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How to Mark Piano Keys – A Waste of Time?

April 16.2020
How to mark piano keys to learn which note is which? To start with, a lot of people like to...

How to mark piano keys to learn which note is which? To start with, a lot of people like to mark their piano, digital piano or keyboard to tell them which note they are playing at any one time and to locate notes on the keyboard. Otherwise, you may have to work it out and this can slow down the process, especially to begin with.

In this guide, we’re discussing how to mark piano keys, whether you even should mark the piano keys or if you will damage them in doing so, and whether it is the right thing to do for your knowledge.

Should I Mark Piano Keys?

This is the first question to answer before we get into how to mark piano keys. Should you even be looking to mark your keys? What is the benefit of doing so?

There are arguments for and against. If you are just getting started with playing the piano then there is a lot to be said for stickers or marks on the keys to show you where you are, it can be hard to anchor yourself on the keyboard otherwise, and the process of learning to play notes in succession or learning which notes are where may be a bit more tricky.

The argument against is that eventually, you’re going to have to fly solo anyway. You can’t play with markers on the keys forever, and when you eventually do want to change to playing without there might be a learning curve. This is definitely true if you haven’t made a point of actually memorizing the keys. If you rely on stickers constantly to know which note is which, are you ever going to learn independently?

There are definitely pros and cons, but as long as you aren’t too reliant, there’s no reason not to start with some markers.

How to Mark Piano Keys

We will start this section with a word of caution; don’t go writing on an expensive piano! Don’t use a permanent marker, and don’t even use stickers if you think they will cause any sort of permanent residue. It is simply not worth risking your piano.

If you’ve got a cheap keyboard and you aren’t really worried about it, then this is less of an issue. It won’t matter if it leaves a sticky mark on the keys.

In either case, you can use some stickers, such as garage sale style stickers, to write the notes A-G on and stick these on the white keys. To find the right notes, look on a simple piano note chart. Remember that the notes repeat and are in alphabetical order. No jumping from A to F! Check out this post if you want to find out how to remember where the keys are before you look at how to mark piano keys.

You can even buy specific piano key stickers if you think it will be helpful. These are a great way to ensure your piano or keyboard doesn’t end up with a cheap and nasty look and feel to it. They look pretty professional.

Do I Need to Mark the Black Notes?

We would say that there is no real need to mark the black notes. Instead, remember that the black note to the left of a white note is flat, and to the right of the white note is sharp. Find your G, for instance. The black note to the left of the G is the flat “Gb” and to the right is the sharp, “G#”.

Learning this simple rule can save you a whole lot of stickers! Plus, black notes can function as a sharp and a flat for different white notes. C# and Db are the same note.

Without getting too confusing, it’s fair to say that the black notes aren’t essential to be marked, and simply being able to anchor yourself on the keyboard via the white keys should be enough. Eventually, you will even want to get rid of these stickers.

Conclusion – To Mark, or Not to Mark?

It’s a matter of personal preference whether or not you wish to mark the keys before you start to learn how to play the piano. You can do so if you wish, but if not then you don’t need to. There are some relatively simple methods for finding your way around the keyboard.

To summarize how to mark piano keys. We never recommend doing so with a pen, and there’s always a risk of stickers leaving some sort of annoying residue afterward, too. Only do so if you feel that you need to and can’t use another method to remember, also, remember that they can only ever be a temporary aid so you need to put the hard work in and learn the keys one day.

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