How many keys should a piano have

One of the most common questions I get asked on my Youtube channel is ‘how many keys should my piano have?’.

This question might come from one of the videos I have where I explain about the basic notes on the keyboard. I explain how the keyboard is split up into repeating groups of twelve notes. In essence you only really need 12 notes but obviously to have more octaves is useful.

In my video I explain how a full sized piano will have 88 keys and that many electronic keyboards will have significantly less.

This somehow is confusing confusing for those who want to learn piano who immediately go to their keyboard and start counting the keys. They think that they will not have enough keys to be able to learn the piano properly.

As I stated before in a flippant way, the minimum number of keys you will require is 12 but even my 1970’s mini moog had more than that.

The average ‘small’ keyboard these-days has some 49 keys (just over 4 octaves) This is more than enough to learn the piano with. Most pop songs and rock songs will not need half of that.

There are some classical pieces that will need access to high registers and there are some which need you to play down low. There are even a few that call for both in the same piece but they are few and far between. There are in fact a very few number of pieces that require the absolute top note of the piano and the bottom note of the 88 keys. I know there are such pieces but I con’t remember what they are at the moment. If anyone does know then please send me an email and I will publish it here.

 

Chooka Parker – Farmhand Shows how to play the piano

This is an amazing talent that has been found by the Australian television show, Austraila’s Got Talent.
This 16 year old farmhand from a small backwater town in the Australian outback has been completely self taught. He went onto the nationally televised talent show and simply sat down and played, making up as he went along.
His performance was moving to say the least. Starting off in a rock like style he soon transformed the piece into an almost classical mixture of sound. The performance was somewhat reminiscent of the great Kieth Jarret and in the end brought all of the judges to their feet for a rousing standing ovation.
It will be interesting to follow the progress that Chooka makes and to see if he has the luck to be able to break out of the Australian music scene and make it as an international star.
This 16 year old certainly does have talent…. never had a piano lesson in his life and goes out in front of a television audience of millions and makes up a piece on the spot, His laid back attitude and nievety all go towards making this young lad a future star of the piano. Keep an eye out for him in years to come.

Extensive collection of piano tutorials

Here is a great piano site I found that has a really comprehensive collection of piano tutorials. 

Videos | PianoTutorOnline

I was astounded when I took a deeper look into the collection they have up here. There are a staggering 300 tutorials showing you how to play many of the classic piano based songs from John Lennon’s Imagine to Bruce Hornsby’s that’s just the way that it is.

In fact any song you can imagine is probably here in this collection of tutorials.

The tutorials don’t appear to be in any logical order which is a shame and it makes finding a song more of a pot luck event. There are some really advanced pieces and some really simple ones and there is no distiction as to playing level in the list. 

All of this is however totally excusable as this has to be THE most comprehensive list of piano tutorial available at the moment. 

I hope you get a chance to check it out and learn some of the all time classic piano pieces. The more you learn from others the more different styles you will be practiciing. All of that will make it a lot easier to progress in your piano playing even though you might feel you are making little progress and simply copying other people’s piano parts. 

Extensive collection of piano tutorials

Here is a great piano site I found that has a really comprehensive collection of piano tutorials.

Videos | PianoTutorOnline

I was astounded when I took a deeper look into the collection they have up here. There are a staggering 300 tutorials showing you how to play many of the classic piano based songs from John Lennon’s Imagine to Bruce Hornsby’s that’s just the way that it is.

In fact any song you can imagine is probably here in this collection of tutorials.

The tutorials don’t appear to be in any logical order which is a shame and it makes finding a song more of a pot luck event. There are some really advanced pieces and some really simple ones and there is no distinction as to playing level in the list.

All of this is however totally excusable as this has to be THE most comprehensive list of piano tutorials available at the moment.

I hope you get a chance to check it out and learn some of the all time classic piano pieces. The more you learn from others the more different styles you will be practicing. All of that will make it a lot easier to progress in your piano playing even though you might feel you are making little progress and simply copying other people’s piano parts.

How to play Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

Bohemian Rhapsody is one of the all time classic pop/rock pieces. This was composed by Freddie Mercury on the the piano and although the original recoding features heavily the voices in close harmony and the timeless guitar sound we can only associate with queen, the song is in fact based around the piano part.

There are quite a few piano tutorials on you tube showing you how to play this piece, some are better than others.

I have included a couple of the better ones here with this post.

It might seem quite a daunting task at first to learn this masterpiece but once you split the song down into small sections you will see that it will not be all that difficult to get to grips with it.

The most thorough tutorial I found is this one by Joe Raciti

This is in three parts and can be quite difficult to follow. If you are prepared to do a lot of pausing and continuing however it will be well worth while learning from this one.

 

There are many other tutorials for this song and there is noting stopping you from going through each and getting little bits from each one.

Then to put it all together here is an excellent non stop live performance piano part which is almost exactly as it appears on the original track.

 

And finally you must not miss this interpertation.

Piano Care 101

Here is a link to a great set of articles on basic piano care.

Piano Care and Maintenance – Inside Tips on Piano Care and Maintenance

Piano Care & Maintenance

The article is aimed at newcomers to the piano but there will also be one or two gems for the seasoned player as well. 

There are lots of tips and useful information covering the following topics.

  1. Cleaning Your Piano
  2. Caring for Your Piano Keys
  3. Piano Tuning
  4. Detecting and Preventing Piano Damage
  5. Consult a Professional Piano Technician

 

 

 

 

To most the piano is a huge piece of furnature that at first seems to be strong and almost indestructable. This is far from the truth, your piano needs a lot of care and regular maintainence both on the outside and on the inside. This article will guide you through all that you need to know coving such topics as,

Cleaning the outside of the piano.

How to take care of the keys.

Getting the piano in tune and keeping it that way.

How to prevent further damage.

Deciding the best time to call in a professional.

 

If you don’t follow the advice in this article the beware….  your piano could end up looking like this!

 

Garden Piano