How to Learn Keyboard Notes

Опубликовал Admin
3-11-2016, 10:06
6 923
Community Tested If you're just learning how to play a keyboard instrument, whether it's a MIDI controller, organ, or an 88-key grand piano, learning the notes on the keyboard is a crucial first step. This article will help you get familiar with how the keys are arranged, what the notes are, and get started on a long and musical road. Read on!

All Keyboards

  1. Identify the repeating pattern of keys on the piano. Find the note "C" on your keyboard, as shown in the image below. This is the first note of the C Major scale: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, and back to C.
    • Note the pattern of white keys: three white keys enclosing two black keys, and four white keys enclosing three black keys.
    • You can also see it this way: the black keys repeat a five-key pattern of two black keys separated by one white key, then two white keys, then three black keys separated by one white key, then two white keys.
    • This pattern is constant on all keyboards. Every note on the keyboard is represented in this single 12-note octave—they're just higher or lower in pitch.
  2. Identify the black keys. Using the image below, identify and learn the black keys on the keyboard.
    • Note that each black key has two possible names. For example, there is C sharp (C♯) and D flat (D♭). What you call this note depends on what key you are in or what chord you are playing. Here are the names of the notes on the black keys:
    • 1 black key in the group is C♯ or D♭
    • 2 black key in the group is D♯ or E♭
    • 3 black key in the group is F♯ or G♭
    • 4 black key in the group is G♯ or A♭
    • 5 black key in the group is A♯ or B♭
    • Notice that to find the note of a black key, you either go to the white key immediately before (to the left of) it and use a sharp sign, or you go to the white key immediately after (to the right of) it and use a flat sign.
  3. Find the octave the note is in. Use the image above as a reference.
    • Start by finding Middle C. This note belongs in the octave 4, and is highlighted in red, above.
    • Go down or up to reach the octave that your key is in, decreasing or increasing the octave number respectively as you go.
  4. Learn what the notes look like. Learning what the written notes look like can also help you understand the relationship of the notes.
    • Here is a chart showing what the white notes look like, musically, starting at C4 (the C in the 4th octave).
    • Here is a chart showing what the black notes look like, musically, starting at C♯4. On the top line, the notes are written as sharps. On the bottom line notes are written as flats. Though they look different, they sound exactly the same.

88-Key Keyboards and Pianos

  1. Start at the first key to the left. This is the lowest note playable and it is designated A0 (the A at the zeroth octave).
  2. Go up (to the right) the keyboard using only the white keys. The keys you'll encounter are detailed as follows:
    • First (left-most or lowest) white key is: A0
    • 2 white key is: B0
    • 3 white key is: C1
  3. Follow the pattern. Notice and repeat the following pattern for the remainder of the white keys, starting at the third white key:
    • 3 white key is: C1
    • 4 white key is: D1
    • 5 white key is: E1
    • 6 white key is: F1
    • 7 white key is: G1
    • 8 white key is: A1
    • 9 white key is: B1
    • 10 white key is: C2
    • Notice how, after reaching B1, the pattern will repeat again for the next higher octave: C2. This pattern continues up the keyboard: C2 to C3, C3 to C4, and so on.
  4. Learn the black keys. Starting at the lowest black note on the keyboard—at the leftmost side—the first black key is A♯0 or B♭0.
    • The symbol ♯ is read as sharp', and the symbol ♭ is read as flat.
  5. Move up (to the right) in the keyboard, you'll find the following group of 5 black keys immediately after the first black key:
    • 2 black key is C♯1 or D♭1.
    • 3 black key is D♯1 or E♭1.
    • 4 black key is F♯1 or G♭1.
    • 5 black key is G♯1 or A♭1.
    • 6 black key is A♯1 or B♭1.
    • As with the white keys, the black keys continue the same pattern up the keyboard.


  • Memorize all the white and black notes for one octave—C to C. Once you have those memorized, they are exactly the same for every octave on the keyboard. Whether your keyboard has 2 octaves or 8, it's all the same!
  • When starting to learn the piano, spend time watching your hands and learning the right position. Practice the proper posture when playing as this is very important as you progress. It is always harder to undo bad habits!


  • Do not write the names of the notes directly onto a piano or keyboard. Some keyboards have the note names written already so if you really want that feature, buy one of those. However, the practice itself is not recommended. While it may seem easier at first, It will become a crutch that will actually slow down your progress.

Things You'll Need

  • A Piano or Keyboard.
  • You might want to print the diagrams above at first.
  • The dedication of some time to learning and memorizing the notes on the keyboard.
Users of Guests are not allowed to comment this publication.
How to Learn Wing Chun
Sports and Fitness
How to Vacuum Pack Food
Food Preservation Techniques
How to Remove Plasti Dip
Car Maintenance and Repair
How to Organize Papers
Household Filing and Paper Organization
How to Develop Positive Work Relationships
Interacting with Colleagues
How to Share a Folder
Windows Folders
How to Count Cards
Increasing Odds of Winning