Learn to play Piano: Beginner Masterclass (With Workbook!) | Jacob Lamb | Skillshare

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Learn to play Piano: Beginner Masterclass (With Workbook!)

teacher avatar Jacob Lamb, Musician and audio engineer in MA

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

21 Lessons (1h 8m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Half/Whole Steps/Octaves

    • 3. How to Read Sheet Music

    • 4. Reading Music: Treble Clef 1 (C, D, E)

    • 5. Reading Music: Treble Clef 2 (F, G)

    • 6. Reading Music: Treble Clef 3 (A, B)

    • 7. Reading Music: Bass Clef 1 (C, B, A)

    • 8. Reading Music: Bass Clef 2 (G, F)

    • 9. Reading Music: Bass Clef 3 (E, D, C)

    • 10. Reading Music: Combining our two Clefs

    • 11. Playing Songs 1: Sharps and Flats

    • 12. Playing Songs 2: Intervals

    • 13. Playing Songs 3: Chords

    • 14. Song Practice: Viva La Vida

    • 15. Chords 1: Root Notes

    • 16. Chords 2: A Simple Trick

    • 17. Chords 3: Suspended Chords

    • 18. Chords 4: Slash Chords

    • 19. Using the Sustain Pedal

    • 20. Final Project

    • 21. Congratulations and Farewell!

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About This Class

In this class, Jacob Lamb takes you through the basics of learning piano, with no prior knowledge necessary! Consider this your first piano class. We'll start with the basics: Notes and terminology - using countless graphics and views of the material to make sure nobody gets left behind or lost.

We dive into playing two notes at a time, and how to play any chord in the world - which unlocks any song in the world!

Each lesson video features closeup views, as well as pictures to help you grasp new information quickly and easily. There is also a workbook attached in the project section for you to play along with our sheet music examples.

By the end of the course, you'll be able to search for any song online and begin playing through like a natural! 

Lesson list:

  • Half and Whole Steps + Octaves
    We start from the beginning, naming simple movements on the piano

  • How to Read Sheet Music
    Learn to understand and interpret sheet music... it's easier than you think!
  • Reading¬†Music: Treble Clef 1
    Our first three notes in the treble clef; C, D and E
  • Reading Music: Treble Clef 2
    Our second treble clef video covering the F and G notes. One more to go!
  • Reading Music: Treble Clef 3
    Our last treble clef video, on notes A and B
  • Reading¬†Music: Bass Clef 1
    Our first three notes now in the bass clef; C, B and A
  • Reading Music: Bass Clef 2
    Our second bass clef video, looking at G and F
  • Reading Music: Bass Clef 3
    Our final bass clef video, finishing with E, D and C
  • Reading Music: Combining Clefs!
    Let's look at how to put both clefs together in a song
  • Playing Songs 1: Sharps and Flats
    Let's take a look at the black keys and how to use them
  • Playing Songs 2: Intervals
    Two notes at a time - the building blocks of our chords!
  • Playing Songs 3: Chords
    Every song can be played using chords - so let's learn how to build chords on the piano!
  • Song Practice: Viva La Vida
    The most enjoyable way to practice chords - with a song!
  • Playing Songs 4: Root Notes
    Let's add some left hand depth to our songs
  • Chords 1: A Simple Trick (MmmMMmm)
    Here's an easy way to remember which chords are naturally major or naturally minor
  • Chords 2: Suspended Chords
    A variation on basic chords - to spice up your playing!
  • Chords 3: Slash Chords
    What happens when our root note is different?
  • Chords 4: Inversions
    Let's play leapfrog with notes! 
  • Using the Sustain Pedal
    Using our feet to help our hands!
  • Final Project
    A description and explanation of the class final project
  • Congratulations and Farewell!
    You've finished the course! Now you should have a basic understanding of sheet music, chords and playing songs. Congratulations!

    For more Masterclasses, books, backing tracks and music community, check out http://www.masterthemusic.com

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jacob Lamb

Musician and audio engineer in MA


Hello! My name is Jacob, I'm a musician, singer/songwriter, music teacher and small business owner. I attended Berklee College of Music, and opened a music studio in Bedford, MA. I began recording and became an endorsed artist for PreSonus, TempleAudio and more.
I absolutely adore music and meeting new folks. I'm excited to get to know you all and share what I know about playing, writing and working in the music industry.
I'm always available for questions at any of my attached links. Send a message and say hello!

See full profile

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1. Intro: Hi, My name is Jacob Lam. I'm a musician, a teacher, the owner of master the music, and author of simple guide to the seven modes and beginner music theory for piano. Thank you so much for checking out my piano course. In this masterclass, we're going to cover the basics of piano. From the very first steps through notes, chords, all the way to you being able to play any song you hear on the radio. I'm so excited to meet you here, your projects and teach you what I think is one of the most beautiful instruments in the world. Let's get started. 2. Half/Whole Steps/Octaves: All right, lesson number 1. Before we start playing our piano, there's something really important that we need to understand that we'll be using an almost every lesson. And these are called half-steps and whole-steps. Now half-steps, if you look at your keyboard or the smallest amount, you can move up or down, the piano. The piano is broken into white keys and black keys. Half-steps. Take both of these into consideration. So for example, let's say I started from this note right here. If I wanted to move a half-step up, I wouldn't move to the next white key because there is a key between them. A half step up from here would move up to this black key. And another half step would then move up to the next white key. If I wanted to move a half step down from my starting note, then I would move down to the next white key. And that's only because there's not a note between these two. Now, whole-steps, as you might have guessed, is two half-steps put together. So no matter where we're playing from, we're going to skip a key when we play a whole step. For example, if I start from my starting note and I wanted to play a whole step, now, I'd skip over whatever note is between my whole step and move up a whole step. Now, I'll move up another whole step and another whole step. But remember this one here. There's no half-step between these notes. These are a half-step with no key between them. If I wanted to move up a whole step, I'm going to jump over this key to this key here. This is one whole step. Now the other important term that we need to know is called an octave. Now again, if you look at your piano, you'll see there are white keys and black keys. And the black keys are grouped into groups of two and groups of three repeating 2323. All the keys on the piano, even though there are 88 of them, are the same groupings repeated throughout the entire keyboard. What this means is we have 12 notes repeated over and over in different octaves. An octave is the same note at a different pitch. Here's what I mean. You don't have to memorize this right now. But for this example, just know this note is a C note. So at the very beginning of two black keys. Now if I look, there are other groups of two black keys and right at the beginning of those, that is also a C note, find another group of two black keys that is also a C note, and that's a C note. So all the notes on the piano have multiple examples, are multiple placements for them, but different octaves. This is a C, This is C one octave up. This is C. Skip this c. That would be C two octaves down if you know, half and whole-steps and you know octaves, and you feel comfortable with both of those ideas. You're ready for the rest of this piano course. 3. How to Read Sheet Music: Now we're going to talk about reading sheet music. Now maybe this is a little daunting or scary to you, but we're going to break it down step by step. And you're actually going to see it's much easier than you might think. Sheet music is broken up into two things called clefs, a treble clef and bass clef. And those two clefs are connected by a note. This is called middle C. All of our musical notes are named after notes of the alphabet. So this is our middle C. It connects the treble clef and the bass clef. Now, important note on the piano. Middle C is the sea again before the two black keys. And it's the C most towards the middle of the piano. And so here's how we can split the piano. Everything above middle C is treble clef on the sheet music. Everything below middle C is bass clef on the sheet music. As the notes of the sheet music go up, they go up on the piano towards the right side. And as the notes on the sheet music go down, they go down the left side of the piano. Each clef, treble, and bass both have five lines and four spaces. Now on these lines and spaces, we can put notes to signify what notes we want to play on the piano. It's just like reading a book top to bottom, left to right, except instead of words we have dots, notes. Now we know where middle C is, but we want to know what the other lines and spaces are. We're going to take them step by step throughout this course before we get to chords. But right now, there's an easy way that we can remember with sentences and words. For example, the lines on the treble clef can be remembered with every good boy does fine. And maybe remember that if you took music classes in school, It's very common. Every good boy does fine. Now for the spaces of the treble clef, we have just one word, face, F, a, C, E. If we're looking at the bass clef, we also have a sentence for the lines and the spaces. The lines of the bass clef might be my favorite sentence. Good burritos don't fall apart. And that's very true. The best burritos shouldn't fall apart. The spaces are all cows eat grass. Now that we have the lines and the spaces in our head. And again, don't worry, we'll go over them together slower. We're going to break our two clefts into something called measures. All that measures do are what their name, they measure the sheet music out into sections. This helps us not get too confused if we saw just a bunch of sheet music without any reference points. It also helps us communicate. If I wanted to say start from measure for, you know, exactly where you're going to start. And that wouldn't be possible without the measures I'd have to point, which sometimes is impossible, like right now and an online class, I can't point at your page. Now, over on the left side of the sheet music you have something called a time signature. Now there are two numbers here and the bottom number, we don't have to worry about in this masterclass. All that number does is it changes. What kind of a note gets a beat. We're not going to play with that right here. What we are concerned about is the top number. The top number is going to tell us how many beats are in each measure. Now a beat CAN BE fast, a beat can be slow. For fast songs and slow songs. Beats are just one count or one click. For example, if I wanted to play four beats on the piano, maybe I would play 1, 2, 3, 4, or I could do it with multiple notes. 12341234. That would be four counts or four beats. Three beats is exactly the same. You just count to 3123123123. So this top number is telling us how we're going to count our music when we're playing? Will we fit four beats into a measure or a three beats into a measure? Finally, you can write notes in specific ways that tell you how many beats to hold that note down four. And I'll say that again. You can write notes no matter where they are on the sheet music, high or low. You can write notes in a specific way to tell the reader how many beats there are going to hold or play that note. For. For example, this right here is called a whole note. It's called a whole note because it takes up the whole four beat measure. So when I see this note, I know I'm going to hold it for four beats, 12341234. And that counts whether it's a C or a G or an a. The pitch of the note will never change the timing of the know. How you write the note changes the timing of the node. Now if I took this whole note and I added this little stem to it, now it's called a half note. And a half note, just like the name takes up half of the measure. So if a whole note is four beats, the half-note is going to be two beats. And so to play those, I would count 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2. Finally, if I filled in a half-note, you'd have a quarter note. And by now you may have guessed it takes up a quarter of the measure 1 beat. I can fit four of them into a measure, 1234. Those are the fastest type of note we're going to use in this masterclass. On the sheet music. We combine notes of different pitches and different timings. Sometimes we can put notes on top of each other to play them both at the same time instead of one single note. If I had them on top of each other, I might play three notes at a time, which is called a chord. We're going to talk about chords and learn them and use them to play songs later in the masterclass. For now, you know what you need to read sheet music for this course. 4. Reading Music: Treble Clef 1 (C, D, E): It's time to start actually playing our piano. Now remember to sit with your back straight and your fingers curved just a little bit. You're not making a claw, but they're not straight either. They're relaxed, curved, and sitting nice and calm on the piano. The notes we're going to learn today are all in the treble clef. We're going to have three classes on the treble clef. Three classes on the bass clef, combine them and then jump into chords to do popular songs. So we're learning a C note, a D note, and an E note. Now again, these are all moving upwards on the treble clef. And we start from middle C. Now on the piano, It's right underneath the group of two black keys. D is right above it. In between these black keys, it is a whole step up from C. E is another whole step up from D to E, and it's at the end of the two black keys. So on our piano we have C, D, and E. Now again, there are many C's, D's, and E's high and low. We're going to stick with our middlemost C, D, and E. On the sheet music. C has its own little line, again, that middle C connecting the claps. When we write it in the treble clef, it's still that same middle connecting note, but we're going to write it a little closer to the clef we're actually using. So this is our middle. C. D goes right above it, right above it. Not quite to the next line. That would be two notes, but to the next space which is touching the bottom of our cleft. So D touches the bottom of the clef. E, moves up to the bottom line. It's the start of every good boy does fine. Now we're going to do some song practice. There's a workbook included with this class in the files of this class, you should have it already. If not, take the time to go download the PDF real quick so you can follow along and practice on your own. Our first song, we're going to play nice and slow with just whole notes. Here's what that song sounds like with the sheet music on the screen, C, D, and E. We then move on to our second song, which now uses mostly half notes. Remember these are two beats. And now we're going to practice those same notes with quarter note rhythms, so a little bit faster. And for PRE measure. I'm going to show you one more song from this workbook. But you should go look at the page because there are other songs that we won't cover and space for you to write your own song to play using these three notes. Here's our final song, and now it combines are three notes, maybe not in order. Go practice with the workbook. And when you feel you've got those three notes comfortable, come back and we'll learn two more on top of them. 5. Reading Music: Treble Clef 2 (F, G): We're going to look at our next two notes. We have C, D, and E covered. Now we're going to look at f and g, working our way down. The alphabet. F on the piano is right after E, a half step after e. At the beginning of the three black notes. G is going to be a whole step after that in between the three black keys. So we have C, D, E, F, and G. F on the sheet music goes in the very first space. Remember it's the beginning of our word, face, F, a, C, E, G goes on the second line. We had E on the first line, then F in the space between. Now G on that second line. Every good boy does fine. Just like with C, D, and E. Let's take a look at our workbook. We have another page that uses C, D, and E, but brings these two new notes into the songs as well. Let me play the first song for you so you can see how it sounds and then you can play them on your own as well. Just a little reminder as you play through the songs, remember the note timing as well. Here we have some quarter notes and we also had a whole note at the very end. It's important to distinguish between them. So you're not playing quarter notes too slowly or whole notes too quickly. Let's take a look at our next song. Finally, we'll look at the third song we'll go over together. But again, there are more songs in the workbook for you to practice on your own. Here's our third song. When you feel you're comfortable bringing f and g into the three notes we already know. Then you can move on and we'll look at our last two notes in the treble clef, a and B. 6. Reading Music: Treble Clef 3 (A, B): Okay, now we're doing a and B in our treble clef. But why did we start with C? And we're ending with a and B. Also, a doesn't come after G. So what's going on here? Well, for some instruments like guitar, different notes are great starting points. Like E is a good place because it's the name of the first and the last string. For piano C is a great starting point. It connects the clefs, and so it's a great anchor to count up or down from middle. C is also a very common starting point on the piano for many songs. So we're starting with C, we're ending with b. A also comes after G, Y. In the musical alphabet, there are seven letters, a, B, C, D, E, F, G. And then it starts over at a. So what we're doing here is starting with C and going C, D, E, F, G, starting the alphabet over a, b, and landing on C again. So now we're going to talk about a and B. A, as you just saw, is in the middle of the black keys, the three black keys right after a genome, it's a whole step from our genome. B is also a whole step up from that. At the end of our three black keys. After that be a half-step up, we're back to see one octave above are starting. See, now on the sheet music, a goes in the second space. Remember a word is face. So we had f, a, C, and E. B is another great anchor. Note just like that middle C, because it goes in the middle of the treble clef. It's on the third line. Every good boy does fine. Now, just like our other two classes on treble clef notes, we have a workbook page for these notes, bringing them into the notes. We already know. I'm going to play you three of the songs on this worksheet and leave the rest up to you. Here's song number 1. Now let's listen to a song number two. The ending of that song is probably the most difficult thing we've played yet. Don't be discouraged if it takes you a little time to get those big jumps down. Now, we're going to play our third song together. Look at the page and practice the rest of the songs. There's also space at the bottom again, for you to write your own song using the notes that you know. We've done three classes on treble clef notes. Now let's go the opposite direction and do three more on bass clef notes. Then we'll start playing full songs with multiple notes. 7. Reading Music: Bass Clef 1 (C, B, A): We've gone up the treble clef, looking at our treble clef notes. Now we're starting from middle C again and going down the bass clef, looking at our bass clef notes, this time we'll use our left hand. All left-hand treble clef is all right hand. So using our left hand, we're going to start on middle C again. Now again, this is still the note that connects the clefs. But just like we did with the treble clef, we're going to write it a little closer to the clef we're using. This time, that happens to be the bass clef. Now I've got C, where it usually is. Moving a half step back is my b. Right now we're using the alphabet backwards. Before C is B, and before B, a whole step down is a. Same placement as a, an octave above in the middle of the three black keys, except now, it's lower than middle C. On the sheet music. Middle C sits on top of the bass clef, just like it was on the bottom of the treble clef. It's now got its own small little line, except it's at the top of the class because the note is the highest note, we'll be going over in the bass clef. B is right below it, touching the top of the bass clef. It's kind of like the opposite bizarro note of D. We had C, D, and E. Now we have c, b, and a on the very top line, or the first line if we're coming at it from the top. Now, remember, good burritos don't fall apart. And so that's where that a is, C, B, a. Now we're going to look at the workbook sheet, going to play the first two songs for you instead of three songs. I'm going to leave the rest of the songs up to you. We're not bringing in any treble clef notes just yet. We're just looking at bass clef notes. Here's the song. Now let's take a look at the second song. Just like with C, D, and E. When you're comfortable with C, B and a, you can move on to the next lesson, and we'll bring in our next two bass clef notes. 8. Reading Music: Bass Clef 2 (G, F): Now that we've got C, B, and a, comfortable, we're going to move down to notes to g and f. So underneath our a note, a whole step down is right in the middle, the lower half of our three black keys. A whole step underneath that G is our F at the very beginning of the three black keys. And our little note, it can be confusing at the beginning between the C and the F, since they're both at the beginning of a group of black keys, Try to remember that C is at the beginning of two black keys. F is at the beginning of the three black keys. If you get those confused, don't be discouraged. A lot of people do. It will come more and more naturally as you practice. On the sheet music is in the top space. Remember, all cows eat grass. And our F is right below it. On the second line, good burritos don't fall apart. Helpful thing to remember is that the treble clef, sometimes called the G-Clef because this swirly section wraps around the G line. The bass clef is sometimes called the F clef because the two dots surround the f. So that's a helpful way to remember that f, It's right between those two dots. Now, we've got five notes in the bass clef, F, G, a, B, and middle C. Let's take a look at our workbook, again, playing two of the songs together. And then you can practice the rest of the workbook songs on your own. And finally, our second song on the workbook page. And here remember again, half notes or two beats, quarter notes or one beat. That's two of the three videos for the bass clef notes. When you're comfortable with all five of those, you can move on to our last two bass clef notes. 9. Reading Music: Bass Clef 3 (E, D, C): The last two bass clef notes that we haven't talked about yet are E and D. Now from the bass clef notes, we already know F is our lowest are new. E is a half-step below F, right? After the two black keys are, D is a whole step below that E. It's in-between the two black keys. And then we land on C, an octave below our starting point, middle C. E on the sheet music is on the second space right below where the f is. Remember, good cooks eat a lot. D is in the middle of the bass clef, another great anchor point, just like its counterpart B. And the treble clef, which is in the middle of the treble clef. D is in the middle of the bass clef. Good burritos don't fall apart. And the doughnut is possibly the most important part of that sentence. Good burritos fall apart. Good burritos don't fall apart. Now we'll look at the workbook. It's something I've done in the workbook is I've brought in C an octave lower. It's in the third space. Now the reason I did that is that with our sentences, every good boy does fine. Good burritos don't fall apart. Face. And all cows eat grass. You know, all of these notes, they don't stop where we've stopped and we can always count a little further. So we're going to bring in that lower C. Here's the first song in our workbook that we'll do together. This next song in our workbook combines a lot of half notes and a lot of quarter notes. It's great rhythmic practice. Practice the rest of this worksheet on your own. And again, you can always write something of your own at the bottom as well. In the next lesson, we're going to combine treble and bass clef using both are right and left hands. 10. Reading Music: Combining our two Clefs: This time we're not learning any new notes. We're just combining treble clef and bass clef together, which is a challenge in itself. But we're going to do it nice and slow. Take a look at this first song. You can see when notes are in the treble, top cleft and when notes are in the bottom bass clef. If you remember your sentences and words that help us remember where these letters go. This should be a breeze. As a quick review on the keyboard, we have C, D, and E around a group of two black notes. And then F, G, a, and b around a group of three black keys. On the sheet music for the treble clef. We have every good boy does fine. And the word face for the bass clef. We have good burritos don't fall apart, and all cows eat grass. Now we've gone through those together slowly. So that was a quick overview. If you don't feel entirely comfortable, feel free to go back and review anything you need to. Now my right hand, I'm going to put with my thumb on middle, C with one finger per key, C, D, E, F. Gee, my left hand, I'm going to place my pinky on the lower C, Also with one finger per key. So that with both hands, if I wanted to, I could play a low and a high, C, D, E, F, and G. Now you're playing the same notes but using different fingers. So maybe practice that just a little bit before we begin doing our songs. Here's our first bass and treble clef song. Some right-hand sum, left-hand. You'll notice both my thumbs shared middle C for that song. Now I'm going to take my right hand, put my thumb on middle C with one finger per key. They're not going to share keys. I'm going to use one finger per key with my left hand. I'm going to put my pinky on the lower C. And again, one finger, her. This is my starting position for the next song. Practice the rest of this page on your own. And then we're going to jump into what chords are and how to use them to play full songs that you hear on the radio. 11. Playing Songs 1: Sharps and Flats: Now we're moving on to our chords, which helps us play all the radio songs. But there's a couple of things we need to understand to get those down quicker. First of all, we'd been skipping over all of our black keys. What are those? Well, we're jumping here, whole-steps and sometimes half-steps. These black keys we've been skipping over have special names, and those are sharp and flat. And then we combine those with some of the letter names we already know. For example, This is see, if I wanted to move up a half-step instead of moving up to D, I could move up a half step. This is C sharp. C, C sharp. A sharp is a half step up from a whole note. We could also play G and G sharp. Flats go the other way. I could play E. And instead of moving down a whole step to D, I could move down a half step to E flat, D, and D flat. Now you may have noticed something weird. We have C sharp and we have D flat. Same note, different names. Why? Well, these sharp and flat notes share the note in the middle. C and D share the note in the middle. C sharp and D flat, different name, same note. And it depends on which way you're coming from it. If I'm taking a d and I want to make it a D flat, I'm not calling that a C Sharp, I'm calling that a D flat. If I'm taking a C and I want to move it up, I'm not moving it up to a D flat. I'm moving it up to a C sharp. These sharps and flats can be used in single notes melodies, but we're also going to use them in our chords, which is a bunch of notes played together at once. Sometimes there'll be white keys, sometimes there'll be black keys, and sometimes there'll be a combination of both. 12. Playing Songs 2: Intervals: Now single notes are obviously one note. Chords have to be three or more notes played at the same time. But there's a special name for two notes played at a time. And they're important because they help us figure out these chords. Two notes at a time are called intervals. Intervals it's the distance between two notes, and these are not tricky at all. Check it out here, I have a note and the note next to it. If I play them together, that's an interval. But which interval is it? Well that right there is a second interval and we just count 1, 2 second. If I took that top note and I moved it up, we count 1, 2, 3, that's a third interval. And it moves on. That's a fourth, fifth, right? We have five fingers, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. We play one to the fifth, fifth interval. We can stretch a little more to a sixth, seventh. And all the way to a full octave right after that seventh. We're going to be using intervals all of the time. Whether it's figuring out how chords are put together, which is two intervals together. Or maybe in some melodies that often use two notes at the same time. Or we can also talk about them in terms of OneNote moving to another note, I can play a C. And I can say I want to jump up a third. If I want to jump up a third, and that's a third interval, I'm going to be jumping up from a C up to that E 1 third interval. If I want to jump up another third from this E, I'm jumping up a third to a G. This is when things start getting interesting. There are two words we need to know when we're talking about intervals and chords. And the first word is major and the second word is minor. Now you can think of major as bigger and minor as smaller. Major in music. Sounds happy. Like for example, this would be major. Sad, minor. It's much more somber. These are some minor courts. Now with our intervals. We're going to focus in on third's because we're going to build chords off of thirds. You have a major third which sounds happier, and a minor third, which sounds more somber. We're going to figure out how to count these with half-steps and whole-steps. For example, a major third is four half-steps away. Now don't get too confused. Let's count these up. Start from any note you want. I'm going to stay on my C here. I'm going to count up four half-steps. 1234. That's my major. Third. It doesn't have to be from C. I could pick any note. Beautiful. And if I count up 4.5 steps, 1, 2, 3, 4, That's a major third interval. It's the same distance as our C to E. A minor third is a little bit smaller. It's three half-steps away. So for my C, I'm going to count 1, 2, 3. That's my minor. Third. Again, pick any node at random and count up 3.5 steps, 123. That's a minor. Third. We're going to use these minor and major intervals to build a chord. And the very next lesson. 13. Playing Songs 3: Chords: Now we know that cords are any three or more notes played at the same time. Now we're going to talk about how to build a chord. And chords we're going to count every other note. And here's what I mean. If you take your hand, you've got five fingers and you're going to use for your chord finger one, finger three, and finger five. That would be your thumb, middle finger. And pinky. Every other note, 1, 3, and 5, and we're skipping fingers 24. And we can have a major chord which sounds happy, or a minor chord which sounds more somber. Now, a major chord is a major third interval plus a minor third interval. A minor chord flips that order. It's a minor third interval. And then a major third interval. We could think of it kind of is like for a major chord, you have the major interval is the root, the base, and then a minor interval on top of it. For minor chord, you have that minor interval is the root and a major third on top of that base. And here's what I mean on the piano. We can start from a note like C. Now, I want a major third interval as the base of my chord. So I'm going to count up those four half-steps, 1, 2, 3, 4. We're starting a chord. Now from this note, from the note I just made, I want a minor third. So I'm going to count up from here now, three half-steps, four half-steps, and then 3123. So we've got a major third on the bottom and a minor third on top, sharing a note in the middle. Now, you'll notice this is every other key on the piano. And so I'm actually using the wrong fingers right now. I'm going to use every other finger, just like every other key. So I'm going to use instead of my first mental and pinky, I'm going to use my thumb, middle and pinky. Now let's say I want to make a minor chord. Well, I'd start from a note. I'm still going to start from my C. Now I want to minor interval a minor third on the bottom. So I'm going to count up 3.5 steps, 1, 2, 3. There's my minor third. On top of that. Now I'm going to put a major third interval. So from this node, I'm going to count up 4.5 steps, 1234. That's a minor chord, a minor sad sounding chord. Now because they're sharing a note in the middle, that third note, one 35, that third note is going to be the difference between a major and a minor chord. I've got my major chord. If I want it to be minor and a move my third, my, my middle note. To change which side the minor and major intervals are on. Major and minor intervals. The first note of your chord is also the name of your chord. So for example, I started from a C note. So this is a C chord. If I were doing that sad cord, this would be a C minor chord. If a court is minor, you have to specify its minor. C minor. If a chord is major, you don't have to specify. You can just say C chord. And it's assumed that it's major. So it's either C or C minor. Let's build another chord from kind of a crazy spot. I'm going to take one of my black keys here. This would be an a sharp or a B flat. No. Now I'm going to build a major chord on top of it. And if we can count to four, we know how to build a major chord. So I'll start from this note and I'll count 1234. That's a major third interval. Now from this new note, I'm going to move up a minor third. So all count three, 1, 2, 3. There's my major chord. Now, I've started from an a sharp or a B flat. So I'm going to call this either an a sharp cord or a B flat chord. That's how you make courts. If you look up songs, any song in the world that you want to play with the word chords after it is, for example, let's say I want to play Viva, Viva chords. Well then it's going to pop up with the chords that that song uses. And we just have to play them in a row. So in the next lesson, we're going to look at our viva vita. Courts. 14. Song Practice: Viva La Vida: Now that we know how to build chords, we're going to look at Viva veto, which uses for courts. Those chords are C, D, G, and E minor. We're going to take those one at a time. We're going to start with our c. So we start on a C note. Now it's not seem minor, it's just c. So we're starting with a major third interval and then a minor third. So from my C I'm counting 41234. And then three on top of that, 1, 23. That's my C chord and the first chord of my song. Now I want a D chord, so I'll start from a D know and count up four half-steps. 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3. And that's my D chord. So we're moving from a C to a D. Next we want a G chord. So for G, start on a genome, 1234123. That's a g. Finally an E minor sad sounding chord, and then go to an E and count now this time minor, so a minor third on the bottom, major third on the top. So I'm counting 1, 2, 3 first, and then 1, 2, 3, 4. It's my E minor. Sort of play viva veto. I'm going from C, D, G, E minor. Hi. 15. Chords 1: Root Notes: This is a very short class, but a very important class. We're going to be talking about root notes. Now, root notes are the first or starting note of what you're playing there, the root. So when we're playing our C chord, our root node is the sea. But there's so much piano that we could be using that were not, and we even have a free hand. So we're going to take our root note, and we're going to add our root note, an octave lower to our chords. What I mean is if I'm playing a C chord, I'm going to take my left hand and I'm going to play a C note, not full court again, just a C note with a C chord. So I'm gonna go down an octave in place. See, we have just see. And then with the root node, it adds to it, it, it extends our dynamic range and makes what you're playing feel more full. Now that root note is going, follow me no matter what chord I'm playing. So I'm playing a C. I've got my sea route now. If I move my cord up to G, my root node is going to come with it up to a G. Note. Same thing. If I want to move down to a D, my root node is going to be d. Whatever the first note of my court is, I'm going to play an octave lower than my chord. So let's take a look at Viva Lavinia again now with root notes including. 16. Chords 2: A Simple Trick: Those are basic triad courts. And as you play them more and more, you'll start to see which chords use all white keys and which chords need a black key in them. And so soon you'll be able to see C, C minor, D minor, E minor, F, F minor, G minor, a minor, B minor, B, and back to C. A simple way to remember this, if you're looking for a way, is if we're playing all white keys, it's major or minor, minor. Major, major, minor, minor. And then back to your start. 145 are major, which means if you played just the white keys there, major courts, 2, 3, 6, 7, or minor, which means if you've played just the white keys, they're minor chords. And that's easy little trick to figure out whether a court is going to be major or minor before you play it, and you don't have to count 43 every time. 17. Chords 3: Suspended Chords: We're nearing the end of our class. We know single notes on sheet music and we know basic chords with root notes to play songs now. But we're going to look at a few variations of those basic chords to make are playing just a little more fancy. And then we're going to call ourselves done with beginner piano and we're ready for intermediate piano. Today, we're going to talk about sus chords. Sus chords or suspended chords. Really quite simple. Let me play a C chord. We know that this C chord is 1, 3, and 5, and we're skipping 24. Now if I want to play a sus chord, there are two types. There's a SUS 2 and a SaaS for SUS 2 takes my three and it changes it down to a two. So instead of playing 135 with a C SaaS two, I'm now playing 125. My root note stays the same. Sus4 is exactly the same in the other direction. It takes my three and it moves it up to the four of my chord. And then my root node can stay the same. Now there are two basic uses for a sus chord. The first one is landing on a cord. It can add some flair to it. For example, I could play E minor, G and land. That's nice. But what if I used a SUS 2 and sus4 to spice up that landing. Same progression. That sounds pretty good. The other use of SaaS chords for us is if we're having to stay on one chord for a long time, tell me when you get bored. I'm already kinda board. Honestly. If we have to stay on one chord like you do sometimes in songs, these sus chords can really help keep this single note or chord more interesting. Here's that same C chord now with sauces thrown in. All right, Now I have a little more time to stay on that chord without my whole audience walking out on me. Now if I'm playing a major chord to move it to a SUS 2, I'm moving my three down a whole step. For a sus4, I'm moving my three up a half-step. If I'm playing a minor chord, I'm moving my three, which is now in a different location. I'm moving it down a half-step or I'm moving that three up a whole step. My 24 stay the same, whether I'm playing a major or a minor chord. But the three that I'm moving changes from major to minor. And so finding my SAS 2 or sus4 is a little different if I'm playing a major or a minor chord. 18. Chords 4: Slash Chords: We talked about root notes, taking the bottom note of our chord and moving it down an octave. Now we're going to change that a little bit with something called slash chords. You may find slash chords in a lot of popular songs. And so they're really helpful to know. If we put a slash chord on the screen, you have two different letters. The one on the left is the chord that you're playing. So for example, here, I'm playing a C chord. Now, I would assume from what I know that my root note in a C chord is a C. But this letter on the right side is my new root node. This is a c over E, or a C chord over an E note. So instead of C over c, I'm moving my root note to an e. Or maybe D over F sharp, I play a D chord. Instead of a route, I'd play an F sharp. Typically, not all of the time, but typically the slash chords are going to put in a root note that's already in your chord. For example, with the c over E, my C chord has an E note in it. So instead of playing the root, I'm now playing the middle. Same thing with the d over F sharp. I've got an F sharp in my D chord, and I'm playing the middle note. The slash chords will typically make your root note a different note that's already in the chord, but not always. It's just a helpful pattern to look out for. Now we can practice our slash chords with this progression. You can try it with me. C, c over E, F, and G. You recognize that song? Let's photographs by Ed Sheeran, just some evidence that you'll find slash chords all over the place in popular songs maybe where you're not expecting them. 19. Using the Sustain Pedal: There's a big part of the piano we haven't even touched yet. And this is our last class. You may have noticed there are some petals at your feet. Now you might have one petal, you might have two petals, you might have three petals. It is always the petal on the right side, the one all the way to the right. We're going to talk about right now. This is called the sustain pedal. If I play a chord and let go, it stops. If I press down on the sustain pedal and I play a chord and let go. It rings out as if I'm still holding down. This can be a huge help to us to hold notes for us as we try to move our hands quickly enough to our next chord. Here's the technique with the sustain pedal. When we press our hands down, we're going to lift our foot up and back down. See the keys to let go of the old notes and hold on to the new notes. If I keep my foot press down and play some chords, they get jumbled. They get jumbled and it's like a wall of sound. But if I don't have my pedal, it's no good. It's no good. And almost sounds like karaoke song, more than a beautiful instrument. The key now is, when I press something, I'm going to put my foot down. Then I press something new. I'm going to let go of the pedal as soon as my hands go down. When my hands touch, foot comes up to let go old notes and then goes back down to hold my new notes. Now you can practice this with just one chord, play it. And when you play it for up and down and down and down and down. So every time you press on the keyboard, your farts coming up and back down. And that's how we make that sustained pedal work well, with the chords were playing to hold the notes for us, but not jumble the old notes in with them. 20. Final Project: You've reached the end of the course, now you're into the final project. Congratulations. For our project, what I want you to do is share one of the songs you wrote on the sheet music using some of the notes. And if you're bold enough to play it and you have a way to share that. We'd love to hear that as well. With the chords. I want you to make a chord progression, multiple chords, one after the other. It only has to be three or four chords. And maybe you can repeat those three or four chords. Make a chord progression of your favorite chords and practice going between them and share that. If you don't have a way to record yourself, That's oh, okay. Maybe you can just share a picture of the sheet music you wrote. And the letters are names of the chords you chose. Either way. I'm excited to see it or hear it. 21. Congratulations and Farewell!: You've reached the end of the course. Congratulations. Thank you again so much for watching and learning along with me. If you have any notes or comments, I'd love to hear them. Or you can always just say hi, I love getting messages from people talking about music with them. You can always reach out at Jacob at mastered the music.com or go see a little more of what we do, find workbooks, quizzes, and more masterclasses at master the music.com. Thank you so much and have a wonderful time playing your instrument.