How Do The Lines & Spaces On The Staff Relate To The Piano Keys
Every note found on piano sheet music corresponds to a piano key. While there are 88 keys in total on a full-sized instrument, they are made up of 12 tones that simply repeat moving up in pitch. To learn how to read music notes, youll need to learn how to recognize the notes on the staff, and find them on the piano keyboard. Check out this piano notes chart of the keyboard notes below the music note letters correspond to the piano keys in a repetitive pattern.
Bars And Tempo In Practice
As you already know, the time signature determines how many beats of a certain note value fit in a bar. Now you are ready to learn about the tempo, in other words how fast or how slow you should play. Listen to the audio sample.
Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 audio. Here is a link to the audio instead.
You can hear the tempo of the piece shown:
The tempo is expressed in beats per minute every click you hear represents one beat. It clicks once per second, i.e. the tempo of this song is 60 beats per minute or 60 BPM
The bar number 4/4 tells you that the length of each bar must be four quarter notes long. The tempo tells you how fast the quarter notes should be played in time. Listen to the sound sample:
Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 audio. Here is a link to the audio instead.
Exercise: Follow the click sound carefully each click corresponds to a quarter note. You can tap your thigh with every click sound with your hand, moving your eyes from one quarter note to the next to the end. Then you can start all over again.
Please repeat this exercise for at least 3 minutes to get a good feeling for the tempo of the beat.
Do you know what you just did? You just learned to read notes and translate them into music. So far, you have only tapped the notes on your thighs, but soon you will play your first pieces on the piano!
Time to call your friends, parents or loved ones and tell them that you have learned to read music!
Practice Playing Piano With Your Left Hand
To learn piano properly, you want to play with both hands. Place your left pinky on the C below middle C . You should have 5 on C, 4 on D, 3 on E, 2 on F, and 1 on G. Now try playing these finger numbers:
3 4 5 4 3 3 3 4 4 4 3 1 1 3 4 5 4 3 3 3 3 4 4 3 4 5
If you heard the same tune, you got it right!
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How To Play The Keyboard: Position Of Hands And Fingers On The Keyboard
To learn how to play the keyboard, you must understand how the hand should be placed atop the keyboard. For this reason, we shall number the fingers on the right and left hands, and you will then already be able to play your first songs.
Aware of this, to play the chord of C major in the left hand, you would have to use your little finger for do, the middle finger for mi and middle finger for sol .
Once you have grasped this basic information, you can study the file that we have made available below. Using your keyboard, try to imitate the pictures with the position of the chords on the keys. Initially, study only the first chord on each of the pages: Chords of keyboard
Even though there are many chords, most songs are made up of simple combinations. This means that you may start playing your first songs if you know only 4 or 5 chords.
You may also start to search for the songs that you like most. So we invite you to visit the AZ Chords website, choose a song, selecting the key of C using the icon at the top of the page. Then you just need to select piano and all the drawings of the chords shall be shown when you pass the mouse over them.
Piano Notes Practice For Beginners
Its been mentioned a few times already just how important practice is. If youre learning about piano notes for the very first time through this article, the only way youll absorb and retain what youve read here is by practising.
That involves re-reading what youve learned, spending time with the graphics provided, and trying to memorise the information, as well as sitting at the keyboard and attaching the theory to the actual physical motions. This last step will allow you not only to transfer this knowledge into piano-playing but also to consolidate the knowledge itself.
Start with the notes themselves, learning how to recognise them on the stave and play them on the piano. Then learn how to interpret time signatures and rhythms, before then taking on basic pieces of piano sheet music.
Practising in the right way is so important – its not enough to just look at the notes and press the keys. That alone wont get you to where you want to be. You have to have the right mindset, maintain concentration, utilise the right materials, and structure your time and activity effectively. Practising smart is an art in itself.
Theres a variety of things that you can do and bear in mind in order to maximise your practice and make progress as fast as possible. You can find out what these are in this article on sheet music practice.
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The Correct Finger Position And Playing Techniques
The correct posture and playing techniques will help you to learn the piano efficiently
How about a little quiz?
In the sheet music above you will find 16 bars, each missing one note.
Your task is to find out which note is missing in each bar and write down the corresponding letter.
Draw all the notes with the same name and position on a sheet yourself. See, for example, the graphic above with all the F notes.
Only draw those notes that lie between the lowest and highest note of the large scale. Please also make sure to insert the clefs treble clefs and bass clefs at the beginning. You are free to choose the time signature.
You have already seen the group of F notes, now we continue with the other notes:
Draw all G notes on the large scale
Draw all A notes on the large scale
Draw all B notes on the large scale
Draw all C notes on the large scale
Draw all D notes on the large scale
Draw all E notes on the large scale
As soon as you have found and grouped all the notes with the same note name, you continue with the topic of playing technique.
Your Guide To Piano Notes
There have been a lot of fascinating studies on music and memory in the past few years. Research shows that music actually helps us remember things. Learning music can even help children with learning disabilities!
Why not turn that to your advantage?
The trick lies in getting the rational and intuitive side of your brain working together. Were going to give you a bunch of knowledge to mull over in your rational brain to help you bridge that gap.
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Other Ways To Arrange Chords
There are so many creative possibilities when using keyboard chords. I gave three ways to arrange basic piano chords, but if you want to learn eight more, check out this video by Devon from HDpiano. He offers excellent examples using familiar pop tunes.
Once youve mastered these arrangement patterns, youll be well on your way to reading through piano chord charts and lead sheets of your favorite tunes.
The Key To Learning Piano Notes
Just as vital to all this as practice and perseverance are the piano notes themselves. And you can find a whole world of those, in all the wonderful musical permutations imaginable, in nkodas collection of piano sheet music.
Whether you want to learn classical or pop, jazz or rock, and whether you want to find some easy playbooks or peruse some mind-blowing concertos, you can do all that and more on the app.
The best advice that can be given to someone who wants to learn to read piano sheet music is: live, breathe and practice it. Find the music that gets you feeling inspired and dont stop playing it. Start your free trial, and your journey, today.
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How To Build Your Piano Music Library
Regardless of age and ability, every pianist should have their own library of piano music they like to play. This can include method books, repertoire volumes, piano sheet music, and digital downloads to tablets. For many pianists, the pressing concern is what type of music to acquire and how to organize it efficiently. With just a few steps you can build a piano library that will bring you enjoyment for years to come.
Chapter : Basic Skills
The piano keyboard may look dizzying with its vast array of keys . But once you understand the patterns that make it work, its actually quite simple.
How to Find Middle C
Take a look at your keyboard. Notice the black keyssee how there are sets of two and sets of three? Well use these sets of twos and threes to find Middle C.
Middle C is the first note youll learn on the piano. Its smack dab in the middle of the keyboard, usually where the brand name of the piano is.
Find a set of two black keys in the middle and play the white key on the very left: this is Middle C!
Remember where Middle C is. Youll use it to orient yourself around the rest of the keyboard.
The Musical Alphabet
Now for your first theory lesson! In music, we name notes after the alphabet. The white key after C is D, the one after is E, and so on. The musical alphabet stops at G, however, so instead of a note called H we just repeat from C again.
If youre wondering what all those black keys are called, theyre half-steps between the white notes and theyre called sharps or flats. Well cover sharps and flats more in the theory section of this guide.
Once you understand the musical alphabet, you can move on to the five-finger scale!
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Lets Put The Treble & Bass Clef Staves Together
Most frequently, piano sheet music will include two staves, one above the other the treble clef will be on top and the bass clef will be on the bottom. Remember, your left hand will usually play the notes on the bass staff and your right hand will usually play the notes on the treble staff. When the staves are shown together, we call it the Grand Staff.
The two staves are connected, and the musical alphabet simply repeats A, B, C, D, E, F, G moving up the staves. Notice that theres no H, the musical alphabet simply repeats by going back to A. These are all the piano notes to exist between the two staves.
Heres another image of the piano note chart to demonstrate this:
Why Learn How To Play The Piano
If youre reading this article, youre probably already excited to learn how to play piano! But in case youre not convinced yet, this section is for you
We think the piano is the best musical instrument to learn. Of course, were biased as pianists, but there are compelling reasons to pick up piano as your first musical instrument:
Reason #1: You can make amazing sounds from day 1
Some instruments, like the violin or the trumpet, take skill just to make a decent sound.
But piano is rewarding from day 1 because you dont have to make the sound yourself. All you have to do is press a key thats attached to a hammer that hits a string to create a perfectly clear note.
Most people can figure out a simple melody on a keyboard by playing around. Of course, theres more to playing piano than eking out Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, but at least you wont be squeaking through your first few lessons!
Reason #2: You learn both melody and harmony, treble clef and bass clef
A neat thing pianists can do is play both melody and harmony. Most instruments cant do this.
As a pianist, youll gain a deeper understanding of both melody and harmony that is, both the foreground and background of music.
Knowledge of both treble and bass clef also helps. Many instruments only use the treble clef, but if you decide to pick up the tuba later on, that bass clef knowledge will come in handy.
Reason #3: You are an independent music-making machine but you can also have fun with other people
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Understanding The Keyboard And Finger Position
What Are Piano Chords
Simply put, a chord is playing two or more notes simultaneously. In other words, you form a chord by pushing down on several keys simultaneously.
A triad is the most common type of keyboard or piano chord. Also known as a three-note chord, a given chord contains a root note and two others, a third and a fifthnote.
To identify and play chords, you also need to understand spacing. Between each key is a measurement of a half-step. For example, the space between a white key and the nearest black key is a half-step.
Playing a chord requires building a shell the root note and the fifth. Complete the trifecta by adding a third.
Now that weve got that down lets look at major and minor chords.
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You Dont Have To Read Every Note: Intervals Shapes And Patterns
Heres a secret: you dont have to read each and every single note on a sheet of music. As you get better at reading music, youll notice patterns that speed up the reading process.
This is like learning how to read. We first learn how to read by sounding out letters, one at a time. Eventually, we learn to recognize words. For example, when you see the word cat, you dont read each letter because you can recognize the word cat instantaneously.
Words exist in sheet music too! Here are some words to know:
An interval is the space between two notes. Intervals are an awesome tool to train your ear, but they can help you read music too.
A good interval to learn how to recognize is the third. If you see a line-note moving to the next line-note, or a space-note moving to the next space-note, thats a third.
When you see a third, you just need to recognize one of the notes. The other note is a skip away.
Another good interval to learn is the fourth. A line-note moving to a space-note or a space-note moving to a line-note like this is a fourth:
Music is made up of patterns. Learning how to recognize patterns that crop up again and again can help you make sense of sheet music faster.
For example, take scales. If you see a row of notes separated by steps , youre probably seeing a scale. You only need to know the first note of the pattern everything else is just a step up or down!
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Learn The Layout Of The Piano Keyboard
This is quick and easy to do. Notice the pattern of the black notes. Theyre in groups of two and three, all up and down the piano. Find a group of two black notes, then find the white note immediately to the left of them, and you have the note C.
The piano notes are named like the alphabet: A, B, C, D, E, F, G. After G, the alphabet pattern starts again. Notice how the notes are always in the same place in relation to the set of black notes: every A is between the top two black notes in a set of three, and so on.
Your first step when learning how to play the piano is to play and name all the notes, getting quicker at finding them as you go. A good way to do this is to find all the C notes first, then all the G notes, and so on. Youll be surprised at how fast you remember where they are on the keyboard.
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