2/4

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Fast waltz – 6/8

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Halftime (Football)

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The best way to learn musical genres, which are also characterized by time signatures, is to listen to them. If you hear them often, you can visualize them before you play them. For example, if you see a 3/4 time signature, remember a waltz you’ve heard before. This will give you a good idea of how the song should sound before you play it. This is very important!

Whether you are a band director, a music teacher, or a composer, they will all want to give you a taste of the song through the style of the music.

Let’s take a look at some common types of music:

Waltz in 3/4

Jazz waltz in 3/4

Dixieland "Alla Breve" (2/4), see crossed out C

Polka in 4/4

Polka "Alla Breve" (2/4), see crossed out C

March in 4/4

March "Alla Breve" (2/4), see crossed out C

Bossa Nova in 4/4

Ballad in 4/4

Ballad in 3/4

Ballad in 6/8

Swing in 4/4

12-bar blues in 4/4

There are many other styles, for example classical, Latin American, oriental or folklore.

You did great!

Step 12: Dynamics and articulation

In this step we will cover some important means to make your piano playing more musical and beautiful. In order to be able to play what you have shown yourself correctly, your instrument needs velocity; without it, you can’t achieve volume differences with your fingers. To do this, let’s return to the piece we know from step 8, this time with a few extra characters in the musical text:

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The characters used stand for Volume or its change, what you can call Dynamics summarizes. Here is an overview:

fff fortissimo possibile – as loud as possible

ff fortissimo – very loud

f forte – loud

mf mezzoforte – half loud

mp mezzopiano – semi-quiet

p piano – soft

pp pianissimo – very soft

ppp pianissimo possibile – as quietly as possible

To note changes, use an opening fork (bar 1) or the word "change" (bar 2) cresc. (crescendo, ital.) for "getting louder. Opposite use a closing fork (bar 2) or the instruction dim. (diminuendo, ital.) for "become quieter.

At Articulation means the way successive notes are played. The most important possibilities are:

non legato – not tied

Here’s the first measure from our now well-known piece with different articulations:

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The interpretation and implementation of articulation and dynamics distinguishes musicians from each other and can become their trademark. As an example, to hear these differences, listen to preludes and fugues by Johann Sebastian Bach from the Well-Tempered Clavier, BWV 846-893. Famous recordings, parts of which could not be more different, are by Glenn Gould and Sviatoslav (also Swjatoslaw) Richter, among others.

Special mention: the fermata above the last note is a stopping sign (fermata, ital). = stop, stop). The note marked in this way must be sustained over its actual duration, according to the particular interpretation of the musician. At the end of a piece, the fermata, rather the final sign, in the middle of the note, especially in choral or orchestral literature with conductor, is a very effective stylistic device.

One day you will need the help of a mentor or teacher to hone your skills. Remember though, you don’t learn to play the piano overnight, it’s a long journey.

Step 13: Motivation tips when practicing is difficult

If your motivation, which you have shown us so strongly so far, has a hitch, here are 3 tips to get you back on track:

Five minutes maximum: The last practice session didn’t go so great and you don’t really have any motivation to sit down at the piano? Play only 5 minutes! You can do this and you will feel better afterwards because you have done something! (And maybe you will practice longer after all…)

Listen to pianists: Youtube or Spotify – you are spoilt for choice. You’ve been wanting to listen to the soundtrack of the last movie you saw? After the third song at the latest, you’ll feel like pressing a few keys again.

You’ve earned a reward: For a 15-minute piano practice session, promise yourself an episode of your favorite TV show or that candy bar you’ve been sneaking around all day.

How hard is it to learn piano?

Learning the piano is not that hard in itself. It is a classic beginner instrument. This is why children in elementary school often learn piano first. Stringed instruments such as the guitar but also stringed instruments such as the violin are much more difficult to learn to play. As with any instrument you want to learn, it is important to keep at it. That is, you can "relatively quickly You can learn to play the piano if you practice regularly and persistently and have the necessary discipline and motivation.

Can you still learn the piano as an adult??

Yes. Of course you can still learn the piano as an adult. You can even benefit from it, because practice keeps you mentally young and activates areas of the brain that you don’t normally use. Adults do not learn piano worse than children, but differently. To what extent? The focus with adults is no longer on playful trial and error, but on concrete practice and advancement. As a "problem one could say at most that adults usually start with too high expectations. Set yourself small and achievable goals, practice in short stages and do not overtax yourself. And last but not least: Don’t be too self-critical.

At what age should you start learning the piano??

There is no perfect age for entering the world of piano playing. The earlier the better. According to pedagogues, children can start learning the piano from the age of 6 without hesitation. From this age, according to research, a new stage of development begins, which is conducive to learning the piano. However, this does not mean that a try can not be made earlier. After all, Mozart received piano lessons at the age of 4. And especially in Russia, it is not uncommon to introduce children to learning the piano as early as 3 to 4 years old.

How often should I practice?

You should practice as often as you can and want to. However, regularity is much more important than frequency. Practice every day for 10 minutes instead of three hours and then not at all for a long time. Don’t force yourself to practice forever, but rather sit down at the piano for five minutes and play an easy melody that you like, instead of not playing at all.

How do I start learning the piano??

For the beginning it is advisable to start with a piano or keyboard. To purchase a digital piano. It does not have to be expensive. Optimal would be a size of 88 keys and a weighted keyboard. To get started on the piano, it is important to adopt the correct sitting posture. Sit up straight, hands within reach, arms at right angles to the keyboard. Pay attention to a good sitting position, otherwise it can come to tension and pain in the upper body in the long run.

It is also important to familiarize yourself with the keyboard and learn about sheet music early on so that you can read and learn simple melodies.

Can I learn piano by myself or better by taking piano lessons??

Yes, you can learn piano by yourself. Especially if classical piano lessons are too expensive for you or you have already had a bad experience with a piano teacher, it is worth learning to play the piano online. We would like to help you with music2me – step by step. Our proven concept starts with the basics. We start with the sitting posture. Then follows the proper practice with the piano, fingerings, about reading music to playing with two hands of various piano pieces.

How long does it take to play the piano very well??

Learning an instrument is not an easy hobby. It takes time to learn to play the piano very well. It is not possible to name a fixed time. The progress depends too much on the person and the invested time and commitment. For example, some find it easier to learn notes – they have a good ear and are good at memorizing melodies and tones. Others need a little longer, but can compensate for deficits through the appropriate enthusiasm and a lot of practice. Basically, I would say that after three to six months you can already achieve good results and play the first simple melodies and pieces. The basics of music theory are also already understandable after the first few months and can at least be implemented when playing.

What you need to learn the piano?

For learning piano you don’t need much for the beginning. In addition to an instrument and sheet music. songs or textbooks patience, time and commitment. Then you just have to decide how you want to learn the piano. Would you like to teach yourself with a textbook? Or do you want to invest in a piano teacher?

If both options don’t appeal to you (too difficult or too expensive) you can also learn piano at an online music school like music2me. This costs less money and you can learn at your own pace. You can play the song or exercise of your choice on the piano, for example, via a tablet, cell phone or laptop and always repeat sections for practice. In addition, you can have the hands played to you individually, so that you can concentrate entirely on one hand. In addition, you can increase or decrease the playing speed and thus perfectly adapt to your individual learning speed.

Yacine Khorchi

After graduating from high school, Yacine completed intensive studies at a private music school and piano studies at the University of Music in Wurzburg. He has been teaching piano for more than 10 years and has led the music composer course at the Pop Academy Frankfurt since 2013.

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