So you’ve decided you’d like to begin learning how to play the Piano – that’s great news! Here are the first few things I highly recommend you learn/play before you do ANYTHING else. Below are essentials to get you off on your merry musical Pianistic journey, that I also teach to my very own lovely beginner students.

Knowing the names of the Keys- To point out the obvious, the black keys on the Piano/Keyboard has a very distinctive pattern; two’s, three’s, two’s, threes, etc… It’s from this repeated pattern that we know what on earth the white keys are called. The white keys are simply named after the first seven letters of the alphabet; (say it with me now) A, B, C, D, E, F and G. The video piano lesson at the bottom gives you a silly exercise to help get accustomed to them. DO NOT WRITE ON YOUR PIANO/KEYBOARD, OR PUT THEM AWFUL STICKERS ON THEM. They are learned very quickly!

Body and Hand/Arm Posture- Make sure you’re not sat too close, too low, and are ideally sitting on an armless chair. Piano stools come in all different colours and finishes. I personally prefer the height-adjustable wooden ones that aren’t fabric-based, so there is some slide-ability. If you sit too low, that will mean your arms/wrists/fingers will be too low, so you’ll not have full control over what you’re playing. If you sit too close, you’re not giving your arms any room to move across your body, and you’ll struggle to use the pedals properly (eventually) as your legs won’t have room to expand. Your hands/fingers should be relaxed with a slightly raised wrist. That’s it. Watch the video piano lesson at the bottom where I demonstrate ideal hand/body posture. Oh, and obviously your nails need to be dead short.

Your Finger Names!- In music, your fingers are referred to as numbers. In Piano, our thumbs are called one, index fingers are two, middle fingers three, ring fingers four, and little fingers five. It’s important that you know this very early on as that’s what they’ll be referred to universally and in music notation (you’ll see little numbers above/under notes to advise which fingers to use).

How to play a Scale- Scales are incredibly important, I can’t stress that enough! At complete beginner stage, learning how to play the easiest scale on just the white keys (C major) is really beneficial in encouraging you to move and navigate around the keys in a methodical, fluent and instinctive way using proper fingering. The video piano lesson at the bottom will show you exactly how to play one (with both hands!).


“Okay, I’ve learned all of that and watched the video piano lesson at the bottom of the page – but what now?”, I hear you plead. I’d highly recommend that you find yourself a Piano teacher, who can guide you properly. Here is my advice on finding a teacher. If you were thinking you’d try to teach yourself first, then here are common pitfalls of self-taught Pianists you want to avoid. Want to know if you can actually learn Piano online? Then I have an opinion about that also… Wherever your musical path takes you, I wish you the very best!

How to start playing Piano – Your FIRST Piano lesson!