How to Learn Keyboard Songs Without Notes

Updated April 17, 2017

Learning to play the keyboard can be fulfilling and rewarding. The piano/keyboard is the primary instrument in many styles of music. You can learn to play this instrument without spending years learning how to read music. There are ways to understand music and the keyboard without actually having to read the notes. You can learn to be a great pianist using the techniques below without ever having to look at a musical note.

Look up the chords to the song that you want to learn to play in your piano chord book. There should be a picture of someone's hand actually playing the chord or a picture of the keyboard with the proper notes highlighted. Learn one or two chords at a time by looking at the picture and playing the proper notes with your right hand. Play the bass (far left) note of the chord with your left hand. For example, if you're playing a "C chord" play the three notes in the C chord with your right hand, and play a C bass note with your left hand. A chord book is the most practical way to learn piano without reading music. There are over 100,000 chords and variations of chords on the piano. A chord book will give you a source of reference to find all of this information in one place.

Practice switching between the chords in the song that you are learning. Simply play the chord one time and switch to the other chord and back to the previous chord. Repeat this indefinitely until it becomes easier. Be patient when learning this chord method. You are diving right in learning full chords. It may take some time before you can switch smoothly. At least you're not learning to play "Mary Had a Little Lamb" one note at a time.

Put the chords of the song together as you learn more of them. Since you are learning to play songs that you know, it's easy to hear when the chords are right. After you master the chord changes in the song, play them along with the actual song to get the "feel" of the song right. It will be difficult to keep up at first but keep practicing.

Practice at least three times a week for 30 minutes. The more you practice, the faster you will learn.

Things You'll Need

  • Keyboard or piano
  • Piano chord book (with pictures of the chord being played on the keyboard)
  • Chord progressions for your favourite songs
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Gary Hancock began writing in 2003 with most of his articles appearing online. Hancock's areas of expertise are personal fitness, music theory and electrical wiring. He studied music at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and is also a professional musician.