OK, we need to get down to cases now and learn piano keyboard basics. Let me start by saying, “Take a deep breath and decide to push past that scary feeling of being overwhelmed.” It’s great for our brains to learn new things and that voice inside you saying you’re lame or it’s too late to get a hold of this – well, that voice needs to be silenced. When I’m going after something new, I put a dot on a piece of paper and pin it to the wall near me. Every time my heart races with fear or anxiety, I just look over at the dot to remind myself that I can learn anything I want to. It’s a focus thing and it helps me keep going when confusion or discouragement start creeping in. Works for me; maybe it will work for you.
So, here we go. What are all these notes on the piano keyboard? There are some patterns we need to start seeing with those black and white keys. I used to think someone made up the language of music but I’ve learned that it all comes from an acoustical phenomenon called the overtone series. When you hit a bell or blow in a bottle, the sound you hear is really many sounds, a collection of frequencies that have what’s called a fundamental pitch. All of music is based on this phenomenon. That’s where we get the 8 pitches we call a scale, the 12 pitches in an octave, and the relationship of notes and chords that work together to create sweet, hip, scary, and other every kind of music you hear.
Scales are the first thing to get under your fingers as you learn piano keyboard basics. You can take any note on the keyboard and build a scale starting with that note. Most people start with major scales so let’s start there. Find the two black keys and play the white key to the left of the first of the two. That’s C. It will be C no matter which of the two black keys you choose. Fun, eh? Play all the Cs on your piano. Now, with your right hand, play all the white keys between two of the Cs you found. That’s a major scale.