How to Play Songs on a Phone Keypad

By Charlotte Johnson ; Updated September 15, 2017

If you're looking for something to do to amuse yourself, try making phone keypad music. You can do this with a standard push-button phone or a cell phone. You can even play some simple songs by following a few tips. Best of all, in a growing market of cell phone applications that cost money, playing music on a cell phone keypad doesn't cost you anything.

Standard Phone

Press the number 1. This is your "do" note, or the root of your scale.

Press the number 2. This is your "re" note, or the second notes of your scale.

Press the number 3. This is your "mi" note, or the third note of your scale.

Press 4,5,6, as well as 7,8, and 9. They all play a "do-re-mi" progression, and the notes are only semi-tones different from the original 1,2,3 combination.

Try simple songs such as Mary Had a Little Lamb: 3,2,1,2,3,3,3 2,2,2 3,3,3 3,2,1,2,3,3,3,3, 2,2,3,2,1

Cell Phones

Press the "menu" button, followed by "settings."

Press the button for "keypad." Select the option for "xylophone."

Press the 1 button. This is the C note.

Press all of the numbers 1-9 in succession, plus the *, 0 and #. What you will hear is a progression up the C scale: C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C,D,E,F,G

Try some simple songs. Ode to Joy: 7,7,8,9,9,8,7,6,5,5,6,7,7,6,6 7,7,8,9,9,8,7,6,5,5,6,7,6,5,5

Jingle Bells: 3,3,3, 3,3,3, 3,5,1,2,3 4,4,4,4,4,3,3,3,3,3,2,2,3,2,5 3,3,3 3,3,3 3,5,1,2,3 4,4,4,4,4,3,3,3,3,5,5,3,2,1

Tip

On cell phones that don't have the xylophone keypad capability, the notes will be the same as those on a standard phone.

About the Author

Charlotte Johnson is a musician, teacher and writer with a master's degree in education. She has contributed to a variety of websites, specializing in health, education, the arts, home and garden, animals and parenting.