How to Read Piano Notes

Are you interested in learning how to read piano notes? A lot of musicians these days play piano because they started to learn how to read piano notes. When doing so, one thing is very important. The goal should be not just to play notes that is written, but also consider how the music should feel and sound.

After all, music is a collaboration of sounds that ultimately results to an amazing experience. This means that if you only settle with reading plain notes, you may end up losing the entire idea of creating beautiful music.

Things to Consider

There are certain factors that you need to take into consideration before you actually move with reading piano notes. Here are some of them:

  • Rhythm – Music, as a whole, is divided in beats, with every beat equal to its neighbor. Each beat has a length that changes depending on the tempo of a music piece. The tempo refers to how fast or slow music is played. These beats are being divided into groups depending on the time signature at the start of the piece. This time signature tells you the number of units present in a bar/group, including the actual length for each beat.
  • Tone Lengths – Those beats mentioned above are used in measuring the pitches in music, and length of sounds. Therefore, you need to learn about various tone lengths including the whole, half and quarter notes to start with.
  • Piano Geography – The piano comes with a wide variety of ranges. The clefs were created to limit you to a particular piano register. You need to learn using the Bass clef and the Treble Clef. The treble clef tells you of the need to play above the mid-part of the piano, that is, above the middle C. On the other hand, the Bass clef refers to the note located in the lower register under the middle C.
  • Hand Positions – It is also quite important to familiarize various hand positions. Most piano pieces for beginners are based according to strict hand positions.
  • The Staff – These notes are written right on the staff. This staff contains five spaces and lines. The treble clef ‘belly’ points where the G above the middle C is located on the staff. At the same time, the bass clef ‘points’ tell us the location of the F under the middle C on the staff.
  • Finding the Other Notes – After locating the main notes, you can locate the rest of the notes depending on their relative location with the two mentioned notes. This is the entire concept, basically. Keep in mind that usually, there are two staffs located on a piano sheet. The one on the upper part is used for the right hand, while the lower part is of the left hand.
  • Dynamic Signs – It is also important to read dynamic signs. These are those that tell whether you need to play either soft or loud, at times at once, or gradually. One points at the musical phrasing, requiring you to play shortly or smoothly, with breaks in between notes. This really makes a difference in the music that you play.

Reading Piano Notes

Reading piano notes


Reading piano notes may turn out to be quite challenging at first, but it really is not, so long as you have a good foundation on the basics. The very first step that you need to look into is learning about the names of the notes.

Eventually reading piano sheet music involves understanding of the key and time signature, both treble and bass clefs, as well as the skill in learning how to read actual piano notes.

Generally, there are two clefts that you can see in a piano music sheet. The notes in the spaces and lines differently read for every clef. The notes begin at ‘A’, continuing with the alphabet up to ‘G’, and repeat.

For instance, if you begin with ‘C’, the succeeding white key is ‘D’, and then ‘E’ follows. Since the pattern simply repeats, ‘A’ comes after ‘G’. Reading these piano notes from a music sheet is more difficult, but with a memorization strategy, you can still find it quite easy.

The treble clef is generally played using the right hand. The lines on the music sheet is represented with the notes EGBDF. A lot of music teachers create a mnemonic to it, with the line ‘Every Good Boy Does Fine’. On the other hand, the spaces on the treble clef spells FACE, which is easier to remember without any mnemonics attached to it.

The bass clef, on the other hand, is played using the left hand. The lines on the music sheet is represented by GBDFA, which spells ‘Great Big Dogs Fight Animals”. At the same time, the spaces are ACEG, which also spells ‘All Cows Eat Grass”.

If you are not the type who likes using these particular acronyms, you can certainly create your own, depending on the strategy that you can easily remember. Avoid underestimating this strategy, as it is a great help if you are trying to start learning how to read piano notes.

As time passes by, with practice and experience, you can be assured that eventually, you will be able to read music coming from the music sheet without having the need to do the memorization trick.