Piano can in a way be compared with a board game. First you need to set up the pieces and arrange the board and then you need to place your counter in the starting position. It is the same with the piano, first you need to set yourself up so that you are ready to commence playing, ensuring your posture is correct, you are sitting face on to the piano and your fingers are correctly shaped. You then need to place your fingers in the starting position.
Unlike a board game though your fingers do not start at one end of the piano, but in the centre. This is termed ‘Middle C’ and it is the note that your thumbs will rest on for many of your first pieces of music.
Finding Middle C is fairly easy, look for the piano manufacturers name on the piano, or estimate where the middle of the piano would be. Below you can see how the piano keys look, clustered into two black keys then three black keys, then two etc. The note ‘C’ always falls on the white note to the left of the ‘two black key group’. Middle C is simply the ‘C’ closest to the middle of the piano.
Place your right thumb on Middle C. Your thumbs are also known as Finger ‘1’ and you will often see numbers written above the notes in your beginner piano book. These numbers let you know which finger you should be playing on that particular note. Now also place your left pinkie on the C note, one octave below.
On each hand your index finger is #2, your middle finger #3, your ring finger #4 and your pinkie is #5. Spread each finger so they are each have their own key.
You are now in the starting position and ready to commence.