What Are the Piano Key Notes?

The piano keyboard is essentially a pattern. To learn piano key notes, you need to learn the pattern.

And the pattern is easy to learn.

Piano Key Notes: Learning Piano

The first thing you see on the keyboard is that there are white keys and black keys. Look at the picture below and notice the sets of black keys.

Piano Keyboard

There are groups of black keys. Groups of 2 and groups of 3. These groups will help you to know what every other piano key is.
Note that the piano key notes go from low to high. When sitting at a keyboard, the low notes are to your left and the high notes are to your right.

Let’s start learning the piano key notes. We’ll start by looking at the group of 2 black notes. There are 3 white notes surrounding this group of 2. They are C, D, and E.

Every white key is named after a letter. It’s the “musical alphabet.” The musical alphabet starts on A and ends on G. Then it repeats. For example: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A, B, etc.

Look below at the picture of the group of 2 black notes. The note in the middle of the 2 is D. On the entire piano, you call the note in the middle of the group of 2 black notes “D”.

Group of 2 Black Notes and D

Now just like the English alphabet, C comes before D and E comes after D. So, on the piano keyboard, C is lower than D and E is higher than D. This is the same for the entire piano keyboard.

Group of 3 Black Notes CDE

You can find all other piano key notes from these if you wanted. If you start on E, just keep going higher by repeating the musical alphabet.

Next, we have the group of 3 black notes. On the left of the group of 3 we have F. On the right, B. Look at the picture below. What comes after F? What comes before B?

Group of 3 Black Notes

If you think of the musical alphabet, G comes after F. A comes after G and before B.

Now here they are all together. This pattern repeats itself over and over on the piano keyboard. You now know all the names of the white keys.

Piano Keyboard all notes

The black keys also have names. They can be called by 2 names. One is a sharp and one is a flat. A sharp is made by going higher. A flat is made by going lower.

Look above at D. The black note to the right of D is called D sharp (D#). The black note to the left of D is called D flat (Db). Another name for D# is E flat (Eb). Another name for Db is C sharp (C#).

Piano Keys Sharps and Flats

Notice that there are some pairs of white keys with no black key in the middle. With these pairs (C and B, F and E), making a sharp or flat may mean playing another white key. For example, Cb is B. B# is C.

Now that you know what the notes are, you need to practice them to really get them in your head. Then you won’t have to look anymore. You can practice by randomly picking notes on the keyboard and seeing how quickly you can name the notes.

The next thing to do is learn the notes. The best place to start is read piano notes. The other thing you are now able to do is to learn chords. You can play chords just by knowing the piano key notes. Check out what are piano chords or the chord charts if this interests you. Now you know the pattern and all of the notes!

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