From the category archives:

Basic Piano

Time Signatures – An Essential Component to Reading Music

by Tania Gleaves on September 27, 2014

Fractions In Music? Oh No!

Time signatures in music indicate a song’s rhythm. Sometimes called a meter, the time signature tells musicians the number of beats in each measure of music and what kind of note counts as one beat. Written as music, they look like fractions – but fortunately the only math that you need to do upon encountering one of these things is counting!

Click Here And Learn How Time Signatures Work!

The top number in a time signature tells musicians the number of beats in each measure of music and the bottom number tells them the kind of note that counts as one beat. The bottom number can be pretty confusing to understand without an illustration, so we’ll use the time signature: “3/4″ as an example.

The 3/4 meter tells us that there are three beats per measure. It also tells us that the quarter note counts as one beat. A full measure would therefore contain three quarter notes or any combination of notes that when counted together, create three beats. Depending on how advanced your notation is (and how far you are in your music lessons), you’ll notice that there are some rather unique ways to shorten beats or lengthen them past their original count using ties.

A 4/4 time signature tells us that there are four beats per measure and that the quarter note counts as one beat. A full measure in this meter could contain four quarter notes, a whole note, or two half notes.

Understanding Time Signatures – Common Types

Although time signatures can get pretty complicated as your experience with piano music gets more extensive, the most common are 2/4 (popular in polkas or marches), 3/4 (popular in waltzes, minuets, and country/western ballads), and 4/4 (popular in classical and popular music). By the way, the 4/4 time signature is also denote with a “C”-like symbol:

common time signature Time Signatures   An Essential Component to Reading Music

Dupal time meters indicate two beats per measure, and triple time meters indicate three beats per measure. And the more intricate your piano music gets, the more complicated its can meter get.

For example, marches, orchestra music, and theater music often employ the 2/2 time signature. Some of Brahms’ pieces is played to a 4/2 meter while jigs, and some rock music plays to a 6/8 meter. The 12/8 supports the blues and doo-wop styles. Songs that have no time signature at all have what’s called free time.

Unusual But Creative Meters

Things can really get complicated when musicians switch meters in the middle of a song! But that only makes things interesting. Most songs maintain a regular meter throughout their entirety, but it isn’t uncommon for a small section to switch from a 4/4 meter to a 3/4 meter (and then back again).

You can find the meter of the music that you play in the beginning of the song. It should be located right after the song’s key signature or clef. Just remember that when you play, the first beat of a measure’s meter — that is, the first beat of a series of beats — is the one that’s stressed as a way to help the audience identify a steady rhythm.

Click Here And Learn How Time Signatures Work!

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Beginner Lessons For Piano – Helpful Tips

by Erik Thiede on September 25, 2014

Beginner lessons for piano will take you far in your quest. But supplementing your lessons with some ‘outside’ or unconventional training will shorten the time it takes to become an expert pianist.

It goes without saying that practice makes perfect. However, there are a few additional things that you can do to improve the quality and outcome of your piano lessons.

Click Here And Learn How To Play Like A Pro With Great Beginner Lessons For Piano!

This article will introduce some of them, however it’s important to note that these tips are meant to supplement your training. Not a single one of them could ever replace a qualified teacher or adequate practice.

So here we go with some helpful tips for beginner lessons for piano:

Study music theory

Learning the theory of music will help you understand the meaning behind your education. Not only will you learn what to do at the piano, you’ll also learn why. Music theory investigates music notation, harmonics, and the aesthetics of song — giving you a deeper appreciation for one of the most respected practices of all time.

Practice, Practice, Practice

We cannot stress the importance of practicing enough. You should practice playing the piano not only once a day, but perhaps for one or more hours a day if you can. Repetitive play will help ingrain key pitches and rhythms into your brain so much that you should be able to play the piano with your eyes closed one day…But if you really cannot practice that much, try to a least practice something daily.

Listen to classical music

Listening to classical music will reinforce what you learn from your lessons and strengthen your ability to recognize and emulate important patterns. It’s quite a joy to be able to recognize a familiar chord or scale within historical pieces, and it’s an even bigger joy to be able to play along with the likes of Beethoven or Vivaldi.

Let’s have a look at a few more tips for beginner lessons for piano.

Try to make up your own songs

This too, will help reinforce the things that you learn because in doing so, you’ll train your mind to think in specific time signatures, octaves, and beats. You don’t need to write the music down on notation paper. Just try humming a few classical “riffs” of your own while you’re driving to the store or doing the dishes. You might surprise yourself by how easy it is and discover an inner composer at the same time. Beginner lessons for piano don’t have to be boring!

Learn the terminology

You’ll do yourself a tremendous favor by learning the terminology used in your instruction because it will help you better communicate with more advanced musicians.

It can be quite annoying to try and interpret what someone means when they refer to “playing the doo-wap doo-wap thingy” on the piano, but it can be quite refreshing to get into a stimulating conversation about intriguing “diatonic scales” and “tonality”.

Buy a metronome

A metronome is an adjustable tool that indicates the exact tempo of a piece of music, and it’s a godsend for people who have trouble keeping a simple beat. Those learning how to play the piano for the first time would benefit from the use of a metronome as it reinforces important time signatures – that is, time signatures that help organize a bunch of seemingly random notes into a sensible pattern of pleasing music.

Click Here And Learn How To Play Like A Pro With Great Beginner Lessons For Piano!

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Beginning Piano Books Basics

September 24, 2014

There are many different types of beginning piano books…and with so much to choose from it can sometimes be confusing! To help you narrow down your piano books choices you have to make a few decisions. What type of piano playing are you interested in? Classical Music? If you are looking to learn classic piano, […]

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Basic Piano Scales – Essential, But Easy!

September 21, 2014

The relationship between full-size compositions and basic piano scales is incredibly strong, for without the scale, we wouldn’t have the wonderful symphonies that we enjoy today. Knowing what this relationship is, there can be little question about how basic piano scales contribute to such masterpieces from the likes of Bach or Vivaldi. And being aware […]

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Easy Ways Of Learning Music Key Signature

September 19, 2014

Learning music key signature is very important in your piano lessons because they add “tuning” to the music pieces you are playing. At first glance, you might say that learning music key signatures is hard to do but actually it’s not. Let me teach you some techniques on how to easily know them by heart. […]

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Top 5 Myths About Learning To Play Piano

September 17, 2014

You have to be born with natural ability. As one of the top 5 myths about learning to play piano, this myth may have you condemned before you even start! Everyone and anyone can learn to play piano as long as they exercise the required amount of patience and practice. The piano in fact, is […]

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The Value Of Easy Piano Lessons

September 15, 2014

When it comes to playing the piano, is there such a thing as ‘easy’? To the beginning piano player, it might seem as if there’s no such thing as easy piano lessons. The very concept of a piano lesson being “easy” could be quite comical to the beginner, however we want to emphasize that there […]

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Piano for Beginners – Different Ways of Learning

September 14, 2014

There is a bit of a mini-revolution going on in the world of piano teachers. And it all has to do with teaching piano for beginners. You see, there’s the old way of teaching piano. This way focuses on learning notes, learning to site read music, and learning where each individual note is on the […]

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Relative Pitch – Distinguishing the Framework of Music

September 12, 2014

The Sound of Chords Unlike perfect pitch, which is the sound of single notes, relative pitch is the sound of chords. A chord is a group of notes that when played together, create a new sound called a harmony. This harmony can be major, minor, or any one of the many derivatives and the reason […]

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Piano Scales – Get Acquainted with Music’s Foundation

September 7, 2014

Piano scales are essential building blocks in music. You will devote a good deal of your time and effort to learning and playing them. On following pages I will show you a useful overview, give you an overview of major scales as well as some important beginner exercises. Students of all levels endlessly complain about […]

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