Is learning the keys on a piano difficult? Contrary to what most beginners think, not at all. It’s all very logical and there is really not that much to learn. Everything is nicely organized in a repeating pattern and all you have to do in order to find any note on your keyboard is to learn this pattern.
Okay, let’s begin. If you take a look at your keyboard, you will see a bunch of white and black keys (88 on a grand piano, less on electric ones). But they are not just scattered around, they are nicely organized. There is a pattern to it and this is what we are interested in.
You probably see how black keys are organized. There are in groups of two and three. And this pattern is repeating over and over. This is what we were looking for – a 12 note pattern. Five black (one group of two and one group of three) and seven white keys called naturals. All together there are only seven natural notes that you have to remember: A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. These notes are on the white keys. C note is always located left of the first of the two black keys. Once you know this, it’s easy to find other notes, just follow the alphabet. Next to C is D, then E, then F, then G, then A, and so on.
The black keys are either sharps or flats, depending on how you look at them. If you go up from the natural note, it’s sharp. If you go down, it’s flat. The black key between C and D can be C-sharp or D-flat. Just remember that black keys have two names and that sharps go up and flats go down.
And that’s about it. For a graphical representation, take a look at piano keyboard diagram. Now that you are familiar with the keyboard layout, what about chords. Learn how to read piano chords.