Top 10 FL Studio Shortcuts For The Piano Roll

The FL Studio Piano roll is essential for MIDI composition. In this guide, we cover the top Fl Studio shortcuts for the piano roll, so you can produce faster.

Before you continue, check out Sampling Essentials for a complete guide to sampling. It shows you the fundamental skills you’ll need to flip any sample in less time.

Let’s continue…

Mastering the Piano Roll is essential to creating great melodies in FL Studio.

When inspiration strikes, it’s important to be able to quickly sketch out your ideas.

The last thing you want is to waste time clicking through menus when you have a melody in your head…

This post will help you compose MIDI more efficiently.

Essential Shortcuts

  • Highlight all notes (Ctrl + A)
  • Copy/paste your selection (Ctrl + C/Ctrl + V)
  • Duplicate your selection to the right (Ctrl + B)
  • Deselect the highlighted notes (Ctrl + D)
  • Transpose selection up/down 1 octave (Ctrl + Up/Down)
  • Transpose selection up/down 1 semi-tone (Shift + Up/Down)
  • Shift selection left or right (Shift + Left/Right)
  • Toggle ghost channels on or off (Alt + V)
  • Quantization (Ctrl + Q)
  • Quick Chop (Ctrl + U)

Here’s an infographic made by PACEMKR that you can use as a reference:

Continue reading for details on each FL Studio shortcut.

Highlight all notes

Ctrl + A

Selecting notes in the Piano roll is slow. 

Normally, you would click and drag your mouse across all the notes you want to highlight.

And if your screen isn’t large enough, you would have to scroll to capture all the notes…

This shortcut eliminates all that wasted time by selecting all the notes in the Piano roll.

Then you can apply whatever changes you want to make at once.

Copy/Paste your selection

Ctrl + C & Ctrl + V

These shortcuts are basic – the same across the operating system – but they’re still essential.

Use Ctrl + C to copy your selection to the clipboard, and use Ctrl + V to paste the selection at the marker.

These shortcuts will probably be some of your most used when you need to quickly apply notes in the Piano roll.

Duplicate your selection to the right

Ctrl + B

Similar to the Paste command above, this is another essential shortcut.

Instead of pasting a selection at the marker, this shortcut will duplicate your selection to the right.

This is useful for copying notes to extend the region. 

Then you can make changes to the duplicated section using the original section as a reference.

It’s also a quick way to loop a selection of notes without looping the region in the Playlist.

Deselect the highlighted notes

Ctrl + D

When you’re finished editing your selection, you’ll need to deselect it.

Use the Ctrl + D shortcut to deselect your selection.

This is a good shortcut to remember if you find yourself accidentally creating a new note in the Piano roll when attempting to left-click to remove a selection.

Transpose selection Up/Down 1 Octave

Ctrl + Up/Down Key

When working with MIDI notes, this shortcut will transpose your selection up or down by octave.

You might use this shortcut to develop bass lines for your melodies, or vice versa.

This is a great way to experiment with your notes.

Transpose selection Up/Down 1 Semi-tone

Shift + Up/Down Key

Similar to transposing by octave, this shortcut will transpose your selection by semi-tone.

Sometimes, while composing, you’ll need to experiment to find the right notes.

You can use this shortcut to quickly transpose your selection as you loop a section.

Shift selection left or right

Shift + Left/Right Key

This shortcut will help you shift the selection left or right in the Piano roll.

It’s especially useful when creating melodies.

You can take your selection and shift it left or right to change the rhythm, or to create new patterns.

Toggle ghost channels on/off

Alt + V

This shortcut will toggle the ghost notes feature on or off.

What are ghost notes in FL Studio?

Ghost notes are guides that show semi-transparent notes from another channel in the Channel rack. 

They’re used so that you can see what notes another instrument is playing in the same pattern. This is helpful when you’re layering instruments together.

Turn them on or off with this shortcut so you can reference other MIDI channels.


Ctrl + Q

This shortcut will automatically quantize your selection.

What is quantization in FL Studio?

Quantization is a feature that adjusts your notes to the nearest beat of your timeline.

It’s used to ensure that the notes you’re using are perfectly in rhythm.

Use this shortcut for a quick way to keep your notes in rhythm.

Quick chop

Ctrl + U

This shortcut will automatically chop your selection using the Quick chop feature.

What is Quick chop in FL Studio?

Quick chop is a feature that automatically slices your note selection into 1/16th notes.

Use this feature when working with percussive elements, like hi-hats, to make quick slices.

This will help you build your patterns faster and easier.

Using MIDI shortcuts for sampling

Do you sample in FL Studio?

If so, check out this guide to chopping samples in FL Studio. (It’s the perfect companion to the piano roll shortcuts you learned in this post.)

Avoid This Common Mistake…

The last thing to remember is this:

You can learn all the skills, tactics, and tools in the world…

But nothing will save your beats if you choose the wrong samples.

Too many producers struggle because their sample collection is limited. This causes them to force sounds and tactics that don’t work.

Check out Sample Quest for strategies you can use to uncover unique samples online.

These tactics are perfect for producers of all experience levels.

Don’t miss your chance to overcome this common mistake.

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Sampling Secrets

Inside the Sampleverse