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Learning Music For Absolute Beginners

Aug 4, 2008
Learning music as a beginner can be frustrating if you do not know where to start. There is no right or wrong way for a beginner to learn, but there are simple steps that can help anyone make learning music fun.

First of all, you'll need an instrument. If you have access to a piano, you have got a head start. The piano is the easiest instrument to begin learning, yet is also the most versatile. Its notes are set neatly in a row with nothing hidden. Because of this simple layout, the piano can be used to learn the basic principles of music.

The piano has two sets of keys: the white keys and the black keys. Each key plays a different note. Starting on the note C and playing the next six white keys to the right will form the C major scale. Of course, finding the note for a beginner is half the challenge.

To find a C, look at the black keys. There are two groupings of black keys: two keys and three keys. Look for a group of two black keys. The white key just to the left of this group is C.

Now that you've found C, you will be able to play the C major scale. Just start at any C and move to the right, playing each white key in sequence until you have reached the next C on the keyboard. You have now played the C major scale, one of the building blocks of learning music. The notes are as follows: C D E F G A B.

Many popular songs can be played with this scale. You can play the melody of Old MacDonald using these keys. You can also play Let It Be by the Beatles, using only the C major scale. Both the melody and chords of the song can be played using the white keys.

Of course, no one wants to stop learning there. Learning some basic chords will be the next step. A basic C chord is played by placing the thumb on a C, the middle finger on an E, and the pinky on the G. Play these keys at the same time and you have played the C chord.

There are many more scales and chords to learn, but any beginner can start with C and create some nice results. Learning music needs to be fun, as theory and technical exercises can make it seem more like work. The great thing about learning how to play chords and melodies in C is that pretty much any white key melody will work over any white key chord progression. For someone learning to play the piano, this is encouraging.

Learning music can be easy and enjoyable when a beginner starts off on the right key. By following the easy steps outlined here, anyone can make beautiful music from day one. The greatest musical minds in the world all started off at the beginning and so can you.
About the Author
Duane Shinn is the author of the popular online newsletter on piano chords, available free at "Exciting Piano Chords & Chord Progressions!"
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