Learning C position on the piano is an early part of lessons for most students. It’s simple really, it’s a place where we put our hands and in doing so we have a stable place to keep learning from. In the article below, we’ll examine a few simple elements in C position.
Where Your Hands Go
Starting with your right hand, place your thumb (1st finger) on the note C. Then in sequence, the next notes your hands will be over are D, E, F, and G (using finger numbers 2-5). Typically C position has your thumb over Middle C. In truth, when ever you have your thumb on C with the rest of your fingers over the other notes, you’re in a C position.
For your left hand, take your 5th finger, and place it on the C one octave lower than where your right hand is. Then, with your pinkie on C, your 4th, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st, fingers will be playing the notes D, E, F, and G.
Why Piano Teachers Like C Position
When we use C position to teach piano lessons, we are giving students a place to keep their hands without worrying about where there hands are. Since it’s not hard to do, we can teach students about proper hand shape and proper piano technique. The position also allows a large number of songs and melodies to be played all without a lot of movement.
The C Position Pitfall
The tricky part about C position is that if you’re not careful, piano students might think their fingers always play the notes of a C position. In other words, a young student might believe that their 1st finger on their right hand might always be a C, which is not the case.
C position – The Gateway To Other Positions
Given that the position has a pitfall, it’s important to get students using the same position, sometimes called a 5-finger position, on other notes. You can have a student move up the keyboard, making the lowest note on each hand any note. Example, if your hands lowest note is a D, the position is your playing is D position.
I like to have students play a song intended for C position on all other positions, C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. Then I ask the students to tell me how it sounds different in each position and find positions that sound similar or close sounding. Without getting beyond the scope of this article, there’s a lot to learn from this exercise.
C Position On The Piano
C position is a piano lesson staple and it’s not going anywhere. I embrace the position and use it as a platform for teaching basic playing and hand placement. If you have any questions about the positions, shoot us an email or contact us. We are always ready to share what we know.