From the category archives:

Basic Piano

Piano lessons for beginners can be a tough thing to come by. There’s so much to consider when taking up the piano for the first time.

First off this is an investment, in time and money. Make sure that you are ready to make a commitment to study and practice. The piano is a beautiful musical instrument and you will have to give it some dedication before you are playing your first melody.

Finding a Private Piano Instructor

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Trying to find a piano instructor is a tough job. Just open your phone book and it is either feast or famine. Where do you begin looking, how do you know how to go with?

Many people spend time conducting interviews with different instructors. They end up doing hours and hours of phone calls and legwork only to feel frustrated and give up.

Others don’t do any research at all and just pick one at random, guaranteeing hours of frustration working with an instructor who is not meshing well.

The best strategy for finding a piano instructor is by referral.

Go to your local music shop and ask around. Once you find a suitable teacher get down to business and ask them some specifics.

Ask them what will be required of you for the lessons. Ask them how long these piano lessons for beginners will be, how many days a week and whether their will be recitals. The instructor may or may not require you to buy a piano primer.

Find out what their credentials are and if they have any references. This will give you some insight on how effective they are at teaching piano. Make sure you are comfortable with their methods and what you can expect in your lessons.

After you get the preliminaries out of the way, get down to the nitty-gritty and ask about price. Don’t be shy when it comes to negotiating a payment plan if you need one. Most music instructors are very flexible and will work with you on this.

Here are some basics you’ll have to master when you start playing.

Finding Instruction Online

The internet is awash is gimmicky music programs that promise to teach you music in seconds. Just like finding an instructor on-ground, finding online piano instruction can be a tall order. There is a strategy to follow that will help you find the best teaching method for you.

Typing in “learn to play the piano” will give your Google search a conniption fit. There are literally millions of systems out there trying to sell piano lessons for beginners. How can someone weed out the legitimate stuff from the scams?

Do your homework, find out some background information on the person offering the course.

If you can find a seasoned musician chances are that the quality of instruction will be higher than if you just found someone who’s figured out some tricks. Does the online instruction come with video, or audio to guide you along?

Shortcuts are nice to learn, but to truly understand how to play piano you will have to learn the basics. Having a couple of nifty tricks is fun but they won’t help you learn how to play Beethoven. Be sure that you will be receiving a solid foundation in musical theory along with any tips and tricks.

If the instruction is solid and the teacher meets your standards, ask for some references. Find out more information from others who have taken the course. Chances are that if the instructor won’t give your references than it’s a scam!

Get your money’s worth!

Some instructors specialize in certain types of playing, like Mark Miller, who is a jazz piano specialist and even teaches blind and one handed students.

Piano lessons for beginners is a process, there will be time invested into learning the ropes. Taking a piano course online allows you to learn at your own pace so have fun with it.

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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!

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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

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 […]

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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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