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How to Play Electronic Keyboard

An article from Electronic Keyboards and Digital Pianos
If you've never played keyboard or piano before and never learnt how to read music, the prospect of playing something recognisable can seem daunting. However if you take it step by step and commit to practising regularly it's perfectly possible to go being a complete novice to playing the keyboard well. Just take your time and don't expect to play like an expert after just a few weeks.

To begin you need to recognise the notes on the keyboard:

First you need to locate middle C on your keyboard. Once you have done this you can find all the other keys. The position of middle C varies according to how many notes there are on your keyboard:
On 61 and 76 key keyboards it's the white key immediately preceding the 3rd group of two black keys from the left, on an 88 key keyboard it's the white key immediately preceding the 4th group of two black keys from the left.

The black and white keys on an electronic keyboard are grouped into octaves, each octave beginning at C. Each octave contains 12 keys, on a 61-key keyboard there are five octaves. The black keys within an octave are in groups of two and three, the rest of the notes are the white keys .The notes in an octave are:

C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B

The # sign next to a note means the note is sharp, and is played on a black key, no # sign means the note is natural and is played on a white key.

The next step is to try playing a scale. The easiest scale to play is C since it's played on white notes only.
You start on middle C, play the next 8 white notes, then turn and play each white note back down to middle C. In notes that's C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C then B,A,G,F,E,D,C

To begin we'll just play just the first five notes. With your right hand on the keyboard and thumb placed on middle C, spread your hand so the next four fingers lie on the next four white notes - on D, E, F, G. Now play each key in turn starting with your thumb on C, when you get to the end play the notes in reverse order F, E, D,C.

That's fine but how do you play the whole scale when you only have five fingers ? You need to move your hand to reach the next notes, but there is a correct way to do this that is easy to learn and the time taken to learn it now will pay off when you start playing real music. Here's how to do it:

Place your hand on the keyboard as before, but after playing the first three notes (C,D,E), pass your thumb under your fingers until it reaches the next white key (F). You can then bring your hand over the top and and rest the next four fingers on the next four white keys. Now play F with your thumb followed by the next four notes (G,A,B,C). When you reach C play back down the next four notes (B, A, G, F), then bring your middle finger over the top of your hand to play E. You can now play the next two notes (D, C) with your first finger and your thumb. Practise this movement until you can it without too much thought.

This is just a beginning, but I hope I've shown you that's it's not too hard to get started. Of course there's lots more to learn and you can take it as far as you want, but learning to read music is a good next step. There are many good teachers about if you feel the need for one to one teaching and someone to motivate you. Alternatively there are some very good online courses that you can follow at your own pace.
More articles from Electronic Keyboards and Digital Pianos:
What is an Electronic Keyboard
Buying an Electronic Keyboard
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