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The Beginner’s Guide to Learning Piano

You want to learn piano, but don’t know where to start? We can help. The Beginner’s Guide to Learning Piano gives you everything you need to know to get going, safe in the knowledge you’re doing it right.

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Chapter 1 - How to Choose a Piano or Keyboard

Let’s find you the right piano. Even a short search can uncover a wide range of terminology and options that can be a little daunting.

Chapter 3 - Proper Piano Technique

Playing with proper piano technique is not just about pushing the right keys. Everything from the way you sit to how you drop your fingers onto the keyboard will affect the sound of the piano.

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Chapter 4 - Starting to Play Piano

You’re sitting correctly, with strong posture, and you know how to hit a key properly. But you can’t play a piece with just one note. Now we get to know the keyboard so you can put that technique into practice.

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Chapter 5 - Reading Sheet Music (the Basics)

This chapter will put notes on a page by introducing musical notation, the written communication of music

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Chapter 6 - Piano Practice

In this post we cover how to structure your practice routine, prepare yourself for each session, and structure each session to get the maximum benefit.

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Chapter 7 - Piano Goals and Motivation

It’s easy to look at an advanced pianist and feel you will never get there. It’s too far. In this post we show how to focus on goals and motivation.

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Chapter 8 - Reading Notes, Timing and Dynamics

Written music shows you what to play (notes), when to play (timing) and how to play (dynamics). In this chapter we cover these three areas.

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Chapter 9 - Piano Pedals

Here we explain the effect that each piano pedal has on the sound, the proper technique for using them and where you can find them in musical notation.

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Chapter 10 - Piano Myths and Common Concerns

Here are answers to some of the most common questions, to help or reassure you while you get started, and disprove some piano myths.

Who is this guide for?

We wrote this guide for piano beginners. Ten chapters guide you all the way from zero knowledge to the point where you are sitting with your hands at the keyboard with all the understanding and resources you need. This guide cannot replace learning and practicing, but we can show you how to get the most out of your time. So even if you already have some playing experience, you can still find something valuable here.

What is covered?

It is structured to match the way you begin to play. We cover all the equipment you need, choosing a learning method and set you up to sit at the piano. We move through technique and playing your first melodies. Then we support your learning with chapters on reading music, structuring practice sessions, goal setting, staying motivated and using the pedals. Throughout the chapters, separate boxes give you further information or help you avoid common mistakes.

How should I read it?

This may feel like a lot, but you don’t have to read it all at once, or in order. You can skip chapters that you are already comfortable with. You can leave parts that aren’t relevant yet, and come back to look things up when they are. It’s designed to remain useful at any level.

In just a few chapters you’ll be playing your first melodies, and soon enough you’ll be able to take pride that you can play piano. We hope you’re excited to learn as we are to guide you.

Written by Michael Lane and the flowkey team