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#1881379 - 04/17/12 06:59 PM Piano Staff Notes to put over keys to learn all the notes?
lird Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/17/12
Posts: 3
Hello everyone!

I am currently learning piano and find that I would like to have some sort of cardboard strip with all the note positions that fits over the piano keys.. I remember I had one when I was younger. Does anyone know where to get such a thing? It would help me so much! Thanks

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#1881389 - 04/17/12 07:13 PM Re: Piano Staff Notes to put over keys to learn all the notes? [Re: lird]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2310
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Welcome to the forum, lird!

I don't think it would help you at all, really!

Start with simple music with five notes per hand and progress up. Once you get the keyboard geography in your fingers, and it doesn't take long, you'll be much better off.

I think the keyboard strip would slow you down more.

I hope I didn't put you off on your first post! smile
_________________________
Richard

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#1881404 - 04/17/12 07:55 PM Re: Piano Staff Notes to put over keys to learn all the notes? [Re: lird]
Sand Tiger Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 990
Loc: Southern California
Some beginner books have a paper overlay. "The Complete Piano Player" Book 1 by Kenneth Baker is one of them. Your local music shop or online book seller may have it.

A person could always make their own out of poster board, and/or use masking tape and a marker. If it is a nice piano, I would be very careful about tape on the piano.
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#1881417 - 04/17/12 08:25 PM Re: Piano Staff Notes to put over keys to learn all the notes? [Re: lird]
John_In_Montreal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/21/11
Posts: 399
Loc: Montreal Canada
Hello, and welcome to the friendliest forums I know of on the net smile

I second Richard's (zrtf90) opinion - forget the cardboard strip for the notes. There are only 12 notes that repeat anyways, and as soon as you have "middle C" firmly located visually and in your mind, you'l have no trouble at all finding and remembering everything else. Trust me, if you practice diligently, consistently and with focus; even just the C scale for learning the keyboard geography; within a few days you'll wonder why you thought you even needed that strip smile

Oh, and a good illustrated theory book will go a long way too! Even better: a teacher!

Happy practicing!

John
_________________________
"My piano is therapy for me" - Rick Wright.
Instrument: Rebuilt Kurzweil K2500XS and a bunch of great vintage virtual keyboards. New Kurzweil PC3X.

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#1881423 - 04/17/12 08:44 PM Re: Piano Staff Notes to put over keys to learn all the notes? [Re: John_In_Montreal]
lird Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/17/12
Posts: 3
Thank you for the warm welcome!

I don't mean the notes, I know those, but where they are on the music staff.

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#1881426 - 04/17/12 08:56 PM Re: Piano Staff Notes to put over keys to learn all the notes? [Re: lird]
LizAnne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/12
Posts: 98
You mean something like this?
http://www.speedymusicreading.com/
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#1881432 - 04/17/12 09:04 PM Re: Piano Staff Notes to put over keys to learn all the notes? [Re: lird]
John_In_Montreal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/21/11
Posts: 399
Loc: Montreal Canada
Head on over to 8Notes interactive music theory lessons Very well put together and explained.

Here's lesson 1 that will show you what you want to know:
The staff and notes and how they relate to the piano keyboard

John
_________________________
"My piano is therapy for me" - Rick Wright.
Instrument: Rebuilt Kurzweil K2500XS and a bunch of great vintage virtual keyboards. New Kurzweil PC3X.

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#1881433 - 04/17/12 09:06 PM Re: Piano Staff Notes to put over keys to learn all the notes? [Re: LizAnne]
lird Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/17/12
Posts: 3
Yeah.. something like that. I am just wondering if there is something like a cardboard piece that fits over the top of the keys that shows all the note positions on the music staff so I can learn to read songs faster etc.


Edited by lird (04/17/12 09:07 PM)

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#1881442 - 04/17/12 09:17 PM Re: Piano Staff Notes to put over keys to learn all the notes? [Re: lird]
MaryAnn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/16/11
Posts: 388
Loc: Japan
If you have an iPhone you can also use an app called PianoTutor that quizzes you on the correspondence between notes on the staff and keys on the piano. It's nice for practice away from the piano.

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#1881452 - 04/17/12 09:42 PM Re: Piano Staff Notes to put over keys to learn all the notes? [Re: lird]
LizAnne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/12
Posts: 98
Oooh, nice site Montreal John. Merci.
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#1881466 - 04/17/12 10:16 PM Re: Piano Staff Notes to put over keys to learn all the notes? [Re: lird]
BeccaBb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/11
Posts: 905
Loc: Thunder Bay, On Canada
Thanks for the tip MaryAnn! I downloaded the music tutor which is free but does the same thing! It's wonderful!
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Began: 01-12-11


Floundering and Lost
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#1881617 - 04/18/12 08:07 AM Re: Piano Staff Notes to put over keys to learn all the notes? [Re: lird]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2310
Loc: Ireland (ex England)

Originally Posted By: lird
...a cardboard piece that fits over the top of the keys that shows all the note positions on the music staff so I can learn to read songs faster etc.


When you look at the written staff you don't translate the dot to the note name and then find that note name on the piano - though you might if you use that keyboard strip thing. What you do, in practise, is see the dot on the staff and know what key that is on the piano, regardless of its name. You don't need it's name - that will just slow down the translation.

When you put your right hand in the 'C' position, right thumb on middle C, pinky on G, you'll feel a gap between E and F where there's no black key. This will establish in your head what notes are under your fingers and you'll learn to find them from the printed score regardless of note names.

Note names slow you down. Our sense of touch is also faster than our sense of sight. This is why good sight readers don't look down at the keyboard. Learning to sight read involves speeding up the time it takes to know where your hand is by the feel of the keys. You only need to look down for leaps beyond an octave.

Play in the C position 10 minutes a day for a few days and you'll soon find your feet, er, fingers, and then expand outwards as the music dictates.

You won't need note names until you start TALKING about music.
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Richard

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#1881637 - 04/18/12 08:48 AM Re: Piano Staff Notes to put over keys to learn all the notes? [Re: zrtf90]
Legal Beagle Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/24/09
Posts: 776
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
What you do, in practise, is see the dot on the staff and know what key that is on the piano, regardless of its name. You don't need it's name - that will just slow down the translation.


Originally Posted By: lird
I don't mean the notes, I know those, but where they are on the music staff.


zrtf90, not to nitpick, as I agree with all you've said, but I think you're missing it... as I understand it OP doesn't want the note names. He (she?) wants a little picture of the note on the staff, so in that way would be learning what you propose... directly from notation to key.
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#1881651 - 04/18/12 09:41 AM Re: Piano Staff Notes to put over keys to learn all the notes? [Re: lird]
Your Uncle Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/07/11
Posts: 15
Loc: Minneapolis, MN, USA
I have one called "the Hal Leonard Keyboard guide"...it has a staff that runs 4 octaves with the note positions, and note names. It was purchased at a local music shop...I would think it would be quite easy to make your own. However, I never did use it because I found that the time taken to figure out the notes was incentive to learn them faster, if that makes sense?

Bob


Edited by Your Uncle (04/18/12 09:42 AM)

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#1881656 - 04/18/12 09:44 AM Re: Piano Staff Notes to put over keys to learn all the notes? [Re: lird]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2310
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Point taken, Legal Beagle. Good spot!

Still, to the OP, the idea is to see the note on the staff and feel where it is on the keyboard not look down at a graphic over the key to show you where the note is.
_________________________
Richard

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#1881695 - 04/18/12 11:13 AM Re: Piano Staff Notes to put over keys to learn all the notes? [Re: lird]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11558
Loc: Canada
I used to think that having anything on the keyboard was "cheating" and would stop you from learning what key belongs to which note. But then I learned of an approach that does use a keyboard chart as part of an approach, and had a reason for it. (Note the "part" part :D). The challenge is that we want to associate three things: note on page, note on keyboard, the note (which also has a name). So if seeing "A" over the key while you're playing A will get you to associate that key with the notated A, then you have created that link. However, the chart model I'm thinking of also shows the note as notation on a staff while sitting on the keyboard.

zrtf90: re: the "C position" idea
This can create problems, because you risk associating a finger with a key. I.e. RH C = 1 (thumb), D = 2, E = 3 etc., together with the feeling of the thumb being on the left of the two black keys, index finger in the middle etc. In real music we play any note with any finger. Teachers getting students who worked via "positions" have a major problem breaking a dependency on fingers = keys. Yes, it's good to associate "D is the valley between the two black keys" and maybe feel that. But not "D is the valley that I feel with my index finger".

2. There are other things additionally. One is to "map" the keys. The piano has 2 + 3 black keys. D is the easiest to find because it is the white note between two black keys. GA are two notes in side the 3 black keys. You can find them all over the keyboard. Then C,E are on either side of the D. F,B are on either side of the GA. It's a good exercise to do if you don't already have the notes.

Then you can also say "D" when you see it in notation - you'll be picturing the note between the two blacks, and again you are building an association and linking these.

3. Intervals. You see two notes on adjacent lines and know they are a "third" apart, and "third means one key is skipped - say DF. Or you move from one to the other. Recognizing an interval by sight and association it with intervals on the keyboard is another reading strategy.

4. Chords: On the piano you can learn to play all the major chords by color pattern - In root position, the triads that go white-black-white are A, D, E (AC#E). black-white-black are Eb, Db, Ab. This is a piano key mapping too. Meanwhile in written music these triads in closed position look like snowmen - three notes stacked all in spaces or all on lines. If you can recognize the C snowman as "C major chord", and you associate it as the three white keys, then it can go automatically from the score to the piano and as a feel in your hand and your ear.

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#1881814 - 04/18/12 03:36 PM Re: Piano Staff Notes to put over keys to learn all the notes? [Re: lird]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2310
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Thank you, keystring, for pointing out the dangers of spending too long playing in the C position. A few days is enough to start finding keys by feel.

I have a book (on guitar) that shows how music is written and finding the notes on the piano.
It covers the grand staff from the first ledger line below the bass clef to the first ledger line above the treble clef. All the notes are named and are connected via dotted lines to a diagram of the piano keyboard above. The diagram would fit on a postcard and, left on the music stand, would be more than enough for the purpose.

Here's a slightly smaller version:

http://www.teach-me-piano.com/piano-notes-chart.html


With a chart placed just above the keys there's a danger the student won't learn the keyboard by feel.

Saying the note names as you play them is a good idea, singing them at pitch is a better one. Repeating same away from the piano is better still.
_________________________
Richard

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#1884002 - 04/21/12 10:48 PM Re: Piano Staff Notes to put over keys to learn all the notes? [Re: lird]
Bluoh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 421
Loc: Canada
It's like a crutch that you're relying on. Learn the keys and forget the cardboard!

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#2049956 - 03/17/13 10:00 PM Re: Piano Staff Notes to put over keys to learn all the notes? [Re: John_In_Montreal]
Bruce B Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 10
Loc: Florida, USA
Many thanks for the link to the 8note interactive music theory lessons-I have recently began my introductory piano lessons and I am finding this a wonderful tool with complete demonstrations. Looking forward to keep advancing.

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#2050724 - 03/19/13 09:54 AM Re: Piano Staff Notes to put over keys to learn all the notes? [Re: lird]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
if you go to a music store they will sell them for a couple of dollars that will fit on a piano

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#2050726 - 03/19/13 10:01 AM Re: Piano Staff Notes to put over keys to learn all the notes? [Re: lird]
LarryShone Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 770
Loc: Darlington, UK
What you could do is print off a treble clef with a note on each line and its key letter next to it. Print it out large and put it up on the wall above where you play. Everytime you sit to play you see it. After a while it should become permanently in your head.
I would try this but I lack a printer!
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#2050728 - 03/19/13 10:03 AM Re: Piano Staff Notes to put over keys to learn all the notes? [Re: lird]
Dulcetta Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/11
Posts: 75
Loc: U.K.
I realise the Original Post is old, but I recommend the IMP Keyboard Indicator.
Only a couple of pounds and I am finding it very helpful as a learning tool.
I only put it in place for one practice session and use it as a note recognition learning tool.
I play 5 octave scales, hands separately, saying the notes as I go and keeping my eyes open, focused mainly on the notation , but with keys in peripheral vision.
I am also playing notes from one end of the keyboard to another at octave intervals, visualizing with eyes closed and then quickly checking on the indicator.

I would not keep it on during play, other than for this specific exercise, so it is a learning notation and actual location of note tool, not a crutch.
I am finding it much more useful than an app, as I am not naming the note, then figuring out where it is on the keyboard, but directly learning where a note on the stave is on the piano, the feel and the real location and distance from the centre.


Edited by Dulcetta (03/19/13 10:04 AM)
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