Identifying Letter Names | Piano Jump Start

The letter names for each of the remaining natural notes will follow the order of letters within the musical alphabet from left to right on the keyboard.

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By following the letters of the musical alphabet we can determine that the letter name of the key directly to the right of C will be the letter after C in the musical alphabet - D. The letter name of the key to the right of D is E. After E is F. After F is G.

Now, we know that the letters of the musical alphabet range from A to G, and that after G we go back to the letter A and then repeat the same seven letter pattern. Therefore, the letter name of the white key to the right of G isn’t H, but A.

After A is B. And after B is C.

Follow this same exact pattern of letters starting from any C on the piano. In fact, by practicing what we have just discussed you will be able to identify the letter name of every natural note found anywhere on your keyboard.

Start by finding the note C and then simply use the musical alphabet to determine the letter names of each remaining key.

Five Finger C Scale

Take your right hand and place your thumb, finger number one, over the note C. Then spread your remaining fingers evenly over the next four keys. Don’t skip any fingers and don’t skip any keys. Play each consecutive finger one-by-one starting with our thumb on the note C and continuing until your pinky on the note G.

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After you’ve already played a note don’t continue to keep it pressed while playing the next key. Be sure to completely release the pressure off of that key before playing the following note.

It would help to say the letter name of each note out loud as you play.

Five Finger G Scale

And just to make sure that you have covered all of the notes in the musical alphabet, do the same thing once more but this time with your thumb over the note G. Again, play each consecutive finger one at a time and say the letter of each note out loud as you play.

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Keyboard_GScale_B.png
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Practice this basic finger exercise first with your thumb on the note C and then with your thumb on the note G until you feel comfortable playing and identifying each consecutive natural note.

And when you're ready to move on to something slightly more involved I've included a five video series on different finger exercises of varying levels of difficulty along with five accompanying practice videos.

C Position

Where you place your hand on the keyboard makes a big difference in ensuring that the correct finger numbers are utilized when playing your favorite songs. Having your hand in the wrong position can almost guarantee that a wrong note could be played.

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C position occurs when the lowest pitch in either hand is the note C. To play in C position, place your right hand (thumb) and left hand (pinky) on the note C.

F Position / G Position

In the song bundle portion of this program the songs "Mary Had A Little Lamb", "Jingle Bells", and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" more of less stay within the boundaries of C position. However, to correctly play all of the notes in "Frere Jacques" and "Happy Birthday To You" we'll have to move our right hand out of C position.

F Position

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G Position

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In "Frere Jacques" we temporarily move into F position, which like C position simply means that the lowest note in our hand will be the note F played with our thumb, finger number one. In "Happy Birthday To You" we actually start with our right hand in G position, meaning our thumb, finger number one will be placed over the note G and our remaining fingers should spread evenly over the next four consecutive keys.

The correct hand position will be displayed in a blue shape above the melody notes, as shown in the example below.

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