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Piano Lesson: For Piano Beginners

Nov 5, 2007
Playing piano can be a wonderful experience. If you want to start playing piano sheet music you need to know a few of the conventions used in western sheet music notation. Let's make a little journey through the music notation djungle!

First we might notice that the piano as we are used to play have been around for some time. Around 500 years or more. Playing keyboards is in other words a rather old art. This means that the conventions as to how to play keyboard instruments and how to notate the music have had some time to develop.

As you might know a piano has 88 keys. This means a full sized piano but you will find keyboards with a considerably less amount of keys. however, the order of the white and black keys are the same.

How can you learn to play piano?

Well, as you might know little children don't have too much problem with this question. The just hammer on!

At least one thing you can learn from children. To learn to play you have to play. That is an important beginning!

Do you need sheet music in order to start playing the piano? Well, the before mentioned children have already answered the question with a definite no!

Some accomplished pianists have never used sheet music at all and play entirely by ear or by reading chords in songs. This type of pianists usually learn songs by listening to recordings or just by playing from memory. It works fine and many very fine musicians and pianist have used this approach.

Other pianist have always played sheet music and would feel very uneasy confronted with a keyboard without their music sheets. Maybe they have learned pieces by heart and have a large repertoire of piano solos but they have never improvised or played by ear. Even these pianists can create great music.

I would suggest that you use the best parts of both these approaches as you learn to play piano. Take time to develop your ear and improvise but also to make a conscious effort to learn to play piano sheet music.

One way to learn to read sheet music with a concentrated effort is to read a piano solo and trying to understand all signs and symbols in the music.

Try to tap the rhythm and as you become more skilled you can try to sing or hear the music in your head. This is a very effective way to really get into learning sheet music.

Here are some symbols you will find as you read a piece of piano sheet music:

You will find vertical lines in the music that divides the notes in groups. These lines are called barlines and the distance between two of these barlines are called a measure.

Sometimes you will find two dots at the end of a section and also a double bar. The two dots are called a repeat sign indicating that you should play the section twice.

The elaborated G is called the G clef and indicates the position of the note G in the treble note staff. It is also called the treble clef.

The left hand notes are mainly situated in the bass clef or the F clef because the two dots indicates the note F.

It will be a great help for you to study the sheet music before you play a piece of music, rehearsing the names of the notes and preparing yourself for a pleasant encounter with the music behind the dots.
About the Author
Peter Edvinsson invites you to download your free sheet music, and read his music blog at http://www.capotastomusic.com
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