How to Read Piano Notes 101

Music Talent and Skill

Some people really just have a knack for music.  Even with little or even no training, you can ask them to play songs in the piano and using just their ears, they can actually play some of your favorite songs.  While this is well and good, the truth is that in piano playing, nothing beats learning your notes and how to play them.  Bach may have a talent for music but he did not rely on just talent alone.  He honed his skill the best possible way and that is why his music is still among the most admired to this day and age.  Hence, when it comes to music, talent and skill go hand in hand.  No matter how talented you are, you must know how to read piano notes.

But where should you start?  Piano notes are not like writing in school.  You need special training for it.  However, that does not mean that it is incredibly difficult.  If you arm yourself with the basics, you will eventually get better at it and will read it just as easily as you are reading this article right now.  So what are the basics of piano note reading?

Know the Difference Between Clefs

First, you must know the difference between clefs.  People usually call it the G cleff and the F cleff.  However, another way to call it is treble clef and bass clef.  What is the difference between the two?  The treble clef or G clef usually refers to the higher notes that are often played with the right hand of the pianist.  It starts from middle C all the way to the tip of the piano.  The bass clef on the other hand or the bass clef refers to the middle notes all the way down.  This may be played with chords using the left hand of the pianist.

Second, you have to know the difference between the white keys and the black keys.  It is more than just the color.  The white keys refer to the major notes.  The black keys refer to the sharps or flats which add flavor to any music.  For example, if you play the note “D”, the black note to its left is D flat and the black note to its right is called D sharp.  This is true for most notes.

Hand and Eye Coordination

Last, you have to realize that reading piano notes entails a lot of hand and eye coordination.  What your eye sees, your hand must automatically press and for new pianists, this does not happen so fast.  That is why the best way is to really practice.  If you have a talent for music and usually tend to just use your ears, you are gifted with something amazing.  However, when training, try to use your eyes and your hands more than your ears at first until such a time when your eye and hand coordination is seamless.  With right practice, you will improve your piano skills and it all starts with how to read piano notes.

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