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Jun 27 12

How to work out Major chords

by samantha

Major chords are a key part in learning to play music on the piano and keyboard. Every song is developed around a chord structure so by learning how to play chords in their root position will prove beneficial when you get to a piece of music that requires chords in the right or left hand section.

Major chords are the happy sounding chords you will hear when listening to music. Chords consist of 3 notes grouped together. When struck down at the same time they create a chord and a great powerful sound.

A quick way to work out any major chord is to use the following formula: -


Two examples of Major chords are: -



A quick way to work out any minor chord is to use the following formula: -

R (Your root note) + 3 STEPS + 4 STEPS.

Two examples of Minor chords are:



To play these chords in your right hand, try using fingers  – 1 3 5/1 2 4. 1 is your thumb and 5 is your little finger.

To play these chords in your left hand, try using fingers – 5 3 1/5 2 1.



Jun 27 12

How to work out simple Arpeggios

by samantha

Arpeggio’s are great to learn as a beginner, as they are simple, fun and a prominent in many pieces of music. They are usually used to support a melody line and are played in the left hand as a bass section.

Arpeggio’s are a formation from chords, so they only require three notes, which are played ascending and descending on the piano. The fingering usually follows suit for most major and minor arpeggio’s with the exception of a few.

The suggested fingering to use in your right hand based on a two octave arpeggio will be: -

  • 1     2     3     1     2     3    5    3     2     1     3     2     1

The suggested fingering to use in your left hand based on a two octave arpeggio will be: -

  • 5    3     2     1     3     2     1     2     3      1     2     3      5  

Two examples of Major Arpeggio’s to play, using the fingering above are: -

C MAJOR: C   E   G    C    E   G   C   G    E    C   G   E   C 

F MAJOR: F   A   C    F    A    C    F    C    A    F    C   A   F

Two examples of Minor Arpeggio’s to play using the fingering above are: -

D MINOR: D    F    A    D    F    A    D    A    F    D    A    F   D

A MINOR: A   C    E    A    C    E    A    E    C    A    E    C    A

Practice these hands apart and when ready try putting them together for an extra challenge!


Jun 27 12

How to use the Sustain Pedal

by samantha

The sustain pedal on the Piano and Keyboard is a great feature because it allows you to put  further expression to your playing, by adding more reverb to the appearance of your music.

If you have a grand, upright or digital piano, then these will have 3 different pedals. The one you need to concentrate on is the main sustain pedal which is the 3rd pedal if looking down to the right.

As a beginner it is important that you are 100% comfortable playing your music before adding something else into the equation that requires co-ordination! For example you should be able to play your song with your eyes closed or at least not looking down at the keys for most of the music!

A simple exercise to incorporate the pedal is to: -

  1. Press the pedal down on the 1st beat of the music and hold for 4 beats, release on the 4th beat and back down again the the 1st beat.
  2. You will feel it in your music if it has been down for to long & you will then sense when to release the pedal.

Jun 25 12

You are never too old to learn piano or keyboard

by admin

Many people begin learnig to play piano or keyboard once they have retired. OK let’s face it, although the chances of becoming a world famous pianist may well have passed you by (but not necessarily) there is really a lot of enjoyment that you can gain from playing music.

What retirement does do is allow you the time on your hands to sit and practice, plus with that wise head on your shoulders you will also have the patience to gain a greater understanding of how to learn and how to structure your practice time.

You could maybe start out by learning some enjoyable and simple songs, gaining confidence and motivation.

Jun 22 12

Play Piano & Keyboard by Ear

by admin

Whilst having the ability to read music has it’s advantages, it can also make people become too reliant on musical score. It can make people quite rigid as musicians and even stiffle creativity and personality.
I’d always suggest that beginners should have sessions where they are encouraged to play pieces of music without reading music. This way I think they will become much more rounded, confident musicians.