Piano Theory for Beginners

Would you like to learn more about piano theory?

Here you will find lots of free lessons in basic music theory for beginners to more advanced piano players. 


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Why Piano Theory?

The piano keyboard is a great tool to use when learning basic music theory.

  • Music theory is the knowledge about how music is constructed.
  • Piano theory is music theory learned while referring to a piano keyboard.

Because of the layout of the piano keys, the different patterns of notes, scales, chords and intervals are a lot easier to actually see, compared to other instruments.

Learning about the basics of piano theory will not only help you understand written music better, but also to learn and appreciate how music is created.

Piano Theory LessonsLearning Music Theory Will Deepen Your Understanding of Music.

Piano Theory Lessons for Beginners

Tip: Make sure to print out some of my free printable staff paper before you begin! (PDF opens in a new window).

Sharpen your pencil, and practice to write the notes, clefs etc. as you learn about them. This will make everything you learn easier to remember.

Let's get started! Click on the links below that you're interested in learning more about, to go to each of the free piano theory lessons:

Piano Theory Lessons

How to Read Piano Notes

In this beginner lesson you'll learn the basic stuff of piano theory, like note names, the staff, note values etc.

Note Values and Rests

Here you'll learn more about different note values (or Duration) and rests, the names of the different note values and how to count.

The Music Scale

What is it that gives a musical scale its special "sound color"? This introduction to scales will take a look at what scales are made from and some of the types that can be found in different parts of the world.

Music Scales

Find out how to combine the notes to create different scales; major scales, minor scales, blues, modal and more!

Music Intervals

Intervals are the distances between notes. Learning how to identify intervals, helps you to quickly read notes, among other things!

The Circle of Fifths

If you want to know how all the notes are connected, here is a super tool for understanding key signatures, relationships between chords and more! The Circle of Fifths ties it all together and was invented by Pythagoras in the 6th Century B.C!

This is Music Theory...

  • Learning about how music notes are written in a score.
  • To learn musical symbols and all those little markings in sheet music.
  • Learning the construction of chords and scales.
  • Deepen the understanding of the elements or building blocks of music.
  • Getting some basic tools to get started to actually write a song or compose your own music.
  • Knowing more about the theory of music is a real help for any musician, beginner or not.

Thought learning theory is for nerds and geeks and cramps your style? Here are the top 10 myths about learning the theory of music!

The Key Signature

All those symbols in the beginning of a staff, what are they? The sharps # or flats b, clustered in the first measure are called the Key Signature. Learn more here.

Printable Staff Paper

Print your favorite. 8 or 10 staff, wide staff or grand staff paper as PDF's. No logos and such, just clean music manuscript paper!

Piano Keyboard Diagram

Get a helpful tool for beginner pianists. Print out a piano keyboard (PDF), with or without note names. Use for keyboard orientation, games etc.

Piano Keyboard Layout

Why are the keys in the order they are, and why are they in the particular layout pattern of black and white keys? Read more here.

Printable Key Notes and Basic Chord Finder

This is a handy-dandy tool for beginner pianists. You can print out this free PDF, fold it and place behind the piano keys, to learn and remember the note names on the keys. On the back you will also find a simple chart to help you find and play the most basic chords on the piano.

Questions About Music Theory?

Read Visitors Questions and Answers Here:

Basic Music Theory Questions

More Basic Music Theory Lessons

It may seem like music theory is really difficult... But understanding how music is built is actually both logic and simple, if you only know where to begin!

Music theory is the study of how music works. It's learning more about the different building blocks that makes up music.

In the lessons and articles below you can dig deeper with even more free piano theory lessons. Many are starting from scratch for the complete beginner. The focus in the lessons is on making the knowledge of music and music theory as accessible and simple to understand as possible.

Music Theory for Beginners

Composition for Beginners

Why not try your hand at simple composition?

If you know the basics of writing notes, you can begin to experiment with creating your own musical compositions. Try it out with these lessons:

The Weird Zone....

Are you up for some adventure?

When digging deeper into music theory you may discover some interesting and mysterious things...! 

Check it out here: 8 Musical Mysteries and Phenomena.

Here I have dug up some fascinating facts about musical compositions and sound creation. I love it! I hope you'll get some inspiration too!

Recommended Piano Theory Resources for Adults