Learn How To Play Piano

Hi welcome to this page. I believe you have searched a lot of sites on how to play the piano or keyboard before you got here but didn't find what you were looking for. Now your search is over! This resource site is built specifically for you. I have compiled easy to follow intructions that will help you in playing the piano or keyboard with little or no knowledge in notes. We'll be learning a lot about scales, chords and improvisation. I promise you it will get you playing that keyboard or piano in no time! No more running around the bush let's get you playing that instrument right now!

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Get to Know Your White Keys

Ok now lets start! First let's identify the notes on your keyboard. Below, you can see a picture of a keyboard with labeled white keys from C to C (C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C). This is what we call an octave. Octave is usually defined as a tone that is eight diatonic degrees above or below another given tone. Well this just complicates everything.. to simplify things, it means C to C (lower C to higher C or vice versa), B to B, A to A, etc.. It might look intimidating at this point but I assure you it will become much simpler as we go through the lessons. For now, I just want you to identify the C note on your keyboard. The simpliest way to do that is to look at your black keys. You will notice that the black keys are grouped, two black keys as one group and another for three black keys. C is always the note or white key before the two grouped black keys. 

Piano Keyboard

Now that you've identified the C note on your keyboard you can now easily identify the A to G notes! All the other keys are just repeating as we go up and down the keyboard. Below is my special two octave keyboard. C to Middle C is one octave then Middle C to C (green part) is another octave combined together makes two octaves. I hope you got the idea here. I know you are curious about the Middle C, well again to keep things as simple as possible this is the C that lies on the center of your keyboard or piano. If you have an 88-key piano keyboard that would be the fourth C key.

At this point I would recommend you to go to your keyboard and start getting familiar with the white keys on your keyboard. This is very essential, the more familiar you are with the notes the faster you will progress. After reading through this article, you should be able to do the following:

  • Identify the C note on your keyboard
  • Name all the white keys on your keyboard (from A to G)
  • Identify the middle C
  • Identify and give a basic explanation of octaves

See you on our next lesson!

Names of Black Keys

Welcome! In this section we are going to take a look at the black keys! This part is a little tricky that is why I want to make sure you did your part on learning the white keys on your keyboard first. If you haven't done so, follow the link Get to Know Your White Keys.
Now that you know the white keys, we are ready to learn about the black keys! I call these keys the sharp and flat keys or notes. Sharp (#) means higher in pitch by half step or semitone. Flat (b) is the other way around, lower in pitch by half step. To simplify things, lets take a look at the keyboard below. A sharp note is the next key to the right of a natural note (white key). Basic formula that I use; Sharp = left to right. As an example, let's take A and move to the right we find the next key is A#. This concept is applicable on all the keys on your keyboard.

Sharps on the Piano

The fastest way to explain Flats is right to left. This is just a reverse of Sharps. Let us take A again but now we move from right to left. The next key you will find is Ab.

Flats on the Piano

Now you know your Sharps and Flats! Before we wrap this topic up let's answer some questions which I believe will help us understand our keys a little better.

[Question] Does this mean that all the black keys have two names?
[Answer] Yes. e.g. C# and Db is the same key on your keyboard (same sound)

[Question] The B,C and E,F keys does not have black keys between them, do we still have B#,Cb,E#, and Fb?
[Answer] Yes. Applying the concept above, B# is the same as C. Cb is B, E# is F, and Fb is E. Although on sheet musics, most composers plainly write them down using the natural names.

[Question] Is it possible to have double sharp notes like C## and what exact note should I play on the keyboard?
[Answer] Yes. Some music are written with double Sharps/Flats. Just move two keys to the right for Sharps and two keys to the left for Flats. C## is the D note on your keyboard.

At this point I would recommend you to go back to your keyboard and start getting familiar with the black keys on your keyboard. The more familiar you are with your keyboard the better! After reading through this article, you should be able to do the following:

  • Name all the black keys on your keyboard (both Sharps and Flats)
  • Explain the basic concept of Sharps
  • Explain the basic concept of Flats

We'll get into some music theory in our next lesson "Understanding half steps and whole steps"

If you have some questions, you can leave your comments below and I'll do my best to answer them :)