How to Use Your Keyboard as a Piano?

Piano Keyboard Guide

If you are really into music, particularly the piano, you might be wondering about how to work your computer into the mix. After all, computers and technology in general are big parts of today’s world.

Maybe you are looking to create an EDM song; maybe you are writing a new song; or maybe you don’t have access to a piano right at this moment.

Well, did you know that you can use your keyboard as a piano? Here we are talking about the keyboard on your computer, not an electronic musical keyboard. Let’s discuss how to use your keyboard as a piano.

Getting the Right Keyboard

The first to using a computer keyboard as a piano is to get the right keyboard. One issue which you will run into if you do not have the right keyboard is key placement. Very small and compact keyboards, such as travel or laptop keyboards, are going to be too small.

If your hands are facing inwards from the wrist, your hands are very close together, and you have to strain your fingers to hit those small keys, you’ll likely be facing some difficulties as well as discomfort.

Therefore, get a large keyboard with an ergonomic design, one that splits the keys down the middle, so your hands won’t be cramped together and facing an odd angle. Computer keyboard keys are already smaller than piano keys, so going for a keyboard with large and well-spaced keys is essential for this process.

On a side note, if you don’t want to have to worry about your computer keyboard dying in the middle of a song, go for a wired keyboard, not a wireless one, so you don’t have to worry about battery life.

Using the Right Software

The next thing you will need in order to play the piano using your computer keyboard is the right software. This type of software is generally known as virtual piano software.

There are plenty of options including those that are free with limited functions, as well as professional and costly programs that come loaded to the brim with features.

If your aim is to learn how to play the piano, but just with your keyboard, it is recommended to get a piece of computer-piano software that comes with educational and training features.

Simply hammering on your keyboard and making noise is not going to help you learn! Whatever the case, you will need a piece of computer-piano software that can recognize your keyboard and turn the strokes of the keys into musical notes.

Learning Notes and Key Placement

Another important aspect of using your computer keyboard as a piano has to do with which keys on your computer coincide with which notes and keys on the actual piano.

Most virtual piano software already has the keys organized in the best possible way. Generally speaking, the top row of letters on the keyboard will symbolize the white keys on the piano, with the numbers on the computer keyboard representing the black keys.

This seems to be the easiest way to go about it, especially in terms of comfortable hand placement which most accurately and closely resembles the hand placement you would use on a real piano.

That said, most computer-piano software will let you customize the keyboard-note layout any way which you see fit. This way, you can assign each key on the keyboard with a specific piano note. You can organize it in a way that is easiest for you to remember and the most comfortable for your hands as well.

Why Use Your Computer as a Piano?

With all of that being said, why exactly would you choose to use your computer and computer keyboard as a piano in the first place?

Maybe you are taking piano lessons and need to practice daily, but for one reason or another, you don’t have a piano at home. A computer keyboard is not a great substitute for a piano, but it’s better than nothing and it will work in a pinch.

A real piano is not going to give you the option to quiet it down or to play using headphones. Maybe you have kids you don’t want to wake or neighbors you don’t want to disturb. With a computer, you can still practice the piano, but with headphones to keep things quiet.

The cool part about using a computer to play piano is that most software is very versatile. You can easily alter all of the aspects of your playing and learn much easier too. You can customize your keyboard, you can change sounds, and you will most likely have access to training and educational programs. It’s almost like having your own personal tutor.


Using a computer and a computer keyboard may not be the best way to learn and play piano, but it’s better than nothing at all and definitely possible.

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