Till now we have spoken about lots of things concerning a piano such as why is it such a special instrument and how to go about choosing the right one. We’re finally going to get down to getting familiar with the piano keyboard and to start playing it. The 1st step in playing the piano is to learn the name of the keys and to identify the notes associated with each.
If you have a full-sized keyboard, you will probably wonder how you are ever going to memorize all the keys and the notes present on your piano. However, this is a really simple step and as easy as learning ABC.
The 1st thing that you’ll notice about your keyboard is that it comprises of white and black keys. The white keys are all set in a continuous line at the bottom and they are intercepted by the black keys which are raised and set further back than the white ones. Each key on your keyboard plays a specific musical note. The naming system of each musical note uses an extremely simple system. The music notes for the 1st 7 letters of the alphabetical order, ABCDEFG. The name of the keys as well as the note that the particular key place is the same. For example that a key place that a note and so on and so forth.
If you are wondering how you are going to name all the 88 keys on your piano when there are only 7 notes, you should know that the sequence of the 7 white keys from a to G repeats itself each time that it finishes. Once you have reached the G, the A note comes again only in the next and higher octave. In this manner you will realize that your piano has 7 octaves on the keyboard from the lowest A note to the highest one.
Naming The white keys On your Piano
Learning the notes on the piano is very simple. All the 7 notes ranging from a to G are located on the white keys. The black keys have names on their own and are usually suffixed with a shop or a flat. But we will deal with this later. 1st let us know about naming the white keys. Finding the white key and the right note is extremely easy on the keyboard thanks to the pattern of the black keys that is intercepted in between. You will realize that the black keys are present in groups of 2 and 3 on the piano. These groups of 2 and 3 black keys alternate with each other and you will never find a group of 2 black keys or 3 black keys next to each other.
The white key right before the group of 2 black keys represents the C-note and the C key. This does not change anywhere on the keyboard. This means that whenever you look at the group of 2 black keys on the piano keyboard, the white note right before it is the C-note. Now once you have located the C-note, locating other notes is as simple as playing the next subsequent white keys. For example, the white key next to the C-note is D, then E,F,G,A & B. after you reach the beam out you will realize that you are once again on the key that is right under the group of the next set of 2 Black keys. This once again is the C-note on the higher octave. This system continues throughout the layout of the keyboard.
If you number this simple pattern, you will never forget the note and the name of the key on your keyboard. Practice on your keyboard to little bit to play different notes and to memorize the letters idiot you just have to remember that moving up and down from the C-note on your keyboard will lead you to subsequent letters. If you go towards the right of the keyboard you will climb up that is play notes D, E and so on and if you come towards the left of the C note you will moved lower in the notes and play B,A, G and so on.
Now that you know the names of the white keys, you can play:
✓ The first nine notes of “Over the River and Through the Woods”: D, D, D, D, B, C, D, D, D.
✓ The first six notes of “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring”: B, D, B, E, D, B.
✓ The first seven notes of “The First Noel”: E, D, C, D, E, F, G.
✓ The first eleven notes to the theme from Ravel’s Boléro: C, B, C, D, C, B, A, C, C, A, C.
Naming the black keys on the piano
Once you have learned the names of all the notes played by the white keys on the piano, you will realize that there is a black key in between and above certain white keys as well. For example there is a black key in between A and B. When you play this key you would realize that it has the different sound. This is because it is a different musical note. So how do you name these black keys between the white keys? The white keys have taken up the subsequent alphabetical letters such as A, B, C. There is no alphabet that comes between a and B. We name the black keys are as follows:
The black keys are assigned the same name as the closest white key but with one of the following suffixes added on: ✓ Sharp is used for a black key to the right of (or higher than) a white key. ✓ Flat is used for a black key to the left of (or lower than) a white key.
Try doing this yourself. Find any note on the white key and play the black key to the right or to the left of it. For example if you play the a note, the black key on the left-hand side of this note will be a flat and the black key to the right-hand side will be a sharp (a#).
Now one thing that you need to understand is that because each black he lies between 2 black keys, it can have 2 names depending on the white key you approach it from. For example, the black key to the left of the a note is a flat because it is to the left of the note a and it is also G sharp because it is on the right of the g-note.
The next thing you’ll notice is that there is no black ski between B and C and E and F. This is not a fault on your keyboard. This is just how the musical notation is.
Now that you know the names of the white and black keys, you can play:
✓ The theme from the movie Jaws: D-sharp, E, D-sharp, E, D-sharp, E.
✓ The first four notes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony: G, G, G, E-flat.
✓ The tune of “Shave and a Haircut, Five Cents”: G, D, D, E, D, F-sharp, G.