Piano Lessons for Beginners and Piano Exercises – Which finger should I use to play this note?

You are sitting in front of a piano. You see the white keys and the black keys. The keyboard stares back at you.

You stretch out your arms out to play a note. But which finger should you use to hit the key?

That sudden demand for a decision has halted me in my tracks before.

Knowing which finger to use to play a note on a piano is called the fingering. Correct choice of fingerings results in a smooth flowing music and soul soothing rhythm.

Wrong choice of fingers is like making a wrong turn while driving. You will have to turn back in order to get back on the right path again.

On most beginners’s level piano music sheet there are numbers to help you with the fingering. The fingers these numbers represent are:

1 = Thumb

2 = Index finger

3 = Middle finger

4 = Ring finger

5 = Pinkie

Piano Lessons for Beginners – Piano Exercises No.1

Play middle C with your thumb, E with the index finger and G using the middle finger. Swing your thumb under the fingers to play the next C one octave higher. Repeat the same finger application as before to hit E with the index finger, G with the middle finger and complete the phrase by playing C one octave higher with the pinkie.

Can you do that again with the left hand?

Let me help you out a bit. Play middle C with the left pinkie, E with the middle finger and G with the index finger. You will notice your thumb is now free to play the C one octave higher. Next swing the middle finger over the thumb to play E. Use the index finger to play G, finish off on C one octave higher with your thumb.

That wasn’t so hard. Good job!

You have just played the arpeggio of C major. Practising arpeggios as one of your regular piano exercises is an effective way to master fingering techniques.

Most piano pieces have the melody played with the right hand while the left hand plays the accompaniment.

Melody is harder to play than accompaniment, so for most of us, technically our right hand is stronger than the left hand because it is doing more of the difficult tasks.

Piano Lessons for Beginners – Tips No.1

How do you make your left hand’s technique as strong as your right?

Make the left hand imitate the right hand. Select a bar or two on a piano piece, play them using the right hand repeatedly at a high speed, then immediately play the same bars with the left.

The exercise enables the left hand to understand how the right hand plays the music and absorb its techniques.

Piano Lessons for Beginners – Tips No.2

There is a tip I can offer you if you feel your fingers are getting tired from the exercise.

Loosen your wrists do not make the wrists and the fingers stiff. When you do this you are exerting unnecessary strength on your hands, which is why they tire. Breathe, relax and soften your touch on the keys on the piano – can you feel the difference?

If you do not, do not get frustrated. After doing everything right and practising for hours but you still feel that you have not made progress, it is time to stop practising for the day.

Sleep on it. Let your subconcious brain take over. While asleep new muscles and nerves will develop, the next day when you play the results can surprise you.

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