Learning C Position On The Piano

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

C position on the piano
C Position

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.

3 thoughts on “Learning C Position On The Piano

  1. why is it so hard to find songs in c position only not c middle, I am 44 years old. I have to take this slower. I am doing sebastians books and he starts you out with c position and I wanted more songs in c position. I am teaching self right now.

    1. Im just starting and im 52 yrs old my teacher has me on bastien piano basics PIANO PRIMER LEVEL then after couple lessons she had me get another book thats same color pink and where my 1st book said piano primer level this 2nd book which is just songs not actual instruction lessons is titled PERFORMANCE primer level. Book 1 has a # up top right corner WP200 and this 2nd book has # WP210 idk if that helps u any at all, idk anything about music other than i love music and would like to play a floyd cramer song for my mother on her birthday to surprise her. My teacher wanted me to have more same kind of songs to play to give me variety so i dont get bored and give up. Hope this helps

Leave a Reply