How To Label Piano Keys

Written by: Leslie Carmichael

Labeling the notes on your piano or keyboard keys can help you learn to play piano more quickly and easily. In addition, seeing the note names and the music note on the staff each time you press the keys will help you memorize the notes and shorten the time it takes to make those associations between the key you press and the note on the staff.

But labeling the keys only helps if you label them correctly. If you label them wrong, you’ll need to relearn all of the notes on the piano. So in this article, we’ll teach you how to label your piano keys so you can get playing faster. 

Also Read: Best Keyboard Pianos That Teach You How To Play

What You Will Need to Label Your Piano Keys 

  • Cloth for cleaning the keys 
  • Cleaner 
  • Cloth for drying the keys 
  • Piano key labels
  • Piano or keyboard 
  • Ruler (if your keyboard has smaller than standard keys)

Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Label Your Keyboard or Piano Keys

  1. Determine the size of your piano or keyboard.

    In order to choose the right piano keyboard stickers, you will need to know how big or small your piano or keyboard is. If you have a standard piano, it will have 88 keys. Some keyboards will also have 88 keys, but some will have fewer keys. Count the number of keys so that you know how many you have so you can choose a set of labels that has enough to cover all of your keys.

    You also need to know if you have standard-sized keys or extra-small keys. All acoustic pianos will have standard-sized keys. Most keyboards will also have standard-sized keys. However, smaller keyboards may have mini-keys. Not all keyboard stickers will fit on mini-keys, so you may want to measure the keys with a ruler so you can check and see if the stickers will fit. You can check the size of your mini-keys against the size of the piano label listed in the kit.

    You’ll also need to decide if you want to put stickers on every key or just on a couple of octaves in the middle of the piano or keyboard.

  2. Choose your piano or keyboard stickers.

    There are all kinds of piano and keyboard labels to choose from. I prefer color-coded labels that include the matching note on the piano staff. Additionally, they should be easy to apply and easy to remove without leaving a residue behind. Finally, look for labels that are made of clear vinyl so that they are durable, repositionable, and won’t interfere with your playing technique. You can find out more here if you need help choosing the right stickers for your keyboard or piano.

  3. Clean and dry your piano or keyboard keys.

    The next step is to clean and dry your piano keys. This needs to be done very carefully, so you don’t cause any damage to the piano or keyboard. Never pour cleaner right onto your piano or keyboard! It can cause the keyboard to short out or start a fire.

    Instead, spray a little bit of cleaner onto a damp cloth and use that to wipe each key, one at a time. For a cleaner, you can use a little bit of dish soap in warm water or a little bit of furniture polish on your rag.

    Wipe the keys firmly but gently to remove dust, dirt, oil from your hands and anything else that might be on there.

    After you have cleaned the keys, you’ll want to dry them thoroughly with a clean cloth. Moisture will prevent the labels from adhering correctly.

    If you need more help on how to clean your piano or keyboard keys, you can find out more here. If you have broken keys, you’ll want to fix them before applying the keyboard labels.

  4. Apply the keyboard stickers to the keys.

    The hardest part of this process is applying the stickers to the keys. First, find the guide that is included with your set of piano keyboard labels. In the guide, look for the number of keys that matches your particular piano or keyboard.

    The guide will have a diagram that shows you which key to start with. You’ll probably begin applying your keyboard stickers from the left-hand side of the keyboard and working towards the right-hand side.

    If you are using a standard piano, the first note on the left will be an A. If you are using a set of 88 keys, then you will just have to apply the labels in order. Put the first A on the first A key of the piano, then apply the B sticker to the B keys, and so forth, continuing on in alphabetical order. These are the white key notes.

    If you have black key stickers, you will place them on the coordinating black note. For example, the black key next to the first A key will have a sticker that says A# and Bb.

    If you need help figuring out which keys are which, you can find out more here.

    When you apply the label, you will want to make sure that the keys are clean and dry. In most cases, you will apply the label onto the key at the widest part. However, some smaller stickers are designed to be applied higher on the key, in between the white and black notes.

    Remove the label from the sheet and apply it carefully so that you can easily read it. Use your finger or the supplied stick to gently smooth out any bubbles. The label should feel very smooth to the touch so that it doesn’t interfere with your playing. If the label doesn’t feel right, gently remove and reapply it. Some label kits will come with extras in case you make a mistake. Continue the process until all of the labels have been applied to your keys. 

Final Thoughts on Applying Labels to Your Piano or Keyboard 

Applying the labels to your piano or keyboard is a simple process; all you need is your keyboard, cleaning supplies, and of course, your labels. But, of course, choosing high-quality labels is the most important step. 

You’ll need to:

  • Determine the size of your keyboard or piano 
  • Choose your labels 
  • Clean and dry your piano and keyboard 
  • And finally, apply your labels to the keys 

Do you have any tips for applying keyboard labels or stickers to your piano keyboard? Leave your great ideas in the comments below! We’d love to hear how you made keyboard labels work for you. 

Written By:
If anyone knows a thing or two about pianos, it's Leslie. Having played piano for the past 25 years and teaching for the past 15 years, she has vast experience compared to most. She loves to share her honest opinions about the brands and manufacturers in the industry. In her free time, Leslie loves to play with her dogs and go on hikes.

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