Black key groups on the piano are more than just a beginner piano student concept. They’re something that EVERY piano player uses. All. The. Time. So, it’s important to make sure it’s not just theoretical knowledge, but something you can recognize and use in many different ways!
The colours of the keys on the piano used to be opposite! Way back when Mozart was playing, what we see as black keys were actually … white. And what we see as white keys used to be black. Why? Who knows! But, regardless of the colour of the keys, the pattern has stayed the same.
Why Have Different Coloured Keys?
What if all the keys were the same colour? Imagine your teacher or another musician asking you to play the 24th note on the piano followed by the 28th. Wouldn’t it be easier to say play a middle C then a G? That ease of finding notes is part of why black key groups are so important to playing music. Those patterns also make is possible to learn all sorts of other concepts.
Patterns Of Black Keys
We see patterns or groups of 2 black keys and 3 black keys on the piano. What more advanced piano players do is use these groups to find notes quickly.
Which mean the best thing you can do as a beginner piano player is learn how to find each type of group quickly. Start with visually finding and playing each group of black keys starting from the top, the heading back down.
Once you can find these groups visually, challenge yourself to do this with your eyes closed. This helps you practice feeling the keys under your fingertips (something the pros do all the time). It will make a lot of other parts of playing piano much easier in the future.
The best way to learn is to apply new concepts and skills in a variety of ways. Improvising is a fantastic way to do this on the piano!
Improvising is creating music in the moment. It doesn’t have to be scary or complicated. And, it doesn’t have to sound amazing. Though that will start to come with time and practice.
Use the video below to review and improvise … or use the instructions below the video.
Creating a mini-song with these steps:
- Any 3 black key group
- Add in the 2 black key group just above or below
- Challenge: Make a song that moves up + down the piano!
Black Keys On The Piano
Recognizing this repeating pattern makes it MUCH easier to learn all the other keys on the piano!
What was the most challenging part of learning the black key groups?
Let me know in the comments. And feel free to link to your improvisation (if you have it on socials or YouTube). I’d love to cheer you on!
If you like this approach to learning piano, click to set up an interview to join our online piano studio!