When I was younger, I thought that if I was practicing a song that had no sharps or flats, that would be totally awesome because then that means, I only have to concentrate on white keys which is fine! Because that for a young kid was EASY.

However, it’s time to move on from easy and move on with using the black keys.

If you find yourself avoiding the black keys on the piano, I hope this post will help solve your issues. You see, I was scared of them until someone told me one simple trick to memorizing them on the piano. Here’s the trick…

Take any white key. Lets take A. You have two black keys surrounding this A.

The one to the left is A(flat) and the one to the right is A(sharp).
Yes, that applies to any note, even the awkward ones like E and B which are not surrounded by black keys on both sides. Instead, B and E have a white key on the right side. What does this mean?

That white key is their sharp!

That’s right, not all sharps and flats are black keys.

So in this post, I talk about half-step versus the whole step. Here, I am telling you about sharps and flats on the piano. However, did you know that there’s such thing as a double sharp or a double flat? (We will go into how this is notated on the music sheet in another post.)

So let’s say you encountered a double sharp or a double flat. How do you think this mechanic works?

Well it’s simple. Let’s go back to my A key example.

If the black key to the right of A is A(sharp), an A(double sharp) would be an additional half step which is B. So you start from A – A(sharp) – B(or A double sharp).

You can use the same rules for double flats.

If you start on A, go to the black key on your left, and then take an additional half step down, you end up at G.

Black keys are not to be avoided. They have sounds that give more emotions to your music that you would have a hard time accomplishing on just white keys alone – this is not to say that you can’t play a song full of emotion on white keys, it’d just be harder.

Notes On The Black Keys Of The Piano