Reading Sheet Music For Piano


Master The Key Signature

How to Read Sheet Music in One Easy Lesson

In the case where an author wishes to make some notes sharp or flat throughout a piece of music, theyll need to indicate this by utilizing key signature.

Often, a key signature omits the need for accidentals, either partially or completely.

To be clear, a key signature can be either a flat or a sharp note, not a combination of both. The sharps raise the pitch of the notes by a half step while the flats lower notes on the corresponding space by a semitone.

When flat in the key signature lower the pitch, it transfer to all the octave.

Here, youll define different keys by the total amount of sharps in the key signature, starting from the extreme left all the way to the right. To add flats to the signature, do so in the order of BEADGCF.

It isnt a different case with the sharps either. Here, there isnt a transfer to all the octaves.

But you define the keys based on the number of sharps in the key signature starting from the left all the way to the right, adding to it in the order of FCGDAEB.

You dont have to scratch your head when it comes to adding flats and sharps to the key signature. All you have to remember is that one is a reverse of the other. Below is a clear image that shows this.

The Grand View Of All Notes On The Lines And Spaces In Treble And Bass Clef

Here you have all of the notes on both the lines and spaces in each clef, for easy review. Take some time to read each note in each clef, and then try to look away and name all of your Space notes in each clef or all of your line notes in each clef.

Keep doing this each day until you can name the notes without looking at any hints.

**Remember to say in the beginning whether the note is on a line or on a space, as this will help reinforce that information in your brain and your fingers when you play it on the piano.

** Remember also, to always learn your notes from the bottom line or space to the top line or space in the clef that you are working in.

You Can Play As Many Songs As You Please

The good thing about music sheets is that theyre now available in plenty. That means you can play as many songs as you please, regardless of the type.

Whether youre into blues, classical tunes, country music, or other genres, music sheets can help you step the right foot forward from the very beginning.

As you continue to interact with different music sheets, youll realize that its not only liberating to play the notes but also you develop the confidence to try even more complicated tunes that have quite a number of accidentals quite comfortably.

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You Can Speak With The Other Musicians

If you speak the same language as other people, you can understand them and they can do the same with you.If you know how to read a piano sheet music, you can discuss and debate with other pianists. In this way, you can benefit from the advice of other musicians in order to progress or even make others progress by giving your own advice. Practicing piano is not only an activity, its also a community.

You Can Write Down What You Play

Pin by Gloria Engelbrecht on piano

Have you ever invented a song in your head and sung it? If so, you have already composed your own song! In musical composition, knowing how to read a score is fundamental. Why is that? Simply because you can write down your song to make sure you never forget it and so that other pianists can play it.

But writing a song on a score is also a way to structure your song. Its as if you have to imagine a text that you invent without writing it down. When you write, you constantly look back on the previous phrases you wrote to help you build the rest of the story. For musical composition, its exactly the same thing. Writing the song helps you to structure it and give it its full form.

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What Techniques Do You Use To Read Sheet Music Faster

As I’m learning piano without any teacher due to lack of resources, I wanted to know what techniques other people employ to read sheet music without much effort. For example, right now, I use the landmarking systemto read as fast I can, but I still feel like it’s not that “natural” and spontaneous. Also, I want to know how to read music which requires both hands. Looking at two staves is very very tough for me.

What kind of sheets should I go for? I am a bit comfortable with treble clef and bass clef but still, it’s only been 2 months since I started playing the piano it’d be great if you can share any resource or suggest any resource to practice. Thanks!

  • 4What I did was playing some games online about identifying randomly generated notes. Although it initially took me 3 seconds to identify the notes, I can now identify most of them for more or less a second. Just make sure you don’t push it: practice for a few minutes then try again tomorrow for example. Your brain will have taken the time to assimilate what you learnt.Sep 9, 2020 at 14:27
  • 6It’s not about selecting the right product such as a system … it’s about training. 🙂 It takes time and effort. You spend a lot of time practicing, and then you get better at it.Sep 9, 2020 at 14:37
  • 4Practice, practice, practice. Read something new every day. user50691

Take heart! What you’re trying to learn is difficult, and takes a lot of time and practice.

To make progress, here are some tips:

Good luck!

Different Strokes For Different Folks

So as you can see, I havent had the greatest experience with learning how to read sheet music! And I honestly think that most people dont really need to learn sight reading in order to play piano.

But I do understand that there are people who have their hearts set on learning to read sheet music. Do any of these goals sound like yours?

  • Being able to sight-read is on your bucket list
  • Your favorite songs are classical compositions or works by modern composers
  • You place a high value on playing extremely accurate covers
  • You want to be able to play in an ensemble or band that plays traditional songs
  • Deep down, you know that playing from sheet music is the only thing that will make you play like youre playing piano properly

I cant say I relate, but thats okay! I wont judge you for going the harder route, and you wont judge me for preferring something simpler. Sound like a plan?

Now that weve agreed about that, lets get into the good, the bad, and the ugly of how to read music. I promise Ill keep this as simple as I can.

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Familiarizing Yourself With Key Signatures

One last step to take before embarking on playing through piano music is to familiarize yourself with key signatures. Key signatures can be found at the beginning of each staff.

They are an indicator of which notes are going to be augmented with a sharp or flat anytime they occur in the piece of music. Unless otherwise instructed to be a natural note, those notes will take on the blanket settings that the key signature asks for.

Take a look at the example below.

In this example, the key signature has two flat notes. They are B flat and E flat. As you can see the actual notes dont have any symbols next to them.

However because the keys have been identified by the key signature, you will make that application to all the notes. So in this case, the B and E shown in the image would need to be played on the black keys.

The reason composers use key signatures is that they help make the music much easier to read. They also set the entire key for a piece and help with the entire harmonic structure of the music.

What Is A Musical Staff

How To Read Notes (Beginner Piano Lesson)

The musical staff is like a roadmap for piano players. A musical staff has five lines and four spaces. Where the notes are on the lines and spaces will tell you where to play on the piano.

The piano is sooo big that you need two staves to fit all the notes! The two staves used in piano music are called the treble staff and the bass staff . They each have their own symbols.

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What Are Note Values

In sheet music, the notes we see on the staff give us important information. They tell us what notes to play on the keyboard. They also tell us something else: how long to sustain those notes, and what rhythm to play. There are four basic types of notes to learn first: eighth note, quarter note, half note, and whole note.

Every note has a specific value. The value refers to the number of beats that note is held within a measure of music. Whole notes are four beats, half notes get two beats, quarter notes get one beat, and eighth notes get half a beat.

Its not just notes that get counted in music though. Moments of silence get counted too. Luckily we have rests to tell us how long to stay silent, and rests have corresponding value to music notes: a whole rest gets four beats, a half rest gets two beats, a quarter rest gets one beat, and an eighth rest gets half a beat.

Understanding The Treble Staff

Unlike most instruments, pianists have the tough task of reading two different music staffs. Together they create the grand staff, however, they contain both the treble and bass clefs.

The treble clef is often referred to as the G clef. The bottom line of the staff is E, and each line after that represents a skipped note. For example, the bottom line is E, the second line is G, the third line is B and so forth. The top line is F.

The spaces of the treble staff also are separated by skips. The first space is F, followed by A, C, and E.

One way to memorize the notes on the treble staff is to use the saying Every Good Boy Does Fine. The first letter of each word represents the order of notes on the lines. For the spaces simply remember the word FACE.

The location of the notes on the treble staff is anywhere from middle C and upward. Middle C is the fourth C on the piano, usually where the brand logo appears.

Characteristics of notes in the treble staff are higher pitched compared to the bass staff. Most melodies you find in sheet music whether its Classical or Pop originate in this area.

While the right hand predominantly plays in the treble staff, there are occasions where the hands can switch roles. This includes hand crossing and occasionally playing pieces up or down an octave from their original location.

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Who This Course Is For:

  • Anyone who would like to learn to read piano sheet music

Brian McGravey is a seasoned teacher and performer based in New England. With over 18 years of experience playing the piano, and 10 years teaching piano he is an enthusiastic new member of Udemy. Brian is an author of 9 music books and is also very active in the performing scene in New England. He plays with some of the top performing groups in the area including several tribute bands and wedding/function bands. He is also a composer and producer with 15+ years of songwriting experience. Through all of this there is one thing that he has learned: how to clearly explain and teach students of all ages how to become better musicians and to achieve their ultimate musical identity.

Learn How To Read Piano Music Quickly

Reading Sheet Music For Piano Exercises

I have developed the following 3 stage process for learning how to read and play piano music which this site is built upon:

  • Instruction Video and written lessons providing high quality content
  • Exercise Fun and challenging worksheets to cement your new understanding
  • Play Perform what youve learnt straight away using my practical exercises and easy to play pieces
  • Feel free to have a look at all the different videos, articles and worksheets on the site. Its all TOTALLY FREE I really hope it helps you learn how to read music. Good luck!!

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    How To Maintain & Improve Your Sight Reading Abilities

    Once youve got the hang of reading music, its not enough to simply check the skill off your list. Learning an instrument means practicing and building muscle memory around your piano playing. After all, you dont want to just be able to read sheet music in your own living room. You want to be able to walk into a room of musicians and join a band practice, or to get up onstage and jam out with a bunch of pros.

    To truly master your music reading skills, follow these steps:

    • Create a daily practice routine where you warm up your fingers and hands with some simple scales, and play through some easy music
    • Join a community choir, band, or orchestra where youll be challenged to sight read music regularly.
    • Find a piano teacher who can help you close any gaps in your knowledge or correct your technique as you advance
    • Take a music theory class. Music theory is the study of what actually goes into the music on the page and how it relates to the music you hear.

    Working your new skill into your daily life, practicing, and learning from an expert are some proven ways to improve your music reading abilities.

    Tips On How To Read Sheet Music Easier

    Learning how to read sheet music quicker is possible. Here are some tips to help you out.

    • Practice. Let us get the obvious one out of the way. There is one sure way to make you better at reading music sheets and that is through practice. The more you read music, the easier for you to remember every detail.
    • Write it down.If you are a visual learner like me, then you might find it easier to remember all these pointers after writing them down. If there is a need to come back to them, you will have notes on hand at any time.
    • Try to play music using music sheets.You can either purchase a songbook or you can purchase music sheets online, either way, you can squeeze even more practice in your playtime by playing songs from music sheets.
    • Take lessons. Whether it be traditional lessons or online lessons having a music teacher will make learning much easier and quicker. Music teachers are professionals who have been studying this subject for years, so they definitely know what they are talking about. Plus, they can customize the lessons to best fit your learning style. You may also check the best online piano learning app to learn more.

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    The Bars And The Structure Of The Score

    The bars are used to give the value of the notes, i.e. how long the notes will last. When you play piano, the bars are fundamental: they will give all its structure to the score and will define the way you will play the song.

    They are located at the beginning of the staff and are represented by two numbers one on top of the other.

    The bottom number indicates the unit of time . The top number indicates the number of units per bar.

    In the example above, 4/4 means that there will be 4 beats per bar. The quarter note will be worth 1 beat, so there will be 4 quarter notes per bar. When a bar ends and another one starts again, this is symbolized by a vertical line on the staff.

    We have just seen the basics of reading piano scores. Now you can learn hundreds of easy songs just with this start of the course.


    You Can Play Whatever You Want

    How To Read Sheet Music – Piano Theory Lessons

    Imagine that you can read a piano sheet music. You could take any score of the song you want, and play it right away on piano. In the same way that you can read a text that you have in front of you, you could play the song just as easily. Compared to learning method that works with memory, this is a huge time saver.

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    How To Find Middle C On Sheet Music

    This is kind of a trick question, because how you find middle C on the piano is ridiculously easy. Go ahead, take a look at your piano or keyboard. If youve already learned your notes, you know that every 8th white key is a C note. Stand right in front of the middle of your keyboard, and choose the C note that is closest to the middle. Tada! Youve found middle C.

    Best Overall: Onyx Music Display

    ONYX Music Display is a top-rated sheet music display that is frequently used by professional musicians. It is easy to use and offers a variety of features that make it the perfect choice for anyone looking for an electronic sheet music display. The ONYX Music Display has a bright, clear display that makes it easy to read your sheet music, even in low light conditions. It also comes with a built-in metronome, so you can keep time with your music as you play. You can also adjust the tempo of the metronome to suit your needs. The ONYX Music Display is lightweight and portable, making it easy to take with you wherever you go. It also comes with a carrying case, so you can keep it protected when youre not using it. The ONYX Music Display is an excellent choice for any musician looking for an electronic sheet music display.

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