Playing Your First Piano Songs- Day 5

Let’s start putting together what we’ve learned to play your first piano songs. We call them songs here because they often have a vocal text that can accompany them to make it more fun and memorable for beginners and children learning the piano. They also have descriptive titles such as “Mary Had a Little Lamb” or “Three Little Pigs”. You can create a story line behind the music or even make up your own words to be more actively engaged into the music. In these free online piano lessons our goal is to teach you the underlying concepts behind every piano composition.

Before you let those horses take off, watch our for these things

Now that we have studying the fundamental piano notes, intervals and chords out of the way, we can start playing through easy piano music numbers. One very important thing you have to remember now when playing through piano songs, is to watch your hand positions and how you move over the keys. Honing your piano technique should be an everyday thing now. Grab a mirror and put it beside your piano or keyboard and make sure of the following:

-Sit up straight.
-Elbows are loose and hanging by your sides – not too close and not too far from the rib cage.
-Wrists are relaxed and can move up or down with ease.
-You avoid playing any two notes with the same finger unless absolutely necessary.
-Your arms are in tune with gravity and can drop into the keyboard with ease.

How Long to Hold ‘Em Notes

To become a good pianist requires care about when to depress each piano note and when to release it. Study the following note durations with a metronome (at the slowest setting) using any note of the piano and say out loud the word next to it as you play each note. Ideally, you should say each word with a funny accent as it will then get into your brain better.

Whole NoteWhole Note – A whole note gets four beat so say “FOUR” aloud while looking at it and holding it down for 4 metronome beats. See if you can roll the ‘R’ of ‘Four’ while reciting it.

Dotted Half NoteDotted Half Note – This one looks like a half note but has an added dot, it gets THREE beats.

Half NoteHalf Note – A half note gets two beats so say “TWO” aloud while looking at it and holding it down for 4 metronome beats.

Quarter NoteQuarter note – A quarter note gets one beat so say “ONE” aloud while playing it for one metronome beat and let go. You can also say it in

Eighth NoteEighth note – An eighth note gets half the beat of a quarter note, so say “HALF” while playing two notes for every audible beat of the metronome. If saying “HALF” all the time gets boring, you could try to say ‘half’ in chinese, which is Bànbìjiāngshān!

The Most Important Element of Music

Rhythm is the most powerful element of piano songs or all music, followed by harmony and melody. It involves around sound and silence and must be as consistent as one’s heartbeat. It is identified through the sort of music being played out, and can differ throughout the song. Obviously, the vibrant rhythm of salsa is different than the rhythm of a lullaby. Rhythm is the most fundamental form of music and you can’t have music without it. You don’t even need melody or harmony, yes, that drummer banging away at paint containers on the street is making music.

Keep in mind that rhythm is different from meter. The meter determines how many beats to put into each measure which paves the way towards rhythm which is about having a consistent innate pulse and controlling how you place notes in time. Another element not to be confused is ‘tempo’ or the speed at which you perform the meter. Most easy piano songs are in a moderate 4/4 time where you should give a ‘stress’ or gently mark the 1st beat as loudest and then the 3rd beat of each and every measure. The second and fourth receive the least stress. A metronome is without a doubt incredibly convenient, however we can’t mention enough the need for counting aloud and feeling the rhythm within your blood.

Every basic piano lesson needs a substantial portion of time dedicated to developing good rhythm.

Once you’re acquainted with and also have perfected the individual note lengths and identified the time signature you’ll get much better at maintaining strict rhythm. You can then move onto practising the accompaniment (usually the left hand) alone a few times. Most easy piano songs such as “Here Comes Santa Claus” or “Jingle Bells” are derived from a rhythmic pattern which repeats continuously using the bass line or accompaniment. Once the rhythm of any music song is worked out down pat you are truly ready to get started with adding the melody to the song.

Two songs you should get started with are: “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. Both, simple piano songs in 4/4 time.

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