Piano Tips – Lesson 2 – Black Notes and basic fingering

Black Notes are your anchors for the future.  Do not be in a hurry to move onto white notes without spending time playing the black keys.  The black keys are the notes of the pentatonic scale.  These five notes can be played in any combination and they still sound good together.  May folk songs and children’s songs are based on the pentatonic scale.  For example:  Old McDonald, Three Blind Mice, Mary had a little Lamb, Yankee Doodle, Fuzzy Wuzzy, Hot Crossed Buns, and many more.

In piano, fingers are numbered 1-2-3-4-5 starting with your thumb as one.  When sitting at the piano center yourself in front of Middle C.  Middle C is located to the left of the 2 black notes nearest the brand name of your piano or keyboard.  With your left hand place fingers 3-2 on the 2 black notes immediately above Middle C.  With your right hand place fingers 2-3-4 on the 3 black notes.  Notice how your thumbs rest easily on the white note F located just in front of your second finger in your right hand.  Practice these notes using the fingers given above and you will find it easy to use these same fingers when playing black notes in the future.

Practice playing on the finger pads.  The finger pads are the soft cushy portion of your finger located just  behind the nail.  On a table or hard surface tap your fingers so that you feel and hear a thumping sound.  When you hear that sound you are playing on the pad of the finger.

The wrist should be in-line (neither too high or too low but straight from the elbow.)  Play from your arm letting your fingers fall from above.  Think about the motion you use to paint a wall.  A loose wrist and large arm movements give you more control for volume than a tight wrist and movement only from the fingers.

Make up or play familiar songs by ear on these notes.  Enjoy.