Celine Gaurier-Joubert shares her wisdom and expertise to help you improve your piano playing as a serious amateur pianist in London!

Amateur pianist studying the piano

Improving your skills #1 – What to do when you feel that you are unable to improve further after reaching a certain level of musicality

At The London Piano Institute, we have met hundreds of amateur pianists who felt in need of benefiting from the expert advice of a professional pianist as they could not find the way to improve on their own anymore. They felt as they were facing a wall.

Many adult amateur pianists are in this situation, and despite trying hard, they are unable to solve technical or musical issues on their own. It is absolutely normal. Asking for the support of a professional pianist is necessary if you wish to take your piano playing to the next level.

There is no shame at all in asking for help, but it is essential to seek advice from highly experienced pianists and piano instructors to ensure that their guidance will produce immediate and long-lasting results.

Frustrated woman

Improving your skills #2 – What to do when you are frustrated with your technical abilities

Depending on your specific situation, you are perhaps unhappy with your technical abilities and feel that your fingers are not flexible enough to perform the music that you have in mind. You might be listening to concert pianists who execute the same piece with an extraordinary dexterity while you are struggling to play a passage evenly.

Do not worry. It is extremely common among amateur pianists.

You must remember that concert pianists have started to play the piano at a very young age, have spent countless hours practising and have benefited from the exceptional piano education of a master pianist.

You should therefore not compare yourself with the most skilled professional pianists, but you can definitely improve your technical skills drastically thanks to the advice of a brilliant piano instructor.

Like everything else in life, there is no mystery. If your technical abilities are poor, it is merely because your technique has not been developed and worked on properly.

An excellent piano instructor will definitely be able to advise on the most rewarding piano exercises to practice daily, and he/she will be able to offer you the guidance needed to focus on the right exercises without wasting any time.

At The London Piano Institute, we have met several amateur pianists who think that playing scales daily would resolve all their technical issues.

Playing scales is very helpful to develop your knowledge of the keyboard and dexterity when playing consecutive notes, but it will not help you perform double notes, such as thirds, sixths or octaves or improve your ability to play trills neatly.

Each technical difficulty that could arise in a piece of music should be practised first via technical studies in order to be ready when it comes up in a piece of the repertoire.

There are so many technical difficulties that you might undoubtedly feel a bit lost. You might not know where to start and how to structure the practice of all these various difficulties.

Once again, an excellent and highly skilled piano instructor will easily be able to direct you and improve your overall technical abilities reasonably quickly.

It is especially important as, as funny as it can sound, most of the technical issues that can seem insurmountable to you can often be resolved by a simple wrist movement that is not done correctly!

Pianist reading a score on sight

Improving your skills #3 – What to do when you’re disappointed with your sight reading skills and you spend far too much time learning a new piece of music on aggregate

Throughout my teaching career, I have met several amateur pianists who were able to perform quite difficult pieces of the repertoire but were not satisfied with the amount of time it took them to learn a new piece of music.

Once again, sight-reading is a skill that must be developed and worked on.

All concert pianists read a new score instantly thanks to their incredible reading skills.

By studying with a professional pianist, you will surely resolve this issue as he/she will structure your piano playing and help you choose the right exercises to improve this problem while working on appropriate pieces of the repertoire.

Sight-reading must be practised daily alongside technical exercises as this skill is essential if you wish to truly enjoy your piano practice and not spend all your time decrypting the score!

Struggling and stumbling when starting a new piano piece is hugely frustrating and discouraging. It is the reason why you need some direction to resolve this issue once and for all!

Woman interpreting a piece of music

Improving your skills #4 – Have you thought about the importance of interpretation and sound production?

Most of the amateur pianists I have met at The London Piano Institute were unsatisfied with their pure technical skills, but I cannot remember hearing them complain about their interpretation or sound production skills.

As if they were not aware of it at all. As if they did not consider it.

It is interesting as sound production and interpretation are everything in piano playing. A perfect dexterity is, of course, essential but it is only built to allow you to support the expression you wish to add to a composition.

It is for this reason that I insist on enhancing dexterity alongside sound production and interpretation.

Most of the advanced amateur pianists who have joined my class in London came first with a reasonably good technique that allowed them to perform quite difficult pieces, but I have rarely heard someone who understood how to interpret a piece of music.

Most of the time, adults listen to the interpretation of a concert pianist and try to copy it without putting any expression of their own into the piece. On other occasions, they are delighted to play all the notes correctly without realising that the most essential element is missing: music.

Adding interpretation, breathing spaces, character, dynamics and colours into a piece of music is fascinating, and it is perhaps the skill that amateur pianists lack the most. Sometimes because they did not benefit from a good piano instruction before joining The London Piano Institute or because they were simply not aware of it in the case that they are self-taught.

As I said, it is the part of the work that is the most interesting while learning a new composition and it is always a great pleasure for us to help amateur pianists enhance it drastically!

I enjoy helping them feeling the music immensely, and I am always astonished by the exceptional results!

My most advanced pupils usually prepare a piece in the sense that they have learnt all the notes correctly before performing it for me. We, therefore, have a foundation on which we can add all the musical elements and turn a raw performance into a jewel!

I have myself discovered what interpretation and sound production truly meant thanks to my master piano instructor Edson Elias when I was an adolescent. I knew that something was not quite right in my piano playing, but I could not put my finger on it.

After only one lesson with him, my understanding and feeling of music literally transformed. It was due to him singing alongside my playing instead of giving me instruction. I now apply this technique with all my piano pupils. I am always incredibly impressed to hear a completely different interpretation in a matter of a few minutes only!

Problem solving

Improving your skills #5 – You definitely need to seek advice from an expert to solve unique and specific issues in your piano playing

All pianists are different as all individuals are unique.

We all have various issues when it comes to piano playing and I have never met two pupils who had the same concerns or problems.

Each issue is extremely specific due to the nature of the individuality of a pianist.

Our body and mind are so unique that the answers to your questions about piano playing cannot be found in a book.

As I said earlier, sometimes an issue that can affect your entire playing is due to a detail that can either be a wrong fingering or a stiff wrist. It is possible to self medicate yourself thanks to analysis but getting the feedback of a professional pianist is often necessary to resolve our problems.

In my early 20s, I was already an extremely advanced professional pianist but I still needed and enjoyed the observation of a master concert pianist.

I remember two examples that can illustrate it well:

  1. I was studying “Dante” by Franz Liszt for a few months already but I could never produce the sound I had in mind for the first few bars of the piece. I played it for my master instructor in Switzerland who immediately told me: “Your wrist is too relaxed”. I tensed it up and the sound suddenly became exactly what I was looking for!
  2. I was struggling with Chopin’s 1st study. My master instructor told me: “It is simply because your stool is too low”. Isn’t it amazing!

Even as a professional pianist myself, I could not figure out these little details. It is why it is essential to get feedback on a regular basis!

Good criticism are also important.

One of my piano students always thinks that she is not playing well enough and start all her lessons by telling me that it is a disaster. Well, I never think that it is the case. On the contrary, I think that she is doing extremely well, and I am often impressed by her progress.

It is happening as I obviously have much more experience than her in piano playing and I can hear small improvements that are part of the overall picture. A part of the puzzle we are building.

Once again, performing for an expert pianist could truly help you discover how to improve your piano playing but also realise that a large part of it is actually much better than you imagine!

Conductor

Improving your skills #6 – Benefiting from structure and direction

Another reason why it is a good idea to work with a piano instructor is the sense of structure and direction that you will benefit from.

Being alone at home in front of your piano could be lonely, you might lack motivation or not know what to do next.

You might also be in the situation of playing pieces to a certain level and give them up without satisfaction when you do not know how to improve them further.

Thanks to the instruction of an excellent piano teacher, you can then benefit from a structure, and practise from a week to another with a goal in mind.

At the end of my piano studies in Switzerland, we only had lessons once a month as we had to prepare an entirely new repertoire each time. The lessons were extremely long (about 4 hours each). I did not enjoy this arrangement as I lacked feedback along the learning process and I felt quite lost.

By attending weekly lessons and benefiting from good guidance, you can then improve your skills progressively and being assured that you are heading in the right direction.

Even the best concert pianists in the world sometimes play for their colleagues to get feedback before performing new pieces in a concert hall. You see, there is no shame in sharing your piano playing with an expert!

Composers

Improving your skills #7 – Know what are the right compositions to play and discover other pieces of the repertoire

As I said earlier, we all have a different body and mind. This individuality is undoubtedly important to respect when choosing a new piano piece and an experienced pianist would surely be able to advise you on this matter.

You could, for example, wish to play Rachmaninov but if you have small hands and a slim body, it will probably turn out to be extremely difficult.

Or you could enjoy Mozart sonatas extremely much. Playing them with very large hands will certainly be harder than for somebody who has smaller hands.

Knowing which pieces suit us best comes with experience and relying on your instructor will undoubtedly be extremely helpful if you do not want to head in the wrong direction.

On the other hand, it is a fantastic exercise to study a piece that would initially not suit you well to develop other skills, but it is advised to discuss with your piano instructor prior.

Most of the piano pupils I have met so far tend to stick to a specific style (baroque, classical, romantic or modern) in their choice of pieces but also in the music they listen to at home or the concert.

A student would, for example, have a broad knowledge of the classical period but would never have heard compositions written by Prokofiev, Shostakovich or Ravel.

Concert pianists usually specialise in a specific style after studying all of them immensely. They would know which composers suit them best, but they can only make this decision after working on all of them.

I sometimes offer music discovery masterclasses for my piano pupils to discover pieces that are not performed so often. On one occasion, I played “Iberia” by Albeniz. My Japanese student loved it so much that she decided to start learning it. I was so pleased when I heard her version which was formidable!

Celine teaching Laurence at The London Piano Institute

Improving your skills #8 – As an adult amateur pianist, improve your piano skills drastically at The London Piano Institute

I first thought about The London Piano Institute in 2005 when I was mostly teaching children privately. As my parents are both amateur musicians, I thought that a countless amount of adults in London might also want to learn how to play the piano or develop their current skills with instructors who would specialise in adult piano education.

Adult amateur pianists were left in the dark, as piano academies mostly care for children and there is rarely a section for adults.

I have therefore created a unique haven of music entirely dedicated to adult amateur pianists as I wanted to offer them the rare privilege to express themselves in an environment that would be extremely suitable!

It is a real success and I am extremely pleased to see so many adult amateur pianists develop their skills and enjoy their passion for the piano at The London Piano Institute!

concern

That is an excellent question, and I understand why you are asking it.

It ‘s okay to be concerned, especially when learning how to play the piano as an adult beginner.

Along with all the false myths and beliefs, adults are prone to self-doubt and unrealistic fears.

The truth is that you will definitely be able to play the piano.

You will definitely be able to make all your dreams come true.

But it will require a willingness to study and practice consistently on a daily basis.

We always recommend beginners to practice at least 15 minutes a day for six days a week. Success comes when you do something consistently day after day.

Learning to play the piano is not always an easy task as an adult, but it is certainly doable.

Please do not get me wrong, it can be enjoyable, but it requires dedication and a willingness to work.

There is no quick method of learning to play the piano.

A lot of online courses on the Internet promises success after only a few days of study, both you and I know that when it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

So you do not need to be concerned about whether you can learn how to play the piano.

The truth is you can.

A better question would be: “Am I willing to put in the work required to learn how to play the piano?”.

At the London Piano Institute, we do everything in our power to make learning as fun as possible.

We organise events; we host concerts; we organise student get-togethers.

We try our best to help you get past the initial stages of learning.

We also realise that it is not always easy to learn how to play the piano as an adult beginners when you also have a full-time career to look after.

The good news is we have lots of success stories from adults who despite having a seriously busy work life, became highly proficient in their piano playing and continue to set new records.

So please do not be concerned, simply get started with high-quality piano education and practise diligently.

If you do that, you will become successful in your piano playing!

Pianist

It starts with the first step…

The Chinese philosopher Laozi wisey said: “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.

Learning how to play the piano is a wonderful journey, however it is not always an easy journey.

On the way to becoming the pianist that you have always dreamed of, you might encounter moments of intense frustration and despair.

It is all part of the journey and if you persist you will eventually reach your goal and the price that you have paid in terms of time and effort will be well worth it. You will reap a harvest of beautiful piano skills that will last forever and a day!

Your main endeavour as a student of the piano should be look for REAL shortcuts…

Shortcuts rarely exists in music EXCEPT for the shortcut of excellent tuition!

That is why it is absolutely imperative that you select a very good piano instructor who GENUINELY cares for your piano progress.

With an excellent piano instructor you will make much faster progress.

There are many aspects of piano playing that need an expert’s touch.

A single lesson with a master will simply transform your playing.

There is no way you can do this by yourself.

At least not without much effort and strain…

You simply need a top-notch piano instructor to reach your dream!

A great teacher will help you reach your dreams in a much shorter period of time.

He or she will simply help you to practise in an effective and serious manner and this will in turn lead to better habits and technique.

Immersing yourself in piano learning is simply the best thing you can do for your piano development.

False shortcuts such as learning from a YouTube video generally only leads to bad habits and sloppy technique. (Sure some ideas can be obtained from technology, but this should not be your foundation)

You need a DEEP foundation

A great architectural structure always, always has a wonderful foundation. Without a strong and solid foundation, a great building could crumble. A solid LASTING foundation is key to success in architecture as well as education.

That is simply why you MUST insist on learning the piano with an EXCELLENT piano instructor and take the time to research and find someone who can teach you the keys to playing this majestic instrument!

I can also remind you of the Japanese proverb that states: “the depth of the foundation determines the height of the wall”, and that is EXACTLY WHY you must insist on studying with an excellent piano instructor.

We can help you reach your piano dreams!

At the London Piano Institute we are proud to say that we offer excellent quality piano tuition focused specifically on developing great habits from the first day you start with us!

We do not take shortcuts, but teach you how to play properly. How to really read notes and become proficient at the instrument.

It is a fact that you also need to practise diligently, but with our combined efforts (your practise and our input), the sky is the limit.

Learn great secrets of this wonderful and majestic instrument in a short period of time.

Enjoy regular events and concerts and be a part of a select group of individuals who have decided to make the piano a serious endeavour.

London’s adult piano school welcomes you to a WONDERFUL, EXCITING WORLD OF PIANO!

Contact us today to book your first lesson – here

metronomeIf you follow the advice given in this article, you will definitely
see a marked improvement in your piano playing and your timing.”

Let’s face facts.

You are probably playing out of time a lot more than you like.

Your general timing may be good, but if you scrutinise your playing you will realise that your timing may not be as solid as you hope.

Playing a piece from beginning to the end with solid rhythm and timing can require a lot of metronomic study.

World-class pianists and musicians often state that timing (alongside improvisation and interpretation) is the most difficult aspect of music to master.

That may be the reason why a lot of beginner piano students initially dislike the metronome.

I certainly understand why.

However if you understand the reasoning behind using the metronome when you practice the piano, you will be much keener on practising regularly with a metronome.

According to Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”. Therefore by practising consistently with a metronome at a very slow pace , you will eventually play the piano on time to a large degree.

In order to play the piano well, you have to take care of your technique and sound. In addition to this you will need rhythmic command.

A lot of piano students fall short when it comes to timing, and that is exactly why I wrote the article. Hopefully this article will inspire you to improve your timing and your piano playing!

Here is what I would advise:

Practice with the metronome at 40 bpm

I often use this technique during my piano lessons to ensure that my students develop a solid feel for timing.

A lot of my methods may seem a little arduous at first, but sticking with them will guarantee a major improvement in your piano playing!

In fact, after a number of lessons  my students all love practising at 40 beats per minute. (Yes, I must be honest, I do occasionally hear a few grunts…)

By practising at 40 bpm you are basically teaching your internal clock to sync your playing at a super slow speed and that in turn trains you to play in time.

It definitely develops rhythmical discipline and strength in your piano playing.

A vital skill when it comes to taking your musicianship to the next level!

Develop your speed with the aid of your metronome

You can gradually work up passages in order to increase your speed.

Start at 40 bpm and work up to 160 beats per minute or more if you required.

This will help you develop a solid technique and it will increase your speed.

From time to time I do also advise to switch off the metronome and play at speeds far beyond your capabilities. (Make sure you are very relaxed whilst doing this and do take frequent breaks!)

Push the limits and play sloppy for a little while to feel what it is like to play at fast speeds.

After you have done this, get back to the metronome and clean it up!

This extreme speed technique is called “practising at bursts of speed”. It is there to give you the effects and feeling of practising with nervous muscles to play at lightning speeds. (Once again, only practice it for a very short while and take frequent breaks. Stay relaxed at all times. If you feel any fatigue in your muscles or hands definitely rest!)

Don’t tap your foot with the metronome – at least not initially…

If you find yourself tapping your foot to the metronome, you may have the feeling that your timing is improving, but this may not be the case.

Depending upon the style of music you play, tapping your foot can become a part of the expression. In jazz and popular piano playing, pianists often tap their foot alongside the beat as part of their expression.

However, when you perform a piece of Mozart’s music, tapping your foot may seem nice to you, but it can distract the audience from enjoying the piece.

If you do tap your foot to the metronome, you must remember that you are literally playing a second instrument with the piano.

You can easily have the impression that you play in time, yet your foot is tapping out of time with the metronome. (Try it, you will see what I mean!)

I always advise using your internal clock when playing with the beat. You’ve got an internal rhythm and you do not need to tap your foot with the beat to feel the beat.

If however you are at an advanced stage of playing the piano especially jazz or popular piano, and tapping your foot is part of your expression (and it does not distract you from good timing), feel free to do so!

Alternate your piano practice between practising with the metronome and practising without metronome!

Barry Green wrote in “The inner game of music” that one should practise in a strict disciplined manner as well as a more free creative manner.

I could not agree more.

I would recommend practising your chords, scales and arpeggios, as well as piano compositions with and without a metronome.

Your metronome will help you to develop good timing on the piano. However I also believe that it is important to be able to play from time to time without a metronome.

When you perform in front of an audience, you will not always have the luxury of having a metronome there, and you will have to feel the tempo within.

That is one of the reasons why I would definitely recommend practising both with and without a metronome.

That concludes my article on timing and using a metronome. Please do note that most piano students struggle with timing, so if you can tackle this issue, you will be so much further ahead than the rest of the pack! Yes, it’s not a competition, but you do want to go forward as fast as possible. So start loving your metronome it will reward richly over and over again!

 

For the most recommended metronome software for the musical adventurous amongst you, take a look at: http://bouncemetronome.com

You can also find a copy of the Barry Green’s excellent book below: ( a fantastic read by the way!)

We at the London Piano Institute want accordingly invite you for piano lessons in London.

We offer nothing but the highest level of piano lessons in London. Our secret is to provide you with the highest quality piano lessons available in London today. We specialise in adult piano lessons only. At the London Oiano Institute we accept no compromise us. We make absolutely sure that you’re catered for. Whether you want to learn jazz, classical music, blues or popular music whatever you want to learn we will teach how to play that on the piano.

At the London piano Institute we accept no compromises.

Sight Reading

Like so many pianists who play for their own pleasure, you might think that your sight-reading is appalling and that you are terrible at it.To be honest, you don’t even want to speak about it!!!

 

I have a SIGNIFICANT REVELATION for you: sight-reading is not more complex or mysterious than anything else. You simply need to know and learn how to proceed to become “proficient in the art of sight-reading”.

Here are the 10 Secrets of Sight Reading

1. Firstly, have a look at the general idea of the score. You can quickly get a grasp of the difficulties that may occur while playing the piece and of the general layout of the piece. Then, look at the tempo, time signature, key, change of time signature/tempo. Basically mention everything that look peculiar to you. Once this is done, sing the beginning of the piece and/or the main melody to feel its style. The notation will also give you a fair idea of the general character of the piece.

2. Always plan to play slightly slower than the standard speed you think you may be able to play the piece, as you obviously do not want to take any risk and turn it into a shambles. Especially check the fastest rhythm and/or part of the piece to decide if you will be able to play it at the speed you have chosen to start it with. (There’s no point to play the composition at a speed that is too fast for you – especially when you practice your sight-reading)

3. You are now ready to play.

4. Behave as you know this piece extremely well already and think as you have already played it many times. It will give you a lot of confidence.

5. Always read well in advance in order to be prepared and never look back. You have played these notes, so there is no need to look back to check what you have done. It would only disturb what you are currently playing and especially what you are going to play next.

6. Always count (in your head) in order to keep things going.

7. Remember that you should NEVER stop playing. If it gets messy, it doesn’t matter, continue, look further and focus on the future notes you will have to play. Counting will help you to keep it together.

8. If you cannot control what you are playing, don’t play all the notes, just keep things going by playing only the bass, for example, or the first note of each beat. Do this until the score gets easier again.

9. Do exactly the same if a few difficult bars have been mentioned before the start. When you get to play them, don’t play them, but only a few critical notes of the harmony that are going to keep the flow.

10. And of course, always be musical and focus on the interpretation of the piece, rather than on the notes.

Reading A Music Score

Learning how to read the notes used in music notation is similar to learning a language. Some people say that they are not interested in learning how to read as they prefer to play by ear. (Some folks even go as far as thinking that it will be detrimental to their ears and improvisational skills if they learned how to read – nonsense!)

Not learning how to read the score properly, is one of the biggest mistake that you can make if you are starting to learn the piano.

Piano compositions are often only available in written notation. Therefore reading music is one of the foundations of learning the piano and it is pure lunacy to go without it. Even jazz musicians who spend a lot of time improvising, are still able to read any score in any key at all times! (At least the good ones!)

Obtaining a perfect knowledge of the vocabulary used in music is essential if you do not always want to struggle with your piano playing. (Reading music is an ESSENTIAL AND SERIOUS TOOL that will help you progress to the next level of your piano playing)

Even if you desire to play popular piano pieces and your primary focus is playing chords and improvising melodies, I would still recommend learning how to read. It will only enhance your musical abilities and never subtract from it. (The effort invested will always return a very positive musical skill – it’s worth it! – and YOU ARE WORTH IT!)

Not knowing what the notes are or having a vague idea about it will seriously hamper your music education and it will be very difficult to simply select your favourite score and sight read it there and then for your pleasure.

Struggling to read the notes will basically bar you from the privilege of learning more interesting tunes and will keep you imprisoned at a beginner-pianist level. (It is unbelievably frustrating not to be able to read properly and it becomes a serious hindrance spoiling your talent!)

Stage 1

! Do not try to learn all the notes at once or play pieces where you can find notes that you do not really know. (Keep within your circle of competence to start with)

Focus on only a few notes and learn how to read them away from the piano. Write music lines for yourselves, mix up all the notes and repeat this exercise on a daily basis until you feel at ease with the notes in question. Also DO NOT try to calculate the intervals on the score but learn all the notes for themselves.

Example:

Note Reading Exercise For Absolute Beginners

 

The notes in the example are written in the Treble Clef (G Clef) and will usually be played by your right hand. Please note that the Treble Clef is ALSO called the G Clef as the drawing starts on the G line (2nd line)

C, D, E, F, G – with the name under it.

Note that the C is written below the bar line. The D is written below the first line, the E in written on the first line, the F in between the first and the second line and the G on the second line.

Examples of lines to be written and read.

Step 1: Read C and D Only

  • Do not play the notes on the piano
  • Just SAY the names of the notes

Note Reading C and D

Step 2: Add E (to C & D)

  • Do not play the notes on the piano
  • Just SAY the names of the notes

Note reading: C,D,E

Step 3: Add F (to C,D & E)

  • Do not play the notes on the piano
  • Just SAY the names of the notes

Note Reading: C,D,E,F

Step 4: Add G (to C,D, E, F & G)

  • Do not play the notes on the piano
  • Just SAY the names of the notes

Note Reading: C,D,E,F,G

Keep reading these notes faster and faster until you know them extremely well. It’s important to know them WITHOUT calculating any sort of distance between the individual notes. The idea is to imprint the notes on your mind much like the letters ‘A’,’Z’,’X’ are imprinted in your mind!

At the same time make absolute certain that you learn and study composition that ONLY contain these 5 notes. (Obviously this article is aimed at absolute beginners and if you are able to read more notes, copy the examples above and make sure you READ the notes and do NOT calculate the distances between what you know and do not know!!!)

As a new piano enthusiast sitting in front of the black and white notes for the very first time, it can be quite a daunting experience!You will probably feel lost and slightly confused by the magnitude of the piano’s keyboard.
The most important thing to remember is that a piano has 7 white notes namely C,D,E,F,G,A,B and 5 black notes C#, D#, F#, G#, A# or Db, Eb, Gb, Ab, Bb (depending upon which key your in). Nevertheless there’s only 7 white plus 5 black which equals a total of 12 piano notes.

The next thing to notice is that the keys repeat again and again and again.

This diagram demonstrates how it works:

Diagram number 1 shows the 12 notes in total

 

nature-of-the-piano-keyboard-7-white-and-5-black-notes

Diagram number 2 demonstrates how this pattern keeps repeating over and over across the entire piano’s keyboard.

The-piano's-keyboard-just-keep-on-repeating

 

So in actual fact if you think about the nature of this wonderful instrument you will notice that it is a repeated keyboard designed to fit a human’s reach. (If we had very, very, very, long arms, we could have a 10 meter wide piano repeating the notes again and again – although this would probably not make much sense as we would not be able to hear the extremely low and high frequencies!)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little article about how the piano works. It’s essential to understand the nature of an instrument in order to enjoy it more. Piano students who understand the nature of the instrument and how it works will make much faster progress than those without this basic understanding.

A small tip for beginners: Buy a small little keyboard that you can take with you wherever you go. (At work/holiday or a business trip). You can then use that mini keyboard to visualise this exercise in more depth and to practice some of your scale patterns on it throughout different octaves of the keyboard. (An octave is a length of 12. Each new time the 12 notes are repeated, we are operating in a new octave. The sound will go higher in pitch when we ascend on the keyboard and lower in pitch when we descend.)

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