How to Play Keyboard Notes

Written by rachel shipp
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How to Play Keyboard Notes
Learning to play the keybaord isn't difficult. (keyboard image by Vasiliy Koval from Fotolia.com)

Now that you have a keyboard, it's time to start learning how to play it. If you don't have a background in music, and especially in the piano, that keyboard may be rather intimidating. However, learning how to play the keyboard is not difficult and, once you grasp a few basic concepts, can be very satisfying and fun.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Electronic keyboard

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Learn about the musical alphabet. The musical alphabet goes from A to G, repeating up the keys on your keyboard. All Cs are located to the immediate left of any group of two black keys. D is between the two black keys, E is on the right. F is to the left of any group of three black keys, G is next, then A, and, finally, B is to the right of the three-black-key group. This will put you back at C next to a group of two black keys.

  2. 2

    Find Middle C on the keyboard. On many keyboards, Middle C is the C closest to the middle of the keyboard. However, some models will have it offset up or down one octave. Other keyboards offset it for different settings. Check your owner's manual to find Middle C on your keyboard.

  3. 3

    Learn about intervals. Intervals measure the distance between any two white keys on your keyboard. A "second" interval consists of two white keys that are immediately next to each other, such as C and D. A third has one white key between the two you are playing, such as C and E. A fourth interval, such as C and F, has two white keys in the middle. Fifths, sixths and sevenths each add another key to the distance. An octave contains the entire musical alphabet, from C to C. Knowing the intervals between notes makes it easier to learn and harmonise new songs and melodies.

  4. 4

    Learn about sharps and flats. Black keys always have two names, a sharp name and a flat name. A sharp looks like a number sign (#). It is played by shifting the note one key to the right. C# is the black key to the right of C, or the bottom key in a group of two black keys. D# is the black key to the right of D, or the top key in a group of two black keys. A flat looks like a lower-case B (b). Playing a flat note means you are shifting it one key to the left. dB is the black key to the left of D, the bottom key in a group of two black keys, also known as C#. Eb is the black key to the left of E, the top key in the group of two, also called D#.

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