Learn Piano Notes

by Omar Zulfi on October 2, 2012

Piano NotesLearning the different notes on the piano is an essential first step in mastering the piano. These notes are the building blocks of everything else you’ll do when playing a song. Each note has a specific pitch. The pitch of a note is how high or low the notes sounds when played relative to another note on the keyboard.

It’s important that you memorize these different notes before moving on to the next section as you’ll be using them constantly. You also want to memorize where they each appear on the keyboard/piano. Start by taking a look at the piano keys. You’ll notice that there’s a pattern to the notes and it just repeats over and over again

The White Keys

There are 7 different main notes that you need to focus on to begin with. These are the white keys on the piano. These white keys each correspond to a letter of the alphabet from A through to G. These 7 different notes (A, B, C, D, E, F, G) are repeated over and over again all across the entire keyboard, regardless of the total number of keys your piano has (i.e. 24, 49, 61, or 88 keys).

Here’s a graphic to help you find the right keys on your own piano:

Piano Notes Chart A Chart With Piano Notes

When you play these piano keys what you will notice is that the different “C” notes on the keyboard, for example, all sound almost entirely the same except for how high or low the note is. This is the pitch of the note. When you move from one low C to a C note higher on the piano, it’s called a higher octave. Middle C Is the C note that sites in the middle of the piano.

The Black Keys (Sharps & Flats)

Now if you’re ready to move onto the black keys, just know that they share the same letter names as the white keys, but with special modifiers called “accidentals,” attached to them. These accidentals are known as “flats” and “sharps,” and they slightly alter the pitch of the notes.

So take the “D” note (a white key) as an example. There are two black keys that surround the D. If you move UP the keyboard (towards the right) then we would say the note is a “Sharp.” If you move DOWN the keyboard (to the left) the note is “Flat.” So the black key to the right of D is a D-Sharp (written as D#). And the black key to the left of D is a D-Flat (written as Db).

But now take C as an example – it only has a black key to the right of it. In the last example this same key was called a D-Flat (Db). But when we’re talking about a C (instead of a D like in the last example) this is known as the C-Sharp (C#) key.

So basically each black key on the piano will have two separate names. It is sharp or flat relative to the note that you’re talking about. Here’s a little image to help you visualize what I’m talking about.

A Piano Notes Chart - Sharps and Flats A Chart of Sharp/Flat Piano Notes

So in total, there are 12 separate keys/notes on a piano – 7 white keys and 5 black keys. And that’s that – you’ve learned all the piano notes. It’s a good idea to memorize all these notes and their positions to help you learn piano scales in the next step.

If you found this page useful, please share it on Facebook, Twitter or anywhere else you’d like .I’d really appreciate it. Next, it’s time to learn all about piano scales.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Evelyn Rogo April 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm

I am 78 , bought a new Hailun piano and am taking lessons for the first time in my life. It is a challenge
With arthritic fingers but I am getting along slowly. My daughter found your site/app and it has helped me with sharps and flats and halves and wholes. Thank you for sharing this information.

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Omar April 10, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Hey Evelyn, thanks for visiting and reaching out! That’s good! I’m really glad I could help you out with your learning – that’s why I wanted to start this site. I know I haven’t posted on the blog in a while, but I am getting back to studying piano, so will have some new posts up soon. Let me know how your lessons go. Thanks again.

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kaye May 12, 2013 at 2:07 am

Hi! I want to learn to play the piano but too afraid to start. But after reading your blog I decided to do it and by your help hopefully I’ll learn soon.

Reply

Omar May 29, 2013 at 12:32 am

Nice! I’m glad you decided to learn – nothing to be afraid of

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