Simple trick - using piano keyboard for FEEL THE NUMBERS to identify notes by sound

After 4+ months of doing the SING THE NUMBERS exercises, I tried inverting it all and trying to identify which tonal note I’m hearing just from the sound of the note. I am no good at this at all, so I need lots of practice. Starting with the simple practice of identifying one tonal note.

As I was thinking about how to make quick exercises for myself, I remembered a piano exercise I had done years ago. So let me share that with the rest of you who have a piano or a keyboard.

  1. Play a C below middle C with the left hand
  2. Take a pencil that has an eraser on the end with your right hand
  3. Close your eyes
  4. Play a random white key with the eraser end of the pencil
  5. Feel the sound of that note for a moment
  6. Say the name of the note you sounded with the right hand
  7. Open your eyes and see if you’re correct

You do the hoopla with using a pencil and closed eyes so you can’t easily use other visual or tactile clues to cheat about naming the note. It works best of you hold the pencil in some sort of contorted way so that your right hand can’t tell where you are on the keyboard.

But wait, you say. That only lets me do the key of C. What about the other 11 keys? The easiest solution to that is to own a keyboard that has a transpose button, and you transpose the whole keyboard up a half step, but still use the white keys.

Also, most keyboards let you change from piano sound to other sounds like guitar or vibes etc, so you can change the timbre occasionally to keep the sounds interesting.


nice one! Easy on guitar too. Just play a random note with your eyes closed. There a lot less tactical clues so you can probably do without a pencil :slight_smile:

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