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In this lesson, we will cover how to find the letter names on a piano keyboard quickly. Some of this lesson may seem very elementary to you – if so, that’s great! Review it just in case –  it’s important later.

Even if you play another instrument, having knowledge of the layout of a piano will help you more deeply understand music theory because the piano is the easiest way to visualize notes.

The Pattern of Keys on a Piano

What color do you think of when you think of a piano?

I’m going to guess black and white, right?

Did you know that the colors of the keys on the piano actually have a meaning and a pattern?

Take a closer look:

piano-keyboard

The black keys are laid out in a really simple pattern: sets of 2 and 3!

sets-2-3

Letter Names of White Piano Keys

Ok so the piano has 88 keys, but we only have 7 letters to work with. That’s because the letters in the musical alphabet repeat many times!

The easiest way to learn the letter names of the white keys on a piano is to memorize where they are in relation to to the black keys.

How to Find C, D and E on the Piano

Did you know you can play very simple songs with just three notes?

Often, the easiest notes to start playing piano with are C, D, and E. So we’ll start by learning to identify those first-they all happen to be closest to the set of TWO black keys.

Memorize these!

 

c-active-labeled “C” is to the left of the set of two black keys.

 

 

 

 

 

d-active-labeled“D” is one note higher than “C” – in the middle of the two black keys

 

 

 

 

 

 

e-active-labeled“E” is one note higher than “D” – on the right of the two black keys

 

 

 

 

 

 [WpProQuiz 6]

How to find F, G, A and B on the piano

If you know where C, D and E are on the piano, you only have to memorize four more notes!

These notes are centered around the set of THREE black keys. If you get really stuck, use the ones you already know to help you find the others!

 

f-active-labeled“F” is to the left of the 3 black keys; one note higher than “E”

Note: There is no black key in the middle of “E” and “F”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

g-active-labeled“G” is the first white key on the left in the set of 3 black keys; one note higher than “F”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a-active-labeled“A” is the second white key from the left in the set of 3 black keys; one note higher than “G”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

b-active-labeled“B” is the white key to the right of the set of 3 black keys; one note lower than “C”

Note: There is no black key in the middle of “C” and “B”!