Familiarize yourself with the layout of the keyboard. There are 88 keys on a standard piano, spanning a little over seven musical octaves. The lowest note on a piano, played on the far left side in the bass clef,is A. The highest note on a piano is C. Starting from the left, playing only white keys, the notes are A-B-C-D-E-F-G. These notes repeat over and over, all the way up. The black keys on the piano have the same names as the white keys, exceptthey are sharp or flat. The black key after a C is C sharp or D flat,depending upon whether you move up to the note or back to the note.
Familiarize yourself with how these notes are labeled. This is the foundation to understanding piano tablature. The first note (A) on the keyboard is A0. The zero denotes this is the beginning of the piano keyboard, with nooctave having been reached. Play the lowest A through G and all of the notes will be followed by a zero. Starting at the A an octave above the first (eight notes higher) and the number one follows, indicating youre playingin the first octave range. Middle C on the keyboard is C4, meaning the note C in the fourth octave. The highest C on the keyboard isC8, meaning C in the eighth ctave.
Choose a piece of piano musicwritten in piano tab format. Locatelowercase letters. The lower caseletters tell you to play the white keyson the piano. Find all the uppercaseletters. These are played as sharpsor flat. Combine these letter nameswith the octave numbers and youwill know what note to play and inwhich position (octave) to play it onthe keyboard. Example: c4-d4-e4-f4-g4-a4-b4-c5. The above example is pianotab for the C major scale in thefourth octave (the middle C octave).The last C has a five after it becausethis begins the fifth octave.
Read stacked notes as chords. Inpiano tab, the chords are often simplywritten in uppercase above the pianotab, but in some instances they arenotated in the piano tab itself. Pianotab notes written one above the othertells you to play the notes together, asa chord. Notes written consecutivelyindicate the notes are played oneafter the other. Example: d4-F4-a4The above example contains thenotes of the D major chord. The F iscapitalized to indicate it is F sharp.The other two notes are natural notes.If these notes were stacked, youdplay them together. Written as theyare in the above example, you playthem consecutively.