Article cover. Article cover.

A practical solfege system for piano players

Memorize and arrange Chords and Scales fast and efficiently

In this article, I discuss an alternative solfege system specifically designed for piano or keyboard players. This system enables musicians to mentally arrange chords and scales quickly and efficiently.

While acknowledging that this solfege system may not be entirely new or the absolute best, I consider it innovative and highly practical for the aforementioned purpose. It should be noted that this system does not replace traditional solfege or the theoretical concepts behind it, such as the circle of fifths and intervals, but rather complements them.

Table of Contents

The system

The idea behind this solfege system is quite simple. If you are familiar with a piano keyboard, you know that the "white" notes can be referred to as do-re-mi-fa-sol, as follows:

The do-re-mi-fa-sol system.

Outside of the USA, UK, and other Anglo-Saxon countries, the do-re-mi-fa-sol naming convention for notes is the standard option.

In the the solfege system proposed in this article, the notes' names are simplified to just two letters (e.g., Sol becomes So), and the white notes now end with the vowel "o":

The do-ro-mo-fo-so system.

To avoid confusion with So (G), Si (B) is changed to To.

Alterations are straightforward: all sharp notes' names end with the vowel "i":

The do-ro-mo-fo-so system and alterations.

All flat notes' names end with the vowel "e":

The do-ro-mo-fo-so system and alterations.

As the purpose of this system is to provide a practical and efficient method for finding notes on the piano, double sharps or double flats are not considered. However, they could be easily integrated using the remaining vowels.


As an initial example, let's write the triads of the C major scale:

do – mo – so
ro – fo – lo
mo – so – to


The system suggests that all the notes are the white ones, as expected.

Now, let’s do the same with the C# scale. The notes marked in red are enharmonic equivalents:

di – mi – si (C# - E# - G#)
ri – fi – li (D# - F# - A#)
mi – si – ti (E# - G# - B#)
fi – li – di (F# - A# - C#)
si – ti – ri (G# - B# - D#)
li – di – mi (A# - C# - E#)
ti – ri – fi (B# - D# - F#)

Now, if you mentally replace the enharmonic notes with their equivalent white ones, it becomes very easy to arrange the chords. Let's write it out:

di – fo – si (C# - F - G#)
ri – fi – li (D# - F# - A#)
fo – si – do (F - G# - C)
fi – li – di (F# - A# - C#)
si – do – ri (G# - C - D#)
li – di – fo (A# - C# - F)
do – ri – fi (C - D# - F#)

Musically speaking, it is incorrect, but it works because it allows for easy identification of notes on the keyboard.


As mentioned previously, this system is primarily practical and specifically designed for playing piano and keyboards in general. As stated at the beginning of the article, this system proves helpful when memorizing chords and scales mentally to quickly and easily play them on a piano keyboard.

However, it is important to note that a solid understanding of standard music theory, including concepts like the circle of fifths and intervals, is essential. Therefore, this system can be considered as a complementary training tool once the foundational theory is well-established.


Help this project grow

by supporting me on Patreon

Choose your tier, take part in the creative process and receive bonus and exclusive content and benefits. Have a look.