Piano Lesson for Beginner - by an Adult Noob

Published on September 8, 2016

It has been my dream to play piano.

At last, I am picking up the skill, at the age of 33.

I am self learning piano, mostly by watching YouTube videos.

This post I will create my own “piano lessons”, which I hope will help noob adults like me.

Where is the C?

The first step is to find your bearing.

C is origin.

To find C, you have to find the group of 2 black keys in the middle of the piano. C is the first white key to the left of this group.

You should sit with your belly button aligning to C. Or align to D, but no further.

C Major Scale

A scale is a series of notes.

The C Major Scale starts from C, and in this series there are 8 keys.

We will also refer to these 8 keys as key 1-8 for convennience. So key 1 is C, key 2 is D, … and key 7 is B.


It starts with C, and ends with another C - we call this 1 octave away.

The C Major Scale is the easiest, because they are all white keys.

Now, you need to learn 2 terminology:

  • half step: A half step is when you move from a key to the next key on it’s right (regardless of color)
  • whole step: A whole step is 2 half-step

The Major Scale is made up of:


You have to memorise the above. Fortunately, it is not difficult. You will realize that it correspond to the number of black keys. You should find 2 groups of black keys:

  1. First group with 2 black keys
  2. Second group with 3 black keys

When there is a black key, there is a whole.

Again, start with C as the origin, if the next key is a black, then it is a whole to jump to next white key.

Remember: C Major Scale is all white keys.


   C  -  D  -  E  - F  -  G  -  A  -  B  - C
   1  -  2  -  3  - 4  -  5  -  6  -  7  - 8

There is no fix fingering

Though there is a recommended fingers to place certain scale, you can use whichever finger to press the keys, as long as you are comfortable.

Your mind control controls your finger, and they will naturally press the right key with whichever finger that is natural to use, subconsciously.

They will, naturally, after practices.

Training the mind is as important as exercising your fingers.

What are the black keys called?

The white keys are CDEFGABC.

What about the black keys?

The black key between C and D is called the C-sharp or D-flat, interchangably.

Or symbolized by C# or Db.

Other Major Scales

We have learnt the C Major Scale.

Knowing that will help you find the rest of the major scales.

Let’s start with D Major Scale.

D Major Scale starts with D (no surprise)!

   D  -  E  -  F# - G  -  A  -  B  -  C# - D
   1  -  2  -  3  - 4  -  5  -  6  -  7  - 8

Unlike C Major Scale, D Major Scale has some black keys (F# and C#).

It is the same technique for finding the other scales.

This is F Major Scale:

   F  -  G  -  A  - A# -  C  -  D  -  E  - F
   1  -  2  -  3  - 4  -  5  -  6  -  7  - 8

Major Chords

A major chord is pressing 3 notes at the same time (also called a triad).

A major chord uses key 1-3-5.

Refer back to the major scales above, and find the keys 1, 3 and 5.

The easier way to remember the 1-3-5 is origin-whole_whole-whole_half (2 wholes between 1-3, and 1 whole and a half between 3-5).

The result:

C Major = C     -     E     -   G
D Major = D     -     F#    -   A
E Major = E     -     G#    -   B
F Major = F     -     A     -   C
G Major = G     -     B     -   D
A Major = A     -     C#    -   E
B Major = B     -     D#    -   F#