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Learning the notes on the piano is one of the first things you do when learning to play the piano. When you first look at a piano and see all of the keys, this can be discouraging; however, a lot of repetition is involved, making it simple.
Before you can learn to read music, you will want to familiarize yourself with all of the piano notes. This article will present a piano note chart that you can print and put next to your keyboard/piano to help you visualize.
It is important to note that whether you have an acoustic piano with 88 keys or a digital piano/keyboard with fewer keys, the notes will remain the same; only the starting notes can vary.
By the end of this article, you will have a complete understanding of piano notation, layout of the piano, and you will also develop an understanding of the notes on the treble clef and bass clef.
I’ve put this article together because I have over 20 years of experience playing the piano and six years of touring in a band, and I want to help people learn to play the piano.
Piano Notes VS Electronic Keyboard Notes
It’s important to note that notes do not change from pianos to keyboards. The only thing that can change is that the keyboard may have fewer notes.
The structure of the notes themselves will always remain the same.
For example, you can see keyboards with 49 or 61 keys. These notes will be arranged in the same manner; however, they might start on a different starting note.
While the note structure will be the same between pianos and keyboards, the size of the keys can vary.
How Many Different Piano Notes Are There?
There are a total of 12 piano notes. There are seven black notes and five white notes. While the notes reflect different key signatures, the easiest way to present the notes is as followed:
The white keys are: C,D,E,F,G,A,B. It is important to note that the starting note C is also located in the middle of the keyboard. You will often hear musicians refer to this is as “middle C.”
While there is a more technical way to do this, let’s break this down in the most straightforward manner.
The five black keys names change depending on whether you are raising the note (sharp) or lowering the note (flat).
Another way to look at this is if you are going to the right or to the left. This is also how the circle of fifths is built. When you move to the right, you will be using sharps, and when you move to the left, you will be using flats. Understanding the order of sharps flats will help with this.
This means that the black keys would be: C#, D#, F# G# A#.
If you move to the left of the original note, you get D-flat, E-flat, G-flat, A-flat, B-flat.
The circle of fifths is a deep subject that you won’t need to understand immediately.
How Many Keys Are There On A Piano?
There are a total of 88 keys on pianos. A digital piano can vary from as little as 25 keys to 88.
This being said, there are only 12 different notes to memorize.
Most portable keyboards will have 61 keys that are semi-weighted/velocity sensitive.
Understanding basic piano notation is the first step to learning to play the piano. Keep at it, and don’t lose focus. Once you understand where all of the notes are located on a piano keyboard, you can start to focus on techniques.
Enjoy the experience and memorize the notes of the piano as quickly as you can to speed up your journey.