From the category archives:

Basic Piano

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 Signatures

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!


Whether you already play piano or want to learn, I’m glad you stumbled across this page. It means there’s one more person out there looking for a better way to add music to his or her life, or perhaps to improve on an already established skill set.

Either way, welcome. The good new is, I’ve got helpful advice for any level you may be at. I invite you to discover your potential and take the necessary steps to reach your goals.

Click Here For More Helpful Tips On How To Play Piano Regardless What Skill Level You Have!

Beginners Play Piano, Don’t Be Shy

If your idea of a scale is something in your bathroom that seems to know you like donuts, you’re definitely among the beginners. But seriously, if you know only a handful of basic chords, a song or two, or you have never touched a keyboard, you will want to learn the basics.

I recommend you take a course in introductory musical theory. You’ll want to learn the names of the notes, practice the scales, begin to put together chords, and embrace the art of repetition. That’s right, the key to picking up on the basics is to imprint them into your psyche, increase your dexterity, train your hands to make those stretches they’re not used to making, and find the connection between mind and body that will enable you to play naturally.

At the beginner level, students should have the patience to put off learning actual songs or

performance styles in favor of getting comfortable learning chords, fingering, etc. The good news is, with the right training, you can pass through the beginner level relatively quickly. Of course, the right training is, at best, half the equation. Your ability to master the above skills will depend on your determination to practice every day. Just like physical training, by going through the correct motions a little each day, you can accomplish much more than inconsistent practice every so often.

How you decide to learn is up to your preferred method of absorbing new information. Some people are visual learners, others are aural. What this means to you is, you might need to learn to play with the aid of sheet music (visual) or by listening to someone play a note or chord and you copy them (aural). The latter method is also known as playing by ear. Most websites that promote piano lessons offer a sample of their training style so you can try before you buy. It’s a good idea to try both so you can get started in the right direction and not waste time learning in a way that’s against your learning style.

When Intermediates Play Piano

By this point in your piano education, you should know all the scales, the popular chord styles, and be able to perform with confidence. This isn’t to say you should be a virtuoso. At the intermediate level, many musicians can find work playing out at various venues. But their skills are limited.

Now is a good time to think about the type or types of music you want to play. Will you study classical? Are you more into jazz or blues? Would you prefer to play rock? Or are you saving yourself for religious styles like gospel? With your intermediate skill level, you understand many of the chords and progressions you will use in your chosen genre. Now you need to focus on lessons that show you the fundamentals, the nuances, and the tricks behind playing a particular style.

Like the tip I gave for beginners, it applies here as well: Determine if you are a visual or auditory learner and pick the package you are most likely to understand, enjoy, and stick with.

And again, practice!

Advanced Performers Play Piano

Congratulations, you’ve come a long way in your musical journey. But you’re far from finished. With your advanced skills, you can sit in with another musician or ensemble and play piano. You can listen to a song and learn it with relative ease, or perhaps you can open sheet music and read the notes as easily as you read printed text. And just maybe, you are ready to flex your creativity and explore new horizons.

Some performers don’t know how to recognize when they surpassed the intermediate level. That’s okay, it will be clear eventually. If you are already performing comfortably but you want to infuse your music with more complex chord structures, creative runs, or you want to add another genre to your repertoire (that’s a lot of French!), you are most likely advanced and ready to take on a bigger challenge. It’s been said many times, learning to perform music is not a destination but a journey.

Many professional artists play multiple instruments. They are skilled guitarists or drummers who also play a little piano. It is not uncommon to encounter a musician who is very good at any instrument he or she decides to learn. If you are just such a person, and piano is one of your secondary instruments, consider how you could benefit from actual lessons.

I’ve discovered some outstanding courses for advanced piano playing that can be purchased online. Take the time to evaluate the publishers’ websites and read reviews if possible. Most lesson packages are moderately priced, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding a good, affordable lesson system.

And in case you forgot already, you still need to practice! Just remember to keep the fun in the fundamentals. Learning to play piano can be a lot of work, but it’s a form of entertainment and should never be a chore. Good luck!

Click Here For More Helpful Tips On How To Play Piano Regardless What Skill Level You Have!


Top 5 Ways To Develop Your Piano Rhythm

October 17, 2015

Learn the basic rhythms. As one of the top 5 ways to develop your piano rhythm, learning the basic beats found in any kind of music will help. The more rhythms that you listen to in fact, the easier they are to identify and emulate. We have for example, the standard four-beat rhythm that counts […]

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Basic Piano Scales – Essential, But Easy!

October 4, 2015

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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How to Play Keyboard

September 26, 2015

If you want to learn how to play keyboard like a pro, you need to become familiar with the open chord position. Just what is the open chord position and how can it improve your musicianship? To start off, have you ever noticed that when you are learning to play the keyboard your hands are […]

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Piano Lessons Central – Where to Get Started or Take Your Skills to the Next Level!

September 23, 2015

I’m so glad you landed here. There’s a lot of misleading information out there, and too many people selling every kind of lesson you could think of. It’s troubling … these places do everything they can to convince you to buy their lessons. But what’s missing? They haven’t asked you about YOU! Are you a […]

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Top 10 Ways To Effectively Practice Piano

September 20, 2015

Let us start by admitting piano practice isn’t always fun. At times, it can be as grueling a task as mopping the floor or teaching your York Terrier to roll over (even when he hasn’t done it for the hundredth time). The key thing about piano practice however, is that it isn’t really supposed to […]

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Prepare For Online Free Piano Lessons

September 18, 2015

Online free piano lessons are the perfect choice for those who may feel intimidated by sheet music. In the comfort of your own home, you can learn to read notation without feeling (too) embarrassed or incurring the costs of an expensive tutor. But before you set out to download every song from the web, let […]

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Piano Intervals

September 13, 2015

Introduction Piano intervals are differences in pitch. If you think of the C major scale, each one of its keys is an interval between its lowest note and its highest. That includes whole notes and half notes, mind you.. The smallest interval is obviously the half-step (called a minor 2nd) and the largest interval is […]

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How to play piano – Getting through the basics

September 12, 2015

If there were one “best way” to learn piano, websites like this one wouldn’t need to exist. The truth is, learning how to play piano has as much to do with the individual student as it does the chosen method. You need to know what’s out there, because how you start will affect the rest […]

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