How Does A Piano Work – Functioning Of Piano Components

Inside of a piano

Learn about the intricate working of a piano. How do the various parts function and how the sonorous sound of the piano is created.

Its actually a great idea to know how you piano works.
When you know whats happening inside this beautiful instrument, you actually get more pleasure in playing it.
And when you know what the components of a piano are, you can take care of it better as well. So here goes. Let us explore this wonderful instrument.

The acoustic piano looks a lot more un-assuming than its digital counterparts. However, this is far from the truth. The digital keyboards can look highly complex with the knobs and buttons and the neon indicators and LCD screen.

However, the design and working of the acoustic piano is nothing short of remarkable and based on extreme precision. In fact, if you look at it, the digital keyboards only replicate the sound of the piano. If the piano has not been constructed the way it was, there would be no “piano sound” to replicate and reproduce. The piano has undergone a lot of refinements over the years. Owing to which the sound and the pleasure one gets from playing it has only improved. Along with the improvements the machinery involved in the working of the piano has also become more refined and complex at the same time. We will save talking about the transitional history and development of the piano for another post and concentrate on the inner functions of the piano in this one.

Piano design started with the Harpsichord.

The basic concept of the piano comes from a harp. Somewhere in the 14th or the 15th century someone thought of an idea that instead of having to play the harp by fingers, what if the strings were hit by a set of hammers. The idea for a harpsichord was born and over the next few centuries this design was implemented and bettered and changed again. This is still the basic principle of how a piano makes it sound. A set of hammers hit the strings inside the piano whenever the keys of the piano are pressed.

Harpsichords were the predecessors of the piano. However, there were some crucial differences between the harpsichord and the piano that was developed later.

  • One of them was that the harpsichords had a metallic, unvarying sound. They could not be played loudly and softly as a piano can, and their string; were plucked by mechanical quills, not struck with small felt hammers as a piano’s strings are.
  • The key colors on the keyboard of the harpsichord were also reversed. The bottom keys were black the raised keys were white in colour.

The first form of the piano as we know it now took shape somewhere in the 18th century by the hands of man named Christofori (spellings may differ in different publications).

The foremost change that he made to the existing string instruments was that the string inside the piano were ‘struck’ by a set of hammers rather than being plucked. This allowed the piano to have a varying volume at which it could be played.

Christofori’s invention was called the PianoForte.This is a combination of 2 italian words Piano (Soft) and Forte (Loud).

Somewhere over the years the Forte bit was dropped and the instrument is now only known as the Piano. Unlike the harpsichords, the pianoforte could play softly, loudly, and with many shades of volume in between.

The fact that the instrument was named over the feature that it could play in different volume means that this was an important and remarkable development. And it was. Even now, when we recount the advantages that the piano has over other musical instrument, we speak of the dynamic range of the piano. In such, that it is capable of playing both really soft and really loud music.

Another feature of the piano that was developed by Christofori in his piano was called the ‘escapement mechanism’. This is still called by that name. This mechanism allows the hammers to bounce right back after hitting the strings even if the key on the keyboard id kept pressed. It is owing to this bounce back mechanism that the strings can vibrate after being struck by the felt covered hammer.

There is a 3rd mechanism a called the dampeners play an important part in creating the sound of piano. Dampeners are also felt covered levers like the hammers. They are placed next to the piano strings. There job is to stop the string from vibrating and continuing to sound as soon as the pressed piano key is released. If you continue to keep pressing the key the sound of the note will keep resonating till the time that the string keeps vibrating on its own. As soon as you release the key, the dampener next to string falls on it and stops. is from vibrating.

This is where the pedals of the piano deserve a mention. There are 3 pedals in a full piano and one of them is the sustain pedal. The job of the sustain pedal is that once pressed, it keeps the dampeners away from the strings even when the piano key is released, thus allowing that note to resonate while the player plays other notes on top of it.

The mechanism of producing the sound from the piano is called ‘piano’s action’, right from pressing the keys, hammers striking the strings, dampeners coming in to play and the pedals being used to alter sound.

The piano consist of 6 basic parts. These are:

  1. The keys of the piano keyboard. These are actually levers that trigger off a very precise and complicated action inside the piano when pressed.
  2. The hammers. These are felt covered and lie at the end action of the piano keys. There job is to strike the piano strings as hard or as softly according to the pressure applied when pressing the piano key.
  3. The Dampeners. The function of the dampeners is to stop the string from vibrating as soon as the key if released.
  4. The strings. There are usually 3 strings for each note or key on the piano keyboard. There could be less in an upright piano to conserve space. The function of the strings is to vibrate to the note they have been tuned to when the respective key is pressed.
  5. Soundboard. Often thought of as the most important part of the piano. Actually all parts are crucial but this component is extensive, takes time to make and is hard to replace. The soundboard of a piano is responsible for creating the resonance inside. That is the reasons why we hear the full sound of a piano outside it. Without the soundboard, the piano sound would lack body and volume.
  6. Pedal Mechanism. The pedals serve different functions. Sometime the function may even differ depending on whether you are playing a an upright or a grand, whether there are 3 or 2 pedals and even the manufacturer. However, the most common function of the piano is to sustain all or selective notes.

We will speak about each of these components in detail. Another thing we will discuss is the different kinds of pianos.

Broadly speaking, there are 2 types, the grand and the upright piano. Even between these 2 there are different designs, sizes and makers.

But now you have a basic idea of how piano works. Continue reading the other posts in this category to learn about the working of the piano in more detail. We hope that the more you learn about this ageless musical interment, the more excited and inspired you are going to be in learning to play it.

Understanding Piano Pedals Functions

Every piano comes with pedals on it. When you play the piano you use your hands to get the keys and your feet work the pedals at the bottom. Most of the pianos have 2 or 3 bottles and even the distal keyboards and synthesizers have them. In fact our digital keyboard can have an option for more foot pedals that can create other sound variations. We will talk a little bit about the function of these pedals on a piano.

Piano pedals

piano pedals

To the far right is the damper pedal or the sustain pedal. Many piano players just called this the pedal because it is the most frequently used pedal during play. When you press down this pedal the dampers which is a mechanism that mutes the strings are moved away from the strings, allowing the strings to continue to Vibrate until you release the pedal or the sound fades away gradually.

To the far left is a soft-pedal. This pedal works differently in a grand piano and in an upright piano. The Italian name for this pedal is the Una Corda. On a grand piano pressing this pedal causes the entire set of hammers inside the panel to shift slightly to one side. This means that when you play any key, the hammers only hit one string (una corda) instead of the usual 3, thereby creating a softer sound.

The middle pedal is also known as the sostenuto pedal. This pedal appears on almost on grand pianos but may not be present on your upright piano. Unlike the damper pedal which sustains all notes being played, the middle pedal allows you to sustain a specific note or a group of notes while you continue playing other notes normally. Press the key on your keyboard and simultaneously press down the middle pedal. You will find that the sound sustains. Now play other notes and you will find that they do not sustain.

On certain upright pianos the middle pedal is called the practice pedal and has an entirely different function. It inserts a layer of felt between the hammers and the strings to make the sound much softer. The idea is to allow you to practice in a quieter environment without disturbing others. There is usually a built-in groove in the upright piano which allows you to lock this pedal in place without having to use your foot to press down on it continuously.

What Is Correct Hand Position For Piano Playing

The correct hand position & how to avoid injury when playing piano

What is the correct way to hold your hands and placed them on the keyboard when playing the piano? It must be emphasized that not placing your hands in the proper way can lead to a lot of stress and even injury in your fingers. The dis-advantages that you would face if you do not learn how to position your hands correctly and playing the piano are:

piano hand position

Difficulty in accessing keys quickly and efficiently. You are more likely to play wrong notes and wrong with them if you do not learn the correct positioning of your fingers and hands.

Cramping and injury. Not placing your hands correctly on the keyboard can they lead to cramps in your hand. If you get cramps in your hands often you will feel less inclined to practice. And without sufficient practice you are not going to get better at playing the piano. You may also cause more serious injury to your hands by developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Arch the hands and fingers

The best way to explain how your fingers and hand should be shaped when playing the piano is to imagine yourself holding a tennis ball in your hand. You see the shape that your fingers take. They are slightly rounded and curved. This is the shape that you need to maintain when playing the piano. In addition to this the fingers should be relaxed and there should be no tension in your wrist or your forearm. Arching your fingers when playing has the following benefits.

  • Your hands will not get tired quickly
  • You will be able to access the white keys and the black keys more easily.
  • You will be able to move on the keyboard quicker.

One excellent reason why you were told to maintain the curved finger position when playing the keyboard is that you will notice that your fingers are not of equal length. This creates a bit of an awkwardness and playing the piano. But as soon as you curl your fingers the way we have just told you, you will realize that your fingers become equal length. The fingertips are all in line with each other.

Trim your nails

Trimming your nails and keeping them to the right length is important when playing almost any musical instrument. When playing the guitar, not having your nails trimmed will make pressing the strings on the right fret difficult. Similarly when you are playing the piano, you will find it much more comfortable press the right key properly when you have trimmed fingernails. You are also not share the distracting click clack of your fingernails against the keys.

What is Fingering

When playing the piano or even the guitar, fingering refers to the usage of the right finger to play the right note. This is very important when playing the piano because playing with the correct finger is required so as to easily progress to playing subsequent notes in a song or a melody. Music sheets also have fingerings marked to help you plan which fingers to use to execute a particular musical piece.

The way fingering is done is that you number your fingers 1 to 5. Always starting with your thumb as number 1 for both the left and the right. From there you move on to 2, 3, 4 and 5 moving towards your little finger.

Giving your hands and fingers a rest

You may experience discomfort in your hands when playing the piano. Usually this can be taken care of by maintaining good posture and reducing the muscle tension in your forearms shoulders and your wrist. However, if you do experience discomfort, cease practicing immediately and relax your hands and fingers. Do an opposite hand action such as flexing to ease the pain.

Feeling cramped?

You may feel a cramp entering into your hands and fingers when practicing the piano for a prolonged period of time. For beginners this will happen more often. Even if you are maintaining the right posture, if you experience cramps or discomfort in your hands, it is your body’s way of telling you to take a break and give your hands a rest.

Give them a gentle massage if required. As mentioned before, do something else with your hands that requires a different action.

Avoiding carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a career-oriented injury. Basically, carpal tunnel syndrome develops from over-straining the muscles and ligaments in your wrist through constant, repetitive action. Bloggers and keyboard players make a repetitive action constantly with their wrists and fingers.

If you suspect that you might be injuring your fingers and hands, take the help from a medical practitioner immediately. The remedy for this can be simple unless you ignore the symptoms for a long time. A dull ache in the forearms, wrists and fingers may be a sign that you are over exerting and damaging your muscles. Severe carpal tunnel syndrome even requires surgery to cure. You don’t want to get to this stage so never ever ignore any pain that you experience when playing the piano. Consult your physician for ways to reduce or prevent it. If you have been diagnosed with carpal syndrome, speak to your physician about your piano playing and ask whether any steps can be taken to prevent any further damage and pain.

How To Keep Right Posture When Playing Piano

Whats the right posture for playing a piano

The right posture is extremely important when you are learning to play the piano.

Right posture includes how you sit or stand to play the keyboard, the position that your hands should be in, and how comfortable you are during playing. Having the right posture can avoid getting cramps, backache and even a more serious medical problem like carpal tunnel syndrome which is a result of repeated action over a prolonged period of time.

correct piano playing posture

The 1st thing that you will need to decide is whether you are going to play the piano sitting down or standing up. Most of the pianists conventionally set before the piano. In my opinion this is a much more comfortable position to take. You may have seen several keyboard artists in rock bands and pop groups standing behind the keyboard. But I believe this is because of the nature of the plane and the nature of the setting on a stage. It allows the artist more freedom of movement which is almost always called for in a rock or pop performance. It also allows extra flamboyance on the part of the keyboard player. However, for the purpose of learning and playing the piano, the seated position is perhaps the best. It brings you closer to the keys and makes you more comfortable as you practice. As you learn to play the piano, you do not need the additional stress off your legs getting tired from standing up.

The next important thing is that your feet should rest firmly on the floor. Your hands should be relaxed and your forearms should be parallel to the ground. The elbow should be bent at almost a right angle.

What you have always been told about sitting holds true when you are playing the piano as well. Keep your back straight, do not slump or slouch. The reasons are the same. Not sitting up straight can lead to backaches and can quickly discourage you from further piano practice.

Choosing between piano chairs and a piano bench

Different people choose different options for setting down in front of their piano. Some people sit on piano bench whereas some people choose a chair. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Using Piano chair

Piano chairs that are specially meant for playing the piano. We are not talking about regular chairs although one in your home can be suitable if it has a straight solid back support. The advantages of using a chair is that they can tend to be more comfortable, have a padded seat and have the feature to adjust the height to be perfect for your height and stature. The back of the chair also provides some additional support. But it may also cause you to slump and hunch over the piano. This should be avoided. However, having him back support allows you to rest your back occasionally in between when you get tired. Using a chair is additionally advantages for young and fidgety students because they feel more secure on a chair than on backless bench.

The 2 disadvantages that I feel up in a chair has is that it does not allow you to slide and access the keys to the periphery of the keyboard on the extreme left of the extreme right that much more easily & it does not allow anyone else to sit with you to play.

It is possible to slide along on the bench. The next disadvantage could be that you cannot include a 2nd person to play a duet with you on the piano. However this is something that should not really matter to a person who is beginning to get the piano unless there is a teacher who sits along with you and teaches you how to play. If this is the case, then buying a piano bench makes much more sense.

Using piano benches

The standard piano bench measures approximately 2 feet high by 3 feet wide. As I’ve already mentioned, this can of which allows more freedom of movement to reach the higher and the lower notes while you play. It can also accommodate another person to play a duet with you on a piano teacher who is playing with you in order to teach you.

Piano benches come in various forms. The most basic of piano bench will be a wooden bench that does not allow you to adjust the height. This may require you to buy or custom order a piano bench that is just right for you. The nicer piano benches come with a padded seat and also let you adjust the bench right for more personal adjustment to your height and stature.

A piano bench provides no back support and needs you to keep a straight spine for the time that you are practicing. One of the advantages of using a piano bench is that it could possibly force you to maintain a good posture throughout your playing. Of course, it can also mean that you feel more tired and need to get up often to stretch.

Some benches will also have hinged seats with a hollow space inside which allows you to store sheet music, books etc.

Learning & Navigating Keys On Your Piano

Till now we have spoken about lots of things concerning a piano such as why is it such a special instrument and how to go about choosing the right one. We’re finally going to get down to getting familiar with the piano keyboard and to start playing it. The 1st step in playing the piano is to learn the name of the keys and to identify the notes associated with each.

piano key names

If you have a full-sized keyboard, you will probably wonder how you are ever going to memorize all the keys and the notes present on your piano. However, this is a really simple step and as easy as learning ABC.

The 1st thing that you’ll notice about your keyboard is that it comprises of white and black keys. The white keys are all set in a continuous line at the bottom and they are intercepted by the black keys which are raised and set further back than the white ones. Each key on your keyboard plays a specific musical note. The naming system of each musical note uses an extremely simple system. The music notes for the 1st 7 letters of the alphabetical order, ABCDEFG. The name of the keys as well as the note that the particular key place is the same. For example that a key place that a note and so on and so forth.

If you are wondering how you are going to name all the 88 keys on your piano when there are only 7 notes, you should know that the sequence of the 7 white keys from a to G repeats itself each time that it finishes. Once you have reached the G, the A note comes again only in the next and higher octave. In this manner you will realize that your piano has 7 octaves on the keyboard from the lowest A note to the highest one.

Naming The white keys On your Piano

Learning the notes on the piano is very simple. All the 7 notes ranging from a to G are located on the white keys. The black keys have names on their own and are usually suffixed with a shop or a flat. But we will deal with this later. 1st let us know about naming the white keys. Finding the white key and the right note is extremely easy on the keyboard thanks to the pattern of the black keys that is intercepted in between. You will realize that the black keys are present in groups of 2 and 3 on the piano. These groups of 2 and 3 black keys alternate with each other and you will never find a group of 2 black keys or 3 black keys next to each other.

The white key right before the group of 2 black keys represents the C-note and the C key. This does not change anywhere on the keyboard. This means that whenever you look at the group of 2 black keys on the piano keyboard, the white note right before it is the C-note. Now once you have located the C-note, locating other notes is as simple as playing the next subsequent white keys. For example, the white key next to the C-note is D, then E,F,G,A & B. after you reach the beam out you will realize that you are once again on the key that is right under the group of the next set of 2 Black keys. This once again is the C-note on the higher octave. This system continues throughout the layout of the keyboard.

If you number this simple pattern, you will never forget the note and the name of the key on your keyboard. Practice on your keyboard to little bit to play different notes and to memorize the letters idiot you just have to remember that moving up and down from the C-note on your keyboard will lead you to subsequent letters. If you go towards the right of the keyboard you will climb up that is play notes D, E and so on and if you come towards the left of the C note you will moved lower in the notes and play B,A, G and so on.

Now that you know the names of the white keys, you can play:

✓ The first nine notes of “Over the River and Through the Woods”: D, D, D, D, B, C, D, D, D.

✓ The first six notes of “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring”: B, D, B, E, D, B.

✓ The first seven notes of “The First Noel”: E, D, C, D, E, F, G.

✓ The first eleven notes to the theme from Ravel’s Boléro: C, B, C, D, C, B, A, C, C, A, C.

Naming the black keys on the piano

Once you have learned the names of all the notes played by the white keys on the piano, you will realize that there is a black key in between and above certain white keys as well. For example there is a black key in between A and B. When you play this key you would realize that it has the different sound. This is because it is a different musical note. So how do you name these black keys between the white keys? The white keys have taken up the subsequent alphabetical letters such as A, B, C. There is no alphabet that comes between a and B. We name the black keys are as follows:

The black keys are assigned the same name as the closest white key but with one of the following suffixes added on: ✓ Sharp is used for a black key to the right of (or higher than) a white key. ✓ Flat is used for a black key to the left of (or lower than) a white key.

Try doing this yourself. Find any note on the white key and play the black key to the right or to the left of it. For example if you play the a note, the black key on the left-hand side of this note will be a flat and the black key to the right-hand side will be a sharp (a#).

Now one thing that you need to understand is that because each black he lies between 2 black keys, it can have 2 names depending on the white key you approach it from. For example, the black key to the left of the a note is a flat because it is to the left of the note a and it is also G sharp because it is on the right of the g-note.

The next thing you’ll notice is that there is no black ski between B and C and E and F. This is not a fault on your keyboard. This is just how the musical notation is.

Now that you know the names of the white and black keys, you can play:

✓ The theme from the movie Jaws: D-sharp, E, D-sharp, E, D-sharp, E.

✓ The first four notes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony: G, G, G, E-flat.

✓ The tune of “Shave and a Haircut, Five Cents”: G, D, D, E, D, F-sharp, G.

What Are Digital Keyboards/Pianos

Understanding the electric or digital keyboard

The main advantage of buying an electric order digital keyboard as opposed to an acoustic piano is that you can get it for a much lesser price there are also other features that may seem advantageous to some people such as the option of being able to produce a myriad of the sounds apart from just the piano. In fact, a synthesizer is capable of producing the sound of an entire film auric orchestra.

The functioning of a digital keyboard.

The sound is purely digital. You must have already surmised that the mechanism of producing sound in a digital piano or a digital keyboard does not involve any vibrating strings. A digital keyboard produces sound in one of the 2 following ways:

  • Generating sound waves. (Old system)
  • Using sampled sounds. (Latest technology)

Of these 2 methods the latter method of producing sample sounds is the newest technology and brings the person closest to the experience of playing an actual piano by replicating true piano sounds.

When you look at a digital keyboard, there are 2 common options you will be faced with. Synthesizers and digital keyboards.

Synthesizers

digital keyboards

Synthesizers synthesize sound by using an oscillator to generate sound waves electronically and then altering the shape, frequency and volume of sound waves and combined them to create different sounds. A synthesizer is capable of creating a huge range of sounds and not necessarily belonging to any particular musical instrument. They can create hums, buzzes, drumbeats and virtually any other musical instrument. Synthesizers also come in the model of programmable synthesizers which allow a programmer to shape and modify the sound waves with buttons, knobs and switches. These are not common devices anymore with piano playing enthusiasts. They are mostly used by sound technicians, sound studios, sound artists, DJs etc.

Digital keyboards

Digital keyboards of the modern-day work with the very modern technology of using sampled sounds. Sample sounds are made by distally recording audio sound of the actual musical instrument or for that matter any other actual sound and storing them in the computer of the keyboard. When you choose to play a particular instrument from the keyboards display panel, you access the sampled sound through amplification and you hear it being played once it passes through the speakers.

Digital keyboards that provide sampled sounds come the closest to producing realistic piano sounds. Which is why they are the preferred way to go if you want to experience playing an actual piano. Of course, the quality of the digital sound depends on the quality of the sample and this is what distinguishes many of the digital keyboards.

As always, depending upon the money you are willing to part with, the model that you choose will come with a variety of features to simulate the experience of playing a real piano. The better digital keyboards also come with weighted keys and allow you to experiences the nuances in the volume by playing the note of a key as loud or as soft depending on how hard or soft you hit the particular key just as it is in the actual piano. Digital keyboards can also augment a lot of other features such as recording, editing as well as connecting a keyboard to a computer.

Understanding The Piano Keys, Hammer and Strings Mechanism

Most acoustic pianos and even the full-length electric once have a total of 88 black and white keys. If your piano has less or more than that it is possible you might have picked up a defective piece.

However, in case of a digital piano, you can very well have lesser than 88 keys, depending on whether you chose to purchase a full sized keyboard which are more expensive of the lot.

Sometimes, in extremely rare cases, the color of the keys may be reversed. This most likely means that you are looking at a very old piano as they were sometimes made like that.

Piano hammers

Each of the 88 keys is connected to a small felt covered hammer. When you press a key on the piano, its respective hammer strikes a string or a set of string which is tuned to the appropriate musical note. On being hit, the string vibrates rapidly and produces the musical note. This musical note is amplified by the wooden soundboard.

This entire process happens rapidly in a split second.

You can watch this mechanism for yourself if you have someone play on the keys while you look inside the case or the cabinet of your piano.

There is another mechanism in place along with the hammers which is called a damper. A damper sits over the strings inside the keyboard and each key and its respective set of strings has its own damper as well. Dampers are made of cloth or felt that mute the string by preventing or stopping any vibration. When you press a key on the piano, in addition to the hammer striking the strings, the damper is also lifted off that particular string. When you leave the key, provided you are not holding down the sustain pedal, the damper returns to mute the string immediately. We will talk about the function of the piano pedals later on.

Difference Between Grand & Upright Piano

Today keyboards come in all shapes and sizes. They also come in 2 popular variations of either acoustic or electronic. An acoustic grand piano can be the size of an entire small room or it can be a much smaller upright piano. Digital keyboards tend to be much smaller.

It should be mentioned at this point that the word acoustic means “not electric”. It does not mean “with strings” as many people tend to think, associating only musical instruments like piano, guitar, cello with the term. Instruments like saxophone, trumpet, pipe organ, harpsichord etc. are all acoustic instruments as long as you are not viewing an electric version of them. many instruments today have their digital counterpart including the cello and the violin.

Piano is perhaps the most popular acoustic keyboard. The piano was developed for the 1st time almost 300 years ago and since then has grown in its design and sophistication although it’s sound producing mechanism basically remains the same. The sound and the tonal quality of the piano has been refined over the years to respond to every subtle variation of your touch. An acoustic piano comes in 2 main designs, Grand Piano and Upright/Vertical Piano.

Grand piano

upright piano

Grand piano can measure 9 feet if you are looking at the proper concert grand piano. Needless to say this an un-practical option for most of the piano enthusiasts. Not to mention unaffordable. You will need the room the size of the ballroom to be able to easily accommodate this instrument. However, since the sound and tonal quality of a grand piano is incomparable, you may want to consider other models such as the baby grand which measures about 5 feet. The brand can also comes in other sizes up to 7 feet. A grand piano does tend to be considerably more expensive than an upright piano.

Upright piano

Upright pianos are also called ‘verticals’ as they sit upright against the wall and can vary in height from a spinet up to full size upright pianos. This is a more common instrument that can usually be found in many homes. You probably had it in your high school music room as well.

Difference between a grand piano and an upright piano

The main difference between a grand piano and an upright piano is its design and the way the sound mechanism is placed inside the instrument. You can easily tell between a grand piano and an upright cannot just by looking at it.

Design Difference

The grand piano has an enormous lid that can be propped open with a stick that comes with the piano. This propping up system is something like propping up the hood of your car engine when you want to peer inside. By propping open the lid you can expose the metal strings and other mechanical components of the piano. By opening the lid of a grand piano you can get a louder and a more resonant sound since you allow the sound to freely resonate off the wooden soundboard.

Doing something similar with an upright piano, i.e. opening the lid of the upright piano, does not make much difference to the sound since the strings are in a different position and behind the piano facing the wall.

In order to get a bigger sound from an upright piano you can try pulling the piano away from the wall a little bit more.

String Layout Difference

In the grand piano the strings are horizontal and in the upright the strings are vertical and set diagonally with the treble strings crossing the bass strings to fit in a smaller upright case.

The difference in the string layout affects the resulting sound of the 2 pianos. The strings in an upright are perpendicular to the ground so the sound travels close to the ground. In contrast, the strings in a grand piano are parallel to the ground which means the sound travels upward from the ground and hence fills up the entire room more effectively.

 

Things You Already Know Even Before Your Start Learning The Piano

Things that you already know about playing the piano

One of the great things about learning to play the piano is that you will probably be surprised at how quickly you can perform certain things with the keyboard right away. You also already know a few pertinent musical facts.

You can play pentatonic scale.

If you play a sequence of black keys on the piano up or down, you have just played a 5 note scale that is known as the pentatonic scale.

You know the names of the musical notes.

learning piano

The 7 main musical notes in music are denoted by alphabetic letters ranging from A through G. When you play the white keys you play notes like C, F, A, D and E. By playing the subsequent black keys you add a sharp or flat to those letters to name the black keys.

You can name the 2 clefs used in reading piano music.

You read musical notations by using the treble and the base clef. Most of the time your right hand plays notes in the treble clef and your left hand plays notes in the base clef.

You know the total number of keys on a standard piano.

Pianos are commonly referred to the old 88s as well. The reason is that if you were to count all the keys from one end to the other on a standard full-sized keyboard or piano, you will find 88 keys. There is a pattern of 12 consecutive black and white keys from the right and of the keyboard to the left. There are 7 of these groups and the first 4 keys that begin another group before the keyboard ends. That brings up the tally to 7 multiplied into 12 equals 84+4 extra equals 88.

You can identify common styles of music

You can probably already identified some popular styles of music. For example, when you hear classical sonata from Bach or Beethoven, you can easily distinguish it from a Blues piece on a Jazz peace being played on the piano.

The Best Way To Learn Piano

As you continue to learn various techniques and methods of playing different kind of music on the piano, you will continue to learn different methods of how to play in the best manner. However, there are a few important generic points about how you learn to play the piano. If you follow these steps you set yourself up to get the best results from your piano practice.

Remember, you get the best results with learning the piano, when you’re comfortable and enjoying yourself.

Be Comfortable When Playing The Piano

best way to learn piano

Being in the right position and comfortable when you are playing the piano does not only mean that you do not suffer physical pain and discomfort but also that you have maximum freedom of movement to move your hands over the keyboard. Watch out for signs of fatigue and tension and take a break when you need it.

Play Something That Interest You

You can avoid repetitive piano practice from getting boring and mundane by playing something that you like. One way of practicing the piano even when you are a beginner is to pick out simple playing material and songs that you like. Appreciate the small progress that you make and remember that progress with playing the piano may be slower in the beginning as compared to when you have grasped the few essential basics. Also remember that while the rewards will come at all levels of piano playing, it is not something you should expect to happen everyday.

Try To Play The Piano Well

There is nothing more heartening and encouraging than to be able to play something the way it is meant to be played on the piano. For this reason, you can choose something quite simple that you can learn in a shorter duration of time and be proud of your achievement. Even playing something simple on the piano will give you the confidence and the encouragement that you need to progress ahead. Not to mention the encouragement that you will get from your family and friends when they hear you playing some thing successfully on the keyboard. You can find easy music sheets of many songs as well as beginner music sheets through many resources. We will make due efforts to provide some from our own site on this blog later on.