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How To Play Happy Birthday On Piano



"Happy Birthday" is one of the most popular songs to learn for beginners at the piano, because it is easy to learn, and everybody knows what the song is, how it sounds, and can relate to it. Playing it on the piano for a friend on his or her birthday can be a fun surprise for him or her! In this blog article, we will be going through, step-by-step, how to play a simple piano arrangement of "Happy Birthday".


Table Of Content

  1. How To Start Playing Happy Birthday For Beginners On Piano

  2. What To Take Note When Playing Happy Birthday On Piano

  3. Happy Birthday Piano Sheet Free Download

  4. You Can Play Happy Birthday On Piano Like A Pro


How To Start Playing Happy Birthday For Beginners On Piano


If you are an absolute beginner at the piano, or having very little to no experience, you'd definitely want to learn how to play one hand at a time first, and this is exactly what we will be covering in this blog post.


How To Play The Right Hand Part


To begin, place the thumb of your right on G (above middle C), and place each adjacent finger on each subsequent note to the right of that G note. If you're doing this right, your fingers should be positioned as follows:

  • Finger 1 (thumb) will be positioned on middle G

  • Finger 2 (index finger) will be positioned on A

  • Finger 3 (middle finger) will be positioned on B

  • Finger 4 (ring finger) will be positioned on C

  • Finger 5 (pinky) will be positioned on D

To begin playing the song, you would play:

  • Two G notes with your thumb

  • Followed by an A note with your index finger

  • And then back to G with your thumb

  • Followed by C, played by the 4th finger

  • And then, B, played with your 3rd finger

Here's a demonstration of how this would sound. Pay special attention to the rhythms:



The second phrase is very similar to the first; the only difference being that, the last two notes would be changed to D and C, instead of the C and B. Hence, you would play the following notes:

  • Two G notes, played with your thumb

  • Followed by a A note, with your index finger

  • And then back to G with your thumb

  • Followed by D, with your 5th finger

  • And then, C, with your 4th finger

Here's a video on how to play the second phrase. Once again, follow the rhythms closely:



The third phrase is a little trickier. To play this phrase, you have to:

  • Play two G notes with your thumb

  • Stretch up all the way to a high G and play it with your 5th finger

  • While holding down that high G note, Bring the rest of the your hand towards that 5th finger and reposition your hand around it. Once repositioned, play an 'E' note with your middle finger

  • Play a C note with your thumb

  • While holding that C note, cross your middle finger over the thumb to play an 'B' note

  • Reposition your hand around that 'B' note, and play 'A' with your second finger

Here's a video demonstration on how to play the third phrase:



To play the last phrase of the song,

  • Reposition your right hand such that finger 4 is now on F and play that F note twice

  • Play an E note with your index finger

  • Play a C note with your thumb

  • Followed by a D note with your index finger

  • And then back to C with your thumb.

Here'a a video demonstration on how to play that last phrase:



How To Play The Left Hand Part


The left hand part of the song is much easier than the right as it mainly involves holding long notes. You would start by:


  • Playing a C note with your 5th finger

  • Followed by 2 G notes with your thumb

  • And then back to C with your 5th finger

  • Play an E note with your 3rd finger

  • Followed by an F note with your index finger

  • You'd then play a D note with your 4th finger

  • Followed by a G note with your thumb

  • And finish off with a C note played by your 5th finger


Here's a video demonstration on how to play the left hand part. Be sure to take note of how to play it in rhythm:



What To Take Note When Playing Happy Birthday On Piano


When playing any piece of music, it is most important to keep consistent time. Beginners at the piano often slow down when the passage is more difficult to play, and speed up when the passage is easier to play. Alternatively, it is also common for beginners at the piano to 'rush' through the pieces that they play, and continually get faster in tempo as they play a piece. This is what you would want to avoid. The best way to ensure that you are playing with consistent time, is to practice with a metronome; this is a practice aid that makes clicking sounds at consistent intervals. When practicing with a metronome, each metronome 'click' represents the duration of one crotchet beat.


Below is a video demonstration on how to play along with a metronome.



Another thing that you would want to avoid is playing with 'sticky fingers'. This refers to physically holding on to a previous note when the next note is already played, which causes an overlap in sound from one note to the next. You'd want to avoid this overlap in sound.


The last thing you'd want to take note of is to balance the volume between the hands. As the main melody is in the right hand, you'd want to make sure that the right hand is louder than the left.


Happy Birthday Piano Sheet Free Download



You Can Play Happy Birthday On Piano Like A Pro


Playing the piano is not as easy as it looks. It takes a lot of patience, dedication, and practice. And the worst thing that could happen to a beginner at the piano is,


  1. To unknowingly spend significant amounts of time picking up poor piano techniques as habits

  2. Wasting precious time on inefficient practice routines, that might speed up things in a short run, but very damaging for longer term learning.

But don't worry if you're a beginner and want to learn how to play the piano like a pro. All of these could be easily avoided with the proper guidance of an experienced piano teacher. Here at Alpha Piano Studio, we are offering two free trial lessons to all first timers with us! We conduct in-person one-to-one piano lessons in Singapore or online piano lessons for students who are overseas. Sign up here.

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