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Learning Piano Song Notes

How long does it take to learn piano song notes?

I'm 16 and I want to teach myself how to play the piano, I used to have lessons when I was younger but I quit them because my parents couldn't afford it anymore.

I remember the basic stuff and I've picked up a few other things about music on the internet. I was just wondering how long do you think it'll take me to fully learn piano music notes - like know which note is where on the piano and stuff.


Dear Eloise,

Thanks for your question.

I have taught many kids and adults piano, and the time it can take to 'learn' can range from a few weeks to a few months or longer. It depends on how much time you dedicate to learning them and how quickly you can pick these concepts up.

I think that knowing the piano key notes (ie letter names of the keys) on the piano themselves is quite straightforward. What takes longer is being able to music notation (ie the music 'symbols') and then knowing instantly what key to play on the piano. This is what takes time, and I think it's unlikely that you can do this in just a few weeks, especially if you are trying to learn yourself and don't have a teacher there to guide you.

You don't have to know how to read music though; you could try and learn a song for the piano by ear. If you can memorise things easily you could effectively be able to play a few easy piano songs, and it is not out of the question that you could master this in a few weeks. But even with this, I think there will be a limit to what you can 'learn' in terms of piano song notes, in such a short period of time.

I think realistically, if you could buy yourself a piano tutorial book that you can use as a guide and reference this will help you learn in a structured and progressive way. And if you try and allocate at least 30 minutes each day to practicing what you learn, I can almost guarantee that you will progress. It won't be an overnight thing (or really in just a few weeks either) but in a few months you will see yourself becoming more and more confident in knowing, reading and playing piano song notes and your favourite songs for the piano.

Best of luck!

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