“There’s nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.” -Johann Sebastian Bach
Are you bored and are looking for something to do that is meaningful and enjoyable? If so, you should learn to play a musical instrument. The journey of acquiring the fundamentals of a musical instrument such as the piano or the guitar is genuinely enlightening.
Not only is playing a musical instrument a big stress reliever, but it also boasts fantastic advantages such as an improvement in school grades, physical benefits such as agility, and the ability to accept constructive criticism easily.
So, for what are you waiting? Start your piano lessons today! However, suppose you're still on the fence about learning a musical instrument such as the piano. In that case, you'll immensely enjoy our article that discusses the essential elements of honing an instrument like the piano.
How Many Keys on the Piano?
As was briefly mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, playing the piano has plenty of benefits. However, to fully benefit from the experience of learning the piano, it's essential to acquire the fundamentals of new songs, know where the keys are situated, and understand the piano's history.
One of the things that amateur pianists should know is the number of keys on a standard piano and why that was decided. To answer how many keys a piano has, it's worth stating that there are 88 keys on a full-sized piano. Therefore, there should be 52 white keys and 36 black keys on a piano. The white keys produce natural music notes, while the black keys are sharps and flats.
But are there pianos with more or less than 88 keys out there? Actually, yes. Though they are now scarce, in the past, there used to be standard pianos that boasted 108 keys. Also, on the lower end of the spectrum, while not a "standard" piano, keyboards have up to 68 keys and sometimes less.
Nonetheless, in the late 1880s, Steinway & Sons set the industry standard for decades to come when they solely produced 88 key pianos that we are familiar with nowadays. But why do pianos only have 88 keys and no more? First, it's important to state that the primary reason the piano has 88 keys is that there aren't enough combinations in the world of music to warrant putting more keys on the standard piano.
By taking classes with a professional tutor, you can quickly learn more about the piano history and how to navigate through the use of the 88 keys on the full-sized piano.
Classical Piano Songs
When learning the piano, whether a beginner or an advanced player, you will discover plenty of songs that can be played. Some piano songs are classical pieces that have been written decades ago, and other music sheets are more modern songs.
By constantly learning new songs, you're building up your repertoire and challenging yourself to play different genres and touch other keys. Therefore, we powerfully suggest trying to master as many songs as possible when playing the piano.
But are you struggling to find some new material? If so, there's no need to worry since we'll consider three classical songs and three popular songs that can be played on the piano.
Without further delay, the list below features three classical piano songs:
- Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata: one of the most classic and widely recognisable piano songs of all time, Moonlight Sonata is one of Beethoven's masterpieces.
- Debussy's Clair de Lune: the third movement in a series of composed music, Debussy's Clair de Lune is a classic that has enchanted pianists since its release in 1905.
- Clara Schumann's Piano Concerto: a talented composer and pianist, Clara Schumann encountered success at a young age and wrote Piano Concerto, which has been played by millions worldwide.
While the three previously mentioned pieces of music are outstanding, do you want to play something a little more modern on the piano? If so, you'll like the list of suggestions below:
- The Beatles' Let it Be: released in 1970 to acclaim, Let It Be has reached icon status, and the beautiful piano melody can be heard throughout the song. Beginner pianists can quickly learn Let It Be by consulting piano sheet music.
- Adele's Someone Like You: since its release in 2011, Adele's Someone Like You has been played by millions during gut-wrenching breakups. Nonetheless, it's a delightful pop ballad with piano playing throughout the song.
- John Lennon's Imagine: iconic and genuinely breathtaking; John Lennon's Imagine is so famous that most of us know the lyrics by heart. Imagine is a beautiful song that can easily be played on the piano.
If you need any assistance to learn some of the previously mentioned tunes, we highly recommend consulting a personal piano tutor.
Jazz Piano Lessons
What happens when you combine jazz and piano? You get jazz piano! But, what is jazz piano? Well, it's worth stating that jazz piano can be defined as playing the piano or keyboard while adding elements to the playing style. Jazz piano techniques may slightly differ from the more well-known classical pieces.
To get an idea of the style and rhythm of jazz piano, we recommend listening to famous artists such as Herbie Hancock, Art Tatum, and Oscar Peterson.
Jazz piano is not necessarily more difficult than playing classical piano, and it can successfully be played by following the tips in the list below:
- Practice your skills every day,
- Start the learning process with realistic expectations,
- Ask a friend or a tutor for advice when you're feeling discouraged,
- Watch and listen to plenty of videos that feature jazz piano playing.
Also, thanks to the advice from experts online, there is a straightforward method for beginners to begin learning how to play jazz piano. The following are the five steps that amateur pianists are wise to consider:
- Listen to jazz music as often as you can to become immersed in the tunes and rhythms,
- Invest in hiring a professional jazz music tutor to guide you through the fundamentals,
- Learn jazz cycles and their order,
- Since it's similar to jazz, you'll want to become familiar with the blues,
- Love the standards and try to get to know as many as possible.
If you follow the previously mentioned steps in chronological order, you'll be sure to play the jazz piano successfully. Nonetheless, as step two brought out, hiring a private jazz piano teacher will help you hone your skills since you'll be provided with personalised assistance.
Find good piano lessons London here on Superprof.
How Does Playing the Piano Affect the Brain?
All of us could do with a little more brainpower and less fogginess. But, how is that possible? By learning the piano. The following list highlights the outstanding benefits for the brain when a person regularly plays the piano:
- Enhanced Social Opportunities: it has been proven that playing the piano allows people to meet new people in different social situations, which positively stimulates the brain.
- More Effortless Ability to Multitask: regularly practising the piano means teaching your brain to be alert and awake constantly; this makes it much easier to multitask.
- Advanced Brain Power: playing the piano shapes the brain differently from people who don't play the piano. For instance, pianists can quickly problem solve, speak foreign languages, be spontaneous, make decisions, and interact socially with different groups.
- Alleviates Problems: playing the piano distracts the brain from learning issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and strokes. In addition, those who play the piano daily feel a sense of independence and self-worth, which makes the brain feel more content and satisfied.
- Helps to Set Goals: while learning the piano, there are many short-term and long-term goals that a pianist would like to achieve. Setting goals is necessary for the human brain and so beneficial that scientists have discovered that it rewires the brain entirely.
Also, it's worth stating that playing the piano initiates both sides of the brain and bridges the gap between the left and the right parts.
Take lessons with a private tutor to learn more about how much the brain will grow and prosper when you're piano playing.
How to Tune a Piano?
If you're not familiar with the piano, the fact that it must be tuned is probably unknown. Nonetheless, it's worth stating that piano tuning is part of routine maintenance, and it needs to be done at least twice a year for a piano to sound pleasant continually.
While piano tuning is mainly completed by professionals who charge anywhere between £50 and £200 per tuning, it's worth stating that it's also possible to tune your piano. How's that?
Though it's lengthy and highly complicated to new pianists if you work on the following things, you can triumphantly tune the piano:
- The Right Tools: purchasing the right equipment such as stick mutes, a turning lever, and wedge mutes is the first step to tuning your piano.
- Patience: since there are many layers to the piano, it's worth stating that to turn a piano from the beginning to the end requires a lot of patience from learners because there's so much to do and learn.
- A Back-Up Piano: by having a junker or backup piano, you'll effectively be able to practice on a lesser quality piano instead of ruining your playing piano if you happen to make any mistakes.
But, have you wondered what the essential steps to tuning a piano are? If so, look no further than the following step-by-step guide:
- Prepare the room,
- Prep and tune the middle C,
- Set the pin,
- Continue tuning other keys,
- Adjust the unison strings,
- Turn the notes to the correct temperament.
Take a glance at our informative article about tuning a piano to learn more about the previously mentioned steps.
Remember, piano tuning should be completed every six months if you are playing often enough. Also, even older pianos are worth regularly tuning if they have been well maintained.
In conclusion, have you decided whether or not learning the piano is for you? We certainly hope you seriously consider practising the piano with a Superprof tutor.
The platform that connects tutors and students