- Max Kuehn
If you’re a beginner piano player, one of the first things you’ll need to learn is how to label piano keys. This can seem daunting at first, but it’s quite simple once you know where to start. In this article, we’ll show you how to do it so that you can start playing your favorite tunes in no time!
Should You Label Your Piano’s Keys?
The question is whether to label or not to label. When it comes to labeling keys, piano teachers are frequently divided. Half of them are adamant about learning the piano the traditional way, without labeling the keyboard layout.
The other half is all for labeling keys and making learning the instrument as simple as possible for new players.
We say, label those piano keys!
And here’s why you should label your piano keys:
New students and younger students may have difficulty remembering the piano keyboard layout. Students who are constantly confused with note names when learning to play the piano, in my experience as a music teacher, are often discouraged and unmotivated.
Simply because they find it challenging to play the piano, but it doesn’t have to be this way. We recommend labeling your piano keys as a learning strategy for absolute beginners – especially younger ones – at skoove. Music education has numerous advantages, and we want to take advantage of them as easily and quickly as possible.
Learning to play the piano the easy way often translates to learning to play the piano the FUN way, so let’s keep it that way! After labeling your piano keys, you might feel like having some fun, so come back here and try some easy piano songs for beginners!
Another school of thought holds that labeling piano keys may aid in learning. Finding keys quickly prevents you from wasting time looking for notes when you could be playing them! Skoove has a fantastic blog that may help you improve your ability to read piano sheet music.
If you want to be a successful pianist, you must learn and memorize the piano keys. Labeling the keys when you first start learning can help you improve your memorization skills, learn scales and piano chords faster, and can be considered “step one” of teaching notes.
You’ll need to be able to find those keys before we look at different ways to label them… So let’s start with the fundamentals: essential piano labels for beginners.
The Alphabet Of Music
We name notes in music using the same alphabet we use to spell. The letters are A, B, C, D, E, F, and G.
There is no H or any other letter besides the first seven letters of the Latin alphabet.
The white keys
So, let’s start with the white keys. When you look at a piano or keyboard, you will notice two groups of black keys. The first group contains two black notes, while the second has three black notes. These alternate from the bottom to the top of the piano.
There will be two black notes, three black notes, two black notes, three black notes, two black notes, three black notes, two black notes, three black notes, two black notes, three black notes, Almost indefinitely, but you should get what we’re saying.
These black keys will be used to place the white notes. The note immediately preceding (to the left of) the group of two black notes is a C.
There are a few C’s on every piano or keyboard – they’re all before the two groups of black notes. If you’re still stumped, try searching for it on the skoove app:
On the piano, the note next to C is a D.
“Donkey D” is something I always tell my younger students. Consider a donkey’s two long black ears (the two black notes). Donkey D’s head (the note) is directly in the center of those black ears!
The notes following C and D are, as you might expect, E, F, and G.
The music alphabet resumes after G, so the following note is A.
Then comes B, followed by C, which should be the note before the two black notes.
As a result, the white notes repeat the same 7 notes – A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A- repeatedly.
The Black keys
SHARPS and FLATS are the black keys.
Sharp keys are the black notes to the right of the white notes. As a result, the first black note in the two-group of black notes is C Sharp. When you play it, you will notice it sounds a little higher than the C.
Sharps are represented by a hashtag-like symbol so that you can write C#, D#, and black notes.
If the black note to the right of a white note is sharp, the two black notes are C# and D#. If we look at the three black notes, they are F#, G#, and A#.
The flat keys are the black notes to the left of the white notes. As a result, the first black note in the two-group of black notes is a D Flat. You’ll notice that it’s slightly to the left of the D, and it sounds lower than the D.
The symbol for flats resembles the lowercase letter B. The correct way to write B Flat is as follows: Bb.
Db and Eb are the two groups of black notes. Gb, Ab, and Bb are the three groups of black notes.
To summarize, sharp is higher and flat is lower. The terms “sharp” and “flat” are frequently used in music. Someone might say, for example, that a choir sang a little sharply. A guitar teacher may also inform a student that his A-string is flat.
In E-flat, the majority of toilets are flushing. Pull the chain, hum the note, and then try to play an Eb on your piano. I’m sure it’s the same note!
How To Label Keys On Piano
To begin labeling your piano keys, we’ll provide you with a few simple indicators to assist you in finding the correct notes.
On a standard 88-key piano, you can begin at the bottom with the first white note, A, and work your way up. However, this method is ineffective if you have a keyboard because the lowest starting note can vary.
Finding the middle C is critical.
Another method for correctly labeling your keys is to use middle C as your guiding star. The piano, like written music, focuses on middle C.
Both of your thumbs will rest on the middle C key for the first-hand position. This white, L-shaped key can serve as your ‘key’ to all the other keys. So, how do you go about finding it on the piano?
On the piano, you’ll notice two and three black key groups. Look to the left of the pair of black keys to find the C note. This is a C note.
Because it is the fourth C key on a standard 88-key piano, middle C is often referred to as C4. Middle C is also the closest C to the center of an 88-key piano.
Isn’t that a strange coincidence?
Those perplexing black keys
Once you’ve figured out the pattern, the ABC note names are as simple as ‘123.’ The black keys, on the other hand, can be a little more complicated. If you want to label the black keys, keep in mind that each has a sharp and flat name. The name you use will be determined by the key you are in.
You can write both names on your piano key markers (C# and Db). Alternatively, remember that going up from a C is C# and down from a D is Db.
Mark the starting hand position on your piano.
You don’t want to label all 88 keys on your piano? That’s fine. More isn’t always preferable. You can start with a few notes and work your way up.
For the initial hand position, place your right thumb on middle C and your pinky on G. In the bass clef, your left thumb can rest on middle C and your pinky on F.
Begin by labeling only the white keys until you know these notes off by heart. Then, as you become more comfortable, add more notes.
Learn to play the piano keys with both hands!
It can be challenging to remember the note names on the piano, but labeling the keyboard keys can help.
If you’re looking for more ways to boost your confidence in your abilities, JoyTunes is here to help.
Most of our beginner students learn to play songs with two hands in less than two weeks. Music is our passion, and we want students to learn the piano while having fun.
The Most Common Methods For Labeling Piano Keys.
So, now that we’ve covered some of the note names, how should beginners label piano keys? There are four commonly used approaches. (And, no, writing in permanent marker on your grandmother’s ivory keys is not on this list.)
The dry-erase pen
The simplest method for writing note names on keys is to use a dry erase marker. Furthermore, it is a temporary fix that is easily removed. However, the letters may begin to wear off too quickly and disappear entirely as you practice.
This means you’ll have to rewrite the letter names several times.
But, hey, the repetition might help you remember those notes!
Letter-note sticky labels
The most common method for matching letter names to piano keys is probably writing the note names on sticky labels. Use white dot stickers or cut-up sticky name tags to fit your keys.
Some beginners only label the piano section that will be used in their pieces. This could be the starting hand position or octaves below and above middle C.
Others want to label all 88 keys to see the big picture.
Dots with different colors
Color-coded dots can also help you find notes on the piano. This is particularly true for younger students who are learning their letters.
The key to success with this method is consistency.
Choose one color to represent all of the As, another for the B notes, another for the C keys, etc.
Some music notation software even allows you to color-coordinate the written music notes!
Letter notes and staff notes on pre-printed labels
If you want to go all out, you can get labels with the letter names, sharps, flats, and the note as it appears on the staff. If writing all of this on tiny stickers is too time-consuming for you, you can buy them ready-made on Amazon.
These piano stickers for beginners may be useful for meticulous students. However, some students may find the amount of information presented overwhelming.
How Many Keys Should A Beginner Have On Their Piano?
If you’re getting started in music, a smaller-scale keyboard with 66 keys can be a good size. Keyboard keys are lightweight and easy for small hands to press down for younger students.
How Did You Remember All Twelve Keys?
You still get at least five octaves, which is sufficient for most beginner music. On the other hand, a complete eight-octave piano will have a more satisfying feel and sound for beginning students who intend to continue in music.
How Did You Remember All Twelve Keys?
Scales can help you memorize twelve keys in a short amount of time. These exercises will teach your fingers the good patterns to follow in each key. You can get a complete picture by concentrating your efforts on one scale per week for twelve weeks.
Another method for memorizing all twelve keys is transposing a few of your favorite songs into different keys. A song in the key of A, for example, can be transposed to the key of A#. Then, as you play, raise all other notes in the music by a half step.
How Should A 61-Key Piano Be Labeled?
Find middle C to label keyboard notes for beginners with only 61 keys. Six C notes are available on a 61-key keyboard. C is the lowest note, and C3 is the middle C.
Moving up the keyboard with D, E, F, G, A, B on the white keys, repeat until you’ve named them all. You’ll need to reverse the alphabet (B, A, G, F, etc.).
Hopefully, Fidlar hope this method of labeling your piano will get you started on your musical path. Additionally, congratulations on your practice – please remove those stickers when you are ready and at your own pace – as you progress. We wish you a pleasant and profitable journey while learning to play the piano. And may your name be inscribed in the halls of fame of music one day!