Piano Basics – What You Need To Know

Maybe you have been longing to play the piano, but feel you do not know anything about the instrument, here is a quick collection of piano basics for you.

Piano Octave Chart

A piano has 88 keys, but there are only 12 tones that are unique.

One group of these twelve tones is called an octave.

This is what an octave looks like:

piano octave





An octave repeats over and over on the keyboard, and if you have a full piano you will find 7 octaves on it.

Some digital pianos and keyboards have not that many octaves, but the most common is 7.


Piano Basics












Piano basics for beginners

You can recognize an octave by try to find the tone C. You will find that tone to the left of the set of two black tones. The octave is the tone C and the eleven tones after.

If you try to find the C in the middle of the piano, you will have high tones on the right and low tones on the left.

The C tones are all the same, even if they sound higher or lower depending on which C tone you play on the piano.

The same goes for the notes of course. D, E, F etc.

Here are all the names of the white keys:


The black keys have two names each, for example, D# – called D-sharp, or Db, that is called D-flat.

Here are all the names of the black keys.

F sharp (also G flat)
G sharp (also A flat)
A sharp (also B flat)
C sharp (also D flat)
D sharp is (also E flat)

Piano Basics Chords

When you hear people play a few tones together on the piano, they are playing a chord.

Chords are actually a kind of foundation for all music and are used to create the music you hear.

The chords are based on scales of notes, and the scale called “major scale” is the most common and also the one most important.

For example; the C major scale consists of the notes: C D F G A B and C; they are all the white tones within one octave on the piano.

When I was a little girl and started to play the piano using chords, I played all my songs in the key C. I did that because it was easy to find and also easy to play.

The 3 most important chords in the C scales are:

Chord C = consists of the tones C E G
Chord F = consist of the tones F A C
Chord G = consist of the tones G H D

Learn these three chords and you can sing the melody and accompany with the chords and play many, many songs!

But, when I learned some other chords, I could play songs in other keys, and many times that did sound a lot more beautiful!





Piano Pedal Basics

A piano also have pedals that you can use while playing. The pedal a piano player might use the most is the one we call the damper pedal.

The damper pedal is necessary if you want the music to flow smoothly while playing.

When you press a key on the piano you can hear the sound flowing from the instrument, but as soon as you release the key the sound will drop. But if you use the pedal the piano string will still vibrate and you will be able to play piano music the flows beautifully and sounds great!

Using the piano pedal can be a little bit tricky in the beginning, but it is really essential for you to if you want to play piano properly.

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