How To Read Sheet Music: Step-by-Step Instructions
Feb 13, · How to Read Piano Sheet Music for Beginners Step 1: Label white spaces with FACE and EGBDF for the treble clef. If you want to learn how to read sheet music you Step 2: Write the note letter names. Now take a piece of music you want to learn, and underneath the . Start with a closed note head with a stem. That’s our quarter note, and it gets one beat. An open note head with a stem is a half note, and it gets two beats. An open note that looks like an “o” without a stem is a whole note, and it gets held for four beats.
When learning how to read piano notesan important first step is understanding the staff. Music is written on a staff. A staff consists of five lines and four spaces. Do you see the five lines and four spaces? Then we have the treble clef. Take a look at the sign for the treble clef below. It is also known as the G clef. The second line of the treble clef is known as the G line.
In fact, many people call the treble clef the G clef because it circles the G line. What are the notes of the treble clef? Watch this lesson:. Take a look at the bass clef below. The bass clef is also called the F clef. The fourth line of the bass clef is the F line. One what not to do before a psa blood test that it is called the F clef is because of the two dots placed on either side of the F line.
Once you know this line it is very easy to figure out the other notes of the bass clef. Here is a picture showing the notes of the bass clef. Take a look at the picture below showing the spaces of the bass clef. They are A-C-E-G. One way to remember these piano note names is by the sentence All Cars Eat Gas.
Ledger lines are short lines placed above and below the musical staff. Here are two examples of ledger lines on the treble and bass clef. Take a look at the pictures below. The grand staff is formed by combining the treble clef and bass clef with an added leger line, middle C. A perpendicular line and bracket known as a brace joins the two staves plural for staff together.
So how do you know what notes to play on the piano and with what hand to play them? Take a look at middle C above. It is at the center of the bass and treble clef. Every note from middle C upwards including the notes on the treble clef is played with the right hand.
Every note below middle C and on the bass clef is played with the left hand. The following diagram shows you how the notes on your piano correspond to the bass and treble clef. Learn how to read piano notes with this piano keyboard picture and grand staff. For more lessons on piano notes, go to other piano notes page. Watch videos on how to read piano notes on the bass and treble how long to bake whole chicken. Understanding Key Signatures.
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It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. In this lesson we learn how to read piano notes. The Staff When learning how to read piano notesan important first step is understanding the staff. The Treble Clef Then we have the treble clef. How about the spaces? The spaces spell the word F-A-C-E. What are these piano notes? The Grand Staff The grand staff is formed by combining the treble clef and bass clef with an added leger line, middle C.
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A Little History Behind Reading Music Notes
They are A-C-E-G. One way to remember these piano note names is by the sentence All Cars Eat Gas. Ledger Lines. Next in our How To Read Piano Notes lesson we take a look at ledger lines. Ledger lines are short lines placed above and below the musical staff. Here are two examples of ledger lines (on the treble and bass clef). Jan 18, · Piano music tends to have 2 staves. Usually (but not always), the top stave is written in the Treble Clef and the bottom stave is written in Bass Clef. The top stave shows the notes that should be played with the right hand, whilst the bottom stave shows the notes to be played by the left hand.
Playing piano by ear is a quick and easy way to learn the instrument. Knowing how to read piano sheet music is much more useful though. Reading sheet music opens up the amount of repertoire a person can learn. Learning these strategies will allow anyone to pick up a piece of sheet music and read through it with ease! Before attempting to read any sheet music, there needs to be a clear understanding of what all of those black and white keys mean.
This is one of the first things I outline in my piano course which you can check out here. The black and white keys represent all of the different tones of the piano. As you look at the keyboard the first thing that should stick out to you is how the piano keys are organized in a pattern.
That pattern of two and three repeats up and down the entire piano. The first white note located in front of the group of two black keys is called C. Every time you see a group of two black notes, that first white key will always be a C. The lower the C you play on the piano, the deeper the tone will be. The higher the C on the piano, the brighter the tone will be. The note located in front of the group of three black keys is F.
The same logic applies here too. Spend some time familiarizing yourself with the diagram above. See if you can memorize where all of the notes of the musical alphabet are located. By doing this step first you are enhancing the visual ability to find notes quickly by recognizing the patterns. 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. 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.
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. The bass staff operates just like the treble staff. The whole concept of the lines and spaces representing skips between pitches remains the same.
What changes however is the notes that are on each line and space. The bottom line of the bass staff is G and the top line is A. For the spaces, the bottom space is A while the top space is G. An easy way to remember the notes is to base it off of the bass clef. The clef has two dots that center around the 4th line. While the treble staff has most of the melodies and higher pitched notes, the bass staff plays a much different role. Bass staff is where most of the accompaniment takes place in music.
Pianists will usually play single notes, simple rhythms, or chords to help create beautiful harmonies with the right hand. Depending on the difficulty of the music, there are times when the melody will actually be in this region of the piano. For a pianist just wanting to learn popular music or traditional piano repertoire, the left hand will almost always play a supportive role in the music.
Where both staffs share some notes in common is around the middle C region. Middle C is truly the note that separates both staffs, mostly because it belongs to both.
Look at the picture below to see what I mean. Each additional line that is added to each of the staffs is called a ledger line. These notes can be added below the staff or above the staff. Ledger lines are an extension of the staff, so the same concept applies when trying to figure out which note to play.
The same logic also applies to those spaces above and below the ledger lines. For example, middle C is actually a ledger line that does not fit on either of the staffs. In the treble staff, the next line below middle C is A. In general, ledger lines are a clean way to read sheet music without too much clutter. Take a look at the video below to get a full understanding of how ledger lines work when reading piano sheet music.
A quick easy way to get started reading sheet music is to focus on counting intervals based on landmark notes. The three notes that make the most sense to use are middle C, bass F, and treble G. Middle C is directly in the middle of bass F and treble G, and so counting notes within each staff from those landmark notes makes note reading faster.
The landmark middle C will mostly be used for reading notes that are on ledger lines, or just above the bass staff, and below the treble staff. Take a look at the sheet music example below from this collection of easy classical piano songs. In the Diabelli Bagatelle, the pianist can easily find their starting notes by using all 3 landmarks. Looking at the bass staff, there is a chord made up of two notes. This gives us G. The note above the G is simply a skip above giving us B.
For the right hand, simply take note of where middle C is located, and then count up a 2nd to get D. To play the rest of the piece you can compare the relative distance between each beat, or even each measure on a broader scale.
Landmark notes are a quick way to identify exactly where to go on the piano and they are great for when a beginner pianist gets stuck and is not sure where to go.
If you are not using a beginner piano method book, then chances are you may be exposed to sharps and flats early on. For example, play a sharp note means to play the very next note higher.
Note the example below. If the note were flat then it means to play the very next note lower as shown in the example below. In the case of a D for example, it would simply become regular D again. 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. In this example, the key signature has two flat notes. They are B flat and E flat. 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. With proper practice using landmarks and counting intervals, anyone can figure out what notes to play in the sheet music. In the beginning stages of learning though, it helps to have some simple indicators so you know what to play.
One thing beginner pianists can do is write down the note names on the actual sheet music. Labeling the note names next to or above the note can help make the learning process faster. Instead, focus on the notes that are particularly troublesome and use the labels as a reminder of what to play. Note names can also be labeled on the piano keys themselves.
Handy little note labels like these can be put on to the keys to help you make quick decisions while playing. Equally important is labeling the finger numbers so you can work on the distance needed to travel to play a certain melody or harmony. In all types of sheet music, there is a wide range of instructive symbols that help the music sound a certain way. Some of the symbols refer to how soft and loud a passage of notes are. Others indicate when a pianist should be silent, and that exact duration of time.
Articulations help when it comes to the character of the piece, making it sound more percussive or more lyrical. Finally, there are indicators at the top of a piece of music as well as in the middle of certain sections of a piece.
Below is a list of the common symbols you will find in any piece of sheet music, and what they mean. The symbol can be found in between the treble and bass staff when it applies to both hands. If the composer intends for one hand to be soft such as the left hand, they will put the symbol under the notes in the bass staff only.