Many beginning books begin with the groups of 2 black notes and 3 black notes. It is important to spend enough time on these exercises to to truly be able to find all of the letters in relationship to the black notes and not by counting up from middle C. Many students practice for years but still cannot read music or play well because they do not have a visualization of the white notes as they relate to the black notes surrounding them. As mundane and boring as it is to practice the letters by feeling the black notes around them it is a critical step to the ability to play without looking at the hands.
The first step after feeling and playing on the black notes, is the location of all of the keys by their relationship to the black notes and not in diatonic order. Memorize the letters in this fashion:
Play each of the following notes up, down & around the keyboard by feeling the black notes and not looking at the keyboard.
- “C” is located to the left of the 2 black notes.
- “F” is located to the left of the 3 black notes.
- “E” is located to the right of the 2 black notes.
- “B” is located to the right of the 3 black notes.
- “G” is located between the between the left black note and middle black note of the 3 black notes.
- “A” is located between the middle black note and right black note of the 3 black notes.
- “D” is located between the 2 black notes.
Music is a form of math. If a simple basic step like addition is not mastered, the student will always struggle with more advanced concepts.