You’re going to hear a lot about middle C (also called C4), so it’s important to know how to find it. The area around middle C will be the starting point for many piano songs, and it’s also a general border between keys played with the left hand, and keys played with the right hand.
Find Middle C on the Piano
To find middle C on your keyboard, position yourself at the center of the piano. The middle C will be the closest C to the middle of the keyboard.
Try It: Locate and play the middle C on your keyboard (check your location here); take note of how many black key groups precede it to help you remember.
Finding Middle C on an Electric Keyboard
You can easily locate middle C by counting the C’s on your keyboard. Start from the left-hand side, and use the following guidelines based on your keyboard size.
Some keyboards have fewer than 88 keys; here is how to find them on all sizes:
- 88-key – Middle C is the fourth C you count.
- 76-key – Is the third C.
- 61-key – Is the third C.
- 49-key – Is the third C.
Tip: If you’re unsure about the size of your keyboard, you can simply count, just be sure to also count the black keys.
You can also find your keyboard’s size by counting the total amount of C’s:
- 88-key – You will count eight C’s (including the very last key on the board).
- 76-key – Has six C’s.
- 61-key – Has six C’s (including the very last key).
- 49-key – Has five C’s (including the very last key).
- Consult the Illustrated Middle C Guides for a visual example of C4 on each of the above keyboard sizes.