• The notes on the piano

    in Beginners

    The "Secrets to Playing Piano By Ear" course covers everything from the basics and fundamentals to Cmin13 (b9b5) chords. The following lesson focuses on chapter one from the course. If you are already familiar with the notes and tones of the piano, you might want to skip this lesson.


    Learning the notes of the piano (01)

    Note: Disregard the "SLXYZ" numbers (if any) as they refer to sound examples. Our 300-pg course comes with a CD with over 330 sound examples which can be heard with the click of a button. (Example: SL003)


    This concludes lesson #1. Meanwhile, if you are serious about learning to play the piano by ear, you have to read this article


    Learn how to receive $200 in Free Piano Software! Are you ready to take your piano playing to the next level? If so, I can show you how to get tons of free software … right now!



    If you are enjoying these lessons, please recommend them to your friends!

    The following two tabs change content below.
    Hi, I'm Jermaine Griggs, founder of this site. We teach people how to express themselves through the language of music. Just as you talk and listen freely, music can be enjoyed and played in the same way... if you know the rules of the "language!" I started this site at 17 years old in August 2000 and more than a decade later, we've helped literally millions of musicians along the way. Enjoy!

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The "Official Guide To Piano Playing." Click here for more information.


    { 79 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 chukwudi ononye

    i really enjoyed this lesson i am looking forwared to more
    and i found it very easy to understand


    2 Rachel

    I am enjoying this teaching. I have been playing from just pressing the notes not knowing what I am doing, now I see myself going to the next level. Please explain wider what you mean by an octave, do you mean for an example the fist scale of C, which is white keys from C to B? Another question, is what I have ordered includes these 60 leasons? I do not have a computer at home, I use my office computer before I start work and at lunch, so I do not have enouph time for these leasons, but if these is included in the leasons I have ordered I will have enouph time at home.


    3 Jermaine

    @Rachel: Congrats on getting started!

    To answer your question, yes this lesson is in the 300pg home study course so you don’t have to worry.

    An octave is from any one key to the next key 12 notes up.

    So from one C to the very next C constitutes an octave. It should have 12 notes in between it.

    It is not a scale. It’s distance.

    Like when singing, someone may say “take that up an octave.” That just means to sing the same exact thing but in a higher pitch. A good singer can have a range of 3 octaves or better.

    I hope this helps.


    4 abraham

    you lessons has really improved my piano skills. Thank you so much


    5 Rafael

    Wow, this is good


    6 David

    Thank I learned some things. I hope this works as we go forward.


    7 Trency

    Thanks a lot! This first lesson makes me remembered what I had learned last year.


    8 bridget

    a super way to learn music! Thanks



    9 bridget

    super way to learn

    thanks a lot!



    10 segun arole

    hi,i love this site.dis is most interesting lesson have ever had.keep it up.


    11 bridget



    12 lihua

    a nice lesson to learn piano i ever seen =) thanks so much i learn it quiet fast with your simple english


    13 Genaro Geneta

    I’m 48 years old and I’m trying to learn playing the organ and the guitar while tutoring my little children with your free lessons. I’m thankful for the opportunity.


    14 Bryan

    I have always wished I could play the organ but never thought for one moment I could learn to read music. This is a good start I understood the lesson, hope it continues.


    15 Kyleigh

    Okay, this may sound “stupid”, but i am just wondering, do u have to have a piano for these lessons? I was hoping to find an online course that teaches you the keys by numbers, but that failed.I am liking this website by far! My grandmother is a wonderful piano player but it is hard for her to teach others. So back to my question, i am hoping to later play Beethoven Fur Elise Symphony 59, Bagatelle in A minor. I also wish to play Alisha Keys :D so i have a keyboard, not with me at this moment but it can be arranged, and i also have a paper piano that makes noises and such. I Imagine a keyboard would be better?

    please email me!soon!



    16 Jermaine

    @Kyleigh: It’s very possible! in fact, look at people who take music theory classes at school. they aren’t always in front of keyboards. in most classes, they are sitting in the audience listening and taking notes. So yes, not everything requires a keyboard. A “paper” keyboard can teach you how to recognize the notes of the piano … and scales… and even chords.

    Eventually you’ll need to “play” the piano to get good of course. But you can learn with just a reference piano grahpic or something similar.

    FYI, we do teach major scales as numbers, not just notes. That’s one of my favorite topics. Kinda like the bottom part of this lesson here: https://www.hearandplay.com/main/how-i-learn-songs-in-all-12-keys-in-one-night (but you’ve just encouraged me to do a WHOLE lesson just on learning music as numbers).

    Take care!



    17 Dancinjeff

    Even though I always knew this… its like this tutorial just made it so much more simple for me..




    18 encouragedtolrn

    I have a keyboard. Will I get the same effect as a piano. Because I know that the piano has more keys.


    19 Tara

    um… im stunned it took my musi teacher a month to finnally get ths into my head but it only took u a minute

    good work keep it up

    and thnx


    20 filippo

    hello, I am from Palermo Filippo not speak English, I’m helping with the translator Google.ho have your site through a friend who works in america.Sono very happy because ‘I finally found the material very interesting for the study of music by ear. I have always played by ear since childhood, then in my church, I started playing the Hammond organ are very fascinated by that sound, then I switched to DX7 keyboards, 01korg, ecc.ho studied about three years of classical piano, but to improve I now believe the refusal perche’mi are stancato.Nella who attend church are full-time and sound perche’in this moment there are few musicians, the kind that we do or the songs that are reproduced in the group of Hillsong, something Michel Smith Ron Kenoly, Don moen.Ho need your advice with a kind that we can ‘help your teaching? My time at my disposal a day and at least one hour. Jermaine has to play me like I’m afraid to start again because ‘I see the limitations also nell’improvvisazione. Please read this email God benedica.aspetto your answer. (Filippolamonica1 @ virgilio.it)




    21 Danick

    Hi J,

    Im so glad that i came across your site and im quiet expectant to improve my playing skills on piano.

    I live in a southern central african country called Zambia, which was in 1992 declared officially and constitionally a christian nation.

    I am a born again christian and I play the keyboard for our small praise and worship team in church and i sing and lead worship too.

    I am not very good but i know the basics (i mean im familiar with the hillsong worship style) and i really want to learn to play by the ear.I taught myself the basics that i know on the keyboard/piano. I want to start as a beginner and i hope these lessons will help me build on the little that i know.


    Mongu – Zambia


    22 Jun

    This is really good. I have learned piano for a year. This lesson makes the basic knowlege clear and organized in my head. I loved it!


    23 aditya

    I’m currently learning guitar. Started it, I suppose, six months ago. I though added to that I could learn he keyboard too. And then I found your site. Thanks a lot mate. And probably owing to my guitar classes, this is much easier to learn.


    24 ashu patrick ebot

    Hi guys, wonderful job you’ve done there on lesson one. I think if i just have continuation of this lesson (lessons 2, 3, …), then in less than no time,i will become an expert teaching others.
    Good Job, keep it up.


    25 Franzella

    I really enjoyed myself today. I’m looking forward in being one of the best musician in the church.


    26 Richard Morris


    I am not a beginner but right now I am teaching about 15 or more students at my church to play musical instruments (Piano, bass guitar and drums, my wife teach vocals). We started last week Saturday June 6, 2009. I teach them by ear because our church is a Pentecostal “Father-Son & Holy Ghost” Church that sing live choruses and lots of praise and worhsip. Need to learn to play like you guys real soon…

    Any idea where I can a used MOTIF XS6/7 at a reasonable cost?!

    God Bless…
    Richard (876)436-8156


    27 PABLO



    28 susan

    interesting i hope to learn a lot


    29 hussain

    i m listaning it


    30 Hannu

    easy to understand


    31 Ukoh

    i am enjoying the teaching, please take me to the next level.


    32 Rose

    the teaching is interesting, plz take me to the next level


    33 KAYGEE

    hey jermaine i really appreciate the time and interest you show in othera that are hopind to be musicians i am really grateful hoew you pay attention to every detail in an individuals backgroung information and how determine you are to help me to get to the place i so desire in plsying the keyuboard i am truly happy with you motivating email lessons.

    thanks a million keep up the good work!


    34 KAYGEE

    sorry bout the mis-spellings. typing error,any how in short I LOVE WHAT YOU ARE DOING!!!!


    35 Vasilissa Kralovna

    LOVE IT!!!
    keep the good work :)


    36 Emma

    it was alright i wanna get to lesson 2 now i only got the piano yesterday so XD


    37 belfit

    it is very useful.I really glad to be a member of this site. thank you.


    38 emcie

    this site is very helpful to a begginers like me!! thanks a lot!! ^_^


    39 Osborn

    Thanks very much for your help God bless you.
    I am from one of the pacific country called Solomon Islands. In the world map our country is very little just a dot. so you have to look very careful before you see our country. we are christian country. yea, my intension of playing piano I Helpe our youth to play piano in our small local church. I am not good on playing piano but still struggling. But thanks very much for the great things that you have done in this site. lets give all the glory and honor to our God cos he is the provider.

    Thank you



    40 wondersong

    Great wayto bring the truth you know to life. I enjoyed the way it is presented. Thanks.


    41 norvell

    wow, is this real? now i’m starting to like it. oh no, now i like it!!!!!!!1


    42 bri

    i am only 14 and dying to learn how to play the keyboard your site is a miricle thanks alot


    43 Brad

    So far so good, can’t wait to learn more.


    44 Ransford

    Well i believe i will get there
    now i am having fun


    45 Travis

    I was playing while I was reading and it is great so far


    46 Angel

    This is it!!! After all the waiting!!!


    47 jacob

    hi thanks for d lecture u are great


    48 Cheryel

    I want to say thank you so much for this site, I am truly blessed by finding this site, you have also been a blessing to me. It is such a joy to practice and to feel the energy that you are trying to pour into us, the beginners. With a lot of practice we are going to get to where you are trying to take us.
    May God continue to bless you.



    49 Job

    I just want to say thank you for the work you are doing. I really feel I’m on my way to playing the way I desire to play.


    50 Austin Noronha

    Hi Jermaine,
    G’day mate!! As you’ve guessed this appeal comes all the way from Australia! Thank you for you website.
    My son has been learning the piano for 3 years but struggles with theory. I believe his foundation is not strong and he doesn’t see connections between things (I am not a musician but deriving this from reading your website). What cousres ould you recommend for him as I am on a very limited budget.

    Thanks and regards


    51 Austin Noronha

    Sorry!! sent wrong email address previously


    52 Me-anne

    A really big thanks to you. I enjoyed and I’m looking forward to learn more and more until I will be good musician. God bless.


    53 elimpa

    hmm, i dnt even know wat to say.all i can say is dat God bless all the sponsors and teachers for this great work and the should continue to get support so dis work will be great. lov u all


    54 Sidney

    Really, I am being blessed with this website. I applaud the organizers of this project for the good work and the purpose of heart for young musicians like us. May God bless you mightily for your wonderful work of grace. More grease to your elbows.


    55 Boy Silalahi

    Now i can play piano only with reading


    56 beverly

    This information is very helpful. I can log on and learn instead of finding extra time to go to school. I am vry excited, I want to play for my church by September.


    57 lorraine

    hi. help!!!!! i word on learning the notes of the piono and beginnr lessons i can not get it p heip.i play some piano at chrcuh for 4 mouths help,help. i like to play be july 20011.in church can you help.e-mail back lorraine in va.


    58 lorraine

    hi., lorraine i need help on the lesson learning the notes of piano[1],i workand word for 2 h a day on the lesson and i can not get it p p help help lorraine.i love to work on the notes but can not get it .i play a little in church but if not right i no help me .i play for 5 mouths on 2 p help a good lessons ok e-mail back tody,,,,,,,,


    59 Gladys

    Hello Jermaine,
    Thank you so much for sharing your gift with us. I am beginner and am very excited because I have wanted to do this for a very long time. I did the first lesson and am ready to move forward. I have one question regarding an octave. I thought the lesson said and octave was from one C to the next. Isn’t that 8 keys? I was reading a comment where it says an octave is 12 keys up. So would that mean and octave would start at C and end at G? I would like to get the info to move forward. Thank you for your help.


    60 Jermaine Griggs

    Gladys, an octave is always to the same note 12 keys up. C to c. Or D to D. Or Eb to Eb.

    You may be mixing the major scale which has 8 notes with the 12 complete notes of the piano (including notes outside of scale).


    61 Clara Hodges

    I have to go now I’m getting off work. Will sign in at home


    62 feryel

    hi Jermaine,i’ve just signed in this morninig and took my first lession and it was quite fun .I’m a tunisian girl(18)and i’ve played organ by hearing since i was four but as i tlod you its the organ that mostly played in one hand.Plus we use the francophone key board ( do,rĂ©,mi, fa,sol,la,si,do)so it was hard for me to find some one hwo can teach me to play”soul”.
    Thats way i’m so happy to start your course.in piano,each of my hands will be doing a different thing than the other right? well i have a problem concentrating i couldn’t get them to play indepandently.would it be a problem??Thanx again for creating this chance for me to be able to achieve my fouryearold dream


    63 Emina

    OmG !! This is amazing !! I really understand piano,now !! OmG,I’m so grateful…. :D


    64 Rollan



    65 Sharmiana

    this is so cool.. always knew playing an instrument would be fun just never knew how fun the piano is..

    thank you


    66 Saba

    This is really great. very easy and very helpful. thanks.


    67 alex

    please how can i get a complete coarse online.I am from africa.


    68 manouma

    I’ve taken some piano lessons when i was little and the notes we used were DO Re Me not these, is there a difference????


    69 Genie

    Hi Jermaine!!
    Thanks for this valuable Lesson.
    I will really want to learn to play a piano.
    There aren’t much resources in my locality .
    I have been taught by many teachers,as my family has been moving a lot . But every time,i got a new tutor it was from the start So, i could not proceed further.So now instead of searching for a tutor i turned to internet,that connects the whole world.Thanks for forming such a wonderful site.I think i have an ear for music and really want to sharpen my skills.


    70 Nawa

    TY for the lesson.


    71 lorraine



    72 afolabi tunde

    Pls i need all bass guitar tutorial from a-z. How to groove, how to play percussive, how to solo, how to mute, how to play chords and how to follow songs on bass guitar.


    73 Annie

    I am just learning the piano and i find this website very helpful because it explains everything very clearly


    74 merlie

    hi jermaine,

    i think i made a mistake by ordering a course, first i ordered gospel CD 102, and the second orderd i had is the transposing the key. i thought that i will just contenue what i’ve learn but i was wrong i still have to order the 300pg course. Anyway next time after shipping the last i order. God bless!!!!!!!


    75 Albert

    I absolutely love your blog and find nearly all of your post’s to be exactly I’m looking for.
    Doees one offerr guest writers to write content for you?
    I wouldn’t mnd writing a posxt or laborating on most
    of the subjects you wrrite in relation tto here. Again, awesome website!


    76 Brendah Gem

    I love music and have always yearned for the chance to learn the piano, thanks for availing the lessons . Am eager and very interested to learn more. Thank you!


    77 Steve

    Hello sir,please permit me to express my self by first calling you my Boss,i pray that may God continue to increase your wisdom and understanding,i have been teaching piano for 20 years,and there are things i have come across in your teaching that gave me a diiferent perspective to piano,i rely confess that you are a genius,please i have used some of your teachings on this site for my students,i hope you will permit me to do that because i have found you as a great teacher and you are a teacher of teachers


    78 Jenel Bishop

    This was awesome. thank you for taking time out to share this knowledge with me indeed it gave me a better understanding how to identify scales, chords and pitch , some of which i didn’t know the names for (smiling). Thank you very much and i will share this website with others.


    79 Prince

    Good sir.pls i would like to know how to improve my relative pitch to detect notes without looking at the paino, and also how do i get your courses


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