How to Play Piano : The Definitive Guide for Beginners

how to play piano

Hi how are you? My name is Wellington Knabbenn, I am part of the Learn Piano team and this is a guide on how to play step by step Piano for beginners.

The truth is that on the internet there is a lot of content, but for the most part it is superficial content and not very well explained. The idea of ​​this article is to gather important and fundamental content in a way that you can understand how to start playing the piano as soon as you finish reading the article.

You see …

I’m not professional, in fact, I hardly know how to play piano, so, as probably, you. So I’m pretty sure I’m writing to people who are like me who need a detailed guide on how to play piano so they can get out of the way and start playing their first songs, or at least feel less lost learning.

This knowledge is the initial knowledge for you to begin to take your first steps on the piano or piano.

This text will be divided in an easy-to-understand way, contemplating important content for beginners such as: 

  • What are musical notes?
  • Knowing the keys;
  • How to find the notes on the piano;
  • Notes represented by Letters;
  • Tom and Semitom;
  • Principle of Scales;
  • Junction of notes and chord formation;
  • Position of hands and fingers on piano;
  • Exercises for the fingers;
  • Reading of Figures;
  • Sample Music + Rhythms;

In the course of the article, we will also have some videos from our team explaining the subjects written here.

So without further ado, how about we go straight to the content?

1. How to play Piano – What are musical notes?

Musical note is a term used to refer to the minimum element of a sound. In all, there are 12 different types of sounds, that is, 12 notes. Among these 12 notes are the 7 natural notes, which are:

Dó – Ré – Mi – Fá – Sol – There – Si

And besides the 7 natural notes, we have 5 more notes that are called “rough notes”, and these notes have different ways of writing, but they have the same sound. Did not understand? Keep reading what I explain!

Rough notes are represented by two symbols, one of them is the “#” which is called sharp in the song, but what you should know as “old game” or “hashtag”. And the second symbol is the small letter “b”, which in music is called a flat.

Basically, by playing the piano keys sequentially from left to right, we will have the sharps represented on the black keys, and, by tapping sequentially from right to left, we will have the flats.

Okay, but, are not the same black keys? Yes! But understand, sharp (#) is used to refer to the black key that is to the right of a white key, while the flat (b), is used to reference the black key that is to the left of a white key.

Later in the article, when we talk about tones and semitones, you will understand this better, but for the time being, below are represented the two names or notations used for each one in the notes.

Dé # – Réb (can be called C sharp or R flat)
Ré # – Mib (can be called Ré sharp or E flat)
F # – Solb (can be called F sharp or Sun flat)
Sun # – Láb (can be called Sun Sharp or A flat)
There # – Sib (can be called A sharp or B flat)

Knowing the 12 notes is your first step in how to play piano.

2. How to play Piano – Knowing the Keys

The notes you have already known, but now you need to know how to identify them on the piano.

On a piano, the keys are divided between white and black keys. The white keys are wider flat on the piano, the black keys are also flat, but thinner and at a higher level.

You can easily see this by looking at a piano.

Now, looking more analytically, we realize that there is a standardized sequence of keys.

You may notice that there is a certain repetition of black keys along the piano. First, with 2 black keys and a division without a black key, then with 3 black keys and a division without a black key. The white keys are present from the beginning to the end of the piano.

Understand this pattern because seeing this is a key step in how to play piano and identify notes on the piano.

3. How to play Piano – How to find notes on the Piano

Now that you know the notes and the keys, it’s time to put everything together and understand which pianokeys refer to each note, and also learn how to locate it easily on the piano or piano. Below we write the step by step how to find these notes, but if you prefer,

In total we have 12 notes, 7 natural and 5 accidents as we have seen, being:

Do – Do # # – Ré – Ré # – Mi – Fá – F # – Sun – Sun # – There – There # – Si

This is the sequence of notes that you will find on any piano or piano, and the natural notes are represented by the white keys, and the rough notes are represented by the black keys.

In some ways, when decorating this sequence of notes, it will be very easy to identify them on the piano.

Let’s start identifying the notes on the piano using the natural notes. Let’s start with the first one for the C-note. To identify the C-note is very simple. Do you remember that the black keys follow a sequence of groups of 2 and 3 keys? So you just have to identify where a group of two black keys are in the middle of your piano. After that, just identify the C-note, which is the note on the white key to the left of the first black key of this group of 2 keys.

This logic is repeated throughout the piano structure. Every 12 notes, we have 1 note C on the Piano.

The C note is the first note to learn, because from it you can easily find the other notes.

Following from the C note, and by touching only the white keys in sequence, we have the 7 natural notes, being:

Dó – Ré – Mi – Fá – Sol – There – Si


Now that you’ve identified the 7 natural notes on the piano, it’s time for you to identify the 5 rough notes, which are the black keys.

Recalling the sequence of the 12 notes, we have:

Do – Do # # – Ré – Ré # – Mi – Fá – F # – Sun – Sun # – There – There # – Si

If you decorate this sequence, it will be easy to find the scratchy notes on the piano . This is because, after C, we have C #, after C, we have C #, and so on, with the exception of the notes M and S that have no sharp can identify on the piano because there are no black keys after these notes).

Below is an example of the C # and C # notes.

piano 2

Now you know the location of the 12 piano notes. Remember that the sharpened notes can also be called bemoles and that they are respectively:

Dé # – Réb (can be called C sharp or R flat)
Ré # – Mib (can be called Ré sharp or E flat)
F # – Solb (can be called F sharp or Sun flat)
Sun # – Láb (can be called Sun Sharp or A flat)
There # – Sib (can be called A sharp or B flat)

You have just completed one more step of how to play Piano. Let’s move on.


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