Producing music doesn’t mean sitting on a chair and hoping to create something that sounds good! Music theory knowledge is extremely needed to be able to create composition and the Piano is an instrument that you need to learn in order to became a better Producer. Before getting into playing Piano, there are a few thing that you need to know. In this article we will talk about the Piano as you have never seen one before. We will talk about the Piano Fundamentals giving you an overall introduction to the Piano so that you will have a good base to start with!
White and Black Keys.
When looking at a Piano, as you already know there are White and Black keys.
The “Black” keys are into a repeated patter of “2” and “3”. This happens up and down the keyboard. If you sum the “White” keys with the “Black”, you’ll have a combination of 12 keys.
The Black keys can be “Sharp” or “Flat”. We will talk about these in another article. The White keys follow the Music Alphabet “A,B,C,D,E,F,G”.
If you take a random note, for example “C” and start playing it towards your right, you’ll find next “D” then “E,F,G,A,B” and finally “C”. The pattern repeats it self, no matter from what note you start playing.
The same concept is valid for any Piano. So Don’t worry about how many keys a Piano has, because you can practice even on a Piano with 24 keys. The Concept stays the same.
Many people underestimate the playing positions of instruments. Well i personally think it is very important to know even though everybody has their own way to play. We are starting from scratch and of course i am gonna mention it!
Be sure to have your shoulder relaxed and straight. The perfect object to sit on when paying the piano is a stool or a bench. The important thing is to sit on something that allows you to reach the keys with your arm in a comfortable way and with your forearms parallel with the floor. Your fingers have to be slightly . curved. Elbows close to your body. Finally your wrists have to be in line withe your forearm and not bend up or down so your fingers can gently rest on the keys.
The piano other than having keys can have pedals. The most used pedal is the “Sustain” Pedal. Every time you hit a note and simultaneously hold the Sustain pedal, the length of the note will increase. Not all Keyboard come with a sustain pedal. On some of them you can add it. If the sustain pedal is used correctly, it can make your playing sound a lot better.
Chords and Chords Progressions.
To keep things simple, since we have been talking about fingers, let’s give them each one a number. Starting from the Thumb, “1” and finishing to the Pinky “5”.
When you play three or more keys at the same time, that’s called a “Chord”. You can play Chords anywhere on the Piano. We are going to start with a “C” Chord.
Starting from “C” played with your Thumb(1), skip two keys and play “E” with your Middle finger (3), skip two keys and finally play “G” with your Pinky (5). That’s a “C” Chord. The name comes from the “Root Note” (played with your Thumbs), in this case “C”
Starting from “F” played with your Thumb(1), skip two keys and play “A” with your Middle finger (3), skip two keys and finally play “C” with your Pinky (5). That’s an “F” Chord. The name comes from the “Root Note” (played with your Thumbs), in this case “F”.
Starting from “G” played with your Thumb(1), skip two keys and play “B” with your Middle finger (3), skip two keys and finally play “C” with your Pinky (5). That’s an “D” Chord. The name comes from the “Root Note” (played with your Thumbs), in this case “G”.
Following the same Concept, you can build any “Simple Chords”. Now that you know it, you can experiment building chords anywhere you want all over the Piano.
Generally songs are made of Chords sequences played one after the other. That’s called a “Chord Progression”. When playing a Chord progression you’ll have to follow a “Tempo” (Beat or Pulse). It is very important to use a Metronome when playing a Chord Progression. Set your Tempo at a speed that you can keep up and start exercising.
Example of Chords Progression on a 4 Beat Tempo;
Play the “C” Chord (C,E,G) twice on the 1st and 2nd beat then play the “F” Chord (F,A,C) once on the 3rd beat and finally play the “G” Chord (G,B,D) on the 4th beat. There’s your first Chord Progression.
To sound good you need to play the notes at the right time so If the you can’t keep up with the Tempo speed, slow it down and keep practising!
Finally, to end our Piano Introduction you need to add some “Rhythm”. Playing Chords Progression is not enough to make your music sound good. Adding rhythm while playing your chord progression can make your music sound much better. Rhythm is a combination of long and short notes played in time. The same Chord Progression played with different rhythms can sound very different. To understand Rhythm i advice you to learn “Time Signature” if you don’t know it.
Example of Chords Progression on a 4/4 Beat Tempo adding Rhythm;
Play each chord only on the 1st and 2nd beat leaving beat 3 and 4 empty.
On the First 4 Beat play the “C” Chord.
On the Second 4 Beat play the “C” Chord.
On the Third 4 Beat play the “F” Chord.
On the Fourth 4 Beat play the “G” Chord.
And there you go, your first Chord Progression with Rhythm. Try different Rhythms and use your creativity to exercise, find your own rhythms. Everyone plays differently and that is why music is so interesting!
I hope you learned a lot out of this article. If you liked it and want to learn more stay tuned with us and Join OUR Community.
To keep yourself updated follow us on our Facebook page Sound Trip.