How to play an F (natural)

This note sounds a little bit lower than F sharp (F#).

Normally we just call it 'F' and only say 'F natural' when we want to distinguish it from F#.

On the piano it's the white note between E and G - just to the left of F#.

All the white notes on the piano are naturals; the black ones are sharps and flats.

 
Play it

Finger a low C, then lift off your 5th finger:

We can show it like this:

It should sound like this:

DON'T TAKE YOUR LITTLE FINGER OFF!!

Lots of people do, but it's really out of tune!

Can you hear the difference?

Read it
 

We write it in the bottom space, just like an F#:

Q: So how can we tell the difference?

A: If there's no sharp in the key signature we play Fs; if there is we play F#s

If there is an F# in the key signature, but we want an F (natural),

we put a natural sign      in front of the note.

and...

Exercises
 

Practice it next to all the other notes you know, especially these four:

Don't forget that little finger!

Keep your fingers in the F shape - like a fork with a bent prong!

Listen out for unwanted sounds in between the notes - swap fingers tidily.

Play

Play

Play

Play

C major scale
 

This scale only uses the natural (white) notes. There are no sharps or flats (black notes).

Play

C major arpeggio
 

The 1st, 3rd. 5th and 8th notes of the scale make an arpeggio.

Play

If you play C, E and G at the same time, they sound good together. Try it on a keyboard:

Play

This is a C major chord.