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Never Start With The C Major Scale

Editor's comment/ An interesting article that goes against most methods of teaching. Alex really has a good point here though about not starting with middle C. Read on and you will see why.

If you're starting to learn piano, you should never start with
the C major scale. Here's why.
You see, most teachers will tell you to start identifying where the
middle C is and then have you practice the C major scale. The
problem with this is that you'll always have to look at your
fingers when you're playing because there are no reference points
for you to count on. Let me explain.
When you're starting out, you hardly have any sense of touch,
meaning you can't feel one note from another without having to
look at the keyboard. And when you can't feel where your
fingers are at any given moment, you're more likely to look at
your fingers on the keyboard to know where to play the next note.
This will dramatically affect your note reading ability. How many
good sight readers do you know who constantly have to look at
their fingers while reading a piece of music?
I know what you're thinking. You might say "I don't care much
about sight reading, so what does it matter?" Well, it's true. If
you just want to learn chord based piano, there's not much reading
involved. BUT there's still SOME reading, and the less you depend
on looking at your fingers, the more you'll enjoy music… faster.
So instead of starting with C major scale, try this…
Place your left fourth finger (wedding finger) on B and your RIGHT
thumb on B, one octave apart. Now feel the next group of two black
notes (C# and D#, respectively). Play both at the same time with
the appropriate fingers (2 and 3). 


Next, Pivot your right thumb over to the next note, E. You do not
Need to pivot your left thumb since it should fall naturally on
the next note, E (an octave lower than your right note, of course.)
Now play both notes at the same time, both hands.
Next, pivot your left fingers over to play the next group of three
black notes(F#, G#, A#). The fingers should be 4,3,2, respectively.
For your right hand you do not need to pivot this time. Just feel
the group of three black notes with your second, third and fourth
fingers on F#, G# and A#, one octave higher than your left hand
Play all three notes, both hands at the same time.
Finally, end with B, one octave apart with your left thumb and
right pinky.
Do it again, but this time play each note separately. You've just
played the B major scale. The difference between this and the
traditional C major scale that most people start with is that
you're learning to develop a sense of touch from day one.
It'll give big dividends later on when you start reading notes
because while others have to look at both their hands and the sheet
music, you'll only have to focus on the sheet music. Your fingers
will take care of the next notes automatically by "reference notes",
namely the group of two and three black notes.
Practice this a few times and you'll be playing effortlessly
without looking at your fingers. You could expand to 2,3,4 octaves
if you wish. All you have to do is repeat the same pattern on the
next octave.


The Rapid Piano Expert

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