Untitled Document


Black and White Piano Keys - Lesson 2

25 BEGINNER LESSONS: Lesson #2 – Black and White Piano Keys

The piano keyboard is a very organized affair- divided into organized groups of black and also white keys. The black and white keys are arranged in patterns which is

2 black key note groups – and these are next to 3 black key note groups.

White keys are arranged among these black keys. But the way we think of the keyboard visually is in terms of the black keys. Groups of 2 black key or groups of 3 black key groups.

Question: Is it harder to play the black keys versus the white keys?

Answer: Great question again! As a matter of fact, the black keys are in fact “skinnier” than the white keys – they are narrower in width and therefore, yes, a tad bitter trickier to play than the white keys but as in all things musical, the way we conquer this “challenge” is through practice. Depending though upon who you use as a teacher, the narrowness of the black keys will in fact impact what fingers we use to play. I was taught not to use the ring finger if the last note of a chord is a black key but I have spoken to other experienced teachers who go ahead and use the pinky for any ending black note. Pattern of black and white keys is of utmost importance in 1) Knowing where your hands are at any time on the keyboard 2) Helps you memorize chords 3) Helps you memorize scale and chord patterns

Notice that as a group, the white keys form one giant mass of keys!

Question: How do I distinguish one white key from the other?

Answer: In one way you can’t. The only was is through the pattern of black keys versus white keys. Therefore, any white key can be identified by its relationship to, its proximity, its closeness to either

- a 2 black key group or - a 3 black key group - or, in between a 2 black key group a 3 black key group. Example, the E note or the B note


1) Using your thumb and second finger = index finger, play both notes of the 2 key groups and play them together, at the same time. Do this up and down the keyboard 2) Do the same now using fingers 1, 2, and 3 and play the 3 note black key groups up and down the keyboard. So in other words, it provides a visual cue so you can navigate, so you can find your way around the white keys. The white keys can only be identified by their proximity to the black keys.

Click here to learn everything the Pros know about Piano Keys!