Using the Keys and Pedals of a Piano


When you look at a piano, one of the most obvious and iconic parts of the instrument are its big set of piano keys. There 88 of these keys on a traditional full piano. 52 of those keys are white and 36 of those keys are black. The white and black keys alternate up and down the board except for the white keys that are side by side for E and F and then B and C. The white keys play the following notes starting at C: C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. The black note are half steps of all those notes and are set farther back than the white keys and raised up slightly.

If you look below the keys and towards the ground, you will see a serious of pedals. There are typically three of them. These pedals are great to incorporate into your piano playing once you’re ready. The most used pedal is the one on the far right also known as the sustain pedal. This allows notes to be sustained after they are play instead of being immediately dampened. This pedal is used early on in piano learning.

The middle pedal is called the sostenuto pedal. It is similar to the sustain pedal but sustains more specific notes. This pedal is great for playing staccato melodies over chords or bass notes. The final medal on the far left is known as the una corda pedal, or soft pedal. This pedal gives a softer sound to the notes played.