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hey there i’m so glad you’re here to learn piano you’re about to start on an incredible journey and i’m here to help and guide you this free course is meant for total beginners but if you have some experience already i still think you can benefit from these lessons especially if you’re self-taught you might learn a thing or two that you didn’t even know was a thing just a reminder that these lessons go in depth speed is not the goal here the goal in these lessons is complete comprehension and to give you the tools to not only become a well-rounded pianist and musician but also the tools to learn how to teach yourself how best to practice and learn the piano so let’s get started first we need to set up your posture sitting at the piano is not the most intuitive thing because we’re used to sitting at desks which is completely different so let’s establish a good foundation right from the beginning and do everything we can to set ourselves up for a successful journey when you sit on the bench put your butt in the middle of the bench not all the way back your knees should be right underneath the edge of the piano keys so move your bench however you need to to make sure your knees are right underneath the keys once you have these things in place and you’re sitting with relaxed shoulders and a pretty straight back put your hands on the keys so your arms should make a 90 degree angle give or take a few degrees also we typically want the forearm to be level with the keys depending on your height and the height of your bench this may or may not be completely possible a lot of times you might be a little higher than the keys and that’s okay although we don’t want to be so high that our elbows straighten out if for some reason you’re sitting really low and your elbows are hanging below the keys you’ll want to try to fix that with pillows on the bench or cushions or something because sitting too low is a really easy way to create unwanted tension in your hands and arms and we want to do everything we can to protect ourselves from injury before we play anything take a quick look at your hands in piano we number our fingers so we can easily refer to them and this is super easy ready one two three four five and that’s it just remember that thumbs are always one okay so let’s put this into practice you see these groups of black keys here and how they’re separated into twos and threes i’m going to tell you what hand left or right and what fingers to use to play these black keys and when you play the keys you’re going to stand on the tips of your fingers and let them support your hand and arm weight so for example if i say group of two black keys right hand fingers two and three you’ll get out your right hand and with fingers two and three play any group of two black keys so you could play here or here so now it’s your turn group of two black keys left hand fingers two and three so go ahead and play that okay let’s check how we did we need the group of two black keys played with your left hand fingers two and three [Music] good okay let’s do another one group of three black keys left hand fingers two three four and remember we’re standing up on the keys on our fingertips with a slight curve in our joints so let’s try one more play on a group of two black keys right hand fingers one and three so this is a little bit trickier we’ve got finger one our thumb and our middle finger three when we use our thumbs to play we make contact with the key on the side tip here so one and three together looks like this now you’ll hear me say go higher or go lower quite a bit and it’s important to know that i don’t mean higher or lower i mean higher or lower [Music] so if i say play a group of three black keys that are high on the piano you could play these or if i said play a group of two black keys that are low on the piano you could play something down here okay let’s move on to note names each of these white keys get a letter name which we refer to as its note name and all in all counting white and black keys there are 88 of these keys and 52 white keys but thankfully there are only seven note names that we have to memorize and we already know their names because they’re just the first seven letters of the alphabet a b c d e f and g and you remember our groups of two and three black keys right well these are like landmarks and they help us remember where these letter or note names are for example all of the a’s on the piano are tucked inside this group of three black keys right here so kind of in the middle on the right now imagine trying to find an a without any black keys to guide us that would be almost impossible and super frustrating so memorize where your white keynotes are by using these black key groups so then after a going up the piano is b so on the outside of the three black keys on the right and then c here to the left of the two black keys this one is actually called middle c because it’s towards the middle of the piano then keep going up and we have d e f and g if we go down the piano we have to go backwards in the alphabet and being able to refer to note names allowed great composers like bach beethoven and chopin to pass down their music to us there’s obviously a bunch more that we need to know before we’re able to read and understand their music but this is the first step now let’s get into your assignment i’m going to teach you how to play a simple version of happy birthday before we start a piece we always want to know where our hands are supposed to be on the piano and this is called your hand position so i’m going to describe your hand position before i show you and i want to see if you can figure it out before you look at what i do okay so right hand finger one goes on middle c then you’ll place the rest of your fingers on the keys above that and make sure not to skip any keys left hand finger one goes on the b right below middle c so they’re neighbors then the rest of the fingers get a key below that okay are you in position let’s check so the thumb positions are the key right here make sure right hand finger one is on middle c and left hand finger one is right below that on b good now take a look at the note names in this hand position notice how the notes look when i write them on the screen see how this g is written higher on the page than this g it’s because this g is higher on the piano than this g so it appears higher on the page now let’s look at the notes to the first of four parts in happy birthday it’s g g a g c b let’s find those notes on the piano in our hand position so you’re using fingers three three two three one one good and let’s play it in time now okay go ahead and play that a couple of times with me until it feels easy if it takes you a few more times just pause the video and practice it on your own because i really want you to feel comfortable with this first part before you move on once you have that first part down then we can move on to the second part here are the notes g g a g d c and you used fingers three three two three two one again practice the second part until it feels comfortable [Music] okay good now we’re gonna add the first and the second part together again pause the video if you need more practice and then once you’re good the third part is g g g e c c b a and fingers three three five three one one one two and of course repeat it until it feels good then put parts one two and three [Music] together [Music] and here’s the last part all played with the right hand f f e c d c and fingers four four three one two one and you know the drill by now play it until it feels comfortable then put all the parts together playing the whole thing [Music] so the way that you just practiced tackling one small section at a time and not moving on until it felt comfortable this is an important practice method that i want you to get used to doing a lot of times we want to just try to play through the whole thing at it is difficult to make ourselves stop in the middle of a song because we just want to play it all this sectional approach to practicing takes discipline but honestly you will learn songs so much quicker and you will take out a lot of frustration so make this way of practicing your norm okay so practice happy birthday this week and see if by your next lesson you can play it all the way through at the speed that we normally sing it the last thing that i want to do today is give you a warm up this exercise uses a simple tune but each time we play it we use a different hand position and finger numbers so this forces us to get used to playing the same notes but with different fingers for some of you this might be very easy but for others it might be very difficult we’re going to play mary had a little lamb the tune itself is quite easy i’ll teach you how to play it right now so put your right hand finger one on middle c and then let the rest of your fingers have a key so the tune is just e d c d [Music] e d d e d c so practice that with finger one on c then i want you to play the exact same notes but with finger one on b below middle c so again same notes but different hand position and different finger numbers lastly play the same tune again but move finger one down to a [Music] good so now let’s look at the left hand so start with finger one on g below middle c then move finger one down to f [Music] and lastly move finger one down to e [Music] okay so you’ve got your mary had a little lamb warm up for both hands separately and happy birthday practice those two pieces as well as memorize where the note names are on the piano if you can quickly recall where the notes are on the piano you’re gonna make it so much easier on yourself for lessons down the road so if i say play a c you should be able to quickly find a c by understanding that it’s to the left of the two black keys so i want you to be able to find all the letter names on the piano very quickly like lightning speed by next week all right now all of the things we talked about and your assignments are in the link below you can click and download those materials for free it’s just a google drive link please do so start a binder with all the things that i’m giving you and by the end of this course you’ll have a whole binder of music and other materials before you go i want to give a huge thank you to amanda for her generous monthly pledge on patreon if you find value in these lessons please consider going to my patreon page which i linked below and pledge your support the lowest tier starts at only three dollars per month per month that’s hardly a coffee also if you’re on facebook i hope you’ll join our free private community now that we’ve begun the free course feel free to say hi and post videos for feedback or other questions and i or another member will be happy to answer them so i hope to see you over there okay practice this week with good posture aim for at least 15 to 20 minutes of practice per day for five days this week remember not only are we learning new skills but we’re also learning the habit of practicing the piano start small but be consistent so good luck this week and i can’t wait to see you at our next lesson …

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