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Piano Keyboard Layout

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If you want to play piano, you have to be familiar with the keyboard. Piano keyboard with its 88 black and white keys might look intimidating, especially to beginners, but it's really not as complicated as many people think. It's actually a lot simpler than it looks.

Okay, let's start. First, take a closer look at your keyboard. Can you see a repeating pattern in the way the keys are organized? Do you notice that there are sets of two and three black keys that repeat over and over? These black keys will help you orient yourself.

A full sized piano keyboard will have 88 keys - 36 black and 52 white. The white keys are called naturals, and the black keys are called both sharps and flats.

Keys are organized in a 12-note pattern that repeats over and over. To recognize this pattern look at how the black keys are arranged. They are grouped together in sets of two and three.

Diagram of piano keyboard


Remember that 12-note pattern I was talking about. Each pattern consists of a set of 2 black keys, a set of 3 black keys and 7 white keys. All together - 12 keys.

Although there are 88 keys on a grand piano, there are only seven musical notes that you have to remember - A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. These seven notes then repeat themselves on the keyboard.

Here's a simple diagram of the notes:

Keys on a piano


How To Find The C Note

If you look at the picture above, you will see that the C note is located left of the set of two black keys. Always remember, the C note is always the white key located before the two black keys. Once you can find a C note, you can easily locate other notes.

When you start leaning piano you often hear - middle C. What is middle C? Middle C is simply the C note closest to the middle of the piano keyboard.

Middle C on piano keyboard


There you have it. Now you have a basic understanding of what keys are what notes on a piano. And you shouldn't have any problems finding the middle C.

What’s next? That depends entirely on you. Feel free to browse this site and learn more about this wonderful instrument. When you're ready to go to the next level, take a look at this course.

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