Ask Musicnotes for Beginner Piano Players

Are you learning to play piano? From asking questions related to playing piano with both hands to learning how to play for the first time, many of you are interested in how you can play piano sheet music. While there is no musical wand we can wave to help you play like Peter Cincotti or William Joseph in a matter of days, there is one thing that you can do to help get your fingers used to practicing.

speech-bubbleBeginner Piano Playing Tip: It’s not uncommon for beginner piano players to experience difficulty playing songs with both hands. To help strengthen your fingers and learn how to play with both hands, try “practicing” your sheet music on a counter-top or hard surface.

Why is this helpful? Well, if you’re focusing on a hard surface instead of a keyboard, you’ll concentrate on how your fingers work together instead of worring about hitting the right notes. Over time, you’ll begin to notice when your hands go “flat” and correct your form, too!

Remember, practicing is really the only way to get through some of your greatest challenges while you learn. It does take time to master an instrument. For example, many of our Musicnotes YouPerform contest winners have been playing for several years.

Here are two more questions we’d like to address that were very similar to several others we received, regarding proper fingering and recommendations for books:

    ASK MUSICNOTES: What is the proper finger numbering for scales up 3 octaves and back? The entire circle of fifths and more. Thanks! – Stowell

Piano Method BookThere are a number of books that teach players how to practice scales, arpeggios and other music theory fundamentals. These books are called “method books” and help piano players learn how to play using a number of different techniques. We feature piano method books on, but here are a few we recommend that might help with proper fingering. The book pictured here is called “The Complete Book of Scales, Chords, Arpeggios and Cadences.” One of the reasons why we recommend this particular book, is because this is a good piano method book for both beginning and advanced piano players to use as a resource.

If you have a keyboard, there are a few method books that have been written specifically for you. One of those books is the Master Scale & Chord Guide for Keyboard; another is the Keyboard Guide – Chords, Scales & Modes In All Keys.

If you want to learn how to play guitar, we’d also like to point out that we do offer guitar method books as well.

    ASK MUSICNOTES: Is there a book that I could buy and some great software that will help me learn now to play the piano? Thank You! – Derrick

teach-yourself-to-play-pianoOne of the great things about new technology, is that many music publishers have embraced new ways to help you learn how to play piano. Alfred’s Teach Yourself To Play Piano is one book that we recommend, because it offers you the ability to learn multiple styles of music and comes with a CD. Here’s a little bit more about this piano-learning book:

    Everything you need to know to start playing now! Whether you’re a beginner with no prior musical training, or you “used to play” and are need of a refresher course, Alfred’s Teach Yourself to Play Piano is the perfect resource to teach yourself piano, even though you have never taken a lesson. Complete with on-screen scrolling music, MP3 play-along tracks for every example, and iPod*-compatible video files, you will master how to make rhythms made simple, how to form the most important chords, techniques for playing with feeling and expression, and so much more. Upon completing Teach Yourself to Play Piano, you will be able to play in pop, blues, classical, folk, hymns, spirituals, and ragtime styles. The DVD includes exciting arrangements of “The Entertainer” and “Amazing Grace,” and sets the stage for a life-long relationship with music and playing the piano.

Well, that’s all the time we have to answer your questions today. Whether you’re just learning how to play piano or you’re an experienced pianist, we hope you enjoyed this edition of Ask Musicnotes. Don’t be afraid to keep your questions coming or chime in with your thoughts below!

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  1. BJ Whitt

    I am interested in learning to play the organ. I have a Conn Organ with a double keyboard. I inherited it from my grandparents…..Will I need different sheet music? Or, can regular piano sheet music be used – I have never played a keyboard instrument before, but I used to play a clarinet. Please let me know as soon as possible as I am anxious to get started right away!! Thanks, BJ Whitt

    • Monica

      You can use regular sheet music for the organ. If you’re used to playing piano, the biggest challenge for learning how to play organ with a double keyboard can be your ability to play both keyboards at once. Recommend finding sheet music that offer a dominant right or left hand to start with, like some of Muzio Clementi’s pieces.

  2. claudette

    how do I change keys in a song?
    If playing in C and want to go to D, what is the way todo that smoothly?

    • Monica

      Hi Claudette,

      If you’re purchasing a song from us, we’ve added the ability to transpose many of our songs. There’s a button on the right hand portion of the screen that will allow you to change the key.

      For rules on transpositions, I’ll touch base with our team here and see if they can offer any tips for an upcoming blog post.

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