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#.

keyboard.png

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:

C-F.gif

It should sound like this:

F.png

DON'T TAKE YOUR LITTLE FINGER OFF!!

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

F theo.png
no little finger.png
C major scale.png

Can you hear the difference?

Read it
 

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

F.png

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

F.png
F#.png

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.

natural copy.png
F with sharp key.png

and...

F# no key.png
Exercises
 

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

Exercises.png

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).

C major scale.png

Play

C major arpeggio
 

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

Arpeggio.png

Play

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

keyboard.png

Play

This is a C major chord.