What Is The Musical Alphabet + How Can I Use It?

What Is The Musical Alphabet On The Piano?

The musical alphabet is a fast way to talk about the 88 keys on the piano. And, it’s WAY shorter than the regular alphabet. This simple set of of letters allows musicians to communicate about what they are playing plus where to find those notes quickly and efficiently.

P.S. If you haven’t read or watch the first video in this series for beginners, be sure to click here. We will be using each concept in the following articles/videos.

The Musical Alphabet

Instead of 24 letters, the musical alphabet is only 7 letters: A, B, C, D, E, F, G! For pianos that have 88 keys (something I recommend), the bottom key on that piano is an A. Pretty easy so far, right?

To practice this alphabet, sing as you play! Just be sure to keep repeating A through G as you go from the bottom note to the top note of the piano. It may feel a bit silly to sing the “Alphabet Song” but research shows the more senses you use as you learn, the stronger that memory will be.
For a challenge, start at the top and move down. Remember to say the alphabet backwards! This is actually super important since music changes direction often. Unlike the regular alphabet, knowing the musical alphabet backwards is incredibly useful and will be used throughout the entire time you play piano!

Creating Music

In the previous article, I briefly talked about how improvising is a powerful learning tool when it comes to learning piano. Improvising is creating music in the moment. It doesn’t have to be scary or complicated. And, you’re not trying to create the next Top 40 song as you do this.

Use the video above to see what it’s like to create a mini-song by changing how long or short you hold each note! Start at the bottom and go to the top. Then, practice your musical alphabet going backwards from the far right (top) of the piano and going to the far left (bottom) of the piano.

The Musical Alphabet For Piano

The musical alphabet gives us the name of each and every key on the piano. This allows us to communicate what we are playing … or understand what on earth our piano teacher wants us to play!

What was the most challenging part of saying the musical alphabet backwards?

Let me know in the comments. Feel free to link to your improvisation (if you have it on socials or YouTube).

If you like this approach to learning piano, click to set up an interview to join our online piano studio!

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