Rocket piano beginners v1.2

4,068 views

Published on

1 Comment
8 Likes
Statistics
Notes
No Downloads
Views
Total views
4,068
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
18
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
1
Likes
8
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Rocket piano beginners v1.2

  1. 1. Terms of useBy purchasing The Rocket Piano series - you agree to the followingYou will use The Rocket Piano series, Chordinator, Keycelerator, Perfect Your Pitch Pro,Jayde Musica, Advanced Learning Techniques for Piano and other Rock Star Recipes Ltdproducts and services for your personal and private use only.The Rocket Piano series, Chordinator, Jayde Musica, Advanced Learning Techniques forPiano remain the property of Rock Star Recipes Ltd. and may not be resold, repackagedor otherwise transferred.Course and bonus product materials may not be duplicated or distributed in any waywithout expressed, written permission from Rock Star Recipes Ltd.Rock Star Recipes Ltd. retains all rights to these products.Copyright, © 2004 Rock Star Recipes Ltd.Acknowledgments.The Rocket Piano series was created on behalf of Rock Star Recipes LTD.Author & Music: Asheigh Southam.Multimedia Content: Rock Star Recipes StudiosPublisher: Rock Star Recipes LTD
  2. 2. Page Welcome to Rocket Piano!A Personal Message from MeWelcome to Rocket Piano, the ultimate guide for learning to play the piano! In this bookyou’re going to get everything you need to know, from hand placements to harmony. You’regoing to learn about keys, chords, scales, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, and arpeggios. Inshort, by the end of this book you’ll be able to understand music inside and out, all in afun, easy-to-understand format.Whether you want to play the keyboard in a band or learn how to use that old piano stuckin the corner of the living room, this book is for you. You may want to become a famouspianist or just be the one that everyone asks to play a song. With the techniques you’lllearn here, you’ll be able to play any sheet music, including your favorite pop songs!Better yet, you’ll have over EIGHTY original songs to practice on! That’s right … just forthis book I’ve composed over 80 original compositions designed to take you from pianonovice to piano player. Forget about old folk songs and ditties that everyone knows.These are real songs for real people!I’ve also included the New Rocket Piano Progress Tracker so that you can have a checklistof all the things you can expect to learn in the course. But right now let’s see what you knowabout the piano already. Turn the page to take a quiz on fun facts about the instrumentyou’re going to learn to play.RuthMy name is Ruth, and ever since I was young I’ve been mad about everything to do withmusic. It wasn’t long before I decided I wanted to be a pianist and began learning songseven before I had any lessons! I honed my skills as a pianist and am now a professionalmusician!All that practice paid off for me, and it can for you, too! I know exactly what works andwhat doesn’t in teaching the piano. I’ve seen most of the piano books out there, andthey’re way too dry and serious. Learning to play the piano should be fun, cool, andcutting edge! Why learn the piano like people did fifty years ago when today you’ve gotoptions like MIDI keyboards?01Listen to a personalmessage from Ruth.
  3. 3. Page Piano Facts Quiz1. When was the first piano invented?a. 1300b. 1425c. 1550d. 17002. How many keys are on an average piano?a. 64b. 88c. 100d. 1423. How many strings are in an average piano?a. 88b. 100c. 200d. 3004. The combined tension on the strings in a concert grand piano can be how high?a. 100 poundsb. 100 kilosc. 1000 poundsd. 20 tons5. Most domestic pianos require tuning:a. every two weeksb. every six monthsc. every yeard. every five years6. The year 2000 marked what anniversary of piano manufacturing?a. 250b. 300c. 450d. 500
  4. 4. Page Quiz Answers1. (d)In roughly 1700, Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731) invented the piano in Florence, Italy, asan attempt to improve on the harpsichord. Hewas instrument maker to the court of Ferdinandde Medici and an expert on the harpsichord.The problem that he was trying to solve washow to vary the volume of sound produced by aharpsichord merely by means of touch. He didso by swapping the plucking of strings for thehitting of them. In his design, a jack caused ahammer to hit a taut string, causing it to vibrate.The hammer swings back again immediately,enabling the string to continue vibrating untilthe key is released. His invention was a revolutionary achievement and succeeded inattaining his goal: the piano, which unlike the harpsichord, could play both softly ANDloudly. Cristofori eventually added two hand stops equivalent to the left and right pedalsof grand pianos today. Three of his original pianos (dating from the 1720s) remain.2. (b)There are 88 keys on the modern piano (7-1/3 octaves, from A0 to C7), although olderpianos may have only 85 keys. (Even older pianos, as in over 150 years old, can haveeven fewer keys, down to 5 octaves!)3. (c)Most pianos have over 200 strings. Why? Each time you depress a key, you don’t just setone string vibrating. You set a group of strings vibrating. There may be anywhere fromone to three strings vibrating for any single note! (That’s three for the middle notes, twofor the high notes, and one for the low notes). This creates layers of natural harmonics inthe tone, an effect impossible to achieve with digital pianos.4. (d)Twenty tons. That’s right! The enormous pressure is one reason that metal componentswere incorporated into wooden pianos, culminating in the 100% iron frame invented in1825 in Boston by Alpheus Babcock. By 1840, the company at which he was employed,Chickering, was producing grand pianos with iron frames.
  5. 5. Page 5. (b)Every six months. A piano is tuned by adjusting the tension in each of its strings. Youshould always tune a piano before a performance, and pianos used in concert halls willbe tuned much more frequently. You can minimize the need for tuning by regulating thehumidity around the piano.6. (b)If you got #1 right, you’ll know the answer to this one! The millennium celebrated the300th anniversary of the piano.
  6. 6. Page Each chapter has piles of tunes foryou to play, from simple one-handedditties to duets that you can playalong with a pre-recorded track!Every time you see thisbutton, play the indicatedtrack!Each example is extensively illus-trated to show you exactly how toplay the notes!Every time you see thisbutton, play the relevantvideo!0101Table Of ContentsWelcome to Rocket Piano!.......................................3A Personal Message from Me..................................3Piano Facts Quiz......................................................4Quiz Answers............................................................5Rocket Piano Progress Tracker..............................10Chapter 1. Piano Facts and History...................13Did You Know?.......................................................13How a Piano Works................................................15What a Piano is Made of........................................16Types of Pianos......................................................16Chapter 2. Learning the Basics..........................18Sitting at the Piano.................................................18The Hands Have It..................................................19Perfect Hand Posture.............................................19Caring for Your Hands............................................19How the Hands are Used in Playing Piano.............20The Piano Keyboard...............................................21Using the Fingering System...................................22Reading Music........................................................24Rhythm...................................................................24The Quarter Note....................................................25The Half Note.........................................................26Whole Note.............................................................27Dynamic Signs........................................................28Chapter 3. The Musical Alphabet.......................29Middle C Hand Position..........................................30Time Signatures.....................................................31Chapter 4. The Musical Staff..............................35The Bass Clef Staff.................................................35The Treble Clef Staff...............................................37Memorizing the Notes on a Staff............................38The Grand Staff......................................................39C Hand Position......................................................40
  7. 7. Page Chapter 5. Musical Intervals..............................43The 2nd..................................................................43The 3rd...................................................................44Melodic and Harmonic Intervals.............................45Chapter 6. Both Hands Together........................48Ties and Rests........................................................48A New Time Signature............................................49What’s a Slur?........................................................49Using Your Left Right Hand Together..................51Bringing It All Together............................................52Chapter 7. New Intervals.....................................54The 4th...................................................................54The 5th...................................................................56Chapter 8. Sharps and Flats...............................58Incomplete Measures.............................................58Two New Dynamic Signs........................................58The Black Keys.......................................................61The Sharp Sign.......................................................61The Flat Sign..........................................................64Chapter 9. The G Hand Position.........................67The Accent Sign.....................................................68A New Dynamic Sign: Staccato..............................69Revision Test: Part One.........................................72Revision Test: Part One continued.........................73Revision Test Answers............................................74Chapter 10. More About Rhythm........................75The Eighth Note......................................................75Another New Time Signature.................................78Tempo Marks..........................................................79Fermata Sign..........................................................79More Tempo Markings............................................81Jam Track One.......................................................83Chapter 11. Technical Wizardry ..........................84Repeating It Over and Over....................................861st and 2nd Time Endings......................................87Chapter 12. Taking Steps....................................90The Middle D Position............................................90On and Off Beats....................................................92Half Steps...............................................................94The Chromatic Scale..............................................95Whole Steps...........................................................96Review of Whole Steps Half Steps.....................97Chapter 13. Playing Scales.................................98Hand Movement #1: Thumb Under........................99Hand Movement #2: Hand Over...........................100The G Major Scale................................................102G Major Key Signature.........................................102Jam Track Two.....................................................106Chapter14. TempoRevisitedandaNewInterval....108The 6th.................................................................108Legato..................................................................110Allegretto.............................................................. 111Dotted Notes.........................................................112Poco.....................................................................113Lento....................................................................114Jam Track Three...................................................115Chapter 15. Two New Scales............................116The F Major Scale................................................116The 7th.................................................................118The D Major Scale................................................121Accidentals...........................................................123The 8th or Octave.................................................124Accelerando..........................................................125Repeat with D.S. al fine........................................126Fortissimo: Making it Loud....................................127Jam Track Four.....................................................128Chapter 16. Metronomes and More..................129The Metronome....................................................129The Sixteenth Note...............................................130Scale in Contrary Motion......................................132Reading Notes Above/Below Lines......................133
  8. 8. Page Chapter 17. Chords...........................................134Primary Triads......................................................136Chord Progression................................................1372nd Inversions......................................................138Primary Triads in G major.....................................140Primary Triads in F major.....................................142Primary Triads in D major.....................................144Block and Broken Chords.....................................146Chapter 18. Minors............................................147The Natural Minor Scale.......................................147The Harmonic Minor Scale...................................148The Melodic Minor................................................148Minor Intervals......................................................149The Perfect 5th.....................................................150Minor Triads..........................................................150Primary Chords in Minor Keys..............................151D Minor.................................................................153Primary Chords in D Harmonic Minor...................154Chapter 19. Arpeggios......................................156Arpeggios with Chord Progression.......................158Jam Track Five.....................................................161Revision Test: Part Two........................................163Revision Test Part Two continued........................164Revision Test Part Two: Answers.........................165Conclusion..........................................................166
  9. 9. Page 10Rocket Piano ProgressTrackerEverything you learn in this Rocket Piano course is incredibly valuable and it is important notto lose track of the concepts and techniques you have worked so hard to understand!This Progress Tracker has been specifically designed for you to keep a record of eachindividual skill, concept and technique that you learn so that by the end of this bookyou can pin point exactly how far you’ve progressed in becoming a skilled pianist and aknowledgeable musician.With this record of your learning you can recall the skills you’ve mastered without havingto go through the whole course just to find the specific skill you’re looking for! It can alsobe used as a practice schedule.Once you have mastered a lesson or skill tick it off on the Progress Tracker, and move onto the next lesson! Commit yourself to ticking off the skills you learn as you go and seeyour improvement instantly!“I __________________am making the commitment to myself, to work through the RocketPiano Course at my own speed, and absorbing all the information, and mastering all theskills I can, to enable me to play the piano like a true professional.”Signed:______________________________ Date: _____________________
  10. 10. Page 11Lesson or Skill Page # Date SignatureHow a Piano works ............. ............. .......................Piano Parts: keys, strings, hammer, pedal ............. ............. .......................Piano Posture ............. ............. .......................Hand placement ............. ............. .......................Fingering system ............. ............. .......................Reading music: Rhythm ............. ............. .......................Notes: Quarter note, half note, whole note ............. ............. .......................Dynamic Signs ............. ............. .......................The C Hand position ............. ............. .......................Time Signature: 4/4 ............. ............. .......................The Musical Staff: ............. ............. .......................The Bass Clef ............. ............. .......................The Treble Clef ............. ............. .......................Memorizing the notes on the Staff ............. ............. .......................The Grand Staff ............. ............. .......................Musical Intervals: the 2nd ............. ............. .......................Musical Intervals: the 3rd ............. ............. .......................Melodic and Harmonic Intervals ............. ............. .......................Both hands together ............. ............. .......................Ties, Rests and Slurs ............. ............. .......................New Time Signature: 3/4 ............. ............. .......................New Intervals: the 4th ............. ............. .......................New Intervals: the 5th ............. ............. .......................Sharps and Flats ............. ............. .......................New dynamic signs: crescendo diminuendo ............. ............. .......................The G Hand position ............. ............. .......................The accent sign ............. ............. .......................New dynamic sign: Staccato ............. ............. .......................The eighth note ............. ............. .......................New Time Signature 2/4 ............. ............. .......................Fermenta Sign ............. ............. .......................Technical Wizardry: Pedaling ............. ............. .......................Repeats ............. ............. .......................1st and 2nd time endings ............. ............. .......................The Middle D hand position ............. ............. .......................On and Off beats ............. ............. .......................Half steps ............. ............. .......................The Chromatic Scale ............. ............. .......................Whole steps ............. ............. .......................
  11. 11. Page 12Lesson or Skill Page # Date SignaturePlaying scales tetra chords ............. ............. .........................Thumb under technique ............. ............. ......................... Hand Over technique ............. ............. .........................The G major scale key signature ............. ............. .........................New Interval: the 6th ............. ............. .........................Performance direction: Legato and Allegretto ............. ............. ......................... Dotted notes ............. ............. .........................Performance direction: Poco and Lento ............. ............. .........................The F major scale ............. ............. .........................New Interval: the 7th ............. ............. .........................D major scale ............. ............. .........................Accidentals ............. ............. .........................New Interval: the 8th or Octave ............. ............. .........................Performance direction: Accelerando ............. ............. .........................Repeat with D.S al fine ............. ............. .........................Performance direction: Fortissimo ............. ............. .........................Using the Metronome ............. ............. .........................The sixteenth note ............. ............. .........................Scale in Contrary Motion ............. ............. .........................Chord structure basics ............. ............. .........................Primary Triads ............. ............. .........................Chord Progressions ............. ............. ......................... 1st inversions ............. ............. .........................Primary triads in: G major ............. ............. .........................Primary triads in: F major ............. ............. .........................Primary triads in: D major ............. ............. .........................Block and Broken Chords ............. ............. .........................The Natural Minor scale ............. ............. .........................The Harmonic Minor Scale ............. ............. .........................The Melodic Minor Scale ............. ............. .........................Minor Intervals ............. ............. .........................The Perfect 5th ............. ............. .........................Minor triads ............. ............. .........................Primary chords in Minor Keys ............. ............. .........................The key of D minor ............. ............. .........................Primary chords in D harmonic minor ............. ............. .........................Arpeggios ............. ............. .........................Arpeggios with Chord Progressions ............. ............. .........................
  12. 12. Page 13DidYou Know? That the original name for the pianowas a “gravicembalo col piano eforte”? In case you can’t read Italian,that means a large harpsichord withsoft and loud (tones). Later, the namebecame shortened to “piano e forte,”then “pianoforte,” then switched to“fortepiano” before finally settling on thename by which we know it today: thepiano! That the string that produces thehighest note in a piano is made of steelwire about ¾ millimeter in diameter? That the string that produces the lowestnote in a piano is made of not just steelbut copper as well, making it roughly1-¼ millimeters in diameter? That an upright piano can weigh from300 to 480 pounds, while a concertgrand piano will weigh around a ton? That the tension on piano strings havebeen known to crack and collapsepianos? That the pianos that Mozart,Haydn, and Beethoven wrote theircompositions for sounded vastlydifferent to the pianos of our day? Theirpianos produced a softer, clearer tonewith less power. That adherents to the authenticperformance movement create modernreplicas of early pianos to be able toperform music on the kind of pianosavailable to their composers (likeMozart) at the time? That the first music publishedspecifically for the piano came out in1739? That it wasn’t until the mid 1760sthat the piano took to the stage in theearliest public performances? That the earliest public pianoperformance in North America tookplace in Boston just five years beforethe Declaration of Independence? That the patent for the action in a grandpiano, taken out by Robert Stodart in1777, was the first patent ever to usethe word “grand”?Chapter 1. Piano Facts and HistoryIn this chapter, I’m going to give you some basic information about the history of the pianoand how it works. Frankly, you don’t need to know a thing about how a piano works tobe able to play, so if you’re raring to get your fingers on the keyboard, skip this chapter.If not, here are some cool facts about the piano to impress your friends.
  13. 13. Page 14 That pianos used to come in a squareshape? (At the turn of the 19th centuryAmerican piano manufacturers made asquare piano bonfire in Atlantic City.) That pianos didn’t always have 7+octaves? Mozart used a piano that onlyhad 5 octaves, and today some pianosreach eight octaves. (The extra keysadd resonance, even if they are notplayed.) That piano frames used to be madecompletely out of wood, and it wasn’tuntil 1820 that metal began to be usedsuccessfully in grand piano frames? That hammers used to be covered inleather but are now covered in felt?(The felt covering was introduced in1826.) That the solo recital (performing a pieceby memory without musical assistance)was established in 1839? That the great maestro of piano,Sviatoslav Richter (1915-1997), couldmemorize any piece of music on sight? That the self-playing piano (or playerpiano), which plays itself from a roll, wasinvented in 1863? That the modern concert grand pianohas not been improved in any major wayfor the past 100 years? That piano manufacturing declinedseverely during the Great Depressionand Second World War? That the world’s largest grand piano was11 feet, 8 inches long and produced bythe Challen Company in 1933? (Thetensile stress on the strings reached 30tons!) That in 1969 the country that producedthe greatest number of pianos wasJapan? That the world’s most expensive pianois an Alma-Tadema Steinway sold atauction in 1998 for 1.2 million dollars?(It originally sold for $1200 in the1880s.) That the Crystal Music Company in TheNetherlands makes the world’s only fullytransparent grand piano? (You can buyone today!) That you can get a “left-handed” grandpiano with the lowest notes to the rightand the highest notes to the left? (It’sproduced by Bluthner.) That two people can play together ona single grand piano—facing eachother!—on the Grotrian Duo GrandPiano, a piano with the keyboardat opposite ends and connectedsoundboards?A duo grand piano
  14. 14. Page 15How a PianoWorksYou can further modify the sound that youproduce by using one of a piano’s two tothree pedals. The soft pedal (una corda)on the left will make the sound quieter, whilethe damper pedal on the right will lift thedampers off all the strings, allowing thestrings to continue vibrating even when youhave released the keys. There may be amiddle pedal called the sostenuto pedalthat works like the damper pedal, exceptthat it only keeps one damper raised—theone that was raised at the moment thepedal was pressed. Or, the middle pedalmay be a practice pedal instead, which willmute the sound by dropping a strip of felt inbetween the hammer and keys.Everything starts when you press a key. When you press a key down, a device called ajack pushes the hammer towards a string. The hammer strikes the string, causing it tovibrate, and falls back immediately. (If the hammer didn’t fall back, the sound producedwould not be a clear tone but rather a “clonk”!) As the force with which you press a keydetermines how hard the hammer will strike, you can achieve a wide range in volumesimply by how hard or softly you press a key.When you release the key, a damper stops the vibrations in the string in the same way thatyou could stop a wire from vibrating by pressing down on it. This set of hammers, levers,and dampers compose a piano’s action. At that point, the bridge carries the vibrations tothe soundboard. The soundboard is responsible for the amplification of sound.In fact, pressing a key causes 35 inter-linked actions to take place, resulting in thesound of a particular note!
  15. 15. Page 16Types of PianosPianos come in three types:• Grand pianos• Upright pianos• Digital pianosThe best sound quality comes from agrand piano. Generally, in pianos, thebigger the better, and grand pianos are thegranddaddies of the piano world. They areover nine feet long, and their frame andstrings extend horizontally, perpendicularto the keyboard. They have longer bassstrings than an upright piano, with a rolleraction that gives a superb playing response.However, due to their size, they are foundless in homes than in concert halls. Thepowerful sound they produce requires aspacious room with high ceilings for properresonance.What a Piano is Made ofThe primary components of any piano arewood and metal, with a small amount ofplastic. Outer Rim. Hardwood (usually mapleor beech) Plate (frame). Cast iron Keys. Spruce or basswood, coveredwith plastic. Strings. High quality steel (treblestrings) or steel wrapped with copperwire (bass strings). Action. Hardwood or plastic Soundboard. Solid spruce (cheappianos may have a plywoodsoundboard)
  16. 16. Page 17to a computer. However, a digital piano’ssound quality cannot approach the depth ofan upright piano, due to the lack of naturalharmonics.Other similar instruments include theelectric piano, the most famous of whichis the Fender-Rhodes, which producesa sound that is part bell, part xylophone,and part piano. Completely portable, theelectric piano is similar to an acoustic pianoonly insofar as pressing a key causes ahammer to strike … but what it strikes aretines rather than strings. Magnets locatedat the tip of each tine pick up the audiblevibrations for amplification.Anelectronicpiano,orelectronickeyboard,is what you see most bands playing. It issimilar to a digital piano in that sounds aresynthesized, or computer-generated, butunlike a digital piano an electronic keyboarddoes not have weighted key action orvelocity sensitivity.Upright pianos are most commonly foundin homes.They are also called vertical pianos, astheir frame and strings extend upwardsand downwards from the keyboard. Asthe hammers move sideways rather thanupwards, it is difficult to get the same soundquality in an upright as in a grand piano.Digital pianos (as compared with acousticpianos) are a recent innovation. Developedsince the 1970s, pianos use digitallysampled sounds that are replayed at thetouch of a key.They are intended to feel as much likeacoustic pianos as possible, down to theweighted key action.They’re portable, don’t need tuning, andoften have a variety of extra effects,including other “voices,” preprogrammedrhythms, and the ability to export sound
  17. 17. Page 181. The first rule of correct posture is tokeep your back straight. Your torsomay bend towards the piano.2. Keep your head up. DON’T crane yourneck to look at the sheet music. Thesheet music should be positioned foreasy visibility.3. Your shoulders and arms should beloose and relaxed. If you need to dosome stretches beforehand, feel free!4. Your arms should be parallel with theheight of the keys and bend at theelbow in an angle of slightly greaterthan 90 degrees.5. Your thighs should be parallel with thefloor. To ensure this, you should use anadjustable chair.6. Your right foot should be set forwardtowards the pedals, while your left footshould rest midway between the pedalsand your chair.7. Keep enough distance between yourchair and the piano that you can reachthe pedals and keys comfortably, yethave freedom of movement. If yourchair is too close, your body will get inthe way of your elbows. If your chairis too far away, you will have to bendforward to reach the keys.Chapter 2. Learning the BasicsI’m going to assume from the start that you have a piano to practice on. If you don’thave one, get one now! You can’t learn the piano without an instrument to practice on.Fortunately, even an inexpensive electronic keyboard will do for most of the exercises inthis book.Sitting at the PianoWhen you are seated at the piano, you need to have the correct posture. Without theproper posture, you can experience back pain and stress in your joints.02
  18. 18. Page 19The Hands Have ItYour hands are the most important part ofyour body when playing the piano. You mayhave heard the myth that long fingers makea great piano player. This simply isn’t true!No matter what kind of hands you have, youcan tear up the keyboard. What you needmore than mere finger length, is strength,agility, and dexterity.The best fingers for piano playing aretapered: in other words, they are muscularat the base and narrower towards thefingertip.Caring forYour HandsPlaying the piano should not be hard. If youexperience any pain, stress, or strain at all,you need to reevaluate or have someonehelp you examine your posture and playingtechnique.Professional pianists can develop problemswith their hands caused by overuse, suchas repetitive stress syndrome. To keep yourhands happy, take a 10-minute break afterevery 45-minutes of practice. Curl anduncurl your hands to keep them limber.Implement a stretching and self-massageroutine to improve blood flow to your handsand arms.Amazingly enough, keyboardists suffermany specific hand injuries. Because thetouch of the keys on an electronic keyboardis so light, people have a tendency to pushharder!Perfect Hand PostureWhen you play the piano, your handsshould be relaxed, with your fingers slightlyrounded so that the tips are resting lightlyon the keys. Your wrists should not be toorigid, and you should never clench yourfingertips. Avoid lifting the fingers too highas you play, as this will decrease yourspeed and create tension where none isnecessary.
  19. 19. Page 20How the Hands are Used in Playing PianoIf you know how to type, you know that you need to use a certain finger to press each keyon the keyboard. Similarly, when you are playing piano, you will use certain fingers topress specific keys, depending on the hand position.As you start learning the correct fingers to use, it is helpful to think of each of your fingersas having a numerical value. The standard method is to divide your fingers into your righthand (R.H.) and left hand (L.H.), and assign a number from 1 to 5 to each number, startingfrom the thumb (1) and finishing on the pinky (5).As you work through this book, you’ll need to know which number corresponds to whichfinger, so that when I ask you to play a key with R.H. 2, you’ll know to play the key withthe index finger of your right hand.Since this numbering system is standard, you will find that some pieces of particularlydifficult piano music will have a number (like R.H. 2) marked above certain notes that aredifficult to finger.
  20. 20. Page 21The Piano KeyboardYou are probably already familiar with the piano keyboard. As mentioned before, astandard modern piano has 88 keys: 52 white and 36 black. Its range will be a little over7 octaves (one octave comprises 7 white keys and 5 black keys).In the very center is an important key called Middle C. This establishes the basic pitchand is the key from which all other keys are referenced.To the left of middle C, the notes become progressively lower. (Hitting a note will causevibration of the bass strings).To the right of middle C, the notes become progressively higher. (Hitting a note will causevibration of the tenor strings.)You will notice that the black keys on a piano are groupedin sets of 2 and 3.cLow HighAs you move up each key in the piano, you are moving up a half-step. You will learnmore about this in later chapters.At the moment, just play some keys on the piano. Try the following:1. Play some white keys, then some black keys. Do you notice any difference in thetone or quality of sound?2. Play the lowest note on the keyboard, then Middle C, then the highest note. Do youthink that many songs use a piano’s full range?3. Play a group of consecutive keys (keys that go one right after another, including theblack keys.) Can you hear the progression in pitch?2s 3s
  21. 21. Page 221. Using your left hand, play the two grouped black keys just up from Middle C.Using the Fingering SystemNow, try some exercises to practice the fingering system on the keyboard. Right now,we’ll just use the two black keys above Middle C.C2. Now, play the same keys using your left hand and the correct fingers. Play thehighest note first and the lowest note second.23C3. Now, do Exercise 2 again, this time with the right hand.32C4. Play R.H. 2 then R.H. 3.2 3CPractice makes perfect!Schedule several practicesessions of 10 to 15minutes a day.
  22. 22. Page 23Now, we’ll do the same thing, but on two of the groups of three black keys. Use the threeblack keys below Middle C for the left hand, and the three black keys above Middle C forthe right hand.C1. Play L.H. 2, L.H. 3, then L.H. 4.3 24L.H.32 4R.H.2. Now, play R.H. 2, R.H. 3, and R.H. 4.
  23. 23. Page 24Reading MusicMusic consists of a pattern of tones of varying lengths. Each tone is written down as anote.The word note can have several meanings:1. A tone of definite pitch.2. The symbol for such a tone, indicating pitch by its position on the staffand duration by its shape.3. The key of an instrument, such as a piano.If you want to play a note, you need to learn how to read notes from a musical score toplay those notes on the piano.You must learn how to read music if you want to play the piano. Think of a musical scoreas your instruction manual. It will tell you everything you need to know about playing apiece of music. Once you have the musical score memorized, you will be able to playsongs easily without the aid of sheet music (as is done in most solo recitals).RhythmRight now, let’s focus on understanding the length of a note. Knowing how long to playeach note is essential to capturing a song’s rhythm. The shape of the note will tell youhow long the tone should be played for (its duration).A note can have many different shapes.Each shape has a specific name and corresponds to a certain value (measured inbeats).By looking at these notes on their own, you do not have any idea of the pitch of each noteis (in other words, whether the note is Middle C, a higher note, or a lower note). The onlything that the shape of a note tells you is its duration. You will have to look at the note’sposition on a musical staff to know its pitch.w eq xhwholenotehalfnotequarternoteeighthnotesixteenthnote
  24. 24. Page 25The Quarter NoteThe standard note is the quarter note.It lasts for one beat, or count.Musical rhythms are not just described by note lengths. You can also talk about rhythmin terms of measures. Measures are indicated by bar lines.Can you guess the number of beats per measure?4 quarter notes x 1 beat per quarter note = 4 beatsNow, let’s put the last two concepts together and use the fingering system to play a tune.Place your hands on the keyboard in the following position.R.H.32L.H.3 2CExercise:Play the following tune. Use your right hand to play the first line. Then, switchto your left hand for the second line. Each note should last for the duration of one beat.double bar linesmean the pieceis doneL.H.Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q32 32 32 32R.H.q q q q q q q q32 32 32 32qq q q q q q q qbar linemeasure measure01
  25. 25. Page 26The Half NoteA half note is twice the length of a quarter note. It lasts for two counts: one, two.hq q q q1 1 1 2 3 42 3 42 3 4h hh hTwo quarter notes make a half note. q q h=+L.H. R.H.C32 43 24Let’s practice using half notes and quarter notes in a song. Place your hands in thefollowing position.Exercise: Play the following tune. Use your left hand for the first line. Then, switch toyour right hand for the second. Remember to hold the half notes for twice the duration ofthe quarter notes. If you need to listen to how it should sound, click on the play mediabutton.L.H.Q Q H Q Q H4 3 2 2 3 4R.H.q q h q q h4 3 2 2 3 4You may find it helpfulto tap your foot as youplay.02
  26. 26. Page 27L.H. R.H.C32 43 24Whole NoteA whole note is four beats. It lasts for four counts: one, two, three, four.ww q q+h h= = + + q + qA whole note is equal to two half notes OR four quarter notes.q q q q1 1 1 2 3 42 3 42 3 4h h wExercise: Using the same hand position that you used for the previous example, try thismore complex tune.2QL.H.Q Q Q Q Q H Q Q H Q Q H3 4 3 2 2 2 3 3 3 2 2 2R.H.q q q q q q h q q q q w4 3 2 3 4 4 4 4 333 203
  27. 27. Page 28Dynamic SignsDynamic signs tell you how loudly or softly to play a piece. Remember that the ability toplay a note loudly or softly is what inspired the invention of the piano. Like many words inmusic, the names for dynamic signs are taken from the Italian.fMeaningloudmoderately loudmoderately softsoftItalianfortemezzo fortemezzo pianopianoSymbolmfmppExercise: This exercise is the most difficult yet, using all five fingers on both hands. Tryto make the first part (played on your right hand) sound strong and loud, while the secondpart (played on your left hand) should sound soft.L.H. R.H.C3 24 15 32 41 5Once you become comfortable with the exercise, try playing along with the track 05 as abacking track!fR.H.q q q q q qh q q q q w1 1 1 1 2 22 3 3 3 4 5QL.H. Q Q Q Q Q H Q QwQ Q123 3 34 4 45555p0405
  28. 28. Page 29Chapter 3. The Musical AlphabetIn this chapter, you’re going to learn much, much more about reading music. This includesthe names for each white key on a keyboard, time signatures, the musical staff, and theMiddle C hand position for playing.You don’t have to learn many letters for the musical alphabet. (Hint: You already knowone of them: C!) The musical alphabet consists of 7 letters: A, B, C, D, E, F, G.If you can locate Middle C on a piano, you can figure out the letter for any key on thekeyboard. From C, count upwards with one letter per white key: C, D, E, F, G. The whitekey after G will return to A. Quite simply, the entire keyboard consists of this sequence of7 letters repeated one after another.A BC D E F G C CA BBB CC D D D DE E E EF F FGG GAAIndividual white keys can be identified easily with the help of the grouped black keys.You should memorize the musical alphabet and thelocation of each key. If it helps, you may wish to labeleach key on your piano with stickers, but make surethat the stickers you use will not damage your keys.A B CD E FGPlay all the A’son your piano.Play all the G’son your piano.Play all the B’son your piano.Play all the C’son your piano.Play all the D’son your piano.Play all the E’son your piano.Play all the F’son your piano.
  29. 29. Page 30Middle C Hand PositionThe first formal hand position that you will learn is the Middle C hand position. In thisposition, you will use your left hand for every key below Middle C and your right hand forevery key above Middle C.Exercise: Practice this hand position with the following tune.Exercise: Now, play along with track seven to create your own duet.(Both your thumbs should be on Middle C.)L.H. R.H.C32 43 245 1 5BA ED FF GGMiddle C PositionYou’re doing great!fR.H.q q qqL.H.Q Q Q QQ QHhh32 41 2 3 1 3 4 3 2 12A A BC D E F GC CDE B0607
  30. 30. Page 31Time SignaturesTo understand rhythm completely, you don’t just need to know for how many counts youshould hold each note. You also need to know how many beats per bar. And, to makeit even more confusing, the values that you have just learned for each type of note cansometimes change!This is why you need to understand time signatures. A time signature (or “meter sign”)is a set of two numbers that appears at the beginning of every piece of music.Some examples of time signatures include:The top number tells you how many beats in a bar.The bottom number tells you which note value will get one beat. This can seem a bitconfusing. Remember: a quarter is ¼, so a 4 at the bottom means that the quarter notewill get one beat. An 8 at the bottom would mean that the eighth note would get one beat,and so on.The most common time signature is It is also called “common time.” All of the tunesyou have played so far have been in common time. In common time, there are four beatsper measure. A complete measure might be four quarter notes, two half notes, or onewhole note.q q q q1 1 1 2 3 42 3 42 3 4h h w44444424 43 6803
  31. 31. Page 32Exercise: Play the following tune using the Middle C hand position that you learnedearlier. Note the time signature and dynamic sign.L.H. R.H.C32 43 245 1 5BA ED FF GGMiddle C PositionB AC D E F G Aq q q q q q q qQ Q Q Q Q Q Q QR.H. L.H.3 24 1 532 41 5 2 23 34 4F FE D C G G BwR.H.1CmpB AC D E F G Aq q q q q q q qQ Q Q Q Q Q Q QR.H. L.H.3 24 1 532 41 5 2 23 34 4F FE D C G G B4408
  32. 32. Page 33Here are two more tunes on which to practice your Middle C hand position.Exercise: Play the following tune using the Middle C hand position that you learnedearlier. Note the time signature and dynamic sign.L.H. R.H.C32 43 245 1 5BA ED FF GGMiddle C PositionMerrilyWe Roll AlongR.H.q q q q q q h q qACDEFGA A CD E GAh qq h3 2 1 532 23 33 2 2QL.H.Q Q Q Q Q H Q Q H QQ H4 4 15 4 13 3 3 3 34 4EE D D D E GGGGG A Cmf44509
  33. 33. Page 34Exercise: Play the following tune using the Middle C hand position that you learnedearlier. Note the time signature and dynamic sign.L.H. R.H.C32 43 245 1 5BA ED FF GGMiddle C PositionSkip AlongF G A5 3 3Q Q Q Q H QQ445 4GGAL.H.H Q Q w5555FFFFFq q q q h qqC EC D1 32 3 21 1E DDCfR.H.h qq w1 11CC C24410
  34. 34. Page 35Chapter 4. The Musical StaffBy now you should feel comfortable with associating the musical alphabet with the keyson a piano. You should automatically play notes for the correct length. You shouldunderstand that pieces of music are broken into measures by bar lines and be able to findthe length of each bar by looking at the time signature.Now, you are going to put all that knowledge to use. Learning how to read the musicalstaff will enable you to dispense with the musical alphabet. You will know exactly whichkey on the piano corresponds to the note you want to play by “reading” the note’s positionon the staff.A musical staff is a set of five lines and four spaces.Until now, you’ve only seen notes on a blank background. However, musical notes arenormally written on a staff. A note may be written on a line or on a space.wwwwwwwwwThere are two basic staffs used in playing the piano: the base clef staff (for low notes)and the treble clef staff (for high notes). This is because one staff isn’t enough fordistinguishing all the notes that may be played in a song. Two staffs give you twice asmany notes.The Bass Clef StaffLet’s look at the base clef staff right now. The symbol for this staff is the bass clef.The following letter notes correspond to each line and space.3 32415lines spaces124?DFBACEG ?BAG
  35. 35. Page 36You should begin learning the bass clef staff by associating each line or space on the staffwith a specific key on the piano. For example, take the Middle C hand position that youhave just learned. The left hand notes will correspond to the following lines and spaceson the bass clef staff.GF BA C3 24 15L.H.? QQQQQExercise: Play the following tune with your left hand only.Exercise: Now, play along with track twelve to create your own duet!53 241 5CBF G Amf44page 9?            5?            11111 1111155555 4 3 2GFC C C C C CA BCCF F F F F CC1112
  36. 36. Page 37TheTreble Clef StaffThe bass clef staff is used to play low notes. The treble clef staff allows you to play highernotes. The symbol for this staff is the treble clef.The following letter notes correspond to each line and space.DFACEGBFEIn the Middle C hand position that you have just learned, the right hand notes will correspondto the following lines and spaces on the treble clef staff.FD E GC32 41 5 R.H.q qqqqExercise: Play along with track fourteen to create your own duet!Exercise: Play the following tune.G EE EDDD F3 245 1 3 5 4 3 22 4D EC DEFG F44q = 96Pianopage 10COMPOSERmp           5            mp333 222 444 11 5G E DFF CC F1314
  37. 37. Page 38Memorizing the Notes on a StaffStudents of music often find memorizing which note belongs to each line and space oneach staff quite difficult. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to ensure that you’ll neverforget!Think of the notes as forming a “code” when read from bottom to the top. For example,on the treble clef staff, the letters for the lines go:DFEGB E G B D FYou can memorize the notes by memorizing the sentence:Every Good Boy Deserves FruitThe first letter of each word correspond to the note for each line on the treble clef staff,starting from the bottom.Now, let’s do the same with the spaces.ACFE F A C EYou can memorize the notes by memorizing the word FACE.Moving onto the base clef staff, we’ll do the same thing. Let’s start with the lines.A? DFBGG B D F AGood Bikes Don’t Fall Apart?ACEGA C E GAll Cows Eat GrassHave you tried out the bonus games yet? If not, now would be a great time toopen Jayde Musica Pro and practice recognizing the notes on a staff!
  38. 38. Page 39The Grand StaffIf you have looked at sheet music for the piano in the past, you may have noticed that itdoesn’t just have one staff. It has two! That is because each staff carries the instructionsfor each hand. The right hand plays the top staff (the treble clef staff) while the left handplays the notes on the bottom staff (the base cleff staff).To understand that grand staff, you have to learn a new symbol. You’ve seen it in theprevious two examples:Remember that in the Middle C position, you keep the thumbs of each hand on the samenote: Middle C. Since Middle C can be played by either the left hand or the right hand,the above nifty notation was invented. Whenever you see a note with a short line throughit, you know that you are playing Middle C.The grand staff consists of: joined by a brace.qFive lines of trebleFive lines of bass?Middle C short lineqA BC D E F G CBB C D DE EF FGG AALow Middle High?QqQ Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Qq q q q q q q q q qMiddle C
  39. 39. Page 40C EFGD E F GC Hand PositionNow it’s time to learn a new hand position. You’ve already learned the Middle C handposition. Now I’m going to show you the C hand position. Don’t get the two confused!They are quite different.C D E F GC D E F GL.H. R.H.32 41 5C Position3 245 1? QqQ Q Q Qq q q qExercise: Try the new hand position on the following tune.4444page 11f             ? · · · ·5 · · · ·?              33 22 44 11 5 55 5 1 1R.H.L.H.33 22 44 15 5 551 1 1D C C CG GC EFGD E F G D C C CG G15
  40. 40. Page 41Say goodbye to the L.H. and R.H. symbols!For the remainder of this book, the notes inthe treble clef (the top line) will be played byyour right hand, and the notes in the baseclef (bottom line) will be played by your lefthand.? R.H.L.H.Have you wondered why the stems on notes sometimespoint up and sometimes point down? Now that you’refamiliar with the musical staff, I’ll let you in on a secret.Even experienced musicians sometimes read the positionof a note wrong! They think that the note was on thesecond line when it was really on the third ... or the thirdwhen it was really on the second.Mistakes are easy to make when you’re reading sheetmusic quite quickly! That’s why the people writing downthe music made a little addition that made getting the rightline a whole lot easier. They changed the direction of thestem! Take a look....qQQ QqqqQ Any note that appears on or above themiddle line will have its stem pointingdown.QQAny note that appears below themiddle line will have its stem pointingup.qqqstem
  41. 41. Page 424444q = 108page 11.5f              ? · · · ·5 · · · ·?               C D E F GC D E F GL.H. R.H.32 41 5C Position3 245 1Exercise: Put together everything you have learned on the following tune. Rememberthat you will play the top staff with the right hand and the bottom with the left. Note thechange in the direction the notes are pointing.Ode to Joy3 2 13 24 5 13 5 4 3 3 2 232 13 213 54 3 35 4 4 4CDE F C DE G D EFG E E DCDE F C DE G D EFG E E D16
  42. 42. Page 43Chapter 5. Musical IntervalsBy now, you have learned the fundamentals of rhythm, the musical “language” of notes,and how to play the notes that you see on a musical staff. The next concept that you aregoing to learn is the interval.An interval measures the distance from one note to another. Intervals come in 2nds, 3rds,4ths, 5ths, 6ths, 7ths, and octaves, or 8ths. (There are also minor intervals, which we’lldiscuss later.)The 2ndThis interval is measured by the distance of one white key to the next white key eitherabove or below it.2ndOn the musical staff, 2nds are written:1. When the first note is on a space and the nextnote is on a line.2. When the first note is on a line and the next noteis on a space. q q qq? q q ? q qExercise: The following tune uses 2nds. Use the C position. As it is a simple tune, seeif you can play the tune without any help (e.g., finger numbers).174444mf              ?21 321 3 54 335 44 44GFC D G EC D F FEE F E F
  43. 43. Page 44The 3rdThis interval is measured when there is always exactly one white key between the whitekeys being played.On the musical staff, 3rds are written:1. When the first note is on a space and the next note is alsoon a space (with a line between them.)2. When the first note is on a line and the next note is also ona line (with a space between them). q q q q? q q ? q qExercise: The following tune uses 3rds. Use the C hand position.C D E F GC D E F GL.H. R.H.32 41 5C Position3 245 14444q = 112page 13mf         ? · · · ·5 · · · ·?           1 1 22 33 44 2511 22 33 44 55 4CC D D DE EF FG GCC D D DE EF FG3rd18
  44. 44. Page 45Melodic and Harmonic IntervalsYou may already know that there are three major aspects to music: rhythm, melody, andharmony. Almost every piece of music has these three components.When you talk about time signatures, tapping a beat, or how fast or slow a piece of musicis, you are talking about rhythm.When you talk about a single line of notes, played separately one by one on the musicalstaff, you are talking about melody Melody is the horizontal aspect of music. All thetunes you have learned so far have been melodies.When you talk about chords or several notes played simultaneously, you are talking aboutharmony. Harmony is the vertical aspect of music and is shown on the musical staff bynotes stacked on top of one another.You need to know the difference between harmony and melody to be able to understandmelodic intervals and harmonic intervals.Melodic intervals measure the distance between notes played separately on a staff.Harmonic intervals measure the distance between notes played simultaneously ona staff.4444page 14.1 · ·       ?         · ·2nd 3rd 3rd4444page 14.2 · ·     ?       · ·Harmonic Intervals Harmonic IntervalsHarmonic Intervals2nd2nd 2nd 3rd3rd3rd3rd3rd3rd2nd2nd2nd2nd1920Harmonic Intervals
  45. 45. Page 46Exercise: Practice playing harmony with the following piece. When you see two notesthat share the same stem, play both keys simultaneously.C D E F GC D E F GL.H. R.H.32 41 5C Position3 245 14444page 14.3             ? · · · ·5 · · · ·?             1 1 2 11 123 13C CD D E EFGEGC CC CDCDECECDCDCDCECE1212121313FGFGFGEG123135 5 3354 412121213ECExercise: Play along with the following track to create your own duet!2122
  46. 46. Page 47Chapter 6. Both HandsTogetherYou’ve learned so much already. You can play harmony and melody, follow the notes onsheet music, and keep a steady beat. In this chapter, we will expand on what you know.You’ll learn some more musical notation, including a new note and a new time signature.Finally, you’ll use both your left and right hands together for the first time.Ties and RestsIn Chapter 3 you learned that each measure in a piece of music must have a standardvalue, indicated by the top number on the time signature. In common time, or time,there are 4 beats to the bar.However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t hold any note longer than four beats. If youwant to hold a note rather than stop at the end of the measure, you will use a tie.44If, on the other hand, you don’t want to extend a note but rather have a moment of silencewhen no note is being played, you will use a rest. You might find it useful to think ofsilence in piano scores as a “rest” from playing!Rests are like notes in that their shape and position on the staff tell you importantinformation. There are three kinds of rests.quarter note resthalf note restwhole note restη·= 1 beat, same as q= 2 beats, same as hw= 4 beats, same asNote that the half note rest and whole note rest look identical, so you’ll have to look veryclosely at their position on the staff! h44 h h hThe combined value ofthis note is 4 beats.tie
  47. 47. Page 48CL.H. 45Exercise: Practice rests with the following piece, using the C hand position.C D E F GD E F GR.H.32 41 5C Position3 2 124444page 15fÎ  ÎÎ  Î      ? · · · ·5 · · · ·?        Î  Î  Î 23 344 53111 2 3 4 532 4 3 53C23You may notice that there are no letters to indicate which notes to play!By now you should be getting used to reading the notes by themselves and knowingwhich keys to play.
  48. 48. Page 49A NewTime SignatureIt’s time to learn a new time signature:The at the top means that each measure that follows will have three beats.The at the bottom means that, like in the time signature, a quarter note will still getone beat.With this new time signature comes a new measured note: the dotted half note.The dotted half note stands for three beats, or a count of, “One, two, three.”4334 44h.h. h. qqq1 2 31 2 31 2 3What’s a Slur?A slur isn’t something bad that someone says about you. Rather, in music, it’s a curvedline that goes over or under a group of notes. It means that the notes are played smoothlyand connectedly, with no pause or space between each note. The slur helps to divide themusic into phrases.This Italian word for thisstyle of playing is legato. · · · ·? · · · ·5 · · · ·? · · · ·slurslur
  49. 49. Page 50CL.H. 45Exercise: Practice playing smoothly and connectedly in the following piece. As thepiece is simple, try to do it without the help of the fingering system.C D E F GD E F GR.H.32 41 5C Position3 2 1C243434      Î? · · · ·5 · · · ·?       53 1 3 2 11 3 2 4 3 4 5GE C D D CG E F D E D C
  50. 50. Page 51UsingYour Left Right HandTogetherExercise: This piece is much harder than any you’ve played before. For the first time,you will have to play with both the left and right hand simultaneously. To get used to thepiece, play each hand separately... first the left hand, then the right hand. Once yourhands feel comfortable with the movements, try putting them together.Go slowly ... it may take a while!4444              ? ww wwww ww5             w? ww ww ww ww113 33 313 3553135555113 3 3 24 4 45 5 5111 22 3 3 3 34 45 5Frere JacquesWhen you come to a double bar line with the two dots onthe inside, you should repeat the whole song over again!CL.H. 45C D E F GD E F GR.H.32 41 5C Position3 2 1C25You may notice the audio examples only play the song once through. This is simply toshow you how the song sounds. You should still follow the repeat signs by playing throughtwice.04
  51. 51. Page 52Bringing It AllTogetherExercise: The following two songs bring all the skills that you have learned together: tiednotes, slurs, rests, harmonic intervals, 2nds and 3rds, and time signatures.You’ll also play both pieces with both your hands simultaneously. Remember to play thepiece with your left hand first, then with your right. Don’t attempt to play with both handstogether until you feel completely comfortable with each on their own.43CL.H. 45C D E F GD E F GR.H.32 41 5C Position3 2 1CPlay this piece slowly.Note that the dynamic signis now between the staffs.3434p          Î?  ·  5         Î?   ·    Î1 2 3 3 3 34 45 55 54 43 3 32 13113512123526
  52. 52. Page 53CL.H. 45C D E F GD E F GR.H.32 41 5C Position3 2 1CExercise: This piece is a bit more tricky. The left hand changes more often. Take yourtime and play each hand separately before you try them together.3434p       Î?    ·5      ?      Slowly3 1 2 4 3 2 1 1131313241212352 4 3 2 3 127
  53. 53. Page 54Chapter 7. New IntervalsYou should feel comfortable with the concept of intervals by now. Now, let’s look at twonew intervals--the 4th and 5th--and see how they sound.The 4thThe 4th is measured when there are two white keys between each consecutive noteplayed.4thOn the musical staff, 4ths are written:1. When the first note is on a line and the next note is twospaces above it.2. When the first note is on a space and the next note istwo lines above it. q q? ?q qq qq q4444f           Î? · · · ·5 · · · ·?            ÎExercise: Play this piece using the C hand position. As it is simple, try it without the helpof the fingering system.Moderately fast28
  54. 54. Page 55Exercise: In order to get you used to playing from the notes on the staff rather than fromthe fingering system, this piece only has the first note in each bar numbered. If you findit too difficult, write in the numbers yourself in pencil, so that you can erase them whenyou’re ready to make it more difficult.CL.H. 45C D E F GD E F GR.H.32 41 5C Position3 2 1CExercise: Play along with the backing track to create a duet!Moderately slow29304444mf        ÎÎ?  Î  Î        5          ?  Î  Î  Î  1 2 131445 5 15352 5 441524153
  55. 55. Page 56On the musical staff, 5ths are written:1. When the first note is on a space and the next note istwo spaces above it.2. When the first note is on a line and the next note is twolines above it.The 5thThe next interval we’ll look at is the 5th. A 5th is measured when there are three whitekeys between the two keys played.5th q q? q qq q? q qExercise: Get used to playing 5ths with the following tune.BrightlyC45C D E F GD E F GR.H.32 41 5C Position3 2 1C3434mp           ? · · · ·5 · · · ·?          5 5 51 5 1 3331
  56. 56. Page 57Exercise: The following piece has all the intervals that we’ve looked at so far in bothhands. See if you can identify them. Once again, take it slowly to begin with. Then, tryplaying the piece up to speed.CL.H. 45C D E F GD E F GR.H.32 41 5C Position3 2 1C4444f           ? ww wwwwww5 ww ww ww ww?          9     Î?           ÎThis number tellsyou what barnumber you areat in the piece.1 2 3 235 52 1512314151211 1 2315 4 3 45 3 4 1532
  57. 57. Page 58Chapter 8. Sharps and FlatsBy now you may be wondering when you get to play the black keys. In this chapter, youdo! But before you find out about the black keys, you need to learn a few new concepts.Incomplete MeasuresThere is one case in which a measure may not contain the number of beats indicated bythe time signature, but rather less! This incomplete measure will occur at the start of apiece. For example, say that the tune is in time. The first bar may only contain threebeats. 44q q q1 1 2 3 42 3w44The “missing” beat or beats will usually be found at the end of the piece, creating a secondincomplete measure. However, the first and last measures joined together will alwayscreate a complete measure, completing the correct number of beats for the piece.Two New Dynamic SignsIn this chapter, you will practice with two new dynamic signs: the crescendo and thediminuendo. Both words are Italian terms.The crescendo sign tells you to gradually get louder. It can be abbreviated as cresc.The diminuendo sign tells you to gradually get softer. It can be abbreviated as dim.These signs are found in between the staffs and last for as long as the notes they cover.?cresc dim
  58. 58. Page 59Exercise: Practice playing a piece with one of the new dynamic signs you havelearned.CL.H. 45C D E F GD E F GR.H.32 41 5C Position3 2 1CModerately slowRemember this sign? Two dotson the double line signify thatyou go back to the beginning andplay through the piece again.154444mp    dim    w    ?  · · · ww6       w ? ·dimww  Î Î Î1 3 1 513 1 13514133
  59. 59. Page 60Exercise: This piece has a lot of rests in it, so you need to watch your timing carefully.Note the incomplete measure.Moderately slowCL.H. 45C D E F GD E F GR.H.32 41 5C Position3 2 1CWhenThe Saints Go Marching In4444f   w     w Î  ? · Î     Î  Î     Î 6     w       ?   Î     Î     12         w ?         Î    1 5 5 5 135355 1 2 3 1 3351535151435155 3 5 2 1123515143534
  60. 60. Page 61The Black KeysIt’s time to discover what the black keys are all about. The black keys use the exact samemusical alphabet as the white keys, with one addition: a or a .A note with a sign is a sharp. C = C sharpA note with a sign is a flat. C = C flatThe Sharp SignA sharp raises a note a half step. To play a sharp, play the key directly to the right of thenote you would usually play for that letter, whether that key is black or white.# b#b#bC#CAll sharps and flats areplayedontheblackkeys,with the exceptions of:B and CE and Fb## bWhen you see a sharp on a musical score,it will appear to the left of the note: q q#q q#Once a sharp appears before a note, it means that particular note will stay sharp forthe rest of the bar. Familiarize yourself with the location of sharps on the keyboardand staff below.C#C FD G AD A# F#G# #q#q# q# q# q#
  61. 61. Page 62Exercise: Now, let’s try playing some sharps. To play a sharp, use the same finger thatyou would use to play the regular note.CL.H. 45C D E F GD E F GR.H.32 41 5C Position3 2 1CF# #C F#4444mp #   w    # w#? w w w w5  #   w    # w? ww# ww ww ww#Moderately fast2 3 3 44 1 1 42 3 3 424141424#C35#11
  62. 62. Page 63Exercise: Here’s a longer tune using sharps.CL.H. 45C D E F GD E F GR.H.32 41 5C Position3 2 1CF# #C F#Slow4444  #  #       #     ? ww ww# ww #   ww6 #  #     #    #  #  #? ww# ww #   ww ww#11    #      #      ? ww #   ww ww# ww16   ? ww This is one of the longestsongs you’ve played so far!5 4 1 4 34 1 4 5 41 4 3 4 1132415241324152413241524132415335#C36
  63. 63. Page 64The Flat SignA flat lowers a note a half step. To play a flat, play the key directly to the left of the noteyou would usually play for that letter, whether that key is black or white.Like sharps, when you see a flat on a musical score, itwill appear before the note. Once a flat appears beforea note, it means that particular note will stay flat for therest of the bar.Familiarize yourself with the location of flats on the keyboard and treble clef staff below.EEb q q qqbbD G AD G Aq q q qEbEBBb b b bqb b b b bDid you notice that...C = D ?D = E ?F = G ?G = A ?A = B ?b#####bbbb
  64. 64. Page 65Exercise: Now, let’s try to play some flats!CL.H. 45C D E F GD E F GR.H.32 41 5C Position3 2 1CEb Eb4444mf       b     Î? wwww w ww5       b    Î? ww ww w wwModerately fast1 3 3 3151515215151521 3 3 337
  65. 65. Page 66Exercise: Here is a longer song with two additional flat notes.CL.H. 45C D E F GD E F GR.H.32 41 5C Position3 2 1CEb EbFast4444f  b  b b   b  ? ww · ww ww5 · ·ww ww?   b  b b   b  9       b ? ww ww ww ww13   b  b b   b w? ww · ww ww1 5 5 41 2 3 31 5 5 11515 5251425 1 1 415 52 15 5215151538GbGb
  66. 66. Page 67Chapter 9. The G Hand PositionIt’s time to learn a new hand position! The G hand position is named so because thethumb of the right hand rests on the note G. The right hand thumb rests on the G aboveMiddle C while the left hand thumb rests on the D above Middle C.The new hand position plays the keys A and B that were not played in the C position, andinstead leaves out the keys E and F.C D G C DGL.H. R.H.32 41 5G Position3 245 1? Q QqA B A BQ Q QqqqqExercise: Practice the new hand position with the following tune.4444f       · ·? · ·       5      · ·? · ·    w11111222233333 4444425555539
  67. 67. Page 68The Accent SignWhen you want to play a single note louder than the rest of the notes,you will use an abbreviated version of the crescendo sign, or anaccent sign. It looks like this and is located directly above thenote. QExercise: When you encounter the accent sign, play the note louder than the rest. Usethe G hand position.Exercise: Play along with the following track to create a duet!3434mp cres     ? 5  cres      ?  9       ?   13  cres     ? Waltz15151511 3 1351 3 1 11515 525213241 2 3 135351515151 3 1 335404105
  68. 68. Page 69A New Dynamic Sign: StaccatoStaccato is another dynamic sign. It is the opposite of legato (or smoothly, which uses thelong slur sign). Staccato means that you play the notes in a detached way, or separately.To do this, hit the key quickly, almost as if you’re just tapping it.Play a note in this way when a staccato dot appears above or below a note.q.q. Staccato dotC D G C DGL.H. R.H.32 41 5G Position34 2 15A B A B4444f    · ·? · ·      5           ?           Fast1 31 33142535 4 3 453Exercise: Practice staccato by playing the piece below.42
  69. 69. Page 70Exercise: As you’re learning new hand positions, don’t forget the old ones! Take a breakfrom the G position to recall the hand movements in the Middle C position.L.H. R.H.C32 43 245 1 5BA ED FF GGMiddle C Position4444mf    Î      ? · Î     ·5 ·    ·   ?    ·    ·? Q Q Q QQq q q qqBoth thumbs on Middle C!Moderately342 1223 45 51 35 4 3 21 2 3 44 3 2 12 3 4 543
  70. 70. Page 71L.H. R.H.C32 43 245 1 5BA ED FF GGMiddle C PositionExercise: Let’s try another tune in Middle C. Note the time signature.3434mpÎ   Î  ?        5 Î  Î  ?          9 Î  Î Î Î?       13 Î    Î  ?     Moderately slow1 1 2 23 3 4 41 2 3 41 1 2 1534231 25342314253425344
  71. 71. Page 72RevisionTest: Part One1. How many keys are on an average piano?a. 64b. 88c. 100d. 1422. How many keys are there in one octave?a. 7b. 8c. 10d. 123. How many quarter notes make up one measure in a 4/4 time signature?a. 2b. 4c. 8d. 124. What does the symbol f mean?a. “Farce” meaning play with humourb. “Folte” meaning play powerfullyc. “Fainte” meaning play quietlyd. “Forte” meaning play loudly.5. If your right hand is in middle C position, what note is your ring finger or 4 finger on?a. Fb. Gc. F#d. C6. What does 3/4 at the beginning of a piece of music indicate?a. there are 3 whole notes to a measureb. there are 3 quarter notes to a measurec. there are 4 third notes to a measured. there is a repeat sign 3 quarters of the way through the piece.
  72. 72. Page 73RevisionTest: Part One continued..7. How many lines are there on a musical staff?a. 4b. 5c. 6d. 78. What is the interval between D up to E?a. 1stb. 2ndc. 3rd9. What does legato mean?a. play fastb. play lightlyc. play with legod. play smoothly10. What other note shares the same key position as D#?a. Dbb. Ebc. F#d. None11. What does staccato mean?a. To play notes shortb. To play notes longc. To stack notes togetherd. To play hesitantly
  73. 73. Page 74RevisionTest Answers1. (b) The average piano has 88 keys, black and white.2. (d) There are twelve keys (black and white) in one octave.3. (b) There are 4 quarter notes in one measure of 4/44. (d) F stands for the Italian word “Forte” meaning loud.5. (a) The 4 finger in the right hand is resting on the F note when in C position.6. (b) The 3/4 time signature means there are 3 quarter notes to every measure.7. (b) There are 5 lines to a musical staff, although more ‘ledger’ lines can be added.8. (b) The harmonic interval between D up to E is a 2nd. Or to be specific, a major 2nd.9. (d) The italian expressions Legato means to play smoothly and joined.10. (b) D# and Eb are located on the same key on the keyboard. This is called a“Harmonic Equivalent” because they are harmonically equal meaning they share thesame pitch.11. (a) The term Staccato indicates for the notes to be played short and detached fromone another.How did you go?Add up your percentage by dividingthe number you got right by 11, andx100. See if you can better yourscore in the next Revision Test!
  74. 74. Page 75Chapter 10. More About RhythmIn this chapter, you are going to learn more about rhythm. You’ll learn a new note (theeighth note), a new time signature, and some common tempo marks.The Eighth NoteA quarter note isn’t the smallest note in music. When you want to play music that movesrapidly, you need notes of short duration, and the eighth note fits the bill.The eighth noteis half the length of a quarter note.One eighth note looks like a quarter note with a “tail.”When there are two eighth notes in a row, the tails join together. iqeeSo an 8th note isequal to ½ a beat. = ½ beat = 1 beatqqe iqe =+ =Two eighth notes are equivalent to one quarter note.When counting eighth notes, you count: “ONE-and-TWO-and-THREE-and-FOUR-and...”q qqq iqiq441 2 3 4 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 andiqiq q1q2iqiq3 and 4 and
  75. 75. Page 76Exercise: Clap or count these measures aloud for practiceiqiqiqiqiqiqiq qqqqq431 and 2 3 1 2 3 and 1 and 2 and 3 1 and 2 and 3 andJust as there are quarter note and whole note rests, there are eighth note rests aswell.An eighth note rest looks like this:äExercise: Practice playing eighth notes with the tune below.L.H. R.H.C32 43 245 1 5BA ED FF GGMiddle C PositionDeck the halls4444f ä            äÎ? · · · Î5 1 2 1245
  76. 76. Page 77Exercise: Here’s another song with which to practice eighth notes.L.H. R.H.C32 43 245 1 5BA ED FF GGMiddle C Position3434mp       ?    5          ?    9        ?    1 2 21352435242 3 2 31 2 1 12413243524353546
  77. 77. Page 78Another NewTime SignatureNow that you understand and can play eighth notes, you are ready to learn a new timesignature!time means:24 • the bar gets divided into 2 beats (the top number), and• the quarter note still gets one beat (the bottom number).24qq iqiq1 2 1 and 2 andh1 2Exercise: Try out the new time signature with the following piece.L.H. R.H.C32 43 245 1 5BA ED FF GGMiddle C Position44f       ?    5      ?    Exercise: Play along with the following track to create your own duet!Slowly1 5 2 21 5 2 14 54 2 44748
  78. 78. Page 79Tempo MarksYou have seen them before, but you may have not known what they were. Tempo marksare the words written at the beginning of a piece to tell you how fast or slow the piece isto be played. The word tempo, in fact, is Italian for “rate of speed.”The tempo marks that you have seen so far are “fast,” “slowly,” et cetera. However,tempo marks are usually written in Italian. Study the list of words below so that you willrecognize them when they appear in a musical score. allegro quick, lively, bright moderato moderately andante moving along, walking pace adagio slowlyFermata SignBecause so much information needs to be contained in a musical score, there are manysymbols that appear above or below notes to indicate how the composer intends them tobe played. You’ve already learned the staccato dot and the accent sign. Now, you aregoing to learn about the fermata sign.The fermata sign looks like an eye:When it appears above a note (or notes), you should hold that note for longer than thegiven time value. In other words, you will pause on the note a bit longer for effect.A fermata sign often appears at the end of a phrase or piece.U06
  79. 79. Page 80Exercise: Now, practice the andante tempo and the fermata sign with the followingpiece.L.H. R.H.C32 43 245 1 5BA ED FF GGMiddle C Position reviewedF# F#4444p #  # Î   #U Î?    Î   ·5 Î Î Î# Î# Î# Î# Î  Î ?  Î  ÎÎÎÎÎÎÎ9  #  # Î   #U Î?    Î   ·Andante42 5 32 44 4 2 452 125 4242534 3 2 14 2 2 4 12 54 4 2 3 4549
  80. 80. Page 81MoreTempo MarkingsYou can also find indications about changes in tempo in the piece itself. Two that youwill encounter frequently are ritardando and a tempo. These words appear between thestaffs with a dashed line to indicate how long the change in tempo should last.Ritardando means a gradual decrease in tempo, or slowing of a piece. (It is oftenabbreviated as rit.)A tempo means that you should return to the original tempo specified at the beginning ofthe piece.Exercise: Practice changing tempo with the following piece. Note that the 8vasignmeans that you should play the note or notes one octave (or eight notes) higher thanwhat is written.) Listen to the track if you have difficulties.50
  81. 81. Page 82L.H. R.H.C32 43 245 1 5BA ED FF GGMiddle C Position3434mpÎ  Î  Î Î  Î  Î ?     7 Î Î  Î Î Î  Î  Î ?        Î Î14 Î Î  Î   Î  Î  Î U?  Î Î  Î ÎÎ Î    UAndanterit. a tempo1 2 3 4 1 2533142533142213141 251 23 4 5 4 3 2 52 3 2 3 2 3535342534 3 2 1 2 4 14both hands
  82. 82. Page 83WE’RE JAMMIN’!JamTrack OneExercise: Here is your first Jam Track! This piece includes the new time signature youhave just learned about. Practice it a few times with the piano band track so that youknow it well before you play along with the band.After the repeat of the first two lines of music, (note the double bar line with the dots), wethen play straight through to the end of the song. Then repeat the whole thing!01x01Now you know the song, have a go playing along with the Rocket band!44Lightly                      ?          9                       ?   b    17       ?       24       ?  b  314253 21414131345 4 32 54 32 5 4535 2 3 4 3 1 2 34 5 2 31 2 3 4 1 2 34 1 2 3 415
  83. 83. Page 84Chapter 11.TechnicalWizardryYour piano is not simply made up of black and whitekeys. It also has two or three pedals. These pedalsperform several special effects, as explained inChapter 1 pg 15. Now, it’s time to teach you to useone of those effects with the damper pedal.As you may recall, the damper pedal lifts thedampers off the strings so that they can continuevibrating.Press the pedal, then play a few notes to see what happens.You should have noticed that the notes continued to make a tone until you lifted your footoff the pedal.Basically, the damper pedal is used to sustain a note.Depress pedal Release pedalHold down pedalFlip the page to try playing an exercise that uses the damper pedal.The pedal sign in music looks like this:07
  84. 84. Page 85Exercise: Notice how the damper pedal smooths out the sound. Don’t forget the tempomarking, and remember that the 8vasign means that you should play the note or notesone whole octave (an 8th interval) higher than what is written.L.H. R.H.C32 43 245 1 5BA ED FF GGMiddle C Position513434mp·       ?   · Î ·5          ?  Î ·  Î ·9 ·    Î Î    ?   ·  Î ·13 Î Î      Î ?  Î ·    Adagio5 3 13 4 54 22 3 4 53 13 4 53 34 534 13 4 5 2 3 4 55 3 1 4 24 13 4 53 4 2314 4Your hand will need tojump up the octave.
  85. 85. Page 86Repeating It Over and OverMany pieces of music contain sections that repeat. You’ve already seen one sign torepeat a section: the dotted double bars at the end of a piece of music.There is another way of indicating that a section should repeat: the words D.C. al fine.This directional sign is an abbreviation for Da Capo al Fine. When you encounter thissign, you should go back to the beginning and play the piece until you reach the wordfine. Fine is pronounced fee-nay and means “finish.”Exercise: Use the Middle C hand position to play the following piece. 52Moderato4444         ?       5        ?    b  bww9         ?         13         ?       fineD.C. al fine315 3 4 2 3 1424 23153314253315 3 5 2 4 2 353 1 4 2 5 3 3 1352413245 3 4 2 3 13142534 231
  86. 86. Page 871st and 2ndTime EndingsSometimes you don’t want to play a song a second time through from the beginning justas it was played the first time. You may want to make a modification. First and secondtime endings help you do that.With first and second time endings, you will reach the end of a song and start it all overat the beginning again, just as you have done in previous examples. However, this timeyou will skip the bar that has “1” written over it and only play the bar that has “2” writtenover it.Sound confusing? Here’s an example:1.2. · ·? · ·Play through the piece the first time,until you get to the first repeat sign nearthe end. Don’t play the bars with a “2”above it.Then, go back to the beginning andrepeat the song.Play the piece a second time, butDON’T play the bars with “1” writtenover them. Skip those bars and finishwith the second time ending.
  87. 87. Page 88Exercise: Use the Middle C hand position to play the following piece. Remind yourselfof the locations of E flat and F sharp before starting.4444f #     b    b  ? ·ww ·   ·61.2.   b  b     ? ww ·   ww Î Allegro1 4 5 1 4 3 4 5 1 1 3 4 53544 34 3 1 4 1354 35453
  88. 88. Page 89One famous song that uses first and second time endings is “Jingle Bells.”Exercise: Switch to the C hand position for this song. Note the staccato dots and eighthnotes.FCL.H. 45C D E F GD E F GR.H.32 41 5C Position3 2 1C#Happily4444f  Î  Î ä Î   ä ? Î  Î  Î  Î Î Î 61.2.               Î?  Î  # Î  Î  Î  Î Î15 523524141533 45 1 2 3Jingle Bells54
  89. 89. Page 90Chapter 12. Taking StepsIn this chapter, you are going to learn a new hand position: the Middle D position. Then, youare going to learn about half steps and whole steps (or semi-tones and whole tones).The Middle D PositionThe Middle D position is given its name because you will place both your thumbs on theD above Middle C.? Q QqQ Q QqqqqC D GGL.H. R.H.32 41 5Middle D Position3 245A B AE FBoth thumbs on DYou now know fourhand positions:● Middle C● C● G● Middle D
  90. 90. Page 91Exercise: Here is a long piece to practice your Middle D hand position. 5553424342531 4 2 142434231414 2 4 34342534243442 3 4 542 3 4 54213 4 553424342312221 4 244444mf            ?       6        # #  ?         11             ?      16    Î       Î      ? b    21            ?    25 # #       ?     4143423 2
  91. 91. Page 92On and Off BeatsTo understand the concept of “on” and “off” beats, we’re going to take a closer look at the8th note rest ( ).Single 8th notes are often accompanied by 8th note rests. When you are countingout a rhythm, include the rests in your count.äeä4444          ä  ä     ä   ä  · ? · · · ·1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 andNotice how you tend to emphasize the beats of the bar that are numbers and give lessemphasis to the beats of the bar that are “and”s. Music recognizes this by distinguishingbetween on and off beats.Any note that falls on a number is called an on beat note.Any note that falls on an and beat is called an off beat note.When the first note in a bar falls upon the off beat, the rhythm can be quite tricky to play.This occurs in the last bar of the example above. Practice off beat rhythms with the pieceon the following page.Exercise: Count or clap this rhythm aloud.Keep your toes tapping!
  92. 92. Page 93C D GGL.H. R.H.32 41 5Middle D Position3 245A B AE FExercise: Be careful with the off-beat rhythms in this piece.3434f            ä?     6    ä #  ä Î?   ä Î11 #  ä Î         ?ä Î   16    #    # ?     1 4 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 14 42 1 1 24 3 2 1 23 2 1 2 1 4 2 1 2 1 4 2 12 1 2 3 1 1 2 3 435 52 35 52 355252523524 5224 5252353552 2435243556
  93. 93. Page 94Half StepsYou have already learned that sharps and flats raise or lower notes a half step. On thekeyboard, a half step is the measured distance between a key and the key immediatelynext to it. For example, the key next to C on the right hand side is C . The key next to Con the left hand side is B (or C !).To review, the sign means that the note is raised a half step.The sign means that the note is lowered a half step.Now, you are going to learn a new sign: the natural sign. The sign means that the noteshould return to its original value.Do you remember how once a sharp or a flat appears before a note, it applies to a note forthe entire measure ... even if you don’t see the sharp or flat sign again? What happens ifyou want to play the unmodified note? Quite simply, you use a natural sign.The sign is used to cancel a sharp or a flat when it appears in the measure or in the keysignature. (You’ll learn more about sharps and flats in key signatures in a later chapter.)While sharps and flats are usually played on the black keys, a note after a natural sign isALWAYS played on a white key.#b#bnn? Q#QnBQbA Bbqn q#qbF#FEbC D GA B E FED#bDCb#ABb#GbF#Half steps are alsocalled semi-tones.#

×