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I'm currently in the process of trying to learn to play a keyboard piano (No sustain pedal, no weight sensitive keys), but find that I'll need the help of some more experienced players to answer a few of my questions about how to go about starting. I have a basic knowledge of reading sheet music identifying the proper keys for each note, but I'm pretty much a complete beginner in everything else, having never taken any lessons and having only been practicing with basic 1-note-at-a-time songs for around a week now.

First, I wanted to ask about the proper technique involved when playing above and below a basic scale C to C, for example. I learned through a series of online videos that, using your right hand, a basic scale should be played with your thumb on C, placing your fingers down through G. The first three notes (C, D, E) will be played by your thumb, index finger and middle finger, followed by tucking your thumb beneath your two fingers to strike the F key, then follow with the rest of your fingers to play the remaining 4 notes.

I've been practicing with the technique for a little while and have found that while my finger movements and key identifying are a bit faster, I have no idea how to play a song that would have me switch from the base C up to higher B (last before hitting the next scale).

Any tips on proper hand and finger movements in order to quickly switch between keys?

Second, I've found that, more than anything else thus far, I have absolutely no hand and finger independence at all. I'm able to play a very basic song using both hands, but that's only been the case when the striking of keys with my left hand corresponds exactly with my right hand striking a key. However, if I'm supposed to strike a key off time with my right hand I simply find myself pressing down somewhat randomly with both hands, usually striking with a bit more force than normal as well.

To get straight to the question, what would I be recommended by an experienced player to do in order to train myself in basic hand and finger independence?

P.S. I apologize if I've made some mistake in formatting or in making a question/thread overly similar to another's rather than simply reading their's. I tried looking around for someone asking similar questions, although the answers I found usually involved having experience in basic independence already.

  • I recommend you find a good teacher. Normally I don't go that route but it sounds like exactly what you need. Also, by practicing a little every day you will actually change your hands slowly over time and you'll gain more finger independence. – Todd Wilcox Feb 24 '16 at 2:22
  • @ToddWilcox While I would love to find a teacher, it's sadly not an option for me at this time. Because of this, I was hoping to find some good learning methods that I could follow in order to advance my learning until such a time arrives that I can learn under a teacher. – CloudTwoNJ Feb 24 '16 at 2:26
  • Well, finding some books that are designed for teaching so that they have exercises in them and fingering numbers will help. Along with that, patience. It takes time. If you're learning on your own i'd give yourself at least two years before you can expect to be playing something recognizable and interesting. In retrospect those two years will fly by, but at the beginning it can seem like an uphill struggle. – Todd Wilcox Feb 24 '16 at 2:28
  • Yeah, I've already prepared myself a nice long wait before I'm going to be able to play anything too fancy, and I definitely don't plan to be playing classical any time soon. Do you happen to know any good tutoring books for piano/keyboard that you could direct me to? I'd really appreciate it. – CloudTwoNJ Feb 24 '16 at 2:31
  • Heres a total beginners book which I studied from when my teacher first taught me (it doesn't require a teacher) ebay.co.uk/itm/like/… – Daniel Cann Feb 24 '16 at 17:38
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Have you seen this guy on youtube?

Danthecomposer https://youtu.be/drO86DNI348

he has a series of 10 lessons for beginning adults which you may find useful.

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I'm a passionate advocate of regular scale practice as the primary tool for development of co-ordination, finger strength and finger speed.

However, I would not recommend learning from videos, because not being able to read music fluently will really hold your development back as a keyboard player. Grab yourself a piano scale manual, which will clearly tell you the correct fingers to use for both hands for every scale on the keyboard, as well as the correct notation. Start very slowly, and build up. Playing hands together is very important.

Obviously, you'll need to find a decent book of beginner pieces aswell. In the beginning, spend around half of your time on scales and the other half on pieces.

When you get good at scales you'll start to see that music is built from the foundation on passages of scales - so any time invested in scale practice will really strengthen your ability to sight read pieces aswell.

  • Sorry about the late reply. Do you have any recommendations that I should look for? Additionally, is there a good book/music store that I might be able to find these sorts of books at, or would Barnes and Nobles be a fine candidate? – CloudTwoNJ Feb 27 '16 at 1:32
  • The scale manual I have is this one shop.abrsm.org/shop/prod/… – glcheetham Feb 27 '16 at 21:42

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