Best Way to Learn to Read Music for Piano

Piano Keyboard Guide

Learning to read sheet music for piano is not the hardest thing in the world, but it does take practice and dedication. Unless you are a musical prodigy, this is not something you will learn overnight.

Moreover, everybody is different, and you might find it easier to learn to read music using one method rather than another. The best way to learn to read music for piano is going to differ from person to person. Let’s go over some of the fastest and easiest ways to learn to read music.

Labeling Piano Notes on the Staff

Most people agree that one of the easiest ways to learn to read piano music is to simply label the treble clef and the bass clef with the corresponding notes. People are often visual learners, and there is no better way to learn than by doing. Being able to see the notes on the staff and then playing them at the same time seems to work very well for people.

Start with the treble clef and start from the bottom. Label the spaces in between the lines of the treble clef with FACE from the bottom up. Now, move onto labeling the lines. Label the lines with EGBDF from the bottom up.

Now you want to do the same thing for the bass clef. Start with the spaces and move from the bottom up, labeling them ACEGB. Then move onto the lines of the bass clef with GBDFA.

This should help you remember which notes on the sheet music correspond with which letter notes. You will have to know where the notes on the piano are, but key placement should be fairly easy to learn. Remember that you don’t want to get too accustomed to reading the letter notes as opposed to the actual notes on the staff, but it is a great way to get started.

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Labeling Fingers

Another one of the best ways to learn to read sheet music for the piano is to label your fingers with numbers. Above, you used mnemonic devices to label the sheet music and to remember the notes. If this does not work for you, then labeling the notes on the staff with numbers is the next best way to go about it.

Take your sheet music and identify the notes. Once you have done this, identify which note or key is played by which finger. For instance, the middle C, which is the middle space on the treble clef, would be labeled as 1. You then want to label your left thumb as 1 as well. Therefore, the middle C on the treble clef coincides with your left thumb.

Keep on labeling the notes on the staff, as well as your fingers; in this way, until you have labeled all 5 fingers. This is an easy way to familiarize yourself with the different notes featured on sheet music, as well as which fingers are supposed to play which notes. When doing this, it is a good idea to start with a song that has 5 notes or less.

Eventually, after lots of practice, you can then remove the number labeling, as you should now be able to remember the actual notes.


The fact of the matter is that learning to read music on your own can be a real challenge, especially if you are having issues, but have nobody to ask. The above methods are great ways to teach yourself how to read music for piano, but the point here is that you do not have to learn on your own.

It is always easier to learn something when you have a qualified instructor at your side. Even if you don’t want to pay for an instructor, there are plenty of online tutorials on this subject. There are lots of written tutorials as well as video tutorials.

If you are better at following somebody else’s instructions, rather than learning on your own, then the best way to learn to read music for piano for you might be to have somebody teach it to you.

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As you can see, there are various methods of learning to read music for the piano. If you are patient and you take your time, it should take no longer than a couple of weeks for you to master reading sheet music for piano.

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