You can layout piano keys with solid images in your mind if you want to play with confidence. The keys on a piano are arranged in a simple pattern which you need to see mentally and feel physically with your hands.
Layout piano keys in your mind, focusing on the black notes. (See video, "The Black Notes" . This video includes the two "Black Note Songs" listed below. Sorry, but the video demonstration is a bit goofy.) The black keys on a piano are arranged in groups of two and groups of three. Learn this pattern by doing the exercises below.
(The exercises here may seem simple, but you should still repeat them many times a day, for several days, as you are trying to develop your “inner keyboard”, physically & mentally. Also, the instructions for fingerings and hand switching are purposeful.)
For all exercises, indeed every time you sit down to play, be aware of your hand position and your sitting position at the piano.
Once your mental picture of the black-note layout is solid, you will begin to learn how to move your hands quickly up and down to locate any note or chord. The look and feel of the whole keyboard will eventually soak into your mind and hands so deeply that you will feel confident and comfortable playing just about anything at the piano.
Layout piano keys in your mind and in your hands using these black note variations (repeat each variation at least 3 times)
1. Basic Exercise: Play all the groups of two, from the bottom of the keyboard (the left end) to the top (the right end), and then back down (ascending & descending).
The Variations: (mix and match as you please…have fun!)
- start with left hand at the bottom half of the keyboard, switch to right hand in the middle (ascending), and vice-versa (descending)
- hand over hand (alternating)
- play the notes simultaneously (harmonically)
- play the notes individually (melodically), goofing around with the order of notes
- try all these finger combinations: 1&2, 2&3, 3&4, 4&5
2. Basic Exercise & Variations: same as above using groups of three. (finger combinations: 1&2&3, 2&3&4, 3&4&5)
Once you are familiar with the black note layout, you will have not trouble learning the white notes.
For a simple trick to learning the notes, go to "Piano Notes Chart".