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Playing Piano

Have you decided to take piano lessons, but you don’t know where to start? In today’s guest post, you’ll learn some basic principles and tips on how to get your piano experience started in the right way:

The time has come when you start to follow your piano dream. Even if you want only to play to entertain yourself or your friends, you should know some of the basic facts that will help you learn it the good way. There are many ‘by ear’ piano artists that don’t even know how to properly read a piano sheet. By reading this article about how to learn the piano, you will shortly become one of the best. Don’t be just an average piano player, become one of the best. So, let’s get started on the 9 basic steps that you need to know before you start your practice. The 9 steps are:


1. Learn the piano keys and get familiar with them

Before you even start to understand how the piano works, you should familiarize with the piano keys. By understanding them you will quickly learn how to interpret and reproduce virtually any song on the piano. The black keys are known as sharps and flats and they appear in groups of twos and threes. Look for the set of five black keys (1 group of 3 and one of 2) that are in the center of your piano. Middle C is the white key to the left of the two black keys in the middle of the piano.

2. Learn the musical symbols and notes

The musical symbols and notes may appear difficult for a first-time piano player. The truth is that they’re really easy. They are like the alphabet of music. Once you get a grip of it, you’ll never forget it. Music notes are marked by the letters A B C D E F and G. The note from the center of the staff is Middle C. The notes from the top are higher-pitched notes and those on the bottom are the lower pitches.

3. Try some basic sounds in the beginning

After you are familiar with the piano keys and the musical notes, you should start to practice them by playing them on the piano. Try some basic sounds in the beginning, such as the famous do-re-mi.

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4. Try different rhythms

So you know the notes and keys, and how to reproduce them. The next step is that you play and experiment with the rhythms. The rhythm is one of the most important parts of the songs. It will dictate if the listener will stick with you until the end of the song or not.

5. Learn the timings

Each piano sheet has timing. It’s the fraction at the left of the clef. The numerator represents the number of beats per measure while the denominator gives the note value for the beat.

6. Treat the notes and the timings as a whole

Practice enough that you can read and reproduce the sheet music at the intended rhythm. Understand that the timings and the rhythm has the purpose to create the song, along with the other parts. Every part is useless without the other. Do not neglect any of them, because the result will not be what you expect.

7. Practice everything you learn more than once

By practice I mean repeat. If you really like something to eat for example, you eat it several times. This also goes for music. You like a song, so you repeat it until you play it right.

8. Learn how to read the piano sheet music

Familiarize yourself with the piano sheets. They’re not hard to read once you understand the notes and symbols. It’s like reading a book. Don’t play by ear. There is an endless supply of free piano sheet music available online.

9. Build your piano personality

After you master the notes and keys, it’s time for you to choose a rhythm and genre. These are the two that will define you as the piano artist that you want to be.

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If you want to learn how to play guitar or you have just started learning guitar, you might feel overwhelmed. There is so many different styles of music you can play and different techniques to learn.

In this guide, I will explain the 8 first steps to start learning guitar. Going through these eight steps will not only speed up the learning process, but you’ll learn some important techniques and topics that are so important for learning songs.


Step 1: Learn the Names of Guitar Parts

Before you start learning how to play chords, riffs, or anything else, you need to have a basic understanding of your guitar.

If you watch a guitar lessons video on YouTube and they tell you to “place your thumb on the neck behind the fifth fret”, it helps if you know what those part names refer to.

Learning the names of different parts of your guitar will make it easier to follow along with lessons, so this should be your first step to learning guitar.


As you can see in the above diagram, there are a lot of parts on a guitar. Acoustic guitars and electric guitars share a lot of part names, but some parts are also different.


Step 2: Learn How to Read Guitar TAB and Chord Diagrams

While it is possible to learn how to play guitar without reading Guitar TAB, Standard Notation, or Chord Diagrams, it will take a lot longer.

Learning how to read Guitar TAB and Chord Diagrams will speed up the learning process and you’ll be able to jump into learning songs almost immediately.

Learn How to Read Guitar TAB


While the above example may not make any sense now, once you learn how to read it, you’ll find that it’s a quick and easy way to learn how to play songs.

Step 3: Learn Some Basic Finger Exercises

Before you dive into learning chords or playing some riffs, you need to know how to place your fingers on the guitar properly.

Taking the time to learn some basic finger exercises is a great way to gain some control over the guitar and prevent a lot of finger strain.

The goal of finger exercises when you’re a beginner is to teach you how to properly play one note at a time without any fret buzz. Once you can comfortably play some finger exercises, you will be prepared to learn some basic guitar riffs and chords.

Step 4: Learn Some Basic Guitar Riffs

Once you can comfortably play some of the basic finger exercises covered in the previous step, you’re ready to learn some basic guitar riffs.

Some of the most well-known guitar riffs are actually fairly easy to play. This is great for a beginner as they give you something fun to play that you can learn almost straight away.

Step 5: Learn Some Easy Open Chords

When you start learning guitar, it’s a good idea to split your practice between two areas: riffs and chords.

Learning how to play riffs will introduce you to techniques such as hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, bends, palm-muting, etc. All of these techniques are important to learn and practicing riffs is a great way to learn them.

The other area of guitar to start learning is how to play chords. Chords are a big part of guitar-based music and almost every style of music will use chords.


Step 6: Learn Some Easy Strumming Patterns

Once you can play some basic riffs and you have memorized a few basic open chords, you can start learning how to play some strumming based songs.

With some songs, all you need to learn to be able to play them is the chords they use and some strumming patterns.

Step 7: Develop Good Practice Habits

As a guitar teacher, I can tell you what makes the difference between a beginner who sticks with guitar and eventually masters it and a beginner who gives up.

The difference has nothing to do with talent. It’s all to do with how you practice.

Students who develop good practice habits will end up succeeding and be able to enjoy playing the songs they want to play.

Students who don’t develop good practice habits will end up frustrated and quit learning guitar.

It’s as simple as that.

The first thing you need to do is set up a practice area at home. A good practice area will allow you to practice more often and have better quality practice sessions.

Step 8: Learn Your First Song

Once you have mastered some basic finger exercises, can play a few chords and some simple strumming patterns, and you have set up a good practice routine, it’s time to set yourself a challenge.

The challenge is to learn a full song from start to finish.

This is an important challenge for a beginner to work towards because it sets an important milestone. Being able to play a full song from start to finish proves to yourself and everyone else that you have what it takes to learn guitar.

While it’s great to be able to play a lot of riffs or strum a few chords, being able to play a full song is a big accomplishment.

Next Step: Learn About Guitar Effects, Tone and Gear

If you can play a full song from start to finish, congratulations! That’s quite an achievement and something you should be proud of. A lot of people give up before they reach that milestone, so you should be confident that you will succeed.

Once you learn how to play one song, you can repeat the steps to learn another song. Some songs will be easier to learn than others, but the more songs you learn, the easier everything gets.

A good starting point to learning about tone is to learn about the gear other guitarists use. Finding out what amps, guitars, and pedals a guitarist uses will help you understand how they’re able to create the sounds that make them interesting to listen to.

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