How to Read Piano Sheet Music: Step by Step Instructions

Do you want to know how to read piano sheet music? Nowadays, with extensive research and improved technological devices, reading piano notes has been simplified. You can quickly learn how to read music unlike in the olden days when there were no facilities and well-defined parameters to teach and explain musical symbols. Even you can have online piano classes just with a click on your smartphones or computer devices. 

A piano sheet music is a guide or record used by a piano player or an instrumental performer in playing or performing musical tunes using a keyboard. There are various steps to follow, and without hassles, you will begin to decode and read piano musical notes. Here are the best and proven methods:

6 Methods to Read Piano Sheet Music for Beginners

Understanding the Basics of a Piano Music Sheet

Understanding the Basics of a Piano Music Sheet

Understanding the elementary aspects of a piano sheet music is very crucial if you want to excel and master the keyboard without much trouble. You may ask, what are the basics of a piano sheet music? Some of the basics include the staff, which is merely the organization of five parallel lines and the white spaces between them. The horizontal lines, you find on sheet music are the staff, and it is the basis of all musical notations and codes, and in fact, the beginning of whatever you have to learn about playing a keyboard.

Other essential features on the sheet are the clefs, which are the treble clefs and bass clefs. The treble clef is the symbol you will find on the extreme of the left side of the staff, and it denotes the range you will play the keyboard. You will use the treble clef if you want to play higher tunes, which means higher ranges. For example, if you're going to play musical themes with a violin or saxophone, and even a flute, you can use the treble clef, and it is also known as the G clef.

 Moreover, the bass clef is regarded as the F clef, and you will use your left hand in playing the bass clef, but it is meant for lower keys or ranges. The bass clef can be used for performing the bassoon, trombone, bass guitar, tuba or cello, and any other instrument with low registers or pitch.  There are two dots on the clef, which you can find above and below the F line on the staff. It is good to note here that the staff of the bass clef signifies various notes unlike that of the treble clef. 

Identify and Classify the White Spaces on the Treble Clefs

Just look at the treble clefs, which are the keys you will use in recognizing the pitch of written musical notes. Can you identify the white or bright spaces? If you can distinguish those white spaces, then label them with these letters F-A-C-E. After this, you can mark the treble clefs with E-G-B-D-F. By tagging them this way, you will be able to know the notes you can play using your right hand on the staff. 

Meanwhile, if you are a beginner, it is advisable that you learn the names of the alphabets used as notations for the spaces and lines accordingly. Remember that beginning from the bottom of the page and the initial space there; you must mark your staff paper with the letters F-A-C-E, and then proceed upwards. Additionally, you will begin from the bottom of the line and write notes E-G-B-D-F upwards. This will help you to identify and recognize the letters and quickly place your fingers well on them as the case may be. You can promptly remember this mnemonic with this statement “Every Good Boy Does Fine.”

Mark the Musical Notes with a Pencil

Mark the Musical Notes with a Pencil


Choose any piece of music you want to learn and mark the musical notes in the treble clef on your right hand with a pencil.  You write and label them with the letters in a way that you can quickly erase them anytime if you want. As a beginner, this pattern will help you in learning the notes efficiently, but you can adopt it as a rule until you have gain mastery of the keyboard. Focus on the white (silvery) spaces for now and don’t bother about the black keys on the piano. However, if there is any letter you find difficulty in remembering, continue writing it (repeatedly) until it becomes familiar to you.

Learn the Letters by Heart  

Remember that the symbols on the treble clef will be played with the right hand but you have to learn the letters by heart. That means you should memorize the keys on the lines and even the spaces in a way that your right hand can easily press them without difficulty. After you have mastered the treble clefs, then you can proceed on to the bass clefs, which you play with your left hand accordingly. Also, you can even remember these musical notations by using an on-line note recognition tool.

Start on the F Line and Draw the Bass Clef

Start on the F Line and Draw the Bass Clef

Now, you will know how to draw the bass clef by starting on the F line. With this approach, you can begin on the spaces at the bottom of the page and label them with letters A-C-E-G-B. Another way to always remember these notations is by using mnemonics or a description like “All Cows Eat Grass,” and add letter ‘B’ on top, as this can help you to recollect the letters quickly. After this, label the lines from the bottom of the page by marking them with letters G-B-D-F-A. You can easily remember this acronym with these words “Good Boys Don’t Fight Always.”

Make a Hand Diagram and Mark Each Finger Accordingly

Make a diagram of your right and left hands on a paper and label them with numbers from 1 to 5. Begin from your thumb and mark them downwards. Repeat the same pattern with your left hand and begin to practice with some easy songs. You can start with “Jingle Bells,” “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” “Let it Go,” “Hot Cross Buns,” and many others.

Moreover, you can download and print out your music flash cards or other free keyboard apps that can help you in learning how to play a keyboard in simple steps.   

Other Things to Learn About Piano Sheet Music

Reading a piano sheet music is usually a difficult thing to do because of the different tunes you have to learn and play at the same time. These melodies are interconnected, and you must decode the notations to perform it successfully.

Now, you should know that sheet music is read from left to right signifying the horizontal progression of musical notations. For instance, if many voices were singing at the same time, the possibility of harmonizing the sounds to match the tunes of the piano became a challenge that led to the evolvement of polyphony and vertical harmony in the ninth century. This concern led to the development of other musical instruments such as the harpsichord and organ.

Moreover, every musical student must learn about the mental flip strategy for reading music notations, which entails that you turn the sheet music in a way you will be reading it the symbols down the page. With this approach, you can quickly know how the symbols and music notes are spaced from each other. Furthermore, you will be able to see where you will place your fingers while playing the piano as the case may be.

Learn a Piano Music Sheet and Play the Keyboard Successfully

Learn a Piano Music Sheet and Play the Keyboard Successfully

Now, if you have carefully studied this article, you will understand the basics of the piano music sheet and even identify and classify the white spaces on the treble clef. You can use letters of the alphabet such as E-G-B-D-F to label them, and this will help you to mark the music notes with a pencil and learn the letters by heart. More so, you can draw the bass clefs by starting on the F line and tagging them with letters A-C-E-G-B. Don’t forget to use mnemonics in remembering the keys or you can use an on-line note recognition tool. With these methods, you can understand how to read piano sheet music and be able to handle a keyboard with ease.

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